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Is it just me, or is 4S declining?

Is it just me, or is 4S declining?

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Old Aug 14, 19, 1:31 pm
  #16  
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The 4S IT is pitiful...and getting worse

So I've had issue with my 4S account for several years. The app sucks. The website sucks. The online profile info doesn't seem to update, and I always seem to have to get a code sent via email/text to log in--despite there not being now any means for me to even store my credit card info anyway. So what's the reason for needing so much security to log in?

Sorry, guys, but even Marriott IT is vastly superior.

I just booked a few 4S hotels...and it was painful. It's enough to make me not even bother.

It's as if 4S is declaring for all that it belongs the eminent domain of the geriatric. Which it is in Paris, of course.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 1:45 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
So I've had issue with my 4S account for several years. The app sucks. The website sucks. The online profile info doesn't seem to update, and I always seem to have to get a code sent via email/text to log in--despite there not being now any means for me to even store my credit card info anyway. So what's the reason for needing so much security to log in?

Sorry, guys, but even Marriott IT is vastly superior.

I just booked a few 4S hotels...and it was painful. It's enough to make me not even bother.

It's as if 4S is declaring for all that it belongs the eminent domain of the geriatric. Which it is in Paris, of course.
To be honest I absolutely don´t care about the app, would never book with it as it would be a waste of amenities. Also do the preparation the old fashioned way. Will stay at 3 FS over the next weeks, will see how they do.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 1:52 pm
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I haven't booked a hotel on a website in years. My concierge does it. I just WhatsApp her, she's a FSPP, and it's all done.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by sophialite View Post
I haven't booked a hotel on a website in years. My concierge does it. I just WhatsApp her, she's a FSPP, and it's all done.
yeah, I need to start doing that. I just have so many alterations to schedules its really annoying, sometimes quicker doing things myself instead of explaining them to a third party
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Old Aug 14, 19, 2:22 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
...
FS has many outstanding properties. The difference really is that the gap between them and other properties has narrowed or doesn't exist at all any more.
I would be the first to admit that all major groups have outstanding properties. And while it is entirely true that the gap between FS/MO/Peninsula and other brands had closed in some markets, this is not only due to the rise of other brands, but also in many markets it is unfortunately also a result of a subtle but real dilution of quality/consistency within FS as a result of its getting a bit too big.

I think even with the best of intentions, getting too big inherently poses these risks for any brand. Aman is no less susceptible to these pitfalls than FS or any other major group is.

FS has its exceptional hotels that are still as wonderful as ever, but there are increasingly some other locations that have cashed in on the Four Seasons name, but that do not really have the sheer quality to back up the FS name in the same way that the best properties do.

Originally Posted by nmuva98 View Post
...
I haven't made it to a Rosewood yet, but as MikefromTokyo points out above, sounds like they have promise. Would love to do the treehouse one outside of Luang Prabang!
Roswood really is an exceptional hotel group and should be taken very seriously. Yes, Rosewood Luang Prabang is excellent. Rosewood Phnom Penh is an absolutely amazing hotel, especially given that they put together a team of wonderful local staff a few years ago that had no experience in hotels of this level, as it is the first of its kind in the Cambodian capital. Today, that team not only is doing well, but the service quality is frankly better than it is in many more developed luxury hotel markets. Other noteworthy properties are opening or have opened in Yangon, Myanmar, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Bangkok, etc...

There is also a rumor that Rosewood will acquire Villa d’Este and lavish a fortune on updating it to have service and modern comfort that is commensurate with its legendary grounds, architecture, and location.

The question for Four Seasons, MO, Peninsula, and other brands now is not whether or not Rosewood will catch up to them, but frankly what they are going to need to do preemptively to up their games in order to stay competitive with Rosewood.


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Old Aug 14, 19, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by MorganDK View Post


yeah, I need to start doing that. I just have so many alterations to schedules its really annoying, sometimes quicker doing things myself instead of explaining them to a third party
They manage my schedule too :-)
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Old Aug 14, 19, 2:44 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
The question for Four Seasons, MO, Peninsula, and other brands now is not whether or not Rosewood will catch up to them, but frankly what they are going to need to do preemptively to up their games in order to stay competitive with Rosewood.




I agree with you, Mike, on almost all your points in this thread, though I have to say I wish Rosewood would have been the answer to all our (hospitality) prayers, but for me at least, this is not case.

They do have some wonderful properties and they have the means and people to deliver amazing experiences. However, interestingly they have more properties which do not appeal to me than those who I find appealing for various reasons, more than FS. But I guess this is more of a personal issue than anything else. Rosewood London does not work at all for me, for example. The service is fine under Michael Bonsor, but the design is somewhat underwhelming and I find many rooms don't work for me. Castiglion del Bosco is a bit bland, though my experience is limited to one of the villas a few years back. Abu Dhabi stands no chance compared to the neighboring FS. Phuket is a never ending design catastrophe and does not really warrant a visit. Bangkok I have yet to visit, but sounds promising -- although more akin to a business hotel with some leisure qualities, possibly also due to the location I see this as more of a contender to the St Regises or Waldorfs of Bangkok, rather than MO, Siam, Pen. Baha Mar is actually damaging to the brand and should either be rebranded or see a major revamp, this was not the best choice. But then again, Crillon is wonderful and one of the Rosewoods I simply adore with some many wonderful qualities. As you mentioned, Phnom Penh is fantastic and truly one of a kind. Beijing is easily in the top 3 of the city and walks all over FS there, so another highlight surely. Haven't tried HK yet, but reports here indicate it is one of the finest already. So yes, I agree with you Rosewood is to be taken seriously, but even they don't have the consistency yet.

