The Secret Tool That Gets You EXTRA Value on Hotel Stays

by Shelli Stein

Want to know the secret tool that travelers use to get hundreds of dollars worth of extra value on their hotel stays? If you focus on luxury travel, or even just splurge once in a while, you might have heard of Virtuoso. Virtuoso is a network of travel agencies that deliver huge added value to your hotel stay. There are thousands of travel advisors worldwide delivering extra perks at thousands of luxury hotels in the world. Why not enjoy some of those perks on your next hotel stay?

While it’s true that we can choose to use points for luxury hotel stays, maybe that’s not always the best choice. After all, points don’t just drop out of the sky and into our accounts, right? Maybe we’re saving our points stash for another travel adventure. Or maybe we’ve spent our points and simply don’t have enough for an upcoming hotel stay. Or what if your travel plans take you to a destination that doesn’t have hotels you can book on points.

That’s where Virtuoso can come in. Let’s dig in and see how Virtuoso can work for you, what Virtuoso is, what benefits you can get, and how you can book Virtuoso rates.

Access Luxury Perks & Upgrades: If you’re looking to book a luxury hotel stay via Virtuoso —Katie, a member of our PointMe team, is a Virtuoso agent. She can help get you complimentary room upgrades, daily breakfast for 2, late checkouts and more (for no extra cost). Contact Katie for a fast reply to access these special perks.

Everything You Need To Know About Virtuoso

What Is Virtuoso?

What exactly is Virtuoso? Virtuoso is a worldwide network of travel agencies with specializations in luxury and experiential travel.

Virtuoso’s network consists of more than 20,000 travel advisors, each of which falls under a larger member agency.

Its travel advisors bring personalized travel recommendations and bookings to the clients. They have expertise when you’re looking for hotels, cruises, or tours.

Bookings made through Virtuoso come with value-added perks for no additional cost to the traveler.

What Are Virtuoso Benefits?

In almost all cases, hotel stays booked through Virtuoso come with the following benefits:

  • Daily breakfast for 2 guests per room
  • Room upgrade (subject to availability)
  • Early check-in (subject to availability)
  • Late checkout (subject to availability)
  • A special Virtuoso amenity (typically a $100 property credit or other amenity valued at a minimum of $100, like a free massage or round-trip car transfer)

Are There Fees To Use Virtuoso?

Virtuoso rates almost always cost the same exact price as the best available flexible rate.

This isn’t the same as a prepaid, advance purchase, non-refundable rate, corporate rate, or member-only rate.

However, if you usually book the best available flexible rates, you’ll literally get hundreds of dollars in added value just by going through a Virtuoso advisor.

In addition, Virtuoso advisors generally don’t charge you any commissions for hotel bookings. This does vary from advisor to advisor though so check with them upfront. They get a commission on the back-end, but that cost won’t be passed on to you most of the time.

This isn’t the same as a planning fee. If you’re booking a complicated trip, you might be quoted for this extra fee depending on the travel advisor.

Virtuoso Travel Hotel Properties

The complete catalog of Virtuoso hotels includes name-brand luxury chains like:

  • Aman Resorts
  • Belmond
  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts
  • Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
  • Mandarin Oriental
  • Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
  • The Peninsula Hotels
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • Rocco Forte Hotels
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
  • Soneva
  • St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
  • Viceroy Hotels & Resorts
  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

This list just about covers all luxury hotel chains. You can book luxury boutique properties that may not have multiple locations or be part of a hotel group.

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Can I Earn Points on a Virtuoso Rate?

Booking Virtuoso rates is a lot like stacking benefits!

Because a Virtuoso hotel rate still goes through the hotel’s internal system, you can earn hotel points, elite night credits/stays, and even enjoy hotel elite benefits when booking through a Virtuoso travel advisor. If that’s not a win-win, then what is?

For example, if you’re a Hyatt Globalist member and you’re booking a Virtuoso hotel stay at an eligible Hyatt property, you will earn Hyatt points and enjoy Globalist benefits on your hotel stay.

Your Virtuoso travel advisor will also enter your loyalty number when booking your hotel stays, so you’ll be good to go earning hotel points on stays.

How Do I Find Virtuoso Hotels and Virtuoso Travel Advisors?

Do you have a stay in mind? Good. That’s the first step.

You can view the rates for hotels by visiting the hotel search option here, but you will need to contact a Virtuoso travel advisor (such as Katie) to enjoy these benefits. You can even browse Virtuoso travel advisors by their destination specialties or travel interests!

Are There Other Programs Like Virtuoso?

Virtuoso is the largest group offering thousands of luxury hotels and resorts to choose from. Virtuoso was founded by Jesse Upchurch in 1986, but it’s currently lead by his son Matthew D. Upchurch. Virtuoso is a private company and has hundreds of employees.

However, other programs offer similar benefits, including Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Belmond Bellini, Dorchester Diamond Club, Hilton Impresario, Rosewood Elite, Marriott STARS, Marriott Luminous, and Mandarin Oriental Fan Club.

Virtuoso actually includes all of the brands above and offers similar benefits.  Virtuoso offers a “one-stop-shop” for booking luxury hotel stays and getting benefits regardless of which of these hotel chains you prefer.

Pro Tip: Do you Pruvo all your hotels stays? If not, do what I do and let Pruvo monitor your reservations for price drops. It’s free and it’s the easiest way to save money on all your hotel rooms.

Virtuoso Travel vs. Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts

Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts is similar to Virtuoso in the sense that it offers perks like free breakfast and room upgrades. However, Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts offers a guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout.

Virtuoso is bookable without a specific credit card, while Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts requires a premium Amex card like The Platinum Card® from American Express. However, you need to have a Virtuoso travel advisor to help make your booking for you (online or over the phone).

Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and Virtuoso both have overlapping hotels.

Sometimes, both programs have the same rates. But sometimes not. Best to check both programs to see if there are price differences even at the same properties.

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Final Thoughts on Virtuoso Travel

Virtuoso is the secret tool that luxury travelers use to get hundreds of dollars worth of extra value on their bookings, especially hotel stays. The best part is you won’t need to pay extra to enjoy these benefits.

Some of the world’s most prestigious hotel brands like Four Seasons, Aman, Rosewood, and The Peninsula are available to book through Virtuoso. It also includes small luxury boutique hotels that aren’t a part of a larger hotel brand, so you can enjoy a boutique experience as well.

With this program, you’ll enjoy benefits like free breakfast, room upgrades, early check-in, late checkout, and more all for the same price as the best available flexible rate.

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