Four Seasons Preferred Partner is worth switching to from an AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts booking; a recent client booking at Four Seasons Maui at Wailea is the perfect example.
As is often the case, I was contacted by a new prospective TravelSort client who had already made an AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts booking at Four Seasons Maui, and was wondering if it was worth switching to Four Seasons Preferred Partner, or even if it was possible, given that his stay was in a few days and already within the cancellation period. Here's why it's worth it:
1. First Priority for Upgrades
I always recommend that you book a room or suite you'd be happy in, since upgrades are not guaranteed, and are subject to availability at time of check-in. Obviously if the hotel or resort is sold out of room or suite type that is one category up from the one you booked, an upgrade is not possible.
The only exception is if you reserve under a special Four Seasons Preferred Partner guaranteed upgrade offer. For example, Four Seasons Bora Bora, Four Seasons Nevis, Four Seasons Geneva, Four Seasons Mexico City and Four Seasons Chiang Mai have all had special offers with guaranteed upgrades when reserving with a Four Seasons Preferred Partner agency.
That said, by reserving with TravelSort or another Four Seasons Preferred Partner agency, you maximize your chance of being upgraded. That's because Four Seasons Preferred Partner upgrades are prioritized ahead of all other reservations, such as AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts, Virtuoso, and even direct bookings with the hotel.
In the case of my new client, he and his family reserved an Ocean View Four Seasons Executive Suite for $959 + tax per night, with the Experience More offer that gave him $200 resort credit per night in addition to all Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. It was the last remaining suite available for his dates.
On arrival, he was upgraded to the last remaining Ocean View Prime Four Seasons Executive Suite, which is $1359 + tax per night, with much nicer views. That's a $400 difference per night, so $2000 for his 5 night stay. Since it was the last one, you can be sure that he got the upgrade over any similarly situated guests with AMEX FHR reservations.
2. Better Breakfast Benefit and the Option of Room Service
Four Seasons Preferred Partner always provides a full complimentary breakfast for two, which can either be taken in the hotel or resort restaurant, or delivered via in-room dining so you can dine in the comfort of your room or suite.
And Four Seasons Preferred Partner often has a better breakfast benefit; in the case of Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts breakfast benefit is $30 per person, or $60 for two daily. This doesn't even cover the cost of the buffet breakfast at DUO Restaurant, which is $41 per person. The Preferred Partner breakfast benefit is up to a maximum of $85 for two, so it covers the breakfast buffet.
3. Better Advice About the Four Seasons Hotel
During one of my trips to Virtuoso Week, a colleague from one of the top luxury hotels (not Four Seasons) vented a bit about visits to AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts reps; according to this colleague, many of these reps have not only never been to any of these luxury hotels, a good number have never traveled outside the U.S.
I've personally stayed at most of the Four Seasons hotels and resorts that I book for clients, and this helps me not only recommend particular room or suite types, but also dining and activities not to miss, both at the hotel and in the destination.
4. Exclusive Offers Only Available to Four Seasons Preferred Partners
One of the great things about Four Seasons Preferred Partner is that, with very few exceptions, the special offers you see on the Web site are combinable with Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits.
But did you know there are also some exclusive offers that are only available via Four Seasons Preferred Partner agencies, and which you won't see anywhere else?
5. An Advocate for You During Your Stay
Maybe you're celebrating your honeymoon or an anniversary trip, or maybe this is a special family vacation, or one of your kids is celebrating a birthday. Or perhaps you don't want housekeeping except when you request it, or you need to ensure something you're allergic to is not in the room. It's my job to ensure the hotel is aware of your special occasion and all of your requests, and that all goes well. If something goes awry, I'm just an email or phone call away and will work with the hotel to make it right.
Can You Switch to Four Seasons Preferred Partner from AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts Within the Cancellation Period?
This is a common question, especially for new clients who come to me already holding an AMEX FHR reservation who are within the cancellation period, say for Hawaii resorts, the Maldives, Bora Bora, or other resorts where there is a 2-3 night or more cancellation penalty within 3-4 weeks of arrival.
You CAN switch your reservation to TravelSort to receive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits and top priority for upgrades. AMEX does not charge a cancellation penalty, and I've always been able to have the Four Seasons resort waive any cancellation penalty, as long as you are rebooking in the same or higher category for the same or greater number of nights.
Note, however, that if you booked a long time ago, rates may have gone up, and of course I'm only able to book you at currently prevailing rates. It's far better, for that reason, to reserve with TravelSort at the outset with Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits, and we can always rebook you should there later be a better offer or lower rate.
When to Book with AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts
The main reason to reserve with AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts is when you absolutely need the 4pm late check-out, which is guaranteed with AMEX FHR but is based on availability with Four Seasons Preferred Partner. While I'm usually able to obtain a late check-out for clients that need it and have reserved with FSPP benefits, there has been one occasion when the Four Seasons in question was not able to accommodate a 4pm late check-out under Preferred Partner, such that I rebooked the client with AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts, since the 4pm late -check-out is contractually guaranteed.
Have you ever switched from an AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts booking to Four Seasons Preferred Partner?
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