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Accor buys FRHI Holdings (Fairmont, Raffles and Swiss˘tel)

Accor buys FRHI Holdings (Fairmont, Raffles and Swiss˘tel)

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Old Dec 11, 17, 7:22 pm   -   Wikipost
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What we know:

On 9 December 2015 Accorhotels announced an agreement with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) of Saudi Arabia and Oxford Properties, an Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) company for the acquisition of FRHI Holdings Ltd (FRHI), parent of Fairmont, Raffles, and Swiss˘tel. Accorhotels will be paying $840 million in cash and by issuing 46.7 million new shares. As part of the transaction, QIA will have two seats on Accorĺs board while KHC will take another.

FRHI?
FRHI is the holding company for the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swiss˘tel brands. FRHI is a management company and the portfolio is almost exclusively on long-term management contracts; i.e. this does not include the brick and mortar in most cases but long term leases of the hotels concerned. 155 hotels are included in the deal and 40 developments which equates to 56,000 rooms in total.

Fairmont
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a Canadian-based operator of hotels and resorts. Currently, Fairmont operates properties in 19 countries.
Canada: Banff, Calgary, Charlevoix, Edmonton, Jasper, Lake Louise, Mont Tremblant, Montebello, Montreal, Ottawa, QuÚbec City, Toronto, Vancouver (4), Victoria, Whistler, Winnipeg
United States: Berkeley, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hawaii, Maui, New York, Newport Beach, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco (2), San Jose, Santa Monica, Scottsdale, Seattle, Sonoma, Telluride, Washington DC
Asia: Bali, Beijing, Jaipur, Jakarta, Kunshan, Manila, Nanjing, Shanghai, Singapore
Europe: Baku, Barcelona, Hamburg, Kiev, London, Monte Carlo, Montreux, St Andrews
Mexico, Caribbean and Bermuda: Barbados, Hamilton, Riviera Maya, Southampton
Middle East and Africa: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Cairo (3), Dubai (2), Makkah, Masai Mara, Mount Kenya, Nairobi, Zimbali (2)
In Development: Amman (2015), Austin (2017), Chengdu (2015), Fujairah (2015), Istanbul (2016), Lagos (2016), Moscow (2016), Riyadh (2015), Sharm el Sheikh (2015), Soma Bay (2020), Suzhou (2018), Taiyuan (2016), Zhengzhou (2018).

Fairmont has its own Flyertalk forum. It's current loyalty programme is called President's Club. The programme also covers Raffles and Swiss˘tel though the latter also operates its own loyalty programme.

Raffles
Raffles was established in 1887 in Singapore and currently comprises 12 luxury hotels with 4 in development.
Asia: Beijing, Hainan, Jakarta, Manila, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Singapore,
Europe: Istanbul, Paris,
Middle East and Africa: Dubai, Makkah, Praslin,
In Development: Jeddah (2018), Sharm el-Sheikh (2019), Shenzhen (2019), Warsaw (2017)

Swiss˘tel
Swiss˘tel was founded in 1980 as a joint venture between Swissair and NestlÚ and currently includes 37 properties in 17 countries.
Australia: Sydney
Asia: Beijing, Foshan, Kunshan, Shanghai, Kolkata, Osaka, Singapore (2), Bangkok (2), Phuket
Europe: Tallinn, Berlin, Bremen, Dresden, DŘsseldorf-Neuss, Amsterdam, Moscow, Sochi, Basel, Geneva (2), Zurich, Ankara, Bodrum (2), Istanbul (2), Izmir
Latin America: Quito, Lima,
United States: Chicago
Middle East: Makkah
In Development: Dhaka (2017), Sofia (2018), Changsha (2016), Chengdu (2016), Hangzhou (2019), Jinan (2020), Guayaquil (2017), Cairo (2020), Sharm el Sheikh (2016), Bali (2017), Jeddah (2017), Dubai (2018).

Swiss˘tel operates its own loyalty programme called Swiss˘tel Circle. This and Swiss˘tel hotels are currently being discussed in the Other Hotel Chains forum.

