Optimal Strategy: Best Fairmont Hotels to Use Free Night Certificates

Note: As of Jan 2018, the Chase Fairmont card is discontinued. Each cardholder was issued a Chase Sapphire Preferred to replace the card.

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I recently got the Chase Fairmont Visa Signature card that included a hefty signup bonus of 2 free nights. Since I wanted to maximize the value of my redemption, I decided to map out hotel prices by city and season.

 How much can you save with the Chase Fairmont? The maximum value you can obtain is $1,682 (again, for free) if you want to spend 2 nights in Barbados. Rather be in New York? You can get $1,678 in value at The Plaza. Been eyeing London? Two nights at The Savoy gives you $1,516 in value. Planning a honeymoon? Why not save $1,486 in Maui?

 Methodology

Prices were manually gathered from the Fairmont site on Jan 18, 2017. The prices are the daily rate of a standard room on the 3rd Saturday of every month — basically the middle of the month.

If the 3rd Saturday couldn’t be used (unavailable or only premium rooms), the 2nd or 4th Saturday was typically used — these exceptions have green cells and have notes with the actual date where the price was pulled.

Of the 76 Fairmont hotels, one is still under construction (Fairmont Austin), another is closed for renovations (Fairmont Montreal), and 2 are Fairmont Heritage Place residences (free night certificates can’t be used here and they’re meant for long-term rental).

Most Expensive by Average Price

To find the most expensive Fairmont hotel, the average price of the 12 price points spanning January to December was used. The Fairmont Royal Pavilion in St. James (Barbados) comes in first place with an average price of $841. The Plaza in New York comes in a close second at $839.

9 of the 10 have a price above $500/night. Interestingly, 4 of the hotels — San Diego, Sonoma, Santa Monica, and San Francisco — are in California.

If you’re looking to maximize the value of a free night certificate, these are some of the best Fairmont hotels you can use them on.

Least Expensive by Average Price

Looking at the least expensive Fairmont hotels, Fairmont Nanjing in China tops the list at $133. Of the list, 3 are in China and 2 in Egypt.

However, just because they’re cheaper, doesn’t mean they’re not good. Fairmont Nanjing is the #1 (of 1,854) hotels in Nanjing per TripAdvisor, with a solid rating of 4.5. Design wise, Fairmont Nanjing looks spectacular.

These hotels are a great way to experience Fairmont on a budget, but are probably not the optimal strategy to maximize the value from a free night certificate.

Most Expensive Fairmont Hotels by Months

Hotel prices can change drastically depending on the season. If you’re looking to maximize the value for a specific month, you’re looking at Barbados (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr), New York (May, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec), London (July, Aug), or Southampton, Bermuda (June).

Outside of these, other great seasonal redemptions would be Jasper (summer or early fall) , Maui (winter), or London (fall).

Ranking Fairmont by Price in America

If you’re looking to stay in the United States, you have 17 options (excluding Fairmont Austin that will open in 2017 and the 2 Fairmont Heritage Place residences).

Outside of the top 5, San Francisco and Hawaii would be good redemptions, given the average cost of a hotel (or even an Airbnb) in either locations.

Ranking Fairmont by Price in Canada

Since Fairmont is a Canadian company, it’s surprising that none of their hotels are on the top 10 list in terms of price, despite many being very worthwhile certificate redemptions.

There are 18 Fairmont hotels in Canada (excluding Fairmont Montreal which is being renovated at the time of writing).

If you’re looking to experience the Canadian wilderness, Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper are great redemptions. I’m personally looking to redeem for Lake Louise this summer given the scenery and the great redemption value ($600–700/night).

If you ski or snowboard, Whistler provides a great redemption value ($450–550/night).

Fairmont Hotel Prices by Country

Fairmont’s footprint is primarily in the United States (20) and Canada (19) but there are other great redemptions.

The top 5 redemptions by country aren’t in the United States. If you’re up for adventure and have a free night, maybe it’s worth checking out Monaco!

 



Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. 

UGC disclosure: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.