FHR rates competitive?

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Old Apr 23, 18, 11:54 pm
  #136  
 
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Originally Posted by RumPatrol View Post
I'm guessing 2 is true, I'm sure there are some good deals out there on FHR that I'm just missing because they are places I don't travel to, but I've searched for hotels on FHR across the world from the US to Europe to Asia and never saw a FHR deal that was better than just booking direct. At times it was so much more expensive that I'm convinced it was an error.



I forgot to mention this in my original post, but yes that is something I've run into a lot. I'd look at a 3rd or 4th night free property, and then when you go to book it ends up being just as much as just booking 3 or 4 nights direct would be. Very scammy.

I might try FHR for Hawai'i trips from now on. I've tried it all over the world and don't think I've ever come across something that made any financial sense whatsoever. I also never use it in Vegas because I tend to get upgrades direct from hotels, but I might give it a try there too since everyone seems to suggest it works best there. I'm in Vegas 10 times a year.
One reason I book with FHR instead of direct is that a lot of the time FHR has much better cancellation terms.

Plus the credit, nicer treatment, upgrade etc. Some properties take FHR really seriously!
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Old Apr 24, 18, 12:50 am
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Originally Posted by patrick.barnes View Post


One reason I book with FHR instead of direct is that a lot of the time FHR has much better cancellation terms.

Plus the credit, nicer treatment, upgrade etc. Some properties take FHR really seriously!
What are some properties you've used FHR to book? People obviously get a lot of use out of it judging by the FHR threads here, I just have never run across a good deal on FHR and I look any time I stay anywhere. Most of my high end hotel stays are Caribbean and Asia and it just seems like a huge gap in direct pricing vs FHR.
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Old Apr 24, 18, 8:00 am
  #138  
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Originally Posted by patrick.barnes View Post
One reason I book with FHR instead of direct is that a lot of the time FHR has much better cancellation terms.
Originally Posted by RumPatrol View Post
I just have never run across a good deal on FHR and I look any time I stay anywhere.
FHR is always the property's standard cancelable rate, typically with a 24 hour cancel. You won't see a discounted FHR rate, unless they're offering a free night (e.g., third night free).

FHR makes best sense when room rates are high or at properties that don't typically offer discounted rates.
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Old Apr 24, 18, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by RumPatrol View Post
What are some properties you've used FHR to book? People obviously get a lot of use out of it judging by the FHR threads here, I just have never run across a good deal on FHR and I look any time I stay anywhere. Most of my high end hotel stays are Caribbean and Asia and it just seems like a huge gap in direct pricing vs FHR.
Like the International Airline Program, FHR is a real "your mileage may vary" perk and I'm not surprised at your results. I will share two instances where it worked for us:

Four Seasons, Sydney Australia. The price was higher than the prepaid+breakfast rate, but it was still competitive enough that I wanted the early check-in and late-checkout. This could mean that the FS was just not offering a good discount rate, I dunno. It worked out even better when, approx a week before travel, the FHR rate dropped and I was able to rebook.

The PuLi Hotel in Shanghai was only $10 more (per night) than Expedia with a close-in booking (both with breakfast).
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Old Apr 24, 18, 10:46 am
  #140  
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Originally Posted by RumPatrol View Post
Most of my high end hotel stays are Caribbean and Asia and it just seems like a huge gap in direct pricing vs FHR.
Can you give us an example in the Caribbean?
Lots of "high-end" properties come up on OTAs thru things like Delta Vacations or Expedia packages. It isn't the same as a FHR offer.
but then again real high end places like Amanyara and Jumby Bay would be nuts to book on Expedia
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Old Apr 24, 18, 11:07 am
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I am seeing a massive gap lately between booking with a OTA, vs. one of the AMEX FHR or Virtuoso. With the "special insiders discounts" the OTA's offer, plus the ever constant 15% discount on Orbitz/Cheap Tickets, the difference is SUBSTANTIAL.

On a one night stay, the room upgrade, $100 F+B credit, etc often makes up for it, and Virtuoso/FHR is the way to go.

But I am looking at a 3 night stay right now. Through Virtuoso it is about $1800 US. I get a room upgrade, free breakfast, and $100 F+B. Through Orbitz (logged into my account), it is about $1150 US, including breakfast. So is the upgrade, and $100 F+B worth it to me? Often not.
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Old Apr 24, 18, 1:08 pm
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FHR is definitely a YMMV perk, but there are sometimes great deals to be had. Yes, Vegas is one of those destinations that consistently offers better prices than most other sources, and I've benefited from some great 3rd-night-free offers in different cities, too (most recently at the Shangri-La in Shanghai).

