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any experience with ClassicTravel.com? (Virtuoso)

any experience with ClassicTravel.com? (Virtuoso)

Old Feb 20, 10, 6:53 pm
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any experience with ClassicTravel.com? (Virtuoso)

Hi there,

I just came across this website:
http://www.classictravel.com

They claim to be "the only Virtuoso Travel Agency to offer Virtuoso Rates that can be booked online".

They also have a blog:
http://virtuosohotels.blogspot.com/

Does anyone have any experience booking on their website?
Im not very familiar with booking through Virtuoso travel agencies, so is there any disadvantage in booking through this site vs. other Virtuoso TA?
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Old Feb 20, 10, 9:31 pm
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great post ^

added to sticky >
Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
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Old Feb 20, 10, 11:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
Hi there,

I just came across this website:
http://www.classictravel.com

They claim to be "the only Virtuoso Travel Agency to offer Virtuoso Rates that can be booked online".

They also have a blog:
http://virtuosohotels.blogspot.com/

Does anyone have any experience booking on their website?
Im not very familiar with booking through Virtuoso travel agencies, so is there any disadvantage in booking through this site vs. other Virtuoso TA?
i used it this week - very good experience
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Old Feb 20, 10, 11:57 pm
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They don't list any Virtuoso hotels in Japan on their site, is it really true that there aren't any? Hard to believe.

They do list a hotel called the Park Hotel in Shiodome as one of their "city" hotels but illustrate it with a picture of the Park Hyatt building instead!
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Old Feb 21, 10, 7:37 am
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Thanks OP. Great find.
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Old Feb 21, 10, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
They don't list any Virtuoso hotels in Japan on their site, is it really true that there aren't any? Hard to believe.

They do list a hotel called the Park Hotel in Shiodome as one of their "city" hotels but illustrate it with a picture of the Park Hyatt building instead!
According to the Virtuoso website, the Pen, MO, Park Hyatt and RC in Tokyo are Virtuoso properties.

The Hyatt Regency in Kyoto and Hakone and the Hoshinoya Karuizawa are the other Virtuoso properties as per the Virtuoso website.
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Old Feb 21, 10, 8:19 am
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I met the owner of Classic Travel when we were both staying at Mollies in Auckland, NZ. He explained some of the factors he had to deal with in setting up an online booking engine - pretty interesting stuff. You're not allowed to "post" Virtuoso rates on a website. So his website is set up to pull the Virtuoso rates from the hotels' own booking engines when you browse for those rates.

This is also why Classic Travel lists only 266 properties (out of more than 800) when you search for Virtuoso hotels. They can only sell those properties who have booking engines that interface with their own.


This is how Lorraine Travel (whatahotel.com) got in trouble with Virtuoso and lost its membership (it's now Signature). They were loading the Virtuoso rates onto their own website.


OP asked if there's any disadvantage using a booking engine over using a live Virtuoso TA. Their website can't follow up with a personal phone call or email to the hotel's Sales Manager with a request to VIP a guest, upgrade a client, or pass along any special requests. I don't know how you cancel a reservation from their website ... it must be possible!

Last edited by DavidO; Feb 21, 10 at 8:25 am
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Old Feb 21, 10, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by DavidO View Post
This is also why Classic Travel lists only 266 properties (out of more than 800) when you search for Virtuoso hotels. They can only sell those properties who have booking engines that interface with their own.
This is such a shame. There are so many times when I wonder what the virtuoso rate (or most recent amenity) is for a particular property but I don't want to contact DavidO because I'm only half serious about the trip and don't want to waste his, or anyone else's time.

I would think having a complete online Virtuoso resource would be helpful in saving the agents a lot of time. Of course, the actual booking should still be required through the agent.... Maybe something like this could be password protected for previous Virtuoso customers.
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Old Feb 21, 10, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by DavidO View Post
I met the owner of Classic Travel when we were both staying at Mollies in Auckland, NZ. He explained some of the factors he had to deal with in setting up an online booking engine - pretty interesting stuff. You're not allowed to "post" Virtuoso rates on a website. So his website is set up to pull the Virtuoso rates from the hotels' own booking engines when you browse for those rates.

This is also why Classic Travel lists only 266 properties (out of more than 800) when you search for Virtuoso hotels. They can only sell those properties who have booking engines that interface with their own.

This is how Lorraine Travel (whatahotel.com) got in trouble with Virtuoso and lost its membership (it's now Signature). They were loading the Virtuoso rates onto their own website.
thanks DavidO, very interesting. perhaps with signature and now FHR online, virtuoso will eventually change.

Ericka's idea is also good. a 'rate/benefits check' password for certain clients.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Apr 8, 15 at 10:26 pm
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Old Feb 21, 10, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
This is such a shame. There are so many times when I wonder what the virtuoso rate (or most recent amenity) is for a particular property but I don't want to contact DavidO because I'm only half serious about the trip and don't want to waste his, or anyone else's time. .
I am the same way. Just hate to waste somebodies valuable time for few basic questions, especially if I am not sure I will book a property.
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Old Feb 21, 10, 9:37 am
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Great resource, great find, thanks for posting Jasper.
d
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Old Feb 21, 10, 9:55 am
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confirmed upgrades 2010 >
http://virtuosohotels.blogspot.com/2...t-time-of.html

hmm, never saw these (last summer) >
http://lstamps.blogspot.com/2009/07/...rence-and.html
2 nt min @ both FS florence and FS milan and get daily €75 credit
http://lstamps.blogspot.com/2009/06/...-offer-at.html
3 nt min @ plaza athenee paris and get confirmed upgrade

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Feb 21, 10 at 10:14 am
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Old Feb 21, 10, 10:18 am
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Fantastic find, Jasper2009. I have been trying to make a case to Virtuoso to have rates (or at least benefits) available to view on-line. Even if they had a booking engine that lacked a final 'Reserve Now' button, people could at least check rates & availability, and then contact their agent to book.

It's really interesting to see which hotels are available to book on the site. Given that they can only sell those properties who have booking engines that will interface with their own (thanks for the insight DavidO ^), I would have expected to see more (or perhaps just different) properties.
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Old Feb 21, 10, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by TAHKUCT View Post
I am the same way. Just hate to waste somebodies valuable time for few basic questions, especially if I am not sure I will book a property.
+1 ^
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Old Feb 21, 10, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by TAHKUCT View Post
I am the same way. Just hate to waste somebodies valuable time for few basic questions, especially if I am not sure I will book a property.
Me too!
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