What happens next?
On 26 April 2016 Accor announced that it has received antitrust clearance for the purchase in relevant jurisdictions. The next step with be an extraordinary shareholders meeting (to be held on the 12th July 2016) to approve the capital increase and proposed board composition.

The deal closed on 12 July 2016. Nothing from a loyalty perspective will change immediately and the respective programmes and hotels will continue to operate as before.

FRHI inventory was loaded onto the Accor system on 12 July 2016, however none of the hotels will earn any points or can be used to redeem them. At the shareholder meeting Accor seemed to indicate that it will take 18 months for the loyalty aspects to be sorted. However it was clear that Le Club will be the future loyalty programme for all hotels.

Loyalty Integration
As of 2 July 2018 the Fairmont President's Club will cease to exist (the same goes for the Swissotel Circle). Both programmes will be folded into Le Club Accorhotels.

What does this mean for Le Club members? You will be able to earn and redeem points, and receive status related perks at all former FRHI hotels. This includes: early/late check in, welcome drink, upgrade (subject to availability), welcome amenity, free wifi. Lounge access for Platinum members will apply to Swissotel (where available) but does not include the Fairmont Gold Service (unless of course booked, including with points). Any stays at former FRHI hotels from January will contribute to your "night count" but no points will be accrued until 2 July.

What does this mean to FPC members? Members will be transferred into Le Club in July. Platinum members will become Le Club Platinum members, Premier will be Silver, Club will be standard members. The "nights stayed" count will transfer to Le Club in July and contribute to status in Le Club. However points will only accrue from July. Suite certificates can be used up beyond July.
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Old Sep 14, 16, 12:36 pm
  #151  
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Originally Posted by cocoleolol View Post
Hi guys,

I have a small update. If you are an Accor Plus member, I noticed that in Singapore, you are now able to dine at Fairmont Singapore, Swiss˘tel The Stamford and Swiss˘tel Merchant Court with 20% discount. From what I understand, you have to reserve a table via Accor Plus website and you will benefit 20% discount. Additionally, the discount is applicable at bars too.

As of now, I believe this is happening in Singapore only. Hopefully they will expand soon.

I guess this means there's some collaboration happening and I do hope full Accor Plus benefits will soon be available at FRHI hotels
Typical, Asia has all the fun
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Old Sep 16, 16, 10:00 am
  #152  
 
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Originally Posted by starflyergold View Post
It is now September and still no news anywhere what the plans for integration are. Yes I can book FRHI hotels on the Accor website but that's about it. Maybe the Accorhotels Concierge could enlighten us where we are at?
I hope there will be plenty of advance warning of how & when FRHI hotel members will be switched over to Le Club AccorHotels.

I'm currently Eleva level with Swissotel Circle, and this qualifies me for free internet and free breakfast. I want to make some Swissotel bookings (33 nights) for June/July 2017 in the coming months, and I won't opt for paid internet or paid breakfast as my current membership covers these (and, would do so out to Jan 2019 based on current programme rules).
So, what happens if between booking and arriving I lose these benefits as a result of a switch-over?

I know it's unlikely that any change will happen before the end of 2017, but at some point it would be nice to know at least 6 months before so situations like this can be avoided.

As someone pointed out elsewhere, Swissotel Circle seems to still be allowing new members to join, yet there appears to be no warning of any upcoming change.

Update: I received this response from Swissotel Circle to a query regarding its future ...
For now, your current membership, benefits and any upcoming reservations, including reward redemptions, remain unchanged. Over the coming months, we are currently looking at ways to extend this recognition across AccorHotels. This will include offering you opportunities to discover our extensive portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts worldwide, on property benefits, partnership offers and member-only experiences.
We promise to keep you updated as new details become available.


I'd guess 2018 at the earliest for any switch to Le Club AccorHotels.

