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Old Dec 2, 11, 7:09 pm   #1
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Best time to book Banff, LL and JPL?

My wife and I plan to spend about 3 nights at each of Banff Springs, Lake Louise and Jasper Park Lodge next mid-June. Our flights are now booked so we know the dates we need.

Based on your experience, when would be the best time for me to try to make reservations? Can I expect to see any sales on for these properties between now and then?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old Dec 2, 11, 8:15 pm   #2
  
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Smile It depends

The answer depends, in large part, on what room type you want and what, if any, corp discount codes you have.

If its the Gold Floor you are after, you can book anytime as the rates don't change.

If, on the other hand, you are looking for a deal, sign up for the FPC announcements! This past year, FP announced its Great Rates promo on January 5. Here is an excerpt for 2/3 properties you are interested in:

Jasperfrom$139* Lake Louisefrom$139*
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Old Dec 2, 11, 8:36 pm   #3
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I probably won't be booking the gold floor, because I'd like to use some FPC Platinum certificates for suite upgrades and/or free nights, which I can't use on gold rooms.

However, I have seen deals on gold rooms before, at least at other properties, and I've booked them before. Last summer I booked a stay in Quebec during a 30%-off summer promotion, and it also applied to Fairmont Gold.

I do get the promo e-mails from Fairmont, and remember seeing that one. Unfortunately, it didn't extend out to June! I just don't know what kind of promos they typically offer on those properties during my planned travel dates.

Thanks.

Last edited by CanadaDH; Dec 2, 11 at 8:43 pm
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Old Dec 3, 11, 11:07 pm   #4
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If looking for good deals.. Great Rates Great Dates is available for all FPC members to book first week of each month at selected hotels..

It may be worth to take a look..

Otherwise, my strategy if you're going to be here for sure in mid June, is to book a cancellable rate ahead of time..

as the dates roll closer, if you see a better deal that works for you.. you can change the reservation without penalty..
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Old Dec 4, 11, 12:47 am   #5
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Id agree booking a fully refundable rate for your dates would be a good idea especially as youre not flexible date-wise.

I doubt GRGD will be offered for these properties for June as its definitely not low season, plus GRGD are NOT upgradable (if you have status)

Ive sometimes seen promos for the summer roughly 3-4months in advance, Id closely watch the Fairmont website as well as third party sites like Expedia etc.
In my opinion any rate <$200/night is a good deal, and the best deals for the summer Ive seen over the years have been in the $150/night range (but definitely not offered consistently), just to give you a rough idea...
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Old Dec 4, 11, 5:56 am   #6
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Thanks. That's a good thought. I'll book something refundable now, but I sure hope there will be some sort of deal offered. I'm not currently seeing anything in the $200 range. Right now, they're in the ~$400 range as the best refundable rates I can see (CAA rate). I remember a summer promo last year for 30% off that I used at the Chateau Frontenac, and I'm hoping there will be something similar available this year for these properties.

My dates were flexible up until Friday afternoon, when I took advantage of the Aeroplan J for the mileage of Y 'promo'. I arrive June 15 and leave on the 24th.
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Old Dec 4, 11, 12:34 pm   #7
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Thanks. That's a good thought. I'll book something refundable now, but I sure hope there will be some sort of deal offered. I'm not currently seeing anything in the $200 range. Right now, they're in the ~$400 range as the best refundable rates I can see (CAA rate). I remember a summer promo last year for 30% off that I used at the Chateau Frontenac, and I'm hoping there will be something similar available this year for these properties.

My dates were flexible up until Friday afternoon, when I took advantage of the Aeroplan J for the mileage of Y 'promo'. I arrive June 15 and leave on the 24th.
Unfortunately rates in the $300-$400 range arent that unusual for the end of June, at least this far out, if they dont as many rooms as anticipated they may run a promo, but I wouldnt count on it. Rates tend to be somewhat lower at the beginning of June, based on your dates Id monitor rates regularly and pull the trigger immediately on an advance purchase rate if anything <$250/night becomes available.

Another option would be to look into booking your rooms through AMEX FHR/Virtuoso/etc. and get comp. breakfast, a F&B credit, comp. one-category upgrade and a few other goodies. Rates typically are the same as the best available rate on the Fairmont website.
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Old Dec 4, 11, 12:39 pm   #8
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Originally Posted by CanadaDH View Post
Thanks. That's a good thought. I'll book something refundable now, but I sure hope there will be some sort of deal offered. I'm not currently seeing anything in the $200 range. Right now, they're in the ~$400 range as the best refundable rates I can see (CAA rate). I remember a summer promo last year for 30% off that I used at the Chateau Frontenac, and I'm hoping there will be something similar available this year for these properties.

My dates were flexible up until Friday afternoon, when I took advantage of the Aeroplan J for the mileage of Y 'promo'. I arrive June 15 and leave on the 24th.
You should be able to get some decent rates in June. I was able to stay over Canada Day Long Weekend for some low season rates a couple of years ago..

