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FHR Upgrades and Amenities [except Las Vegas] 2006-2012

FHR Upgrades and Amenities [except Las Vegas] 2006-2012

Old May 17, 09, 6:39 pm
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 72
Used Bellagio FHR in 2009?

Has anyone used Bellagio FHR rates in 2009?

I've heard mixed reports about when and where the breakfast credit can be used. Can it be used at the Buffet or only Cafe Bellagio/Pool Cafe? Is it a set menu, or a set $ amt towards anything you order?

Also, has anyone tried the $85 lunch credit at Olives?

Lastly, can you use invited guest checkin with a FHR rate?
jumbotusk is offline  
Old May 17, 09, 9:34 pm
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Dallas, TX
Programs: AAdvantage Lifetime Gold/Some Years Platinum
Posts: 993
Hotel Ivy Minneapolis - No Upgrade, Somewhat Irritating Experience

No FHR Upgrade at the Hotel Ivy in Minneapolis for a weekend stay 5/15-5/17.

The Hotel Ivy is part of the Starwood Luxury Collection, and is a new FHR property for 2009. I don't know if I happened to be the first FHR booking at the hotel, but it sure seemed like it at times. I had to ask, more than once, for every single amenity, and I received a number of non-answers from multiple employees that seemed to reflect a lack of knowledge of the program.

This will be a bit of a schizophrenic entry. The hotel property itself is fantastic, with a central location in DT Minneapolis, an historic property, and a wonderful restaurant. The employees are unfailingly pleasant and polite. (Although apparently not at all well-informed about the FHR program.) The FHR end of things left quite a bit to be desired, and I cannot recommend that anyone do an FHR weekend booking at this hotel.

Amenity 1 - Room upgrade (or lack thereof).
Upon check-in, I was told that I would be receiving 2 queen beds (which was what I had booked). I asked about the possibility of an upgrade, to be told "Oh, all our rooms are upgraded - very nice."

I clarified that my booking was to include an upgrade if available. I then got the second response, "You are booked in a superior king, I will upgrade you to 2 queens." Uh, no. I booked 2 queens, and the 1 king and 2 queen rooms go for the exact same price. As they say here in Texas, don't p--- on my shoes and tell me it's raining.

A third inquiry (by which time I'm feeling like a Native New Yorker) garnered a "An upgrade from this room would be to a *suite*", with a tone of voice implying that such an upgrade would never be happening in any ordinary circumstances. Meanwhile, assuring me that, if such an upgrade were available, he would certainly gladly upgrade me.

It may be that I was not reading the clerk correctly, but it appeared to me that he thought I was just a pushy customer asking for an upgrade for no reason, rather than one who should be upgraded if possible.

To sum up, I had to ask 3 times for an upgrade before I was told "no". Usually in FHR bookings, you either get the upgrade automatically or are told upfront no upgrade is available.

At this point, the front clerk hands me my keys and is set to show me to the elevators. No mention of any of the FHR amenities is forecoming. I need to ask about each amenity.

Amenity 2 - Late Checkout.
I didn't ask about it because I did not need it. I should note that it was not offered or mentioned.

Amenity 3 - Welcome Gift.
Upon asking about the welcome gift, I am told, "I can give you a fruit platter." Note the syntax. It's not clear as to whether this is the intended welcome gift, or something the front desk is authorized to give out to customers to shut them up.

In any case, I would not call what I recieved a "fruit platter". I arranged with the check-in clerk to receive the platter at 10 AM the following morning. At around 9:30 AM, my wife called the front desk to ask for the platter to be brought up earlier, if possible. They had no record of any platter scheduled, but the clerk offered to "take care of it". I hung around the room for another 45 minutes, then gave up and went to breakfast. Upon my return, I found a small cheese tray in my room. (It did have 1 sliced strawberry and 5 or 6 blackberries, so I guess it could potentially qualify as a fruit and cheese tray.)

It wasn't much, but since my net cost for this tray was over $100 (see below), we went ahead and ate it. The cheese was actually quite good, but I wouldn't peg its value as anything about $15 or $20, tops.

Amenity 4 - Continental Breakfast for 2 Daily.
I asked about the continental breakfast at check-in, and was told, "Breakfast is available in the restaurant beginning at 6:30 AM." Again, note the non-answer. No explanation about how to actually receive the free breakfast was given. In fact, there was no acknowledgement that the room rate included a free breakfast. In the morning, my wife inquired at the front desk about the breakfast, and was told simply, "Go to the restaurant."

Once in the restaurant, our server was (finally!) able to give us a straight answer - order whatever you want, the hotel will credit you up to $25/person for breakfast. The food, BTW, was excellent. An adventurous menu, well executed.

