Four Seasons has long resisted establishing a loyalty program. But that may be changing in 2021 after the luxury hotel chain hinted at new elite benefits.
Four Seasons Loyalty Program
In 2016, Four Seasons introduced an invitation-only guest recognition program. It was called the “Four Seasons Card” and only awarded to the hotel’s most frequent global elites (50-70 stays per year) to ensure the “same level of care and attention” at every Four Seasons property.
Four years later, Four Seasons is hinting that a wider loyalty program is coming in 2021. In an email to frequent guests from Christian H. Clerc, President of Global Operations, a January 2021 announcement is hinted:
I would also like to share some exciting news. In early January 2021, we will be introducing new Elite benefits to enrich your experience, wherever you travel with us. We look forward to sharing these with you soon.
Although the pandemic has changed many business models, I have to imagine that Four Seasons still wants to maintain an aura of exclusivity around benefits at its portfolio of 100+ hotels around the world.
But could it finally be time for a co-branded Four Seasons credit card? Could it be time for more clearly-defined guest recognition like confirmed upgrades or breakfast benefits?
While Four Seasons has never struck me as that sort of hotel chain, that is the sort of value-add “elite benefits” that might be most helpful to frequent guests at the hotel chain.
When it comes to hotels and resorts, loyalty programs have the capacity to transform business from a transactional to a far more deeper and loyal, long-term engagement. Four Seasons has long-resisted a loyalty program of its own, but it appears it may finally introduce one in 2021.
Would a Four Seasons loyalty program lead to more stays at the hotel chain?
Mandarin has done a great job with adding a bit of value to its Fans of MO program. While reserving a room you are able to select two benefits that, while not over the top, do add something. I imagine FS is looking at this model and, as you said, adding the ability for you to choose breakfast, or upgrades, free parking, etc at time of booking.
With that said, FS has always been fairly good with providing upgrades for Elites. While rarely it involves any top rooms, one can often count on a better view, larger corner room, or a junior suite.
My long term dream (though will probably never happen) is that they team up with World of Hyatt in the manner of SLH. I doubt this will ever happen as I remember an interview with Isidore Sharp a few years ago where he took the journalist to his office window in Toronto and said, “See all of these people out there walking on the streets below? We do not build Four Seasons for them.” It struck me as a rather poor and elitist statement – but does reveal a lot about their philosophy and brand.
Hyatt, Marriott and the like can be populist…
I hope Four Seasons remains elitist.
Another man of taste
@ Matthew – This would be nice. It is time to upgrade our IC RA to something with better hotels.
I don’t really see them with a cobranded credit card or any type of loyalty program that gives out free rooms. The Four Seasons is actually privately owned 95% by two billionaires so I really doubt they’d be struggling. I could see Mandarin Oriental getting a loyalty program first, and I don’t see that happening either. But for us we still have: Intercontinental, Park Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, St Regis etc. with a loyalty program with free rooms.
There already is an invitation only Elite program. The benefits are not defined and delivery depends on the property (though I have had very good experiences so far), so I am assuming they’re just going to make some of the benefits guaranteed (eg upgrade, welcome amenity…etc).
@Matthew, if a person were seeking some sort of upgrade or amenities for a stay at FS, FHR via AmEx Plat could provide the room upgrade, early check-in and property amenity/free breakfast, would it not?
As others noted above, the idea is a fun one to posit, but in reality, FS doesn’t really need anything beyond the invite-only Elite program. I know I wouldn’t be interested in any sort of linked affinity cobrand card, given the FHR benefits I’ve enjoyed at FS over the previous few years.
I agree completely. I just wonder what FS has up its sleeve.
Is this elite status good at Four Seasons Hotel?
or Four Seasons total landscaping?
Asking for a friend who keeps confusing the two