It's the kind of airport hotel that is more in the future than the past. Connected by walkway to the main lobby of Vancouver International Airport, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport hotel is a visually stunning place of rich woodwork, marble, and granite. But it's not the finishes that set this airport hotel apart — check out the technology.
All 392 rooms are “Smart Rooms,” wired with an INNCOM system that integrates energy management, central electronic lock security, and easy-to-use guest controls. Touchscreen and push-button consoles at the bedside give guests fingertip control over temperature, lighting, drapes, television, room service, and housekeeping. (A button on the console dials room service or housekeeping using the phone system.) Motion sensors turn lights off and on when a guest leaves or returns to a guest room, and the system can be programmed to allow the ambient temperature to drop naturally. When a light bulb burns out, a message indicating the room number and location is automatically sent to the maintenance department.
“Guests like that they can control everything, and they feel more comfortable,” observes Francis Parkinson, the hotel's general manager. “We like that it saves us money because it helps to conserve energy, and it allows us to run a more efficient hotel.” The sensors also tell staff whether somebody is in the room or not, and that helps to reduce incidents of guests being awakened inadvertently by cleaning staff — an all-too-frequent occurrence in airport hotels, where sleeping and waking times are all over the map.
The building features ISDN Internet access and a Category 5 network connected to 100 MB switches, says Ted Chuckmala, the hotel's regional systems manager. The 14 executive meeting rooms are equipped with videoconferencing capabilities, including wall-mounted plasma screens and wireless Internet, which is also available in suites on the Entrée Gold Floor. The 14-story hotel is encased in triple-glazed glass, designed to be soundproof to 45 decibels, virtually eliminating noise from the jets that are just a couple of hundred feet away.