Advice: where to burn my remaining certs?

 
Old Aug 18, 18, 3:49 am
  #1  
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Advice: where to burn my remaining certs?

Hello,

I have two room upgrade, two suite upgrade, and a third night free certificate to burn by the end of February. Looking for ideas on where to use them.

This is my situation:
1) I am based in YVR
2) We don't ski and don't have winter tires, so no driving to Whistler or going to ski resorts starting October 1

Our travel plans allow for:
1) the Thanksgiving long weekend (up to 3 nights)
2) a week around Family Day in February

The week in February is the interesting part - a week makes a long-ish plane trip feasible. Which destination with a Fairmont should I consider? We are looking for a relaxing trip. Currently looking at Scottsdale and possibly Barcelona. Assuming we don't exceed 5 days, that potentially opens up a trip to Seattle in October to use the rest of the certificates. We were just at the Orchid in Hawaii last April, but maybe we can go there again? My wife has said no to mainland China and Texas.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 2:09 pm
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I'm burning through my Fairmont Platinum certificates, managed to use two suite upgrades here at the Fairmont Kea Lani, and stacked a boatload of room upgrade certs and a suite upgrade at the Orchid, and a free night at each!! I'm not sure of your success on a holiday weekend, but definitely call the in house reservation staff at each hotel to see what you can get!! Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Will report back after the trip, but the view here at the Kea Lani does not disappoint, and the service so far has been awesome! Beach time for me now!!
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Old Sep 27, 18, 4:20 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by arnel View Post
I have two room upgrade, two suite upgrade, and a third night free certificate to burn by the end of February. Looking for ideas on where to use them.

The week in February is the interesting part - a week makes a long-ish plane trip feasible. Which destination with a Fairmont should I consider? We are looking for a relaxing trip. My wife has said no to mainland China and Texas.
My top four recommended Fairmonts would be those where you can get Gold Lounge access when you use a suite upgrade:
1. Chengdu, China
2. Amman, Jordan
3. Istanbul, Turkey
4. Singapore

#1 is out for you because you said your wife does not want to go to Mainland China, but perhaps my recommendation can be useful for other FTers. Next, I personally think Fairmont Amman is a superior hotel to Fairmont Istanbul, but I am not sure you would consider any of these two cities as a "relaxing trip". There are more tourist sites in Istanbul, whereas in Amman you would be looking at longer and more exhausting day trips away from the city itself (Dead Sea, Petra). But the hotel hardware and service in Fairmont Amman, no doubt it is the best of all hotels in the city, better than Four Seasons, W, Sheraton, Grand Hyatt, and Marriott.

For me Fairmont Singapore would be a distant 4th and once again possibly not the relaxing vacation you are looking for, but worth mentioning and is a hotel loved by several on FT.

The most relaxing places are probably Fairmonts where you will not get as much value for the money when using suite upgrades because you won't have access to the Gold Lounge. I could recommend Fairmont Southampton (Bermuda) as one of the best hotels on the island to relax, but no lounge access and not the best use of a suite upgrade because suites there are only slightly better than non-suites (and pricing reflects that). Plus the fact that weather in February is not that great in Bermuda.

But for other people who still have remaining suite upgrades and are not looking for relaxation, there are a few months left to use suite upgrades at the 4 excellent hotels above.
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Old Sep 27, 18, 10:41 am
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Sounds like you prefer the resort-type properties. I would suggest Grand Del Mar as your suite cert will get you into a Toscana suite and you can get some pretty good deals on the base rooms right now (like $299).
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Old Sep 27, 18, 3:50 pm
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Unless it states it specifically, the upgrade certs issued by fairmont do not allow one to upgrade from a regular room/suite to a gold level room or suite.

That said, I just stayed at the Fairmont Orchid in late August, and they let me stack 4 room upgrade and 1 suite upgrade, along with 2 free night certificates for an all time record for me. It could be that it was the "low season" combined with all the volcano action that was scaring away tourists that they let me get away with this. That said, the oceanfront suite for the price of a garden room was AWESOME!!

