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Get special benefits booking luxury Accor hotels via the STEP programme

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Accor has a special incentive programme for luxury travel agents. These can give you valuable additional benefits when you book an upscale Accor property via an accredited agent.

Luckily for you, we partner with such an agent – Emyr Thomas of Bon Vivant – which means that you can access these deals.

Welcome to Accor STEP …..

What is Accor STEP?

Accor STEP is, like Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Hyatt Prive, Hilton Impresario, Mandarin Oriental Fan Club and IHG Luxury & Lifestyle, a special benefits programme which can only be accessed by selected luxury travel agents.

These schemes are driven by the US travel market. Whilst virtually unheard of in the UK, most wealthy Americans will use a personal travel advisor. These tend to be self employed individuals who contract with a bigger travel group to provide access to deals and back-end support.

In order to keep ‘front of mind’ with travel advisors, the big hotel groups offer access to special benefits. The travel advisors can offer their clients these exclusive privileges for booking with them, which guarantees the booking and their future loyalty. Everyone wins.

Well …. everyone wins except people who don’t have access to a luxury travel advisor. Don’t worry, however, as you can use our hotel booking partner, details below.

Which Accor brands take part in Accor STEP?

Accor STEP benefits can be booked at ALL hotels in the following brands:

  • Fairmont
  • Raffles
  • Sofitel Legend

It applies to some hotels in these brands:

  • 21c
  • 25hours
  • Angsana
  • Banyan Tree
  • Delano
  • Faena
  • Hyde
  • MGallery
  • Mondrian
  • Movenpick
  • Pullman
  • Rixos
  • SLS
  • SO/
  • Sofitel
  • Swissotel

For the majority of participating hotels there is no minimum stay requirement. A few of the cheaper hotels on the second list require a two night stay.

The current list of participating hotels is here (Excel).

Participating UK hotels are:

Fairmont Windsor Park discount

Are Accor STEP rates the same as online rates?

Yes. You will pay the Best Flexible Rate shown online.

There are likely to be cheaper Advanced Purchase rates available. If you are happy to pay in advance and don’t need a refundable rate then you need to do the maths as to whether the STEP benefits are worth the extra cost.

What benefits does Accor STEP offer?

Accor STEP gets you the following benefits:

  • Room upgrade at check-in, if available
  • Complimentary daily breakfast for two
  • $100 hotel credit to be spent during your stay
  • Early check-in and late check-out (subject to availability)
  • Welcome amenities

Clearly, if you would otherwise book an Advanced Purchase rate, then you are paying a small premium to lock in these benefits.  The free breakfast, upgrade and $100 hotel credit should easily put you into ‘profit’ though on the price difference.  If you would usually book a flexible rate, these extra benefits are genuinely free.

(Let’s be clear. Getting a $100 hotel credit AND free breakfast on a 1-night stay is an exceptional return.)

For clarity, you will earn Accor Live Limitless points and elite night credits on top and you pay on departure. If you have Accor status, the benefits will stack as best they can. Our article on what Accor Live Limitless points are worth is here.

Raffles Palm Dubai discount

Exclusive STEP 3-4-2 deals are often available

Many hotels offer exclusive deals via STEP.

For the current quarter (Q1 2024), 100 of the 300+ participating hotels have a special deal available, usually ‘stay three, pay for two’.

If you are considering a 3+ night stay at a high-end Accor property then you absolutely should get a quote from a STEP agent.

To book

If you want to make an Accor booking with Accor STEP benefits, Emyr Thomas of Bon Vivant, who we partner with, is an Accor STEP agent.  You can drop him a note via the form here

Emyr has worked with us for many years now and readers have booked well over £1.7 million of rooms through him.  I also use him for my personal travel when I can, and his level of customer service is second to none. There are no booking fees and you pay at check-out as usual.


Accor Live Limitless update – February 2024:

Earn bonus Accor points: Accor is not currently running a global promotion

New to Accor Live Limitless?  Read our review of Accor Live Limitless here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our analysis of what Accor Live Limitless points are worth is here.

