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What does Fans of M.O. (Mandarin Oriental’s hotel loyalty programme) offer you when you stay?

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Luxury hotel group Mandarin Oriental has its own little-known loyalty programme – but one that isn’t a loyalty programme in the usual sense.

There are no points to collect or tiers to reach. Instead you get benefits simply for signing up to the programme.

Signing up is free and irrespective of how and where you book you will get complimentary wi-fi, a welcome amenity and members only offers.

Click to enlarge:

Fans of Mandarin Oriental benefits

Mandarin Oriental is, however, trying to get guests to book directly.  There are additional benefits for ‘Fans of M.O.’ who choose to book via the Mandarin Oriental website.

The only condition attached to receiving these benefits is that you book ‘a qualifying rate’.  This must be a fully flexible (ie pay on departure, cancellations allowed) rate:

“A qualifying rate is any rate that is fully flexible and publicly available for a Fans of M.O. member to book directly on or with the hotel itself. Negotiated rates or otherwise discounted rates, group rates, rates booked through travel agents or tour operators and rates available on any online third-party website or app do not qualify for the Fans of M.O. direct booking additional privileges.”

‘Fans’ benefits ARE available on special offer rates, such as the ‘50% off a second room for children’, ‘One More Night’ free night promotions.

The additional benefits available, out of which the guest can choose two per stay for up to two rooms, are:

  • early check-in at noon
  • late check-out at 4pm
  • a dining and spa credit
  • daily breakfast
  • a room upgrade
  • streaming WiFi
  • a ‘celebratory treat’
  • pressing services (eg ironing!)
Fans of Mandarin Oriental direct booking benefits

The website states that ‘benefit details may vary by hotel and will be listed during the online booking process’.

How does this compare with using a luxury ‘preferred partner’ travel agent?

Unless the hotel is discounting, not too well, surprisingly.

Emyr Thomas, who we partner with for luxury hotel bookings, tells me that any Mandarin Oriental hotel booked through him comes with ALL of the following:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
  • $100 equivalent hotel credit (a small number of hotels offer a different amenity instead of this) valid on food and drink, spa treatments etc
  • Early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

You get ALL of these benefits if you book via Emyr, instead of having to pick two benefits from the ‘Fans of Mandarin Oriental’ list above.

Which booking route is best?

Bookings via Emyr get you better benefits than using the ‘Fans’ programme, but are booked at Best Flexible Rate. This is good if you need flexibility to cancel, and of course you pay on departure as usual.

If there are any discounted – but still flexible, to qualify for ‘Fans’ benefits – packages being offered by the hotel, it may make more sense to book direct, even though they are not as generous. This includes offers such as the ‘50% off a second room for children’ or ‘stay x nights and get a free night’ promotions that you often see.

You can contact Emyr and learn more about his services (which are very highly rated by HfP readers who use him – and he books most of my luxury hotels too) in this article.

You can learn more about ‘Fans of M.O.’ here.

Hotel offers update – February 2024:

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

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Comments (16)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 1ATL says:

    You’ve advocated in numerous articles that 4pm guaranteed late check out is a genuinely worthwhile benefit, therefore you’d be better off enrolling to the MO loyalty programme rather than booking Emyrs benefits if that one was particularly important?

    I think this article just goes to show the consumer needs to decide which set of benefits are most important before pulling the trigger when staying at MO. In a lot of cases they’re similar but depending on individual circumstances, one set of benefits is clearly better than another.

    What I would find interesting is whether you can double dip the MO loyalty benefits when booking with Amex Fine Hotels. Many MO properties are in the FHR directory and FHR is generally the best available rate, paid locally that has benefits applied when booking via the Amex booking channel. Benefits which aren’t too dissimilar to those offered by Emyr. If I were to mention my MO loyalty number at time of booking would that track both sets of benefits with my booking?

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      From reading the article it’s not clear whether that 4pm checkout via their loyalty scheme is guaranteed, and the ‘subject to availability’ late check out for the luxury travel agents doesn’t state whether it’s 4pm.

      It could turn out that they’re both 4pm and subject to availability. Emyr is good it responding to queries so if it’s not clarified here then I’m sure he’ll be happy to help before you book.

      Based on other chains (IC, Conrad) I’ve used Emyr’s booking service you tend to get the specific luxury travel agent benefits, plus any loyalty programme benefits on top. Considering the MO programme is free to join and has no tiers I can’t see them offering a lesser benefit to those booking through a luxury TA.

    • ATP says:

      You can double dip with FHR and this scheme. I did it at MO Singapore. I booked via FHR website, created my fans of MO account later that week and forgot to link it together (and even forgot I signed up). At check-in MO Singapore we’re actually the ones who told me that I was a member and had pre-booked benefits for me that didn’t clash with FHR – exceptional service from MO here.

