You might be reading this headline and think to yourself, “Is she crazy? I book hotels myself all the time!” Let me explain. This topic falls under the category of “just because you can doesn’t mean you always should.”
I know you can DIY your hotel reservations. With the Worldwide Web at your disposal, you could easily book your Ritz Carlton, Waldorf Astoria, Hyatt Regency, or even JW Marriott reservations directly with the hotel or through an online travel agency like Expedia. I will tell you why this is not the best idea, not only for your dream vacation but even for just a quick weekend trip.
I’ve built solid relationships with many travel suppliers as a luxury travel advisor. Leaning on these relationships assures that my clients will receive an extraordinary level of service and the VIP treatment they deserve.
One example of this is when I was able to book a client who wanted to surprise her mom with a trip to Blackberry Farm for a weekend. They didn’t show availability online for the dates she wanted. In addition, there was a published 3-night minimum. One phone call to my contact there, and I was not only able to get the dates she wanted, but secure her the room type she wanted for a 2-night stay! I can’t guarantee this would be possible every time. Still, situations like this are more likely if you have a strong relationship with a property like I do! If you book your own hotels through an OTA, it’s next to impossible to reach a human being when things go wrong, and you’re not likely to get the best room available.
Premiere Luxury Travel is an independent affiliate of a host agency called Gifted Travel Network (GTN). I know that doesn’t mean anything to you, but it should! GTN has become a member of several elite programs over the last few years, and I will outline below why that is important for you to know. Here are five of the most exclusive select programs where Premiere Luxury Travel can deliver a transformative experience for your next vacation. Even if you are at the highest level of a hotel’s loyalty program, you cannot get most of these perks on your own.
Most of you already know that our host agency, Gifted Travel Network, is a member of Virtuoso, the leading consortia of agencies worldwide specializing in luxury and experiential travel. Some of you have even taken advantage of my Virtuoso hotel booking link and gotten added amenities (including things like complimentary breakfast and wi-fi, $100 resort credit, early check-in/late check-out, and complimentary upgrades based on availability) like the rock stars you are. Some even offer Virtuoso Advisors special discounts just for our VIP clients!
Many of the hotel brands I’ll mention below are also in the Virtuoso program. I will always check to see if the Virtuoso or the Hotel program will yield the best value for you in terms of pricing and added amenities. Sometimes the hotel’s program will offer EVEN MORE amenities than Virtuoso! In many cases, the rate is generally the same as the best available rate on the hotel’s website, so you know you are genuinely getting complimentary amenities.
As a Gifted Travel Network advisor, my clients are eligible for unique Marriott STARS benefits as part of their stay at participating BVLGARI, EDITION, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, The Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and St. Regis properties. Benefits include room upgrades, welcome amenity, complimentary breakfast, and hotel/resort credits! One thing that makes this program different is that you will have first priority for the requested room category and connecting rooms.
LUMINOUS includes premium Bonvoy brands, including participating Autograph Collection, JW Marriott, Le Meridien, Marriott, Renaissance, Tribute Portfolio, W Hotels, and Westin properties. Perks include complimentary breakfast, personalized welcome amenity, room upgrade and early check-in/late check-out (if available), complimentary wi-fi, and resort credit at select hotels.
Fewer than 100 agencies worldwide have the honor of belonging to this invitation-only Bellini Club. The Belmond brand includes unique hotels, luxury trains, and barge cruises in some of the most exotic places in the world. You will be treated to benefits that include complimentary breakfast and space-available upgrades, hotel or resort credit up to $200 per stay, VIP Recognition, a special in-room welcome amenity, among other things.
Hyatt Privé is another invitation-only program offered only to a select group of luxury Travel Agencies. Participating brands include Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, Miraval, Alila, and Thompson Hotels. You cannot get these perks and amenities by booking direct – you MUST use a Hyatt Privé member advisor. Benefits include complimentary breakfast, $50-$100 hotel credit, early check-in/late check-out when available, and additional welcome gifts at check-in. What’s unique about Hyatt’s program is upgrades are confirmed within 24 hours if they are available! You don’t have to wait until you arrive to know you will have an upgrade.
As a member of the STEP program, we have a dedicated contact on property. We will let them know your specific preferences before arrival. When the room type you want is sold-out, guess who will be at the top of the waitlist? YOU! My clients will be eligible to receive unique value-added benefits and VIP status as part of their stay at Accor hotels & resorts around the globe. Benefits include room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, and hotel and resort credits! Luxury brands in the Accor family include Fairmont, Sofitel, Banyan Tree, FAENA, Delano, SLS, and Raffles.
I hope I’ve been able to adequately emphasize the benefit of using a travel advisor with access to elite hotel programs. If you’re ready to plan your next luxury vacation, reach out to us by clicking HERE to see how we can be of service!
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Premiere Luxury Travel LLC is an independent affiliate of Montecito Village Travel - a Virtuoso member. Montecito Village Travel is registered with the following state licenses:
CA Seller of Travel Registration No. 2019108-10, FL Seller of Travel Registration No. ST38624
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