I wanted to give our luxury hotel booking service another mention today. Since I relaunched this two months ago with a new partner, Emyr Thomas of Bon Vivant, the feedback from Head for Points readers has been excellent.
Here is an email I received last week from a reader, for example:
“I just wanted to give some feedback on Emyr and Bon Vivant. I have just used him to book three nights at the Conrad NYC for my brother’s wedding and also a night at the Park Hyatt in DC. Fantastic service, emails answered promptly, very knowledgeable and a pleasure to deal with. Certainly offers a lot better service than other similar agents I have used through Flyertalk contacts.”
What we can offer
The luxury hotel companies (Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental etc) do not get a lot of coverage on Head for Points due to their lack of loyalty schemes. This is despite the fact that many HFP readers are regular visitors to high end hotels.
If you are staying at a major luxury hotel brand, there is one inescapable fact – you will NOT get the best deal by booking directly with fourseasons.com etc. The major hotel groups all offer additional benefits and special deals which can only be accessed when booking via a luxury travel agent. These agents are relatively difficult to locate in the UK.
To plug the gap, I have teamed up with Emyr Thomas who runs luxury agent Bon Vivant to offer a luxury hotel booking service for HFP readers. Feedback on Emyr so far has been excellent and I encourage you to give him a try.
We have launched what we hope will be a successful three-way partnership between Bon Vivant, Head for Points and you, the reader under which we hope everyone wins:
You are able to book better luxury hotel deals than you could book yourself, via a London-based travel agent who is committed to fast response times and excellent customer service
Bon Vivant gets a flow of referrals from HFP readers who, by definition, are serious travellers
Head for Points gets to offer an additional service to readers and benefits from a percentage of commissions paid by hotels and airlines to Bon Vivant
What hotel chains will offer you a better deal via Bon Vivant?
If you are considering booking into a hotel run by any of the following chains, I would strongly recommend contacting Bon Vivant to see what special offer is available for that particular property. They work with the following VIP programmes:
Four Seasons Preferred Partner
Most hotels offer free breakfast via room service or in the restaurant, US$100 credit towards in-hotel spend, upgrade if available at check-in, free internet, guaranteed 4pm check-out (not at all properties)
Belmond (ex Orient Express) Bellini Club
Upgrade based on availability at check-in, US$90 credit towards in-hotel spend (US$200 for suites), free high-speed internet, welcome gift
Dorchester Collection – Diamond Club
Guaranteed one category upgrade at time of booking (most hotels, not suites), $100 / £100 / €100 credit towards in-hotel spend, free breakfast via room service or in the restaurant, free internet
Mandarin Oriental Fan Club
Free high-speed internet access, free breakfast, $100 food and beverage or spa credit per stay, one category room upgrade based on availability at check-in
Peninsula Hotels – Pen Club
Flexible check-in and check-out times, welcome amenities, free breakfast, upgrade based on availability at check-in, free 30-minute extension to most 50-minute spa treatments, free internet
Varies by property, includes guaranteed 4pm check-out if requested at time of booking, free breakfast, free internet
Free breakfast, upgrade based on availability at check-in,
Starwood Luxury Privileges (St Regis, Luxury Collection, W)
Free breakfast, $100 credit towards in-hotel spend, free internet, priority for early check-in and late check-out, upgrade at check-in if available
Couture By Langham
One category upgrade, early check-in / late check-out for up to six hours, VIP perks by property
Jumeirah Passport to Luxury
Room room upgrade to the next category upon arrival (subject to availability), complimentary buffet breakfast for two, early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability), $100 food and beverage or spa credit
Rocco Forte Hotels Sir Rocco’s Knights
Free breakfast, food and beverage credit of £75 / €85 / $100 per room per stay, welcome amenity, upgrade on arrival (subject to availability), early check-in / late check-out, 15% off spa services (excluding Hotel Savoy, Hotel Amigo, and Hotel Astoria)
Shangri-La Hotels Luxury Circle
complimentary full breakfast for two, including in-room dining, upgrade to the next room type within category at the time of booking, hotel credit of $100 per stay, dedicated concierge, early check in / late check out (subject to availability)
Management greeting upon arrival, upgrade between Classic – Superior – Luxury – Suite at check-in (subject to availability), gift from the General Manager
Preferred Hotels & Resorts Platinum Partner (Legend and LVC Hotels only)
Welcome amenity and room upgrade, complimentary breakfast for two daily, $75 hotel credit for use during stay, complimentary internet, priority check-in/out
Relais & Châteaux
Complimentary continental or buffet breakfast (or a cash discount if the property offers free breakfast to everyone), VIP Welcome Amenity per room and per stay
In addition, there are many hundreds of other luxury hotels globally – including many Fairmont, Trump, One & Only, Hyatt, Corinthia and InterContinental properties – where Bon Vivant can access similar deals via its membership of the Virtuoso network. At InterContinental Le Grand Paris and InterContinental London Park Lane, for example, you will receive free club lounge access (usually €140 / £120 per night) when you book any room at Best Flexible Rate.
None of these hotel offers involve paying in advance. Bon Vivant will make the reservation for you and send you a confirmation outlining your exclusive benefits. You pay the hotel as usual on departure.
Reservations booked under these deals are fully flexible and have the same cancellation rules as a standard booking at the same property. The price is usually the same as the flexible rate shown on the hotel website and, by negotiation, the hotel can often be persuaded to match any promotional rates.
When a hotel is part of a loyalty programme, you WILL receive points and any elite benefits as well. This is not usually the case when booking via a third party travel agent.
Contacting Bon Vivant
If you already have a hotel stay in mind and want to see what additional amenities may be available via Bon Vivant, please contact Emyr Thomas via the form below.
Please be as specific as possible about your requirements. For example ‘I am looking at booking a Deluxe Room at Four Seasons Hampshire for 21st to 24th March. Can you please confirm the additional benefits you can offer at this property and the rate available?’.
Remember that, in most cases, you will need to book a refundable rate to unlock these additional benefits. This programme is NOT about getting you a cheaper rate than booking direct – it is about getting you valuable additional benefits for the same price.
Please also get in touch if you have a luxury hotel stay booked – if it is cancellable – as you may be able to rebook on a better package.
If you have any comments about Bon Vivant and their service, please email me directly at rob [at] headforpoints.co.uk.
IMPORTANT: If you do not get a response within 24 hours, please drop me a note. The form below is not foolproof! If you do not see the form because you are reading via Apple News, RSS etc, please email me with your requirements and I will pass it across to Emyr. Thanks.