I think Rosewood has an advantage as they were able to score some great talent and experienced hoteliers over the years and either they themselves developed world class locations and real estate (HK) or they found trophy properties together with a great and solid partner (Paris). But I wish they would develop their brand a little more emotionally, after the novelty wears off and teams switch to newer kids on the block, what is their core? A sense of place is nice, but there has to be another aspect!
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Last edited by scented; Aug 14, 19 at 2:53 pm
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Old Aug 14, 19, 2:46 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
FS has its exceptional hotels that are still as wonderful as ever, but there are increasingly some other locations that have cashed in on the Four Seasons name, but that do not really have the sheer quality to back up the FS name in the same way that the best properties do.
Is this really that new? Wasn´t there always Four Seasons which were not really top notch? The old Philadelphia property Comes to my mind, Buenos Aires or FS Sydney.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Is this really that new? Wasn´t there always Four Seasons which were not really top notch? The old Philadelphia property Comes to my mind, Buenos Aires or FS Sydney.
Both Buenos Aires and Sydney are markets where, interestingly, Park Hyatt is leagues ahead of Four Seasons!
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Old Aug 14, 19, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Is this really that new? Wasn´t there always Four Seasons which were not really top notch? The old Philadelphia property Comes to my mind, Buenos Aires or FS Sydney.
Their Vancouver and Palo Alto properties also fit this.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 3:01 pm
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I think Rosewood acquiring Villa D'este would make perfect sense and I'd stay there once they worked on it.

We love the Crillon. Easily top 5 in the world for us, but we have weird taste. Also top 5 are Villa La Coste and Ett Hem.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by MicSanToro View Post
Their Vancouver and Palo Alto properties also fit this.
Westlake Village also has some fans

Originally Posted by scented View Post
Both Buenos Aires and Sydney are markets where, interestingly, Park Hyatt is leagues ahead of Four Seasons!
Seems so, both PH properties looks very nice. While I like FS I always try to find out in every city what´s best for me, no matter which brand.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Westlake Village also has some fans



Seems so, both PH properties looks very nice. While I like FS I always try to find out in every city what´s best for me, no matter which brand.
Exactly the same for me. it just so happens that the Four Seasons most frequently ends up the best.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by scented View Post
I agree with you, Mike, on almost all your points in this thread, though I have to say I wish Rosewood would have been the answer to all our (hospitality) prayers, but for me at least, this is not case.

They do have some wonderful properties and they have the means and people to deliver amazing experiences. However, interestingly they have more properties which do not appeal to me than those who I find appealing for various reasons, more than FS. But I guess this is more of a personal issue than anything else. Rosewood London does not work at all for me, for example. The service is fine under Michael Bonsor, but the design is somewhat underwhelming and I find many rooms don't work for me. Castiglion del Bosco is a bit bland, though my experience is limited to one of the villas a few years back. Abu Dhabi stands no chance compared to the neighboring FS. Phuket is a never ending design catastrophe and does not really warrant a visit. Bangkok I have yet to visit, but sounds promising -- although more akin to a business hotel with some leisure qualities, possibly also due to the location I see this as more of a contender to the St Regises or Waldorfs of Bangkok, rather than MO, Siam, Pen. Baha Mar is actually damaging to the brand and should either be rebranded or see a major revamp, this was not the best choice. But then again, Crillon is wonderful and one of the Rosewoods I simply adore with some many wonderful qualities. As you mentioned, Phnom Penh is fantastic and truly one of a kind. Beijing is easily in the top 3 of the city and walks all over FS there, so another highlight surely. Haven't tried HK yet, but reports here indicate it is one of the finest already. So yes, I agree with you Rosewood is to be taken seriously, but even they don't have the consistency yet.

I think Rosewood has an advantage as they were able to score some great talent and experienced hoteliers over the years and either they themselves developed world class locations and real estate (HK) or they found trophy properties together with a great and solid partner (Paris). But I wish they would develop their brand a little more emotionally, after the novelty wears off and teams switch to newer kids on the block, what is their core? A sense of place is nice, but there has to be another aspect!
Very good points. I of course am viewing Rosewood with a bit of a sampling bias, because I travel a lot in the places I mentioned in which Rosewood is particularly excellent. There are, however, apparently properties that are less consistent.

There is another Rosewood coming to London. Siem Reap is also another future opening that is much anticipated.

Four Seasons is and always has been my top choice in many of its best locations, and even in “second tier” locations FS is often a solid, dependable choice. I just really value the Four Seasons vision, and have many cherished memories at fine FS hotels. So, in a perfect world I would prefer to see FS be a little more selective as to where they open, to be sure to consistently remain the best.

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Old Aug 14, 19, 3:52 pm
  #30  
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Comparisons with Four Seasons for Rosewood are completely misguided IMO. That misses the mark entirely.

Rosewood is more akin to Marriott’s Luxury Collection or Belmond more than anything else I’ve experienced: a collection of otherwise unique and special/authentically interesting properties with a great sense of place and broad luxury standards...but without any consistency across the entire group in how that service or F/B or other details are executed. Some deliver much better than others on the quality of the hard product, and some deliver much better than others on the quality of the soft product. Staying at one property in no way prepares you for what to expect at another.

I agree with @sophialite that the Crillon is special. It’s unquestionably the most impressive property in the Rosewood portfolio. But knowing what it’s like to stay at the Rosewood Crillon doesn’t in any way prepare or set proper expectations for any Rosewood property elsewhere.

Four Seasons has better brand consistency than Rosewood overall. But Rosewood has far more interesting properties than Four Seasons overall. Rosewood’s portfolio is more about the location and hard product than any consistent approach to soft product at all. That’s pretty much the bread and butter for Luxury Collection and Belmond.
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Last edited by bhrubin; Aug 14, 19 at 5:13 pm
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