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Old Sep 28, 18, 8:04 am
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Did you have to call the Hotel directly or was this with the call center ?
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Old Sep 29, 18, 1:52 am
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Originally Posted by ntle View Post
Did you have to call the Hotel directly or was this with the call center ?
Definitely call the hotel directly during their office hours and talk with someone with "in house reservations," the call center sticks to the rules (only one upgrade certificate can be used at a time). The orchid was an exception, in the past I usually could redeem both a room and suite upgrade at once. Maybe they were being nice because I'm a repeat customer? Or tourism down on the Big Island due to volcano/hurricane?
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Old Sep 29, 18, 12:45 pm
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Moncton will not apply more certs than is allowed, but they will call the property on your behalf and haggle to get more if you request.
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Old Sep 29, 18, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by nock View Post
Moncton will not apply more certs than is allowed, but they will call the property on your behalf and haggle to get more if you request.
That's also been my experience. They don't break the rules, but are more than happy to call the hotel to request permission to do more, and will conference them into the call with you if you want.

I have noticed recently, that when you call to apply certificates, sometimes an agent will say they need to get someone who's familiar with Fairmont certificates. That's both good and bad at the same time. It's good that you know they're passing you to one of the experienced former Fairmont staff, but also suggests that they've been bringing on additional staff into the call centre. Whether the addition staff is the result of expanded business for the local call centre, as they add in the other North American Accor properties to their responsibility, or if it's because many of the good agents have left after the merger. Time will tell if the culture of empowerment and a genuine desire to help the customer will prevail, or if the standard Accor way of doing business will kill off any good service.
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Old Sep 29, 18, 3:12 pm
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On my last call to Moncton I asked if they were going anywhere and she said not to her knowledge. But yes, I did initially speak to an associate who was "not experienced" with my requests and then transferred.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 10:22 am
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Of the Fairmonts I have been to, I would see the most value coming from using them at the Savoy (London) or at the Orchid (Big Island, Hawaii). Room upgrades to Ocean View rooms at the Miramar in Santa Monica / LA are nice as well, although I would note that the south-facing views (wihch face towards the pier) aren't as attractive anymore given that the noise from Bungalow (the outdoor lounge) seems to get louder every single time I stay here.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 1:30 pm
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Good luck trying to use suite/free night certs at Savoy.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 6:01 pm
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Just booked 4 nights at The Fairmont Orchid for November. Reserved a Garden View Room through Amex FHR, but emailed and asked about certificate use. At the time of booking only Ocean View Suites were available, and the agent offered to confirm that for two room upgrades and one suite upgrade certificate, which seemed like a (heck of a) deal.

Today I noticed Oceanfront was available, so I emailed back, and they offered to redeem one more suite upgrade cert to confirm it. I considered haggling and asking if they would accept a room upgrade, but that seemed greedy.

Overall paid for 3 nights in a Garden Room but getting 4 nights in an Oceanview Suite thanks to Amex FHR and FPC certificates. Man I'm gonna miss these things...
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Old Oct 1, 18, 8:28 pm
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Originally Posted by nock View Post
Good luck trying to use suite/free night certs at Savoy.
I have used nearly all my free night certs at the Savoy, and with entry level rooms often running over 500 GBP, I think it's been a very good use of them. But suite certs have been excluded for a number of years now--I think I was only able to use one the first year I had them.
The number of rooms available for redemption is very limited, and at this point, with certs expiring at the end of February, it may not be possible.
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Old Oct 2, 18, 6:03 am
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Originally Posted by rfrost View Post
I have used nearly all my free night certs at the Savoy, and with entry level rooms often running over 500 GBP, I think it's been a very good use of them. But suite certs have been excluded for a number of years now--I think I was only able to use one the first year I had them.
The number of rooms available for redemption is very limited, and at this point, with certs expiring at the end of February, it may not be possible.
Agreed. Using a free night cert at this point at the Savoy is not likely, due to the capacity controls there on free nights and the very limited time left before the program is done. No harm in calling, but I wouldn't expect too much. Suite upgrades are specifically excluded there. However, there are no limits on using a room upgrade cert. You can upgrade from the Superior Room to the Deluxe Room, or your can pay for a Deluxe Room and upgrade into the Luxury Room category. That's one of the only hotels I've ever used my room upgrade certs at.
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