Yesterday, Accor Hotels announced that it will be discontinuing the Fairmont President’s Club, which was not unexpected after Accor purchased Fairmont and Raffles in 2016. It will likely be a big drop in customer experience given that the Accor brand is so large, diluting some of the features of President’s Club for the sake of volume.
Membership in the Fairmont President’s Club will renew as usual on March 1, 2018, based on your stay history during 2017. Any e-certificates earned will remain valid until 2019. However, President’s Club memberships will be replaced on July 2, 2018, with corresponding status in Le Club AccorHotels.
Of course, if you also have status with Le Club AccorHotels already, then you will keep the higher of the two. This new status will be valid until December 2019.
Under the new program, former members of the President’s Club can expect to see more benefits provided based on availability rather than guaranteed. This is a trend that is sweeping across many hotel chains as large ones absorb small competitors
If a hotel doesn’t think they can provide a late check-out, too bad, even if you’re a top-tier Platinum member. I just had this experience at the Hilton Whistler, where my late check-out request was granted, grudgingly, even though it was part of the advertised room rate and I have Honors Gold status. But who can really plan a worry-free vacation when you might be kicked out of your room early on the last day?
Such changes matter more for a mid-sized chain like Hyatt or Starwood. For a smaller chain like Fairmont, I’m not as concerned. I stayed at a couple Fairmonts myself this year, and with the advantage of an Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts rate I thought I was treated very well. The only difference is I didn’t have access to the Gold Lounge.
As far as earning points, Le Club AccorHotels is a purely revenue-based program. You will earn points based on the amount you spend (in euros), and you will redeem points based on the cost of your room (in euros). For example, a Classic member will have to spend €800 to earn 2,000 points, which can then be redeemed for €40 credit.
The new Le Club AccorHotels benefits don’t strike me as anything special. Typical 10% booking discount, welcome amenity, upgrade subject to availability, and guaranteed room availability. I took a pass this year on comparing hotel and airline loyalty programs but will make another go at it for 2017.