On Saturday evening, I stopped at the desk to charge the credit card on record (we had been allowed to check in with a non-Amex card - another FHR condition overlooked by the hotel) and asked about the possibility of using room service for the breakfast credit, as we were departing before the restaurant would open on Sunday morning. Clerk 1 directed me to Clerk 2, who ran my card and did not answer my question. I repeated the question. He hemmed and hawed, then said, "Yes, sir. Certainly!" A nice answer, but with no specifics as to dollar amounts or allowed menu items. In the end, I departed without breakfast. I don't need any more uncertainty in my life.

In the end, the hotel delivered on the requirements of the FHR program. It just took a lot of effort on my part, when it should have taken NONE.

If I seem exceptionally cranky on this posting, you need to understand the background on the rate I paid. For the weekend I visited Hotel Ivy, the FHR rate was $209. The Hotel Ivy website offered a promotional rate of $139 for the exact same room on the exact same dates. I booked the FHR rate in anticipation of a possible upgrade, along with the FHR amenties. I received no upgrade, and found it like pulling teeth to get my FHR amenities to salvage at least some value from the extra $70/night plus taxes I was paying for the FHR booking. In short, I spent over $150 to get a $40 breakfast and a cheese tray. And, I had to play the squeaky wheel (a role I despise and am very uncomfortable with) over and over to get that. (In the hotel's defense, this extra money I was paying was in the back of my mind throughout the visit, and certainly clouded my view of things.) Lesson learned - don't waste money booking an FHR rate, at least at this property.

I haven't done a detailed study of all the rooms available at the Hotel Ivy. However, it appears that they have but two classes - rooms and suites. My gut feeling is that they will not upgrade from a room to a suite on an FHR booking. If that is the case, there is little reason to spend any extra money on an FHR booking with this hotel.

I want to close on a positive note. The hotel is top-notch. If you are looking for a classy place to stay in Minneapolis, this is it. If you're traveling during the week, the FHR appears to be the same as their standard rate. So, hey, free food. Just be prepared to have to ask for it - it won't be offered freely.
Gregory Nelson is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 7:55 am
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 10
FHR Bellagio Response

Jumbotusk, I can share with you my experience using an FHR rate at the Bellagio from last summer. As always, their current policies could be different than they were 10 months ago. My experience was a good one. Upgrade at check-in to high floor with fountain view (I needed two queen beds, so a suite was not an option for us). Our amenity was an $85 lunch credit at Sensi. Surprisingly, we enjoyed our meal. At check-in they give you 2 breakfast vouchers per day. Each voucher is worth $20 or $25 torwards the cost of your meal (no set menu). We used these vouchers at Cafe Bellagio, Palio and the Buffet. We actually used 4 vouchers in one day. Two at Palio for breakfast and two at the buffet for lunch. (We checked out at 5am on a Sunday morning. So we would not have been able to use our vouchers that day). Not certain about invited guest check-in. I would ask an Amex FHR representitive. If you find out an an answer to this question please post a response. I am headed back to the Bellagio this summer. Enjoy your trip!
elizabean is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 9:29 am
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC E50K, Amex Plat, Fairmont Plat, NEXUS, Aman-user (not really a -junkie)
Posts: 1,671
Invited guest check-in is for casino guests... lineups aren't really shorter than the normal lines...
xray is offline  
Old Jun 2, 09, 2:45 am
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: frankfurt, germany
Posts: 88
Any perks for Amex Plat at the Datai, Langkawi, Malaysia

Any experience with this hotel, which is a member of LHW?

Any perks with booking through Amex Plat Travel Service?

Happy to hear your thoughts.
bateman is offline  
Old Jun 2, 09, 3:47 am
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: London
Programs: BA, VS, HH, IHG, MB, MR
Posts: 26,042
The website showing which hotels are members of Fine Hotels & Resorts are here:


Datai amenities:

Fine Hotels and Resorts Amenities
A room upgrade when available, upon check-in.
Daily continental breakfast for up to two people.
Guaranteed four o'clock p.m. late check-out.

Customized Special Amenity

• A 50-minute complimentary massage for up to two people per room, once during your stay.

My personal thoughts are that you should consider splitting your stay between the Datai and the Four Seasons so you get a mix of jungle resort (albeit with a beach) and a proper beach resort.
Raffles is offline  
Old Jun 3, 09, 5:35 am
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sydney
Programs: MH(Gold) QF CX(Diamond)
Posts: 544
I stayed at the Datai in early April and booked through the Amex FHR program and also gave my LHW membership no (so Amex booked through LHW). I got the FHR amenities as well as the LHW gift. Make sure when you get to the Datai to ask for the upgrade. I had to ask, also had to wait till 7.30pm but meantime they let me use the original allocated room before moving me to a villa. I only had 2 nights and couldn't decide between FS and the Datai so stayed 1 night at each. If you can, split your stay. Both are very different and in the end it all depends on what your personal preferences are. I liked the FS more.
Ozchinois is offline  
Old Jun 3, 09, 5:49 pm
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: frankfurt, germany
Posts: 88
Thanks so far.