      • Matt says:

        Maybe that’s the MO Singapore. My parents had a 4 for 3 nights rates which Emyr managed to match with usual benefits. They offered the Fans of MO benefits on top.

      • Hbommie says:

        Similar experience at MOHK and Landmark but not at MO Vegas (before Waldorf).

      • Russell G says:

        I stayed at MO New York earlier this year and signed up for the free wifi, but that was the only benefit I received on top of the FHR rate. I’d be interested to know what non-clashing benefits you received at MO Singapore from being in Fans of MO on top of the FHR benefits.

        • ATP says:

          They gave us free drinks at the bar (2x coupons each), garment pressing and a celebratory treat (in-room champagne and chocolates). We only booked the Mandarin room for one night so all turned out to be an excellent deal, and presented to us at check-in by staff.

  • Bc8 says:

    You ain’t got no fans

  • Russell G says:

    “isn’t a loyalty programme in the usual sense”? It isn’t a loyalty programme at all right?
    The only thing that would make you think this is a “loyalty” programme is the name. There are zero benefits to this programme for “loyalty” as far as I can tell.

    • JDB says:

      In my experience, while Mandarin may not technically have a loyalty programme, they reward loyalty to a significantly greater extent than any points based system. Amongst their peers Peninsula is the same, Four Seasons (which is a notch or two below anyway) below used to be but has now become rather meaner/greedier compared to when they started their international expansion and Belmond works hard to kill the golden goose. Kempinski aspires to join this group and in my more limited experience of them, so far very impressed with rewards for loyalty.

      • Russell G says:

        I’ve stayed at all the above, multiple times except Kempinski and have never noticed any loyalty rewards. What sort of rewards are we talking about here and do I need to be saying / doing something to trigger these rewards?

        • JDB says:

          We have received all sorts of rewards which they tell me are a thank you for our loyalty. I think we have stayed six times at MO HK and each time since the first, we have received monumental upgrades to their best suites including the POA ones, in addition to the standard loads of extras in the room – cakes from the shop, soft drinks and Mandarin bear for my son, canapés and chocolates for us, proper champagne, expensive wine, cocktails delivered on arrival once, comped dinner more than once (discreetly advised at the end of dinner ‘for your loyalty, it’s on the house’ instead of bringing the bill), keep our favourite table in the bar, a free round etc. additionally we have received free one way or return airport transfers in the Rolls with pick up at the gate, fast track immigration etc. At the Oriental in Bangkok, I had visited twice on my own with huge suite I was rattling around in, third visit was with my wife the end of our honeymoon, actually quite embarrassing, as was the fourth trip – we were greeted at the entrance on arrival by the GM with huge flower garlands. Big upgrades, lots of goodies for us (including very nice cotton robes) and my son. My wife was given two spa treatments and we were comped the incredible Sunday buffet lunch over the river, free transfers only once and free laundry. MO keeps assiduous records of likes/dislikes that follow you to each hotel without asking for anything, so MO Shanghai knew what we liked, big upgrades on two stays, lots of goodies but nothing of import comped (don’t like that hotel much, hence initiation of Kempinski which is next door). Had booked Mandarin KL who had been in touch to confirm upgrade and offer comp transfer, but then covid cancelled. Have stayed at MO London, got upgrade but didn’t like the room, maybe now better after refurb. Peninsula in Beijing very generous with non standard loyalty benefits – dinner and car to the Summer Palace, Shanghai at bit less so but still cars and quite a few free drinks at their amazing roof bar.

          After any stay at a smart hotel, I always write to the GM to thank them for the stay, compliment any particularly helpful members of staff, notable service or good changes since last stay and politely mention any issues or shortcomings; it’s a very small investment for future stays. Also, over time, taking an interest and chatting to more junior staff, some are now very senior, one a GM so we understand each other. Always good to meet reservations manager…

          • Lady London says:

            JDB I take my hat off to you. This is how it’s done.

            At the genuinely higher end of hotels, which would usually include Mandarin Oriental, a hotel that is run properly will be taking acute note of all guests’ preferences and will keep history.

            For that reason in any decent hotel, be very wary how you handle it if there are any disappointments, because how you handle it will be very much remembered. If you need to give feedback think carefully about when, how and to whom.

            It’s easy to see why as a returning guest you are remembered and able to achieve things JDB.

  • Pangolin says:

    I wish had the money to stay at MO hotels

    Holiday Inn Express and Ibis Budget it is for me 🙁

    • HBommie says:

      It can be more affordable than you think, especially the far east hotels in the group which have higher service levels IMO.
      They have 3for2, 4for3 offers regularly and when you add up all of the ‘extras’ it brings the cost more in line with others.

    • ianM says:

      You and me are in the wrong forum!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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