REMINDER: Get exclusive benefits on luxury hotel bookings via Head for Points

I wanted to give our luxury hotel booking service another mention today.  Since I relaunched this five months ago with Emyr Thomas of Bon Vivant, the feedback from Head for Points readers has been excellent.  Over £250,000-worth of rooms have been booked so far.

Here is an email I received recently 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.

Virtuoso travel agent London

To plug the gap, I have teamed up with Emyr Thomas who runs high-end travel 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

Virtuoso travel agent UK

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

Ritz-Carlton Stars

Varies by property, includes guaranteed 4pm check-out if requested at time of booking, free breakfast, free internet

Rosewood Elite

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)

Sofitel STEP

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

Virtuoso travel agent London
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.  Some hotels may request a night’s refundable deposit, or similar, but this will be outlined at the time of booking.

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.

Virtuoso travel agent Great Britain

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.

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Comments

  1. How does this compare to Amex FHR?

    • Similar, but a broader range. Amex FHR always has the guaranteed 4pm check out which Virtuoso does not always have, but that may not be important. Virtuoso has a far bigger hotel portfolio.

  2. Would Emyr be able to get a better deal than online websites such as ebookers, expedia etc, at the Atlantis in Dubai?

    • He’d be happy to check if you have dates in mind, there may be a ‘free nights’ offer or similar. Remember Atlantis is a BA partner and BA.com has exclusive deals too.

  3. Claudio says:

    I’ve dropped them a note a while ago asking help with a hotel booking and they never got back to me!

    • Hi Claudio,

      There have been some issues with the form where not all enquiries reach us – please contact me with your request and I can look into it for you right away.

      regards,
      Emyr

    • You have a Yahoo email address – we have particular trouble with those (over 80% of people who say they never got a response have used a Yahoo email – it appears to be a weird bug with the contact form). Sorry. Email me at rob at headforpoints.co.uk and I’ll pass on your details.

  4. Lady London says:

    This is definitely one to have in my sources list for the next time I find myself having to book for quality on behalf of discerning principals. If they perform then contacts like this are worth their weight in gold. London is a good place to find customers for this type of service.

  5. Virtuoso is in theory, a great programme, administered by some of the nastiest, most vicious travel agents I have ever had to misfortune to deal with. Made American Express seem kind.

    Mind you, they were US travel agents, I have every confidence Bon Vivant isn’t like that.

    • Emyr’s chilled, you’ll like him :-)

      Travel agents in the US have become a weird sort of breed since the only money these days is becoming a ‘trusted adviser’ to the wealthy, which unfortunately involves having the same personality traits as a private banker or art dealer. The market is different in the UK.

  6. I made an enquiry but the price difference between this and Hotels.com was just too big, even taking the additional benefits into account. That being said, I do think that Emyr was very good. Very quick to respond and helpful so I would enquire again as rates may be closer next time. Quick question, would Emyr be able to book a Hilton hotel with the 30% NHS discount?

  7. ASEAN Traveller says:

    I can not recommend Emyr enough. I first reached out to him earlier this year and he has already helped secure hotel bookings in the UK, Maldives, Malaysia and Hong Kong for us. Extremely prompt response time, pro-active (in a good way) and he just “gets it”. Thanks Rob, this has been one of your best tips so far!

  8. I can vouch for the service, got a great rate on the Fairmont San Francisco including breakfast ($64 a day value), $100 f&b credit and a nice upgrade to a tower room with a view.

    Emyr was responsive and efficient throughout, would definitely use again.

    • Paul S says:

      Agree also. Emyr was very responsive and also worked out of office hours on our query. Also good with the details and local knowledge of the specific hotel. Got us a better deal with Ritz Carlton meaning we could cancel existing booing and book thru Emyr. Wouldn’t hesitate to book again.

  9. Jean Baird says:

    Hi I tried to send e mail via your HFP message but it would not send so asking if Emyr could contact me re hotels in London for 2 people king room non smoking from Sunday 30th July till Tuesday 1st August we have a meeting at Guildhall on the Monday and a meeting in Pall Mall on the Tuesday many thanks

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