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New Mandarin Oriental Loyalty Program
Traditionally luxury hotel brands such as The Four Seasons and The Peninsula don’t offer loyalty programs, so it was hard to contain my excitement when I heard about the new Mandarin Oriental Loyalty Program!
Unlike other hotel programs, such as Marriott and SPG, there are no status tiers or points rewarded, but rather it’s a program designed to honour personal preferences for loyal guests, and unique benefits when booking online directly through the hotel. My understanding of the program is that everyone who signs up will receive the following benefits whenever they stay at a participating Mandarin Oriental Hotel:
- Complimentary WiFi
- Welcome amenity
- Personalized stay preferences honoured
- Access to members only offers
You can update your personal stay preferences online once your account has been created, and I love how you can choose between still and sparkling water during turndown (I’m curious to see how often that preference is honoured in practice).
In addition to the above benefits, members who book online directly through the hotel will also be able to choose two additional perks from the following list during the booking process (this is the complete list, and each property may not have all options for all bookings):
- Early check-in
- Late check-out
- Daily breakfast
- Dining or spa credit
- Room upgrade
- Streaming WiFi
- Celebratory treat
- Pressing services
Signing Up For The Mandarin Oriental Loyalty Program
Registration is free, and can be done online in a few minutes through The Mandarin Oriental website.
You’ll need to agree to the terms and conditions of the program, which includes receiving electronic communications from Mandarin Oriental (once you’ve registered you can update the frequency of these communications from weekly to quarterly if you don’t like getting promotional emails).
Be aware that if you choose to opt out of electronic communications, your Fans of MO loyalty account will be terminated, as per the terms and conditions:
To unsubscribe from marketing communications or to correct/delete your Personal Data, contact MOHG at email@example.com. By unsubscribing from marketing or deleting your Personal Data, your Fans of MO Programme membership will terminate.
Example Of The Mandarin Oriental Loyalty Program
I’m not 100% sure I’ll be able to get maximum value out of this program, but only because I have an American Express Platinum card and routinely book luxury hotel stays through the Fine Hotels and Resorts program, which includes many of the options offered to Fans of MO members. Let’s look at an option choosing the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, a property we stayed at and reviewed last summer.
To take advantage of the Fans of MO property perks, you’ll need to book directly online through the hotel. I picked random dates from April 9th – April 13th, for a total of 4 nights. Booking directly through Mandarin Oriental I found a flexible rate in a standard room coming in at around $2,200CAD for the 4-night stay (ouch – apparently a popular time in Vegas).
When I proceeded to check-out, I was presented with a screen to choose two of my preferred property amenities:
For reference, the early check-in is 12pm, and the late check-out is 4pm. The dining/spa credit is $50USD, and the celebratory treat is at the property’s discretion (I imagine it would be something like champagne though). What kind of bothers me is for two guests to have daily breakfast, you need to choose both breakfast options for the first and second guest. This seems a bit petty, in my opinion.
Looking at American Express Travel for the same room on the same dates, I find availability coming in just shy of $2,200CAD for a fully-flexible rate, which includes daily breakfast for two, guaranteed 4pm late check-out, room upgrade and early check-in subject to availability (we received a multiple category upgrade and early check-in on our stay), Wifi, and a $125USD spa credit.
The catch is, to take advantage of the Fine Hotels and Resorts Rate you need to have either a Personal Platinum or Business Platinum Card, though for frequent travellers I think either annual fee could be justified for the added benefits, in addition to the generous welcome bonuses each of the cards are currently offering:
- New Platinum® Cardmembers, earn Welcome Bonus points
- American Express is currently offering Membership Reward welcome bonus points on the Business Platinum Card .
There are a few scenarios where booking directly through the hotel could be a better option though:
- You are able to book a pre-paid non-refundable rate, which would provide a significant discount from the fully-flexible rate while still awarding Fans of MO benefits
- I’ve seen Fine Hotels and Resorts rates price higher than directly through the hotel (not often, but sometimes. I’ve also seen it price lower than direct with the hotel), so it’s good to price check both options before booking
- You don’t travel often and don’t hold a Platinum American Express Card to book through FHR
Keep in mind that even if you do decide to book through a travel service, your basic membership benefits still apply, such as Wifi, welcome amenity, and personal stay preferences being honoured.
Mandarin Oriental Loyalty Program Bottom Line
While I don’t think I’ll use this program often, I am happy that a luxury hotel has started to recognize the need for a loyalty program, and can appreciate what Mandarin Oriental is trying to do. I think for most people staying at luxury hotels, personal stay preferences and added benefits are more of a priority than status and points and believe this will be well received by loyal Mandarin Oriental guests.
In a lot of ways, this program reminds me of the Fairmont President’s Club, which focuses more on personalized service and added value than points and status (though they did have various status levels depending on stays per year). Unfortunately, The Fairmont President’s Club is being replaced by Le Club AccorHotels, which in my opinion, is a heaping pile of garbage.
I’m curious to see how the Fans of MO loyalty program evolves over time, and may choose to book directly on my next stay just to see how these benefits are executed in practice. Regardless of whether or not I get a lot of value out of it, I’m happy to see a true luxury hotel brand implement a loyalty program, and would love to see The Four Seasons follow suit!
What do you think of the new Mandarin Oriental Loyalty Program?