Building on its rich history of technology innovation, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts plans to install self-service kiosks in its hotels in North America. Deployed to service the ever-evolving expectations of business and leisure travelers alike, the brand’s latest technology initiative will commence with an installation at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York. A rollout to outfit other Fairmont properties with the kiosks will follow later in the year

Aimed at offering both choice and transparency to its clientele, Fairmont’s kiosks will include an innovative and original guestroom selection feature; a first within the hotel industry. Based on the initial reservation and pre-confirmed preferences, the guestroom selection feature, similar to the seat selection functionality offered by airline kiosks, will enable travelers to visually select a hotel room of their liking from a graphical map.

“At Fairmont, we take great pride in our ability to deliver technological innovation that improves the guest experience,” says Vineet Gupta, vice-president of technology at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. “We were the first hotel company to offer high-speed and wireless Internet access on a brand-wide basis. Now we’re building on our core technology platform to provide our guests with the most sophisticated self-service solution in our industry.”

As a luxury brand, committed to utilizing the most comprehensive and innovative technology services available, Fairmont partnered with IBM, one of the world’s foremost leaders in advanced technologies, to deliver its tailored kiosk solution. The Fairmont Hotel Check-In solution is based on IBM’s proven e-access Hotel Check-In Kiosk. IBM provided the kiosk hardware, middleware software, application development service, as well as implementation services and will also provide ongoing monitoring and management of Fairmont’s kiosks.

Fairmont’s self-service kiosks enable guests to efficiently check-in and out, personally select a room, receive their room key, and instantly enroll in the brand’s guest loyalty program, Fairmont President’s Club. Other advanced services and features of Fairmont’s self-service kiosk solution include:

- The Wireless Guest Ambassador: Using a wireless-enabled computer tablet, a roving and dedicated guest service agent will be close at hand to assist guests through the self-service process. Linked directly to the hotel’s property management system, the Wireless Guest Ambassador will inform, educate, and add Fairmont’s renowned personal touch to the check-in experience.

- Airline Check-In: In conjunction with Air Canada, hotel guests will be able to use Fairmont’s hotel-based kiosks to electronically check-in and obtain a boarding pass for any Air Canada flight, before departing for the airport. Intended to maximize traveler convenience by reducing the time spent in airport line-ups, Fairmont is planning to introduce this kiosk capability in late 2005.

- Group Travel Features: As a component of Fairmont’s digital arrival, meeting planners will have the ability to publish customized welcome messages and up-to-the-minute meeting agendas for conference delegates and meeting attendees. For added simplicity, the kiosk will be capable of printing this itinerary information during the check-in process.

Jeff Senior, Fairmont’s senior vice president of sales & marketing believes the new kiosks are another symbol of the brand’s promise of personalization. “We’re fully committed to welcoming all of our guests in the manner which they prefer, and are driven to developing processes and products that make it easy for our customers to do business with us. By enhancing the arrival experience in its entirety, we are completely reinventing this process and putting control in the hands of our guests.” Senior also sees the kiosks as an ideal solution for corporate travelers, which account for approximately 50 percent of the brand’s business mix, “The new kiosks are another industry first for Fairmont and will be of particular interest to those who routinely travel and are looking to expedite the check-in process”