(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)
Rated: November 2010- Visit the Fairmont President's Club Web site and you are greeted with a photo montage of Fairmont Resorts in different locations, along with photos of beautifully prepared food and impressive scenery. The video is short and eventually ends with a picture of a breakfast tray on a hotel bed. The video provides a nice introduction to new visitors but if you've seen it all before, it can be distracting.
Fairmont President's Club is a guest recognition program instead of a points-based program, so you won't find any mention of earning and redeeming points. From the home page, you can enroll or log in to President's Club, activate your account if you are a new member or click Benefits to see what you will receive as a President's Club member. You'll also find contact information for general reservations and customer service, along with links to send feedback via email, to the Terms & Conditions and an FAQ list. These last three items aren't prominently displayed and are a bit buried under the contact phone numbers.
Click Benefits and you will be taken to a page that highlights program benefits and includes a link to Benefits at a Glance that lists all membership benefits. The "at a glance" isn't exactly accurate since you'll have to scroll down the page to be able to read the entire list, which lists benefits for Club, Premier and Platinum members. To find out what benefits are exclusive to Premier and Platinum members, you'll have to scroll down to the very bottom. Most Web sites offer a link to a separate page that outlines the elite program, but Fairmont just includes the elite benefits in the Membership Benefits list. There are links to categories of benefits, such as Great Partnerships, Exclusive Savings and Impeccable Service that include only the benefits related to that specific topic, which helps to break down the list into easier-to-read sections.
The FAQ list contains answers to 12 questions, including information about how to qualify for elite status and the benefits of elite status listed at the top. Perhaps these two questions wouldn't end up on the list of frequently asked questions if there were a section of the site dedicated to elite status, but the answers are readily available here. There is no mention in the FAQ of when accounts expire and you will need to visit the Terms and Conditions to find that Club-level membership has no expiry date.
Missing stay requests can be made online by logging in to your profile and going to the "My Stay History" page. President's Club Platinum elite members receive complimentary night certificates that can only be redeemed by calling customer service.
For the most part, the site is well-organized, clean and easy to navigate. We'd like to see a section dedicated to elite membership and the functionality for elite members to be able redeem their free stay certificates online.