Using points to pay for hotel stays always makes me happy. It’s such a great feeling to be able to enjoy a night in a hotel for free.
However, snapping up a great deal on a hotel stay is also a wonderful thing. This is one of the reasons that I hold onto my Amex Platinum card; the benefits you get when you book a room through the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) program can add a huge amount of value to your reservation. While the hotels that participate in the program are expensive properties, you can occasionally find a very good deal. For example, the nightly rate at the Arizona Biltmore for many days last summer was only $99.
Depending on your perspective, the benefits offered for a stay booked with the FHR program could be worth more than the price of an inexpensive room. These benefits include:
- Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
- Daily continental breakfast for two
- US $100 food and beverage (or spa) credit to be used during your stay
- Noon early check-in, upon availability
- 4:00 pm guaranteed late check-out
However, the Amex FHR program is only open to Amex Platinum and Centurion cardholders.
So, I was excited to see this email from TravelZoo: their new hotel booking feature offers a suite of benefits with each reservation. It’s the same idea as the Amex FHR program, but it is open to everyone. (Well, the email states that “access is restricted to TravelZoo VIPs,” but I think you can get access if you sign up for TravelZoo emails).
What are the TravelZoo deals like?
One of the hotels listed is The Boulders in Phoenix. I’ve stayed at this hotel before and really liked it, so I was curious to see what kinds of deals I could get through TravelZoo.
I plugged in a random date in July, and got a rate of $99/night.
The extras offered through TravelZoo include:
- $25 daily breakfast credit (per person)
- $50 resort credit (per stay)
- Room upgrade, when available
- Early check-in & late checkout, when available
This is similar to last summer’s FHR deal at the Phoenix Biltmore!
Are the TravelZoo deals competitive with other sites?
I was curious, so I plugged the same July date into the Hilton site.
Same price ($99/night), and in fact, Hilton is also offering a $50 “hotel reward” per paid night. However, the other perks offered through TravelZoo are not included.
If you book through a third party such as TravelZoo, odds are good that you will not earn elite credit and hotel points for your reservation (some people manage to do it by calling the hotel after making a reservation to add a hotel loyalty program membership number., but it’s not a slam-dunk).
How can I make this deal even better?
If you are interested in creating the most value from these deals, you could book several one-night stays for the same vacation, stacking the nights back-to-back and alternating bookings on TravelZoo and direct with Hilton. That way, you would be able to get repeated $50 resort credits each day.
The new hotel booking feature at TravelZoo is worth a look. The extra perks they’ve added to each reservation definitely add another layer of value, and depending on your booking, these benefits could really add up.
Have you looked at these deals on TravelZoo yet? What do you think? Did you see anything tempting?