How To Maximize Value At Four Seasons Hotels

Four Seasons is considered by some to be the Holy Grail of hotels and resorts. Others (probably rolling their eyes right now) may say they are overpriced and overrated, although I think it’s fair to say that Four Seasons properties, as a group, are tasteful and luxurious — some more so than others, of course.

For those of you considering staying at a Four Seasons property, I figured I’d make a post about how best to maximize the value you can get out of a Four Seasons stay.

How to find Four Seasons free night & promotional offers

As a general rule, Four Seasons, like many luxury hotel brands, seldom discounts their room rates. Instead, they regularly offer incentives like a 3rd or 4th night free, a confirmed room upgrade at time of booking, or a large hotel credit to be used during the stay. These incentives, when taken advantage of, offer value similar to a discounted room rate.

While the promotions vary depending on the property and season, the good news is that Four Seasons publishes all available promotions on one page, giving you a good place from which to start planning your next Four Seasons vacation.

Four-Seasons-Offers

It goes without saying that different promotions will hold different value depending on your budget and the type of traveler you are. In other words, some people might say “wow, $1,000 per night at the Four Seasons Bora Bora is a steal” (given that it’s significantly below the normal rate), while others would understandably say “I’d never spend $1,000 per night on a hotel.”

With that in mind, I wanted to share a few examples of promotions that I think some might find useful even if they wouldn’t otherwise consider staying at a Four Seasons property.

For example, the Four Seasons Bali at Sayan has a third night free promotion, so you can book an 1,800+ square foot duplex suite for $360 per night.

Four-Seasons-Bali-Promotion

The Four Seasons Beijing has a fourth night free promotion, so you can book a room there for ~$280 per night.

Four-Seasons-Beijing

The Four Seasons Casablanca has a promotion for 25% off a stay of two or more nights, so you can book a room there for ~$240 per night:

Four-Seasons-Casablanca

The Four Seasons Costa Rica Papagayo has a promotion for a fourth night free, so you can book a room there for ~$371 per night:

Four-Seasons-Costa-Rica

There are dozens of other offers, though these are just a few examples of some of the more reasonably priced Four Seasons properties, for deals that I think many would consider “reasonable.”

Stacking free nights with Four Seasons Preferred Partners

One of the best hospitality preferred partner programs I have come across as a Travel Advisor is the Four Seasons Preferred Partners program. For those of you loyal to Four Seasons, rejoice. For those of you that have eschewed Four Seasons because you were skeptical of the value, perhaps this is a turning point for you!

Offers made available through Four Seasons can be stacked with Preferred Partners amenities when booked through a Travel Advisor (more on that later), adding even more value.

The Four Seasons Preferred Partners program is similar to Starwood’s Luxury Privileges. Booking your hotel stays through this program is a simple way to maximize value at no additional cost, as the rates are the same as the best available rate.

Four Seasons Preferred Partners rates generally have the following amenities:

  • Daily breakfast
  • Property credit (for example, $100 hotel credit)
  • Room upgrade if available
  • Free wifi

Four-Seasons-Florence
Four Seasons Florence

While most Four Seasons properties are bookable through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) as well as Virtuoso, booking through the Four Seasons Preferred Partners program prioritizes the room upgrade, which is often considered the most important benefit offered by a preferred partner program.

Furthermore, not all of the offers available through Four Seasons are available through FHR or Virtuoso, and vice versa, nor can they be stacked with Preferred Partner amenities. Confused yet? I didn’t say getting the most bang for your buck was easy!

The perks across the programs vary a bit, too. For example, Fine Hotels and Resorts has guaranteed 4PM checkout, and Virtuoso as a standard (but not guaranteed) amenity offers early check-in and late checkout if available. Four Seasons Preferred Partners doesn’t usually offer flexible check-out times as an amenity, though it’s something a Travel Advisor may be able to negotiate on your behalf.

It’s worth comparing the perks to see what works best for you. You’ll have to check out with a Virtuoso Travel Advisor for a list of the Virtuoso amenities, but you can check the perks available through Fine Hotels and Resorts (if you have an AMEX Platinum Card) online at americanexpressfhr.com.

Four-Seasons-George-V
Four Seasons Paris George V

How to take advantage of Four Seasons Preferred Partners

In order to book a Four Seasons Preferred Partners rate, you’ll need to contact an affiliated Travel Advisor. While these rates cannot be booked directly by guests, you can check the Preferred Partners rate by looking at the best available rate for the property you’re interested in online. By booking with a Travel Advisor, you can combine the Preferred Partners amenities with special offers available at Four Seasons properties.

Travel Advisors are there to personalize the stay for you, especially if it’s a celebratory occasion like a birthday, honeymoon, or anniversary. They’re also available to coordinate reservations, excursions, transfers, and the finer points of your trip. They’re meant to be your single point of contact for your trip… planning can be fun when you don’t have to fuss over the details!

