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What's There to Prefer About Preferred Hotels & Resorts?

August 11, 2010 at 4:00 PM | by | ()

The Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts

We've been not-so-casually looking at the different hotel collections out there these days as an alternative for booking hotels. Often times, these collections have their own loyalty programs for guests as well as guaranteed perks just for booking through their sites.* These perks range from room upgrades to free breakfast and free WiFi, at no extra cost.

Recently, we've checked out Kiwi Hotels, Leading Hotels of the World and Epoque Hotels. And today, we're exploring the Preferred Hotels & Resorts collection, who we fell in like with last week after getting a sneak peek from them about the upcoming Redbury Hotel in Hollywood.

Preferred Hotels is, like the others, a luxury collection of hotels around the world. Guests who book through Preferred get slightly discounted rates and perks like upgrades, welcome amenities and hotel credits upon checking in.

However, becoming a member of I Prefer, the Preferred Hotels loyalty program, can get you much more. Aside from hearing about new hotels first (as in the case with the Redbury) you can get spa credits, resort credits, minibar credits, specialty welcome gifts, priority late checkout or early check-ins and best of complimentary WiFi.

This is all in addition to the general Preferred Hotels perks. Membership is free to join and also gets you access to deals and special offers at Preferred Boutique Hotels, Summit Hotels & Resorts, Sterling Hotels and the Historic Hotels of America. We highly recommend signing up for their Preferred newsletter which is the best way to check out the new deals.

Preferred also partners up with American Express cardholders to offer benefits in case you aren't an I Prefer member. However, where some loyalty programs offer free nights after a certain amount of stays or a way to earn credit towards a next stay, I Prefer has no points to accumulate and track. Simply, their deals are always ongoing.

Our only complaint is that the website could use some improvement. The pictures aren't as good as Kiwi's and we had some issues trying to make a reservation for a New York hotel--simply that the results weren't coming up and we got an error page. Also the selection of hotels varies depending on the cities. There were only seven Preferred Hotels in New York and just two in London but we were impressed with their hotels in California which ranged from mid-tier (i.e. somewhat affordable) to high-end luxe.

Still, we've been getting excited each time a new I Prefer newsletter comes into our inboxes. Even if we don't end up making a reservation, it's nice to dream about the complimentary perks we could get if we did.

What do you prefer about The Preferred Hotels and Resorts Collection? Have you booked with them before? How did it go? Tell us all in comments below.

*People have been preaching to us the great benefits of booking through collections like these for a long time. We're sorry we're just getting around to them now.

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