This upcoming October, I have stays at the Rocco Forte and Kempinski properties in Munich and Vienna, respectively. We're saving 80EUR per night in Munich and over-paying 39EUR per night in Vienna. We come out ahead overall on room rates alone, and much further ahead once breakfasts, upgrades and property credits are factored in.

No one should use FHR if it's a bad deal. Likewise, no one should suggest that FHR offers nothing but bad deals
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Old Apr 24, 18, 5:11 pm
  #143  
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Originally Posted by CanuckFlyHigh View Post
...Through Virtuoso it is about $1800 ... Through Orbitz (logged into my account), it is about $1150 ...
Both of these are post-paid rates with similar cancellation terms?
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Old Apr 24, 18, 8:27 pm
  #144  
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Originally Posted by ffsim View Post
No one should use FHR if it's a bad deal. Likewise, no one should suggest that FHR offers nothing but bad deals
I've gotten outstanding value from FHR rate at several properties this year, including particularly Langham NYC and PH Zurich.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 2:40 am
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post
But it seems to nearly never be a great deal elsewhere.
What do you consider a great deal?

The price you book at with FHR will rarely be a "great deal" based purely on booked room rate, especially if you are staying more than one night. I have had single nights where the FHR is $300 with free breakfast and $120 of hotel credit whereas via any other mechanism it'd have been $300 plus 10% cashback if it tracks on a RO basis.

Most the time FHR works out in the round when you consider things like the free upgrade or late checkout. How to work out the "value" of these things is complex though... I book a room at $500 a night and I'm probably around break even when you factor in loss of cashback but then get upgraded to a $1,250 a night room.

Originally Posted by rogo View Post
I see two possibilities

1) People aren't comparison shopping and believe FHR is a good deal even when it isn't.

2) There are select cities/times/properties where it is a great deal and we've just missed them.

But even if (2) is true, I suspect you are still giving up a deal at some other hotel to get the FHR deal. In other words, you might get an $800 room for $600 with FHR and also get free food, but there's still a really great $500 hotel out there to be booked directly/via Expedia/etc.
I think its (3), in most cases FHR is at time of booking an average deal but you're taking a punt on the extra benefits & services (eg room upgrades) that come with FHR.

So for example with MO Prague and Mansour Marakesh this year FHR was the same as the best price anywhere else even before considering the $100 credit or free breakfast etc. FS Tunis however was 20% more expensive under FHR and so we booked via a different agent as.

Obviously if you say you'd never pay the $40 for breakfast at the hotel as you'd get something for $10 from the local cafe outside the hotel etc then adjust the value of the free breakfast accordingly.

Clearly you cannot really compare saying FHR at the Four Seasons -v- price of Hotels.com to book some other random hotel, you need to compare FHR at the same hotel or not.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 8:18 am
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Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
I have had single nights where the FHR is $300 with free breakfast and $120 of hotel credit whereas via any other mechanism it'd have been $300 plus 10% cashback if it tracks on a RO basis.
Sorry, RO? I cannot make sense of the glossary definition "Tarom-Romanian Air Transport" in this context.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Both of these are post-paid rates with similar cancellation terms?
Yes, and the Orbitz one includes their 15% off, which is almost always available. That being said, you get treated better and get a better room when you go through FHR or Virtuoso, so that needs to be accounted for
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Old Apr 25, 18, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by serpens View Post
Sorry, RO? I cannot make sense of the glossary definition "Tarom-Romanian Air Transport" in this context.
RO = Room Only (ie no food included)
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Old Apr 25, 18, 3:00 pm
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Thanks, Astaroth. Like so many things, it's obvious after the fact.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 11:01 pm
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Originally Posted by ABG View Post
Can you give us an example in the Caribbean?
Lots of "high-end" properties come up on OTAs thru things like Delta Vacations or Expedia packages. It isn't the same as a FHR offer.
but then again real high end places like Amanyara and Jumby Bay would be nuts to book on Expedia
I rarely use any OTAs for travel, I typically book direct.

For the Caribbean, the Ritz Aruba comes to mind as a hotel I've never had FHR success with. But it might just be the times I visit. Other hotels I frequent in the Caribbean are the Vanderbilt and Ritz PR, Atlantis in the Bahamas, Sugar Beach St Lucia. I visited St. Maarten a few times a year prior to the hurricane but I'm not sure there are any FHR properties on either side of the island.

I assume there are a lot of great FHR deals somewhere, I just never seem to run into them.
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