Also call into Fairmont reservations and ask for any rates that they see, that may not be available on the internet. Booking mid week on some of the rates and packages will usually garner lower rates.. Doing so for an extended stay will give a nice rate, and pare it back to the dates you need once you've finalized.
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Old Dec 4, 11, 2:42 pm   #9
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Also call into Fairmont reservations and ask for any rates that they see, that may not be available on the internet.
What rates would the hotel have that weren't available online?
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Old Dec 4, 11, 5:26 pm   #10
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I did call into to Fairmont, and have reserved with refundable bookings. For now, the best prices they have (that they would admit to) are the CAA rates on the website. I also plan to use all of my FPC Platinum room and suite upgrade certs during this trip, so even if the rates don't come down, at least I'll end up with nice lake view suites for the normal room prices! And if there ever was a time to use a free night certificate, it's when you're staying in a $700 room!

While they couldn't officially accept the 2012 certs which won't be released until March, they do see that I qualify for Platinum in 2012, so they officially reserved the rooms I would like to upgrade into at each property, and made notes in the reservation that I plan to use the certs, and will then change the price to the lower class rooms after I call back in March. The CS agent was very helpful at suggesting which certs to combine at which times based on the price differentials at the 3 properties, in order to maximize the impact of those certs.

In the meantime, I'll keep watching the prices/promos, and if something comes up, it'll be a nice bonus!
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Old Dec 4, 11, 9:54 pm   #11
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What rates would the hotel have that weren't available online?
Do you mean apart from access of exclusive memberships such as Visa Infinite/signature, Amex FHR? Online access by public only goes so far, without being affiliated.

When calling in, there could be a residences rate, entertainment rate.. rates not necessarily available online.. the CAA rate may not work online..

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaDH View Post
I did call into to Fairmont, and have reserved with refundable bookings. For now, the best prices they have (that they would admit to) are the CAA rates on the website. I also plan to use all of my FPC Platinum room and suite upgrade certs during this trip, so even if the rates don't come down, at least I'll end up with nice lake view suites for the normal room prices! And if there ever was a time to use a free night certificate, it's when you're staying in a $700 room!

While they couldn't officially accept the 2012 certs which won't be released until March, they do see that I qualify for Platinum in 2012, so they officially reserved the rooms I would like to upgrade into at each property, and made notes in the reservation that I plan to use the certs, and will then change the price to the lower class rooms after I call back in March. The CS agent was very helpful at suggesting which certs to combine at which times based on the price differentials at the 3 properties, in order to maximize the impact of those certs.

In the meantime, I'll keep watching the prices/promos, and if something comes up, it'll be a nice bonus!
That's different from years past.. usually Plat concierge lets me reserve rooms with the lower room category base price, when applying certs that are into the next membership year. Perhaps a call back to ensure that at least you get these rates that you booked, otherwise if the rates goes up which may happen, you may get caught.

Just doesn't seem right that they are charging you full brunt of category booked. The booking should be Fairmont category priced, with your certs applied. Not retail bookings..
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Old Dec 5, 11, 5:27 am   #12
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That's different from years past.. usually Plat concierge lets me reserve rooms with the lower room category base price, when applying certs that are into the next membership year. Perhaps a call back to ensure that at least you get these rates that you booked, otherwise if the rates goes up which may happen, you may get caught.

Just doesn't seem right that they are charging you full brunt of category booked. The booking should be Fairmont category priced, with your certs applied. Not retail bookings..
Platinum Concierge? Maybe that's the difference. I just called the normal reservations line from the website. However, now that I look at the back of my membership card, I see the number for reservations is different, although it doesn't specifically say it's for a Platinum concierge. If I try calling back on that number, do you think it will make a difference?
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Old Dec 5, 11, 6:17 am   #13
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the CAA rate may not work online..
AAA/CAA rates are always available online.
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Old Dec 5, 11, 8:36 pm   #14
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Platinum Concierge? Maybe that's the difference. I just called the normal reservations line from the website. However, now that I look at the back of my membership card, I see the number for reservations is different, although it doesn't specifically say it's for a Platinum concierge. If I try calling back on that number, do you think it will make a difference?
Im thinking it would make a big difference, as Platinum concierge are trained specifically to handle the FPC Platinum loyalty benefits..

Based on your booking.. I've had that happen to me several times, and almost got caught.. I had staff explain to me after the fact, they had no proof of algorithms of what the original rates were supposed to be.. If I wanted the booking I was required to pay the booked rate and not relinquish any certs..

I would contact the hotel directly as well, if you're required to book full suite rates.. because you don't need to..

FPC should be applying your certs on the fairmont category room..

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
AAA/CAA rates are always available online.
Should be, but not all the time.. When I was booking Orchid spring break last year, it wasn't on their hotel rates and packages.. Neither Kea Lani..

Although, I am talking about the www.fairmont.com website .. I'm sure if you Google and look hard enough, it'll be somewhere most of the time..

I don't always call in, but when I do, and the operator searches, there are packages and rates that I don't see online..
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Old Dec 5, 11, 9:53 pm   #15
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Should be, but not all the time.. When I was booking Orchid spring break last year, it wasn't on their hotel rates and packages.. Neither Kea Lani..

Although, I am talking about the www.fairmont.com website .. I'm sure if you Google and look hard enough, it'll be somewhere most of the time..
Yes, and perhaps I should've said that AAA/CAA rates are always one option always available to be selected from the "rate type" menu at Fairmont.com. Those rates may not always be found as they are based upon availability but you don't need to call res. to inquire as to whether they're available.
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