Forget The Mint, Fairmont Offers An iPad In Every Guest Room
Starting September 2010, The Plaza will offer iPads in all guest rooms and suites, and they'll be loaded with Fairmont's proprietary program, the '"virtual concierge application," driven by software from Orlando-based Intelity, called ICE, for "Interactive Customer Solution."
Intelity's CEO, David Adelson, says that ICE now gives Fairmont's guests all kinds of service options at their fingertips through the virtual concierge program running on the tablet.
For example, using the iPad's icon-based touch screen, the concierge application allows guests to access a multimedia video welcome and control such in-hotel experiences as ordering room service, making restaurant reservations, checking airline schedules, printing boarding passes, and more.
Meantime, management is monitoring the back end results, evaluating the quality of the guest services, such as how fast room service food was delivered, or how quickly housekeeping replaced the dead bulb, real time ratings which are a sure bet to improve service.
The iPad's concierge application also connects guests with leisure and business-friendly services, allowing them to browse the web, requesting anything from wake-up calls to tips on exploring the Big Apple.
Shane Krige, The Plaza's general manager, says the addition of the iPads redefines luxury. "It's not just about actual products," he says, "but about enhancing a guest's experience, fulfilling a need."
Renata Hopkins, a spokesperson for Susan Magrino PR, the agency handling the release, says there is no surcharge or connection fee to use the in-room iPads, and no, they can not be taken from the room.
There are, however, mobile versions of the iPhone, Blackberry and Android. If a guest wants a cold beer and extra towel waiting for him or her in his room, he touches in the request via his smart phone.
The Plaza has just completed a $450 million dollar, three-year lobby-to-roof renovation which cemented its reputation as a New York hotel legend. The addition of the hugely popular iPad as part of the guest service experience suggests that "old world elegance" can fit with today's newest, coolest technology.
Prefer a mint or an iPad?