From the moment the plane’s seat belt sign finally turns off at the gate, it’s a race to reconnect and catch up for today’s business travellers, often with the added stress of establishing a local internet connection and getting all the needed devices online. At times like this, even a short ride to one’s hotel can seem an eternity when there’s work to be done.
Four Seasons to the rescue: complimentary Wi-Fi connections in all house cars and contracted limo services, at all Four Seasons locations, all around the world. Already in place in many destinations including the new Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai, the service will be implemented company-wide by October 1. Cars may also be equipped with iPads offering hotel information such as dining and spa menus, and multi-adapter device chargers.
“Four Seasons has always anticipated the needs of business travellers,” says Chris Hunsberger, executive vice president, product and innovation at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Just as our hotels have always been like a home away from home, for business travellers, it’s an office away from the office. As we continue to introduce new innovations, we’re taking that service approach beyond the hotel itself and into our house cars and limos, helping our guests maximize their productivity from the moment they leave the airport – and even while they move around town.”
Ultimate Mobility: Meetings on Wheels
In a revolutionary new pilot program, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills now offers a luxury eight-passenger Mercedes van equipped with two plasma screens, electrical outlets and unlimited Wi-Fi, allowing groups to conduct meetings on the go. Initially developed for groups conducting road shows around the city, the van is proving popular with other business travellers as well.
“Whether briefing the team before a big meeting, making last minute changes to a presentation or squeezing in some business on the way to a client dinner, this program allows business travellers to use their time in a way not possible until now,” notes Hunsberger. “The van even has swivel chairs, so no one has to look over their shoulder.”
More Innovations for Business Travellers on the Go
Complimentary in-room basic internet service - Once settled at their hotel, all Four Seasons guests will find that basic Wi-Fi service is complimentary in their guest room in nearly all locations.
“For those requiring enhanced bandwidth, we’ve been investing company-wide to ensure that our guests have access to what they need,” says Hunsberger.
Skype check-in from the car – Guests en route to Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel and Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, among others, can now connect live with Four Seasons staff to check in, book restaurant and spa reservations and order room service, eliminating one sometimes cumbersome step when they arrive at their destination.
“When the guest arrives, the same staff member they spoke to on Skype simply hands them their room key and off they go,” says Hunsberger.
iPad access to hotel services in cars and guest rooms – Combining information and access into one easy step, guests can now review dining options, room service menus, spa treatments and other services – and book them instantly with just the touch of a keypad. “Being able to make arrangements while transferring from the airport is multi-tasking at its best, leaving more time to focus on what really matters,” notes Hunsberger.
At Four Seasons Hotel Doha, a unique iPad application connects guests to a live concierge via Bluetooth speakerphone technology with the touch of a button. At Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, wildlife tour guides use an iPad to show maps and migration pictures, plus take pictures guests can take home as souvenirs.
At Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles and the new Four Seasons Hotel Toronto opening in October, iPads are also available in every room, offering a streamlined approach to accessing hotel services. Guests can also use a provided login on their own devices to access hotel services.
In room connectivity – In addition to complimentary Wi-Fi, Four Seasons is in the process of ensuring that every room and suite in every hotel and resort has at least two electrical outlets by the desk and another two by the bedside, with universal adapters to accommodate the multiple devices that people travel with today.
A History of Innovation
A well-established culture of innovation fuels Four Seasons to be the best, offering discerning guests the most customized and relevant experiences in luxury hospitality today. In its more than 50 year history, the company has pioneered numerous industry-firsts including 24/7 in-room dining, express laundry and one hour pressing, and now-standard items such as mini shampoos and lotions, bathrobes, and hair dryers in guest rooms.
Other recent initiatives include 15 Minute Room Service; spas that stay open after hours for late-night treatments, drinks, and serene pool time; green meetings; a dining approach centred around farm-to-table and farm-to-bar, where specialty dishes and drinks take on a local flavour; and much more. In the future, Four Seasons guests can anticipate transformation of the traditional banquet into a transcendental dining experience; and a reimagining the hotel lobby and arrival experience with the needs of today’s mobile and tech-savvy travellers in mind.