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Last summer, I had an opportunity to experience something extraordinary — the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, a few miles outside of Phoenix. There was only one catch: midday temperatures easily exceeded 110 degrees, making some quality pool time an absolute must.
Those peak-summer temperatures also made for significantly reduced demand and the far more affordable hotel rates that often follow. So, while the Four Seasons might be out of reach during peak season — fall and winter rates can easily approach $500 — I managed to score a base rate of $230 per night.
Better yet, I used The Platinum Card® from American Express to book my stay through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Although Amex’s rates can sometimes be higher than what you’ll find when booking directly, the perks can far outweigh any price difference. In this case, though, the rates were identical. So, booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts was the obvious choice.
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Benefits of booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
Since my 2017 stay at Amanjena in Marrakesh, Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts has changed the way I think about hotel stays. Assuming I have enough time to make the most of a hotel and its amenities, it can make a lot of sense to spend more than I otherwise would to make the trip even more memorable, if only for a day.
The Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program is accessible to cardmembers with a Platinum- or Centurion-branded charge card, including The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. If you pay with an Amex card and book directly through the program — either online or over the phone — you’ll be able to take advantage of the following benefits:
- Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
- Daily breakfast for two people
- Guaranteed 4:00 p.m. late checkout
- Noon check-in, when available
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- $100 experience credit, which varies by property
During my stay last summer at the Four Seasons Scottsdale, I was given a $100 property credit to cover anything from in-room dining to spa treatments (and even a haircut, which Amex treated me to the second day).
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Technically, the experience credit is only available once per stay. But when I booked a second night after enjoying my first so much, the $100 credit was applied a second time, too.
I also scored an upgrade from a base “casita” room to a room with a better view of the desert. It was spectacular dining with a sunset backdrop both evenings. And dinner was free thanks to the $100 property credit.
Booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts also got me a continental breakfast each morning at Proof, one of the Four Seasons’ on-site restaurants.
The hotel applied the breakfast amenity as a flat $30 credit. So, I could order whatever I wanted off the menu. I went a hair over with a matcha bowl ($15) and juice trio ($14) after tax and tip, but the hotel removed the full amount from my bill.
From now on, I’m going to make a point of always checking the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts offerings, given how much value the program added with this stay. And while I’d prefer to stay put at one hotel during each stop, it could make sense to bounce around just to experience something extra special.
Related: Is your premium travel card offering enough perks during the pandemic? A card-by-card guide
Ultimately, you can get a ton of value out of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express even without the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program. After all, top-notch perks like Centurion Lounge access, a $200 airline fee credit and hotel elite status provide significant value to frequent travelers. But, having access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and its elite-like benefits certainly sweetens the deal.
Featured image of the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.