Four-Seasons-Seychelles
Four Seasons Seychelles

Bottom line

There are deals to be had at Four Seasons properties. Preferred Partners rates are a great way to get perks like free breakfast, hotel credits, and upgrades. These rates can also be combined with free night promotions offered by Four Seasons to maximize value.

If you would like to book a room or confirm a rate is available for your dates, are curious about ongoing promotions, want to compare Preferred Partners/Virtuoso/Amex FHR pros & cons, or have questions, feel free to contact me (I’m a Four Seasons and Virtuoso affiliated advisor) at fordb@travelsociety.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Comments

  1. Hmmm. I’m surprised at some of these prices. I always though they would be significantly higher for Four Seasons properties.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. So can anything that on the “offer” page be stacked or only the extended night offers? They do list “advanced purchase” as an offer with a percent off. And how about say at some of the ski resorts that offer lift tickets as part of the room rate?

  3. @Ben Skelton – This is generally true for other Virtuoso properties, but for Four Seasons properties specifically, the Virtuoso benefits aren’t listed on Virtuoso.com. It will usually say:

    “Your Virtuoso travel advisor gives you privileged access to hotel and resort amenities, complimentary and guaranteed.

    Contact your Virtuoso advisor for more details on this hotel.”

  4. @Peetyrd – Yes, advanced purchase discounts and lift and national park tickets are a few other creative offers that Four Seasons has put together that can be stacked with Preferred Partners amenities. Everything on the offers page should be combinable with these amenities, although a Travel Advisor will have to confirm availability for you.

  5. Why would this option be better than booking with Citi prestige and stacking the 3rd and 4th night free?

  6. Ford

    Is there anyway to stack the citi prestige 4th night free with these benefits? Although these perks are great not sure how loosing the 4th night would be worth it. Recently I was reading that at 4 seasons they sometimes had 3rd night free so if you stacked the 4th night as well it would be a good perk. I know the new change means the 4th night is average price so this is a slightly reduced benefit but still would be a good savings on a 500 a night room. What do you think what other strategies are there?

  7. Im definitely in the ‘I would never spend $1,000 on a hotel room’ category. The locations you have given are very cheap destinations (Bali especially) and I dont see the value in spending that much money just because its a 4 Seasons. Although there are the inclusions you’ve listed below, resorts with expensive rooms tend to be very expensive for everything else (bars, restaurants, tours, spa etc) so you’re wasting even more money. I’ll happily spend $4k buying miles to buy J or F compared with $2k for a revenue Y ticket because that is an experience I will actually remember and cherish far more than a nice shower in a hotel room.
    Considering your example of a ~$280 46sqm hotel room in Beijing, last year by staying in a luxury, non-chain hotel in Beijing I was able to get an amazing, enormous 85 sqm one bedroom apartment for about $130 per night. Youre not going to be spending that much time in a hotel room in a pumping city so it makes very little sense for me to spend that much money just so I can stay at a 4 Seasons.

  8. 360 for bali is expensive when you compare it with majority hotel/motel/resort which can be pretty cheap.

    kind of like… only one CUT in NYC vs a steak from the many food courts.

    is it the same “steak”? no, just like it is not the same “room” or same “hotel”, even though it is in the same city.

  9. Great article Ford! I’m also Four Seasons Preferred Partner and happy to help anyone with Four Seasons properties. Im also a Virtuoso travel advisor and preferred partners with STARS Ritz Carlton, Starwood Luxury Priviliges, and more! Feel free to contact me for any bookings.

    Contact info:
    clarita@foresttravel.com

  10. Great post. Very useful to learn more about a hotel chain that is not the typical Starwood, Hyatt, Hilton, etc…

  11. Have just in the last fortnight taken advantage of a deal offered by Qantas Holidays at Four Seasons Sayan in Bali. 7 nights including upgrade to Villa and transfers to and from Ubud for around AU$1224 (US$940) per person.

    Enquired straight after I saw the offier – and was told the price would be honoured (they checked with the hotel). But I got a booking ‘Invoice’ for more than twice as much as the price advertised. I rang them back, and questioned it.

    Consultant said it looked like a pricing or marketing error and would get back to me. I rang each time I got a reminder for payment, and they extended the payment period as my enquiry had not been resolved. All very polite and amicable.

    I was surprised when I got a phone call honouring the original price. I think good consumer protection here in Australia, and the power of social media means large travel organisations are much more responsive than they used to be.

    I offered my regular travel agent the chance to take the booking over (so he would get commission) – but a Qantas supervisor told him no, on the grounds they were already paying a bunch of money to Four Seasons to honour the deal. Their mistake apparently.

    So we are off to Bali. Thank you Qantas. Thank you Four Seasons. It seemed too rude to refuse.

  12. @2paxfly that is the deal of the century. And the hotel is very nice, btw! Have fun in ubud! I would recommend a dinner at the next door Mandapa Reserve (5 mins taxi). We stayed there and went to FS for dinner one night and you will get to see something quite special. Would recommend the restaurant by the river (at the Mandapa reserve).

  13. Citi Prestige benefit. Didn’t see the answer to why that would still not be superior. ???

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