Last edited by Jaunt411; Sep 16, 16 at 3:04 pm Reason: Response from Swissotel Circle
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Old Sep 25, 16, 3:28 am
  #153  
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It is interesting to see that Marriott and Starwood have immediately linked their loyalty programmes after the merger completion and status matched across. It goes to show that loyalty is of importance to some and not so much to others (cough Accor)
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Old Sep 25, 16, 4:33 am
  #154  
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Originally Posted by starflyergold View Post
It is interesting to see that Marriott and Starwood have immediately linked their loyalty programmes after the merger completion and status matched across. It goes to show that loyalty is of importance to some and not so much to others (cough Accor)
Yes but Accor immediately updated their app to show all their brands. The newly released Marriott app only shows Marriott brands. So there.

But seriously, it is a very minor bit of programming that allowed Starwood and Marriott to link accounts. You can't book a Marriott hotel using your Starwood number or anything like that. Marriott have a ton of work to do in order to build a fully integrated program. Just as Accor.
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Old Sep 25, 16, 5:02 am
  #155  
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Agree, yet SOMETHING happened for members there.

Whereas for us, it has been tweetybird quiet. As the Germans say "funkstille".

"Book if you want, but you don't get anything".
Well...then why should I book?
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Old Oct 2, 16, 4:53 am
  #156  
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Originally Posted by starflyergold View Post
It is interesting to see that Marriott and Starwood have immediately linked their loyalty programmes after the merger completion and status matched across. It goes to show that loyalty is of importance to some and not so much to others (cough Accor)
Originally Posted by gilbertaue View Post
Agree, yet SOMETHING happened for members there.

Whereas for us, it has been tweetybird quiet. As the Germans say "funkstille".

"Book if you want, but you don't get anything".
Well...then why should I book?
what I find quite odd at that stage (several months after the acquisition) is that you can earn points in some non-Accor hotels (partner hotels) but still nothing, nada, zero in the new hotels of the group. I understand program merger/integration will take some time, but at least they should have allowed mutual points earnings. That shouldn't be too difficult.
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Old Oct 2, 16, 4:58 am
  #157  
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
what I find quite odd at that stage (several months after the acquisition) is that you can earn points in some non-Accor hotels (partner hotels) but still nothing, nada, zero in the new hotels of the group. I understand program merger/integration will take some time, but at least they should have allowed mutual points earnings. That shouldn't be too difficult.
Actually it is very difficult. Starwood and Marriott will not have that feature til sometime in the middle of 2018 it seems. It is because you have to completely merge the programs in order to earn points no matter what brand you stay in. That involves not only major database redesign, but also involves a bit of work at each individual hotel.
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Old Oct 2, 16, 4:22 pm
  #158  
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
Actually it is very difficult. Starwood and Marriott will not have that feature til sometime in the middle of 2018 it seems. It is because you have to completely merge the programs in order to earn points no matter what brand you stay in. That involves not only major database redesign, but also involves a bit of work at each individual hotel.
Thank you Stimpy for your input. It seems it might not be as easy as I think. Is that really more difficult than earning FFP miles on a partner airline ? Because that kind of airline agreements seems to be put in place rapidly. I remember when AF bought KL, it took about 18 months for having a common integrated program (Flying Blue), but immediately at the acquisition time (IIRC), FrÚquence Plus and Flying Dutchman members were able to earn miles flying KL and AF, respectively.
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Old Oct 2, 16, 4:32 pm
  #159  
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
Thank you Stimpy for your input. It seems it might not be as easy as I think. Is that really more difficult than earning FFP miles on a partner airline ? Because that kind of airline agreements seems to be put in place rapidly. I remember when AF bought KL, it took about 18 months for having a common integrated program (Flying Blue), but immediately at the acquisition time (IIRC), FrÚquence Plus and Flying Dutchman members were able to earn miles flying KL and AF, respectively.
Yes it is easier with airlines. One major reason is that all airlines have a common reporting scheme that is identical at each airport. There is a bar code scan of your BP that feeds into the mileage database. At hotels, there can be a myriad of IT systems across the hundreds or thousands of hotels in each chain. Especially these days with all the mergers and the many more smaller acquisitions. So the local hotel has to program into their systems how they will report your stay, how many points you earn, based on qualifying revenue, etc. And unlike airlines that just upload the common format PNR, each hotel chain does this very differently with a different set of data.