Just booked our stay in August for 6 days. Imho reasonable rate (EUR 255) with the mentioned amenities (breakfast, massage, late c-o).

Hope that the upgrade will materialize.

We stay at a beach resort in Redang earlier for a week, so i guess the Datai will be a decent variety.
bateman is offline  
Old Jun 4, 09, 3:13 am
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Woah ... 6 days.

Really, you should think about a rethink. The Four Seasons Langkawi is one of the best beach resorts in the world (although Langkawi isn't the Maldives, obviously). No idea what you're thinking of in Redang but it won't be in the same league by a l-o-n-g way.
Raffles is offline  
Old Jun 13, 09, 11:53 pm
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: San Jose, CA USA
Posts: 60
Trump and THEHotel @ Mandalay BayLas Vegas

Has anyone used the FHR rate at the Trump Las Vegas? I've been to the Wynn and Bellagio via FHR and loved the upgrades and breakfasts at the Wynn but would like to try the Trump. Curious to know what the breakfast is like there (can it be used for room service is it a buffet etc) as well as just overall experience with that hotel.

Also, would like to know the same with THEHotel at Mandalay Bay in terms of upgrades received and breakfast allowance there.

tofoi is offline  
Old Jun 14, 09, 5:40 pm
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: AA Million Miler, Mosaic
Posts: 1,307
The Hotel generally has only one upgrade - from a regular suite to a corner suite (at the end of the hallway) which is a bit larger. V Suites only have king beds so if you need two beds, no go on the upgrade. They give you 2 $20 (I think) breakfast coupons per room for day. They're good at the "coffee shop" or the coffee bar. Breakfast at the coffee shop generally runs more than that though. $85 spa credit - pretty nice spa. Credit doesn't cover tip.

As long as I'm here, one question and one report.

Question: anyone not been upgraded at the Bellagio? When booking the lowest level room, what upgrades have you gotten?

Report: Campton Place in San Francisco. Breakfast in the restaurant (everything covered including tip) was very good. There was an $85 food credit that I didn't use. The special amenity was a very nice bottle of wine and some chocolates on arrival. I definitely thought I got an upgraded room - high floor with a view of Union Square.
Yahtzee is offline  
Old Jun 14, 09, 9:39 pm
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 3,916
Park Hyatt Toronto

Stayed at Park Hyatt Toronto recently:

Booked Park Suite, was not offered an upgrade upon check in nor benefits has been explained. Once asked if we can ge an upgrade, was offered an upgrade to a Deluxe One Bedroom Suite (http://parktoronto.hyatt.com/hyatt/h...ocale=&start=3) and only after that the clerk realized that we are with FHR program.

1. Upgraded to a Deluxe One Bedroom Suite
2. Free continental breakfast or they will apply automatically $18 CAD per person up to 2 towards anything on the menu
3. $85 Food and beverage credit was automatically applied after dining at their restaurant
4. 1pm Check-out was asked for and granted.
5. Booked 3 nights and received a 3rd night free, current Park Hyatt Toronto Promo

Overall a nice value for the price I paid, however the service was just an average throughout the hotel and extremely poor at their main restaurant, even though the food was great. Rude serving staff that will argue with you regarding anything you will try to ask. I honestly felt like in my college years and I was at Denny's. Actually take it back, Denny's service was much better.
TAHKUCT is offline  
Old Jun 15, 09, 5:55 am
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: SEA
Programs: AS MVP Gold, SPG LT Gold, HH Diamond
Posts: 1,024
Originally Posted by Yahtzee View Post
Question: anyone not been upgraded at the Bellagio? When booking the lowest level room, what upgrades have you gotten?
I'm 3 for 5 on FHR upgrades at Bellagio in the past 12-18 months. Four times, I booked the lowest category: upgraded twice to lakeview, once to a tower deluxe room (larger, nicer bathroom, though at the end of the hall), and no upgrade once (we checked in early afternoon and the hotel was expected to be full that night). The fifth time, we booked a Bellagio suite - I think technically those are eligible for upgrade, but we did not get nor expect one.
mbluecpa is offline  
Old Jun 15, 09, 7:32 am
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 10
FHR Bellagio Response

Yahtzee, I am 1 for 1 at the Bellagio. Stayed there last August. I needed two beds, so a suite upgrade was not an option for us (all suites have one king bed). They gave us a lakeview room on a high floor that requires a key for access. Given the fact thet we needed two beds, we could not have done better.
elizabean is offline  
Old Jun 15, 09, 12:41 pm
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: AA Million Miler, Mosaic
Posts: 1,307
Thanks bean and bean counter.

Again, as long as I'm here, I'll post what I got at the Hotel 1000 in Seattle.

Three nights for the price of two (this was in Feb - not sure if promotion is still running). Upgrade to a very large corner room, breakfasts completely covered in the restaurant (did not try room service), free Wifi. Welcom amenity of nice bottle of Washington pinot, some fruit and mini desserts.
Yahtzee is offline  

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