Old Jul 6, 18, 10:42 pm
Moderator: Le Club Accorhotels, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: May 2009
Location: FRA / YEG
Programs: AC Super Elite, Radisson Platinum, Accor Platinum
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Originally Posted by AlwaysFlyStar View Post
So, apologies if there is a better thread to post this that I missed, but I was just looking at the benefits by status to see if they have changed since bringing the new hotels into the fold and one thing I noticed is that lounge access excluded Fairmont Gold and that room upgrades exclude Fairmont Gold. I have never stayed at a Fairmont, and don't know much about the chain. But when I read this, I imagined some ultra-exclusive hotel-within-a-hotel type of setup, and decided to look it up. And on the Fairmont website, it mentions that Fairmont Gold customers, 'enjoy special privileges such as an honor bar'. And my understanding is that an honour bar means you need to pay, which sounds quite cheap and far from luxurious. (I mean, I don't really care so much about the alcohol, but the principle of offering a hotel lounge and then charging for drinks just feels petty) So is there something so special that makes these lounges worth the exclusivity or is it just an issue of the majority of them not having the capacity to handle all of the LC platinum members?
Fairmont indeed markets the Gold floor as a "hotel within a hotel" instrad of thinking of it as a "club lounge".

A few general comments:

- in North America the Fairmont Gold lounges are much superior compared with the (often mediocre) lounges offered by any major hotel chain (whether it's Starwood, Marriott, Hilton): you'll generally find upscale furnishing, a quiet atmosphere, oustanding staff and restaurant-quality food
- Fairmont is quite successful in charging a (significant) price premium for rooms/suites on the Gold floor
- the value proposition has rarely really worked for me (since Fairmont Gold rooms/suites were also excluded from using upgrade certs under the former FPC program), but having stayed on the Gold floor occasionally, I can say that the service is generally truly 5* and generally a notch or two better than the hotel as whole (e.g. dedicated concierge team; highly personalized service)
- in North America, Gold lounges have an honour bar, whereas Gold lounges outside North America all offer complimentary alcoholic beverages at night (afaik)
- the size and capacity of the Gold lounges varies greatly, but I'd say most definitely don't have the capacity to accommodate any more guests without the lounge getting crowded (i.e. the usual "need to arrive by 5p.m. if you want a (decent) seat" problem common at many hotels)

Outside North America my evaluation would probably be somewhat different since various hotels (including Sofitel in some locations) have excellent club lounges; so offering Gold lounge access to Platinum members at all Fairmont properties outside North America would be more feasible IMO.
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