MARKHAM, ONTARIO—Today’s travelers are seeking contactless, efficient tools to help them better engage with their accommodations host before, during, and after their stays. Award winning AKA, operating luxury hotels and extended-stay hotel residences, is delivering on these expectations by leveraging technology and software that touches all parts of the guest journey. That includes implementing a Payment Portal from Maestro PMS that enables travelers to pay deposits, make full payments for third-party reservations, or settle outstanding balances on hotel or monthly/annual residential stays from the convenience of their mobile or desktop device. AKA Beverly Hills — a fully appointed luxury residence with the style and hospitality of an intimate hotel — was first in the system to go live with the Maestro Payment Portal. Following a successful pilot, 11 additional properties will deploy the convenience tool beginning this week.
“AKA is always at the forefront of technology innovation to provide personalized and seamless experiences while creating operational efficiencies,” said Jessica Maidat, Vice President Portfolio Operations for AKA. “Technology is critical for AKA to provide robust, client-centric solutions, while automating as many processes as possible. This strategy enables our team members to dedicate even more time to residents, as our brand and culture are driven by creating and developing relationships.
“AKA decided to implement Maestro’s Payment Portal to offer people an efficient and compliant means to provide payment to both group and individual reservations,” she said. “We feel confident that our traditional hotels and hotel residences will greatly benefit from the Payment Portal. We truly love how the credit card interfaces with the Maestro property-management system and the payment is processed automatically. This creates many efficiencies for our team members while providing residents with a tech-forward and secure way to process payments. The whole process is seamless. Clients of AKA Beverly Hills say they love how easy and efficient the payment portal is, in addition to noting that not many properties are using any sort of payment portal that they have experienced. Team members also enjoy the tool as it reduces paperwork and no follow up is required to secure payments.”
Maestro’s Payment Portal is a mechanism that enables guests to pay for their stays. It’s contactless and extremely convenient; people can use it without having to engage with live agents. For example, rather than having to walk down to the front desk to make a payment for the next month’s stay, residents can pay from the privacy of their accommodations via mobile devices, tablets, or computers. With this PCI-compliant tool, transactions are funneled through the hotel’s payment gateway.
“We chose Maestro as our PMS provider because they have a very robust platform that integrates incredibly well with many other software solutions and because it can support the needs of AKA’s multiple business models,” Maidat said. “Maestro has continued to work with AKA to enhance their software even further to ensure Maestro continues to support and scale with AKA. AKA selects software providers that share a similar company culture and value system of being service and solution-oriented as well as innovative.
“We anticipate this enterprise rollout will further enhance our resident experience, provide more efficient payment remittance opportunities and mitigate the risk of financial transactions,” Maidat said. “We are expecting to see positive responses from clients and residents via review responses and post-stay surveys in the short term.”
Maestro President Warren Dehan said he is proud that AKA is such a satisfied and growing Maestro customer. He said the enterprise-wide rollout of the Payment Portal strengthens the notion that hoteliers are continuing to invest in contactless technologies that make everyone’s lives easier.
“People tell us they love the Payment Portal because it’s safe and expedient,” Dehan said. “Guests don’t have to call the front desk or accounting office and recite their credit card numbers over the phone. When Maestro sends out a reservation confirmation, guests will be apprised of their payment schedule. The system can also be configured to send reminder emails as desired. It’s a real time saver for staff and cuts labor costs for owners. Soon the Payment Portal will be capable of extending payments beyond reservations. This is important to our many condo hotel customers. By keeping labor-intensive transactions to a minimum, operators of hotels, condo hotels, and hotel residences like AKA will be able to boost operational efficiencies and drive customer loyalty for the long run.”
AKA will be introducing new properties in 2022, including locations in Miami (now open), and Old Town Alexandria and New York City this summer.