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

Comments (28)

  • Andrew J says:

    Surely booking through Amex FHR would give you the same benefits and can be booked online rather than emailing someone?

    • Rob says:

      If a) they’re in FHR, b) you have a Plat card and c) you’re not bothered about 342 then obviously yes.

    • Erico1875 says:

      FHR books though Expedia so you wouldn’t get ACCOR status

      • Rob says:

        You will on ‘pay at check-out’, just not on pre-paid rates (at least that’s been the situation for the last two years).

    • Kpworldtravels says:

      Also, booking through the FHR website gives you the benefits such as the credit. But if you want to ensure you are given a good room, welcome amenity and any other additional perks then you need a travel advisor by your side

  • Jay says:

    How do we know when the special offers are on for programmes like this ie the 3 nights for 2? As even paying the flex rate this should be considerably cheaper than booking with another method right?

    • Rob says:

      You need to ask Emyr. These deals are not meant to be publicly circulated.

    • Numpty says:

      Quick search, found them online.

      • Jay says:

        On the Accor site? How do you see this if the deal is exclusive to premium travel agents? My question was actually how to know when these offers are released. I don’t think Emyr has a newsletter for example.

        • Kpworldtravels says:

          Generally preffered partner programs are not good at notifying about these deals. As Rob says, they are ‘hidden’ as much as possible. We find them through the odd email, from our agents and from the wider network.

          The deals on Accor site will be general offers available to everyone. The ones under STEP are only accessible under the preferred partner program

      • brian says:

        Any additional info with regards to how you found them?

  • NigelthePensioner says:

    Room upgrade at check-in, if available…… So this is now considered a credible benefit?

    • Rob says:

      It’s been an Amex FHR benefit for 25 years so ….

      It’s really just covering themselves, because if the hotel is 100% full then they can’t do it unless they do the upgrade at the time of booking (as Hyatt Prive does) which seems too complex for their IT.

  • Jill Kinkell says:

    Been ‘ disappointed’ twice as room upgrades were not available at check in. OK got everything else but guaranteed would be so much better! I go with least expectation now

    • Kpworldtravels says:

      If you want a guaranteed upgrade then you should pay for that category when booking

      • Numpty says:

        But if you pay for the ‘upgraded’ room category (as you describe it) then you would still qualify for an upgrade for the next category up, and still be potentially let down.

      • Ken says:

        Don’t offer upgrades if individual hotels won’t give them, even when they have availability.

        The first thing I do when it’s not forthcoming is check if they are still selling those rooms.
        Not getting an upgrade is never the end of the world to me, but it hacks people off unnecessarily if it’s a core part of the marketing to entice you to book.

        • Kpworldtravels says:

          Agree. This answers the first comment regarding FHR giving similar benefits. Through a travel advisor you can have someone fighting for you.

  • Nick G says:

    Any news on the Hilton 3 for 2 etc offer extending again Rob?

  • Azza says:

    I’m sure Emyr compares when booking but quite a few of the higher end Accor hotels will be on Virtuoso and they might have ‘upgrade at time of booking’ for specific categories.

    • Kpworldtravels says:

      Generally the consensus is the hotel’s program is placed higher than Vrituoso. So if you have equivalent benefits then you pick hotel’s own program.

    • Emyr says:

      It’s almost always better to book a hotel’s own preferred partner scheme but sometimes there are Virtuoso specific offers that are better – we always check both to be sure.

      • Sunshine says:

        @Emyr Do you routinely email the hotel (perhaps a few days prior) before your guests (who booked through you) arrive to give them a nudge about the upgrade? Kpworldtravels as above seems to suggest an advisor would ‘fight’ for their client?

        • Emyr says:

          We do, indeed. We get in touch with our contacts at the hotel when a booking is made and then again before arrival to highlight VIP status.

          • Rob says:

            He does and it works well. Never had a connecting room request fail when booked via Emyr, even at hotels which had failed in that past.

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