Virtuoso

Old Apr 14, 19, 6:04 pm
  #1  
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Virtuoso

Hey guys, I usually stay in 5* star hotels in a range between 200-300€ and would like to know if this is a market where I can use Virtuoso to get any extra benefits that are not usually available booking thru a OTA or even the hotel website (early check.-in, late checkout, room upgrade, breakfast included etc), or if they only are able to get those benefits in a more upscale market?
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Old Apr 14, 19, 6:16 pm
  #2  
 
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As long as the hotel is a Virtuoso preferred partner you get the benefits. Sometimes the benefits apply from a certain room level and up, so that is something to check first, though not all the time.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 6:58 pm
  #3  
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Can you recommend any procedure to select a Virtuoso agent?
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Old Apr 14, 19, 7:03 pm
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That is usually done by word of mouth. I know there is a thread somewhere in this forum with a wiki that lists Virtuoso agents on here. I am one of you would like me to help you.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 7:43 pm
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Originally Posted by milfweed20 View Post
Can you recommend any procedure to select a Virtuoso agent?
I find using classictravel.com very useful to see what properties in a destination are on Virtuoso and what inventory and rates they have for my travel dates (basically I like to do the research myself). I will book directly online through them if it's a quick business city stay. Less friction than emailing back and forward with a TA and probably the same or similar result for that kind of stay.

For long or much more expensive stays, special occasions, complicated requests/situations or where I'm going somewhere new and putting up some serious $ - I will work with a Virtuoso agent and find their contributions invaluable. So it depends on the nature of the trip really.

Just my 2c.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by milfweed20 View Post
5* star hotels in a range between 200-300€
Lucky country Portugal (and even more the Azores) where indeed you can get excellence in that price range where elsewhere in Europe you would pay the double and in Italy the triple.

This said, you won't need Virtuoso for that price range, I see they are aiming at higher targets anyway. Virtuoso, ma non troppo .
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Old Apr 14, 19, 7:56 pm
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double posting
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Old Apr 14, 19, 8:37 pm
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Originally Posted by behuman View Post
Lucky country Portugal (and even more the Azores) where indeed you can get excellence in that price range where elsewhere in Europe you would pay the double and in Italy the triple.

This said, you won't need Virtuoso for that price range, I see they are aiming at higher targets anyway. Virtuoso, ma non troppo .
I travel all over the world and most of my stays are outside Portugal. Lately I’ve been travelling a lot to Asia. Just wanted the benefits not exactly any price reductions.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 4:51 am
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I have used them and they are very good. As you are probably aware you won't save anything on the room rate but depending on the loyalty program you will get all the extras thrown in as well a room upgrade too.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 5:35 am
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Virtuoso is but one of many consortia and preferred partner programs that you should consider to add value. Personally, my first choice is always to try self negotiation directly with hotels. However in cases where you really aren’t going to get any better offer than BAR, TA programs like Virtuoso, or other options like Amex FHR and LHW Leaders Club do work to add value. Sometimes TAs (or Amex) also have access to promotional offers that are not published on an hotel’s own website. Occasionally, OTAs sometimes have the lowest rates, however in this case I always prefer to have the hotel match the offer either on a direct booking or through a Virtuoso TA. Only as a last resort do I ever actually book through an OTA.

Think of all of the various “programs” and consortia as a toolbox. Well informed travelers and good TAs simply use whichever one yields the best value for a particular booking. The skill and the connections a TA has are even more important than the program affiliations.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 8:50 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
Virtuoso is but one of many consortia and preferred partner programs that you should consider to add value. Personally, my first choice is always to try self negotiation directly with hotels. However in cases where you really aren’t going to get any better offer than BAR, TA programs like Virtuoso, or other options like Amex FHR and LHW Leaders Club do work to add value. Sometimes TAs (or Amex) also have access to promotional offers that are not published on an hotel’s own website. Occasionally, OTAs sometimes have the lowest rates, however in this case I always prefer to have the hotel match the offer either on a direct booking or through a Virtuoso TA. Only as a last resort do I ever actually book through an OTA.

Think of all of the various “programs” and consortia as a toolbox. Well informed travelers and good TAs simply use whichever one yields the best value for a particular booking. The skill and the connections a TA has are even more important than the program affiliations.
Thank you for all the useful information.

I agree that trying to negotiate directly with the hotels should be the first option, but I have been trying that approach and have been failing miserably (I'm aware the problem may be my negotiation skills), therefore I think I might give a try using a Virtuoso TA because it's almost impossible for them to do a poorer job than what I have been doing myself.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 8:52 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Lussac View Post
I have used them and they are very good. As you are probably aware you won't save anything on the room rate but depending on the loyalty program you will get all the extras thrown in as well a room upgrade too.
And the lower price range (200-300€) has not been a problem?
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Old Apr 15, 19, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by milfweed20 View Post
Thank you for all the useful information.
I agree that trying to negotiate directly with the hotels should be the first option, but I have been trying that approach and have been failing miserably (I'm aware the problem may be my negotiation skills), therefore I think I might give a try using a Virtuoso TA because it's almost impossible for them to do a poorer job than what I have been doing myself.
It also has to do with the specific hotels and one’s relationship as a regular guest. At many hotels, especially as a first time or infrequent guest, it is hard to negotiate. In those cases, it very often is better to have a TA book on your behalf to get the contracted value added benefits.

Originally Posted by milfweed20 View Post
And the lower price range (200-300€) has not been a problem?
There is no problem with that price range at all. That is a matter of location. In lower cost destinations, there are plenty of Virtuoso etc... properties. In expensive destinations, luxury hotels will tend to be somewhat more expensive.

There are other consortia and credit card programs that offer value added benefits at more moderately priced upscale hotels. MasterCard and Visa Signature, for example, include many four star properties in their programs.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 1:45 pm
  #14  
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OK, please see the sticky at the top of the forum for a list of Virtuoso agents who post here.

Closing this thread.

RichardInSF, moderator, luxury hotels
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