Again, it will take Marriott and Starwood a long time too. Those two chains have relatively good modern IT systems and they have a ton of money to get the job done, but still the complexity is enormous.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 6:38 am
  #160  
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The first cross-programme benefits have emerged:
Le Club Gold and Platinum members will receive 2 upgrade certs each if they join the Fairmont and Swissotel loyalty programmes respectively.
Signup is only possible through the link emailed to the members and certs are valid for 365 days.

T&Cs:
Terms and conditions - Fairmont President's Club
This offer is available to Gold and Platinum members of Le Club AccorHotels who have received email communication with the invitation to join Fairmont President’s Club. To receive the two room upgrade e-certificates, you must enroll in the Fairmont President’s Club program through the enrollment link provided above. The e-certificates will be automatically added to your online profile once you have completed enrollment. The certificate holder, based upon availability, will be upgraded from the room category purchased to the next available room category, excluding Suites, Fairmont Gold room, Fairmont Gold Junior Suites and Fairmont Gold Suites. Room upgrade certificates are valid for stays of up to five nights. To be eligible for this offer you must enroll by December 31, 2016. The certificates will be valid for one year (365 days) from time of issue. You will not receive the e-certificates should you enroll outside this communication.

Terms and Conditions - Swiss˘tel Circle
This offer is available to Gold and Platinum members of Le Club AccorHotels who have received email communication with the invitation to join Swiss˘tel Circle. The Advantage Award includes a choice of a complimentary room upgrade for 2 consecutive nights during one stay, or 2 complimentary breakfasts per stay. To receive the two Advantage Awards, you must enroll in the Swiss˘tel Circle program through the enrollment link provided above. The Advantage Awards will be automatically added to your online profile once you have completed enrollment. To be eligible for this offer you must enroll by December 31, 2016. The certificates will be valid for one year (365 days) from time of issue. You will not receive the Awards should you enroll outside this communication. Redemption of the Awards is subject to availability at hotels at time of booking. Regardless of room availability, the ability to redeem an Award certificate is at discretion of the hotel as blackout dates may apply. Redemption of Awards must be agreed at the time of making reservation."
Personally while welcoming of course free upgrades having to sign up to 2 new programmes is a bit clumsy in my view.


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Old Oct 19, 16, 7:00 am
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Originally Posted by starflyergold View Post
The first cross-programme benefits have emerged:
Le Club Gold and Platinum members will receive 2 upgrade certs each if they join the Fairmont and Swissotel loyalty programmes respectively.
Signup is only possible through the link emailed to the members and certs are valid for 365 days.

T&Cs:
Personally while welcoming of course free upgrades having to sign up to 2 new programmes is a bit clumsy in my view.
Seriously, two measly upgrade certs? We should be oh so grateful of it.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 7:06 am
  #162  
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I am also very surprised that this does not include a status match.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 7:09 am
  #163  
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starflyergold,

Thanks for posting!

I haven't received the offer yet. I've opted out of all newsletters, though. I just became a bit hectic and re-subscribed
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Old Oct 19, 16, 7:23 am
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The terms of the upgrade certificates seem to be a 'room upgrade certificate' not a 'suite upgrade certificate' in Fairmont terms, so it excludes club ('gold') room upgrades and suite upgrades. So depending on the property the 'upgrade' may just be a different view.

The terms of the email offer don't specify what level you would get in fairmont by using its link, it looks like you get a basic 'club' membership plus the 2 upgrade certificates.

I don't find the offer interesting enough to consider Fairmont properties. The Airmile earning rate at 500/750/1,000 miles per stay, irrespective of total portfolio cost, is also not incentivising to me. I'll be sticking to Sofitel and Hilton group.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 8:19 am
  #165  
 
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Originally Posted by starflyergold View Post
include a status match.
That's the least we would expect them to do.
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