• Cultivating Connections Travel Planners

5 Elite Hotel Programs with Exclusive Benefits...

...that will have you Sipping a Bellini!


luxury travel, group travel, travel advisor, Norman Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Edmond Oklahoma, Moore Oklahoma, Yukon Oklahoma, Cultivating Connections Travel Planners, Erin Smith
5 Elite Hotel Programs with Exclusive Benefits that will have you Sipping a Bellini!

You may wonder why, despite my being an introvert, I often suggest we get on the phone before we start the itinerary-building process. I want to hear your excitement about your upcoming travel, to hear your reactions when suggestions are made, and to discover what would really make this trip memorable for you.

During our initial complimentary planning session, I’ll get to know you, your travel goals, and your preferred travel style. I’m happy to answer any questions during this time to make sure we’re a great fit! When you’re ready to move forward with your trip, I’ll collect my service fee. This fee allows me the necessary time to research, plan, book, and manage your travel. At Cultivating Connections Travel Planners, I take pride in negotiating the very best options for my clients. I’m not affiliated with any specific airline, cruise line, or travel supplier, so you can rest easy knowing I’m working with my clients’ best interests in mind. When you work with me, you’ll receive an inspiring, unforgettable travel itinerary that illuminates the imagination, stirs the senses, and sweeps you away in your passion for travel.

That being said, you may be wondering about some of the more tangible benefits of using a travel advisor, and so today I’m sharing five elite hotel programs which grant my clients extra benefits and amenities.


Marriott STARS and LUMINOUS

Marriott STARS is an exclusive invitation-only program to which I have access. My clients are eligible for unique Marriott STARS benefits as part of your stay at participating BVLGARI, EDITION, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, The Ritz-Carlton Reserve and St. Regis properties.

Benefits include priority for complimentary room upgrades (based on availability upon arrival), complimentary breakfast for two guests per day and hotel and resort credits ($100 per stay)! Other amenities included: Complimentary Wi-Fi, a personalized welcome amenity and letter, as well as early check-in/late check-out (based on availability). As your travel advisor, I have access to the property's STARS Guardian Angel support desk to help with things like local recommendations and special requests.

I have access to Marriott LUMINOUS program benefits as well. Luminous applies to participating Marriott-brand properties such as JW Marriott, Marriott, Sheraton, Delta Hotels, Le Meridien, Westin, Autograph Collection, Renaissance, Tribute, Gaylord Hotels, Courtyard, Four Points, Protea, Fairfield, AC Hotels, Aloft, Moxy, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Element and Springhill Suites. There are similar amenities provided, however they are property-specific. As your travel advisor, I have access to the property's LUMINOUS Ambassador support desk to help with things like local recommendations and special requests.

These privileges are ONLY available when booked through a select travel advisor.

You will also be eligible to accrue Bonvoy points if you are a member!

ACCOR Step

Step is ACCOR's referred invitation-only program. My clients are eligible to receive unique value-added benefits and VIP status as part of you stay at ACCOR hotels and resorts around the globe. 12 brands. 169 hotels (currently). Some of these brands include Raffles, Fairmont, Swissotel, One Fine Stay (homes and villas), Sofitel, Pullman FAENA, Delano, Orient Express and 21C.

Benefits include:

Room upgrades - to the next room type category at the time of booking or at check-in.

Daily complimentary breakfast for 2 guests per day

Hotel or resort credit to be spent during the state ($50-$100 USD, depending on property)

Early check-in and late check-out

A VIP Welcome greeting and amenity

Access to world class events

Again, these privileges are only available when booked through select travel advisors like me.

Hyatt Privé

Hyatt Privé is an exclusive program that is by invitation only to a select group of luxury Travel Agencies. This is an amazing program if you regularly stay in Hyatts. There are over 200 participating properties including Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, and Thompson. Again, these benefits/amenities are not bookable by consumers so that’s where I come in.

The Hyatt Privé rate should be identical to the standard/flexible rate - it does not add any extra cost to your booking. When booked through a Hyatt Privé advisor, your reservation will include free breakfast, $50-$100 hotel credit to use on incidentals or food & beverage, upgrades confirmed within 24 hours, early check-in/late check-out when available, and additional welcome gifts at check-in. It’s a truly fantastic program and adds so much value to your trip!

Virtuoso

Virtuoso is a global luxury network of leisure travel advisors and carefully curated travel providers. Hotels within the Virtuoso network can be independent, boutique, or name-brand hotels, so it’s a wide variety of styles, budgets, and locations. Benefits of booking through a Virtuoso advisor include complimentary daily breakfast, $50-$100 resort credit, early or late checkout, VIP attention, and a crave-worthy amenity such as a signature treatment or tequila tasting.

Virtuoso stretches beyond hotels; it applies to cruises, tours, and in-country destination partners. Ocean cruises and river cruises both add special amenities to Virtuoso travelers such as complimentary shore excursions or onboard credit. Guided tours offer special rates or bonus amenities as well. I always check with my partners to make sure they are able to offer as many amenities to you as possible!

Pro tip: If you want to DIY your trip but still take advantage of the amenities, use my independent traveler link to set up your account at Virtuoso and receive free breakfast, resort credits, upgrades, and more when booking a Virtuoso rate.

Belmond Bellini

The invitation-only Bellini Club includes less than 100 agencies worldwide.

Established in 1976, Belmond has been a pioneer in luxury travel for more than 40 years.

If you adore the Belmond brand, which includes 34 unique hotels, 6 luxury trains (including the Venice Simplon Orient Express, the Royal Scotsman trains and the Eastern and Oriental Express), 2 river cruise and barge ships, and Belmond Safaris in Botswana, you absolutely want to make sure you’re using a Bellini advisor.

Belmond does not have a consumer-facing loyalty program. Much like the Virtuoso amenities we can offer clients, we have access to many travel bonuses for you with every Belmond booking, including: Complimentary breakfast, complimentary upgrades, fully flexible hotel or resort credit up to $200 per stay, access to the property General Manager, VIP Recognition by property management and staff, special in-room welcome amenity, & more. The Bellini Club rate is generally the same as the best available rate on the hotel’s website, so you know you are truly getting complimentary amenities.

So there you have it - five valuable hotel programs in my toolbox to enhance your trip! Not all of these programs are applicable or appropriate for every trip, but when you do book one of these properties, make sure you're receiving any available amenities by using a travel advisor.

So… If you have a quick hotel booking of $1000 or more and know exactly what you want, please don't book it on your own!

Shoot me an email at erin@cultivatingconnectionstravelplanners.com, or give me a call (405.310.7588). If you are an established client, it's often done within minutes. If you're a new client, it's simply a matter of getting your basic information. Bonus: I'll have it on file for the future!

Why? Many of you are missing out on complimentary amenities by booking on your own. I can book directly with the hotel if you always do it that way for the points. Yes, you can still get your Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, etc., but you'll also have:

A) The same or sometimes better pricing! Commissions are built into the consumer price.

B) Amenities at many 4 and 5 star hotels such as complimentary breakfast, spa or food & beverage credits, upgrades, early check-in/late check-out, etc.


To find out more, check out my home page here

(Inspiration and credit to John Rees of J5Travel, Heather Parker of Bliss Travel Experiences and Anna Harrison of Travel Observations)



ENJOY THE BEST FOOD IN YOUR TRAVEL DESTINATION


One of the things to get excited about while you travel is food. Every location is unique for their food and how they cook it. There’s always a story to tell from different foods you try. That’s why traveling is essential. You get to try out new things. Download my FREE eBook HERE to see the ten ways you can turn your Vacation into a Culinary Adventure.



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