This promotion really rubs me the wrong way. Fairmont is advertising the following promotion:
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is pleased to offer Fairmont President’s Club members this exclusive offer!
Book and stay in a Fairmont Gold room or Suite between July 19 and August 31, 2013 at select destinations across North America and arrive in style with two RIMOWA Salsa Deluxe Cabin Multiwheel® cases. An offer this good doesn’t come around often—get ready to pack your (new) bags!
Call 866 379 7700 to reserve your room today.
The promotion is valid at the following properties:
- Fairmont Chateau Whistler
- Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec City
- Fairmont Royal York, Toronto
- Fairmont Château Laurier, Ottawa
- Fairmont Hamilton Princess, Bermuda
- Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda
- Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston
- Fairmont Battery Wharf, Boston
- Fairmont San Francisco
- Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Now while I’m personally not a huge fan of Rimowa luggage, a lot of people swear by them and their bags are certainly pricey at retail. Through this promotion they’re offering two bags in conjunction with a stay, and they retail for $595 each, so that’s potentially $1,190 worth of baggage (no pun intended) at retail.
The promotion seems pretty straightforward to me — they’re making you book a premium room at retail (meaning you’re probably paying more than you’d otherwise pay), and in exchange you get Rimowa luggage. The terms & conditions don’t even suggest that the rates could differ from the flexible rate:
Terms and Conditions: Two-night stay required. Offer open to Canadian and US Fairmont President’s Club members only. Package subject to availability. Must book a Suite at The Fairmont San Francisco or a Gold room at other participating Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Suitcase only available in silver, no substitutions.
Fairmont President’s Club Certificates cannot be used in conjunction with this promotion.
Unfortunately the reality is that they’ve jacked up rates for this promotion. Take the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, for example. I looked up rates for August 17-19. The absolute cheapest rate is $149 per night:
The cheapest rate for a “Gold” room is $274 per night:
Fair enough, that’s why they’re offering an incentive to book it, after all. But when you call to book the Rimowa rate they quote you $580 per night plus tax. So they’re literally adding $306 per night on top of the best available rate for that room type.
Now I suppose this could still be a good value if you were planning on staying at that hotel and booking that room type anyway. $300 for Rimowa luggage isn’t a bad deal. But it’s worth remembering that not only are you booking a premium room, but when you use this rate you can’t book through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts or Virtuoso, which would otherwise get you further benefits.
Am I alone in finding this deceiving? I mean, usually terms & conditions have a bunch of unnecessary disclosure, but in this case there’s not even a mention that the rate may differ from the prevailing rate.
(Tip of the hat to Gary)