Press Release

Auburn University and Ithaka Hospitality Partners Offer Hands-On Learning for Future Hoteliers with Oracle Cloud

Undergraduates put in-class Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud Service training to work in Alabama’s first luxury teaching hotel

Austin, TexasMay 3, 2022

Auburn University is opening a world-class concierge-level teaching hotel with the support of Ithaka Hospitality Partners, the property’s operating manager, and Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud Service. The Laurel Hotel & Spa is part of Auburn’s Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center (RCSC). The exciting destination will not only provide guests an enticing place to stay, but also act as the home of the university’s hospitality management program. Students will first learn OPERA Cloud in their coursework and apply this knowledge with hands-on training in the hotel when it opens later this year.

“The Laurel Hotel & Spa will offer groundbreaking technical advantages for students, staff, and visitors alike,” said Hans van der Reijden, founder and CEO, Ithaka Hospitality Partners. “OPERA Cloud will provide the property with industry-leading technology to run efficiently, but even more importantly, will deliver an immersive educational experience that blends hands-on learning with cross-functional coursework to prepare students to be leaders in the hospitality industry.”

The entire Laurel environment will be specially designed and built for student learning. Using OPERA Cloud—a global leader in cloud property management systems—undergraduates will gain hands-on, practical experience in all aspects of hotel operations. The experience will further position Auburn’s hospitality management students to become future leaders in the industry.

“With OPERA Cloud integrated throughout lodging and IT related courses in the curriculum, hospitality management students not only gain a competitive learning advantage over their peers at other institutions, but also have the distinction of studying the platform across functional, operational and strategic goals of The Laurel Hotel & Spa,” said Alecia Douglas, associate professor of hospitality management, Auburn University College of Human Sciences. “Such an experience is above and beyond the passive learning from the current mode of instruction and gives students first-hand knowledge of the technology thereby making abstract concepts much more relatable.”


Top-notch property, top-notch tech

The Laurel Hotel & Spa will feature 16 luxurious rooms, 10 suites, six residences, a spa, fitness studio, rooftop pool, and yoga pavilion giving Auburn University students the ability to treat guests to a truly top-notch experience. In addition, guests have access to 1856, a culinary residence; a microbrewery; a rooftop terrace and garden; culinary laboratories; coffee bar and roaster; and Hey Day Market Food Hall.

The university’s existing on-campus hospitality facility, The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center, has used OPERA 5 since 2014, making the upgrade to OPERA Cloud a natural fit. OPERA Cloud will help to integrate hotel operations, reduce on-site equipment and IT management needs, and most importantly, enrich students’ learning opportunities with exposure to a modern, cloud-based system.

“Staffing is one of the largest obstacles facing hospitality today, making what Auburn University and Ithaka Hospitality Partners are doing not only invaluable for students, but essential for our industry,” said Alex Alt, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Hospitality. “OPERA Cloud will provide The Laurel Hotel & Spa with leading-edge industry innovations to help deliver concierge-level service and offer students a strong educational foundation that will prepare them for a long and rewarding career in hospitality.”


Learn more about the facility

The Laurel Hotel & Spa

Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center (RCSC)

The Rane Story

Contact Info

About Ithaka Hospitality Partners

Ithaka Hospitality Partners is a hospitality management company focused on all aspects of hotel, resort, restaurant, and food hall management as well as special event and catering management. Ithaka consults with owners and developers to deliver strategic and tactical methods to achieve overall profitability, guest satisfaction and employee engagement. Additionally, Ithaka is proud to partner with the Hospitality Management Program at Auburn University to assist in educating the next generation of leaders in our industry. For additional information, visit

About Oracle Hospitality

Oracle Hospitality brings more than 40 years of experience in providing technology solutions to independent hoteliers, global and regional chains, gaming, and cruise lines. Our hardware, software, and services enable customers to act on rich data insights that deliver personalized guest experiences, maximize profitability, and encourage loyalty.

About Oracle

Oracle offers integrated suites of applications plus secure, autonomous infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), please visit us at


Oracle, Java, and MySQL are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation.