Bodhi at the Art Ovation Hotel, Sarasota

Simplified scheduling and control of music, video, lighting and climate

One of the great things about Bodhi is the ease in which property managers and staff can adjust the scheduling of their music, video, lighting, and climate control systems themselves, without the need to bring back their technology integrator, as is true of other control systems. “At the Art Ovation, they use that ability every single day to update lighting scenes, audio levels and other presets to fit each event and the people they expect to attend it,” says Will Gilbert, partner at Software Development LLC, the company that created Bodhi.

“While they can still make adjustments on the fly, it’s far easier to set up the various systems in advance,” he explains.

Bodhi’s browser-based interface makes it simple for the catering manager to choose settings and scenes for the entire property, but then allow individual managers –say of the restaurant, lobby bar and rooftop bar– to tweak the settings based on their own special experience.

Each can use his or her own smart phone or the computers, iPads and installed Crestron panels the property provides.

A uniquely successful property

With its focus on celebrating the visual and performing arts, the Art Ovation offers a unique and attractive experience for guests.

Its lobby and common areas feature paintings and sculptures on loan from the nearby Ringling College of Art and Design, and the property hosts regular art exhibitions and workshops. Friday-night jazz performances highlight local bands and vocalists.

A beautiful rooftop bar and pool deck offers spectacular views of the downtown and harbor, plus a venue for Saturday-night DJs who tie into its exceptional house sound and lighting systems.

The 6,100-square foot ballroom hosts lectures, banquets, weddings, and a wide variety of client meetings and events, each requiring its own unique setup.

A traditional control system might include a large number of sound, video and lighting presets, intended by the integrator to serve all these kinds of functions, but it would be impossible in a venue like this to anticipate all of the needed variations.

So when Gilbert approached property management and explained how Bodhi could enhance and simplify their events, they responded enthusiastically. The cloud-based Bodhi platform has been in constant use at the property since its opening in 2018.

Bodhi vs traditional control systems

Like many hotels and resorts, the Art Ovation has a Crestron control system that operates its common-area systems, including audio, video, lighting, digital signage, and climate. Managers have the choice of six channels of background music, which they can route into nine audio zones, covering the lobby, lobby bar, restaurant, ballroom, ballroom lobby, the fitness center, gift shop, elevators, and rooftop.

Bodhi works with the Crestron system to add simple, browser-based automation, scheduling, and management of all the functions that it controls.

In most properties, if the restaurant managers want to turn lights down and play a specific source on their background music system at the same time every evening, the integrator would program the Crestron system to do that for them. But if they decide they want to change those scheduled settings, the integrator has to come back to reprogram the system.

For that reason, most hotels rarely change or tweak these presets, instead making any necessary changes manually, as needed, with their Crestron control panels. The next day, the system goes back to its default, and if they decide they like the changes they made, they’ll need to make them over and over again until the integrator can return.

Those kinds of service calls are no longer necessary at the Art Ovation. Bodhi makes it so simple to change any setting, and then save it to the default or save it as a new preset, that management can tweak the lights, audio and video whenever they wish.

Bodhi even includes a simple calendar function, so managers can set, for example, the audio and lighting levels in advance for a trade show on Tuesday, a banquet on Wednesday, a jazz performance on Friday and a wedding on Saturday. And on the night of each event, should the event manager want to tweak those levels again, they can still do it from a wall-mounted Crestron panel or one of the catering department’s iPads.

In the conference center, Bodhi controls a room-combining sound system and allows managers to schedule its function in advance. They can use Bodhi to route audio from any section of the ballroom, a nearby boardroom or the prefunction area to any or all others.

On the rooftop, Bodhi manages and controls an LED lighting system with color-changing bulbs that give the bar and pool deck a unique evening ambiance, as well as a 15-speaker performance sound system that DJs use on Saturday nights.

Bodhi constantly checks on the health of all these systems, sends alerts and generates trouble tickets if a component fails or starts to move out of spec. In this way, management is able to deal with potential problems before they can turn into system failures.

The Art Ovation has been extremely popular, with its rooftop now considered a “must see” for visitors to Sarasota, especially at sunset. Visitor reviews average 4.5 stars on Orbitz and TripAdvisor and 4.8 on The owners and managers say they appreciate the contributions Bodhi has made to achieving this success.

They love it so much that they have deployed it in a newer property, The Daytona in Daytona Beach.