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Sara: I have a love-hate relationship when it comes to planning trips.
I love researching the travel location – hotel options, exciting things to do, and don’t even get me started on restaurants! But I hate the stress that comes with making a decision about the best options, especially with hotels. Regardless of if you like to hang by the pool or go out on adventures, you’re still spending a good chunk of your time there. Let’s be honest – NO ONE likes waking up tired after a restless night of sleep in an uncomfortable bed. And everyone LOVES a ridiculous view from their room.
Vacation is a time to relax after all the hard work you put in the rest of the time. So, why not treat yourself? For me, when reviewing hotel options I like to ooh and ahh over the “top” choices – generally luxury hotels – and then I get real and look at options lower on the list because, well, money. Luxury hotels come with a price tag that is not in reach for all. Well y’all, dare to dream because wishes can come true!
When planning a recent trip to Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada I fawned over the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Fairmont is known for their luxury hotels and resorts around the world.
This particular location sits right on the beautiful Lake Louise. If you’re not familiar, do yourself a favor and google it. I’m fairly confident this location will make it onto your travel bucket list.
I imagined myself enjoying the beautiful views of the lake while sipping a glass of wine. Like always though, after living out this fantasy vacation in my head I quickly disregarded the idea of actually being able to stay here and continued my research.
Looking at other hotel options was a challenge. I was having trouble ignoring the images in my head of the beautiful rooms and views at the Chateau. I’m sure you can imagine my joy when my husband said he had a plan that would allow us to stay there.
Our AMEX Platinum Card Came Through in a BIG Way!
You know what I’m going to say right? A credit card can get you there. It’s true though! Here’s how we did it. We booked through the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts program, which we have access to through The Platinum Card® from American Express. This entitled us to the following perks:
- Room upgrade upon arrival (when available)
- Daily breakfast for 2 people
- Guaranteed 4 pm Late check-out
- Noon check-in (when available)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Unique property amenity, such as a food & beverage or spa credit
We received all of these amenities, plus more!
We originally booked a basic room and were upgraded to a Lakeview room. The view was ah-mazing. For this resort, we received a $100 food & beverage credit. Daily breakfast was a buffet which might have been one of the more ridiculous buffets I’ve ever been to. And at this location we also benefited from free self-parking (a $30 per day value) and received a welcome amenity (bowl of fresh fruit & chocolates) delivered to our door following check-in.
Did I mention the resort staff were super friendly, polite, and helpful AND that all gratuities were included in our stay for these staff members? Let’s just say they might have laughed at us when we tried to tip.
Sounds great, right? But how does it work out to being an affordable option? If you ask me, the views alone are priceless. 😉 Truthfully though, between the cost of daily breakfast and the $100 resort credit, which we were able to use for multiple meals, we were able to recoup the difference in price we would have paid at other locations. While the American Express Platinum card does have an annual fee of $550 (See Rates & Fees), this includes a $200 airline fee credit, as well as a $200 in Uber credits each year among quite a few other benefits.
Timing did work out in our benefit for this trip. Unbeknownst to us we were visiting at a slower time of year. This pretty much guaranteed our room upgrade and made pricing more comparable to other hotel options.
So, if you want to travel and experience luxury lodging, then this is an excellent option for you. Because let’s be real – sometimes you gotta Treat. Yo. Self. Tell your friends. Or don’t. And then let them oogle over your amazing pictures wishing they were you.
I know I’m already looking at other locations included under the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts program for my next trip. Shh, don’t tell my husband.
Have you ever used the AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts perk? If so, what was your experience like?
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.