While travel opportunities are pretty limited right now, as summer approaches I expect many people will be looking to take a vacation close to home. If you live in British Columbia, there are some great savings currently available for hotels in Vancouver, BC.
Every so often, a collection of hotels in Vancouver put on promotions that offer significant savings on hotel rooms. With the current restrictions on travel and the presumably higher vacancy rates facing hotels, the promotion is even better than usual.
Booking Period: Now through to September 15, 2020
Offer: Receive a Visa Reward gift card worth: $75, $100 or $125 for the first night AND another $75, $100, or $125 for the second night of your booking. PLUS a $50 Visa Reward card for each and every subsequent night booked, to a maximum stay of 5 nights total.
Bookings under this promotion are cancellable up to 48 hours prior to check-in.
The promotion is available by booking through Stayvancouverhotels.com. StayVancouverHotels.com is a marketing website for the Vancouver Hotel Destination Association (VHDA), which is a collection of 38 downtown Vancouver hotels. VHDA’s stated purpose is “…to enhance Vancouver's destination awareness and increase overnight hotel stays, ensuring long-term growth and prosperity”.
For a limited time, VHDA is offering a Visa gift card for each hotel stay. The value of the gift card you receive depends on the specific hotel you book, to a maximum value of $125. The available hotels include many luxury hotel chains, such as the Pan Pacific, several Fairmont Hotels, the JW Marriot, the Douglas (Autograph Collection), Westin, etc. There are also mid-range and cheaper hotels available.
In past similar promotions, the maximum value Visa gift card was available only on the first night, and a $50 Visa Reward card for each subsequent night. This time, however, the offer provides the maximum Visa gift card available for each hotel for the first two nights, with a $50 Visa gift card for each additional nights for up to three subsequent nights. In addition, with past promotions, the rooms were non-refundable in the event of cancellation. This time, the promotions allows for cancellations within 48 hours which, of course, is very helpful in these uncertain travel times. Given that the dates for this offer run up to September 15, 2020, it gives you the opportunity to book quite a bit in advance and later cancel with 48 hours notice if you need to.
To demonstrate the significant savings available, I compared a couple of other websites with the prices offered on the StayVancouver Hotels website for a two night stay on August 21-23 (a weekend stay), at the 4.5 star Fairmont Hotel Vancouver:
Expedia.ca: $429 per night (before taxes)
Fairmont.com: $387 per night (before taxes)
StayVancouverHotels.com : $249 less $125 Visa gift card = $124 per night (before taxes)
I was surprised to find that the Stayvancouverhotels.com website had cheaper per night rates than other websites even before taking into account the Visa gift card offer. In the example above, applying the promotion takes your nightly room rate down to one third of the cost of booking through the Fairmont website (taking into account the visa gift card you receive). These are huge savings!
The list of participating hotels includes:
Coast Coal Harbour Hotel Days Inn – Vancouver
Downtown Delta Hotels Vancouver Exchange Hotel Vancouver
Executive Hotel Le Soleil Executive Hotel Vintage Park
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Fairmont Pacific Rim
Fairmont Waterfront Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites
Hotel Belmont Howard Johnson Vancouver
Hyatt Regency Vancouver JW Marriot Parq Vancouver
Loden Hotel Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver
OPUS Hotel Vancouver Pan Pacific Vancouver
Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront Ramada Vancouver Downtown
Residence Inn Vancouver Rosewood Hotel Georgia
Sandman Hotel City Centre Sandman Suites Vancouver
Shangri-La Hotel Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre
The Burrard The Douglas
The Listel Hotel The Sutton Place Hotel
The Sylvia Hotel The Westin Bayshore
The Westin Grand Trump International Hotel
Vancouver Pinnacle Downtown Wedgewood Hotel and Spa
In terms of booking, you simply need to go to StayVancouverHotels.com and use the promo code VISA. You can book the room either using a VISA, MasterCard or American Express.
The promotion and website is legit. I have previously taken advantage of the promotions on the website. In December 2020 I booked a stay at The Douglas, an Autograph Collection hotel through the website. In February 2020 I booked a stay at the J.W. Marriot Parq Hotel through the website. Both hotels are fairly new 5 star hotels that are part of the Marriot chain. Each time, I received a $125 Visa gift card upon check-in and I could have used the card to settle the bill upon check-out (instead, I preferred to earn additional points on my Amex Bonvoy credit card).
What was an even bigger surprise was that for both my stays, notwithstanding that the hotels were booked on the StayVancouverHotels.com website, I still received credit for a one night stay in the Marriot Bonvoy rewards program. From a points-earning perspective, the stay was treated as if I had booked directly with the hotel. The only step I took was to call the hotel prior to my stay and have them add my Marriot Bonvoy number to my reservation. Similarly, the charge to my credit card was posted as if I had booked directly with the hotel, meaning I also received the points on my Amex Bonvoy card as if I had booked directly through Marriot. I can’t guarantee that reservations with similar chains will work the same, so your mileage may vary, but it appears that you have a decent chance of having your stay count toward a hotel’s points program. This is a pretty big plus to be able to obtain significant savings through the StayVancouverHotels.com website while also potentially earning the stay credits with Marriot’s Bonvoy program or other hotel program.
While travel opportunities are pretty limited at the moment, if you live in British Columbia and are looking to head to Vancouver for a summer vacation, this is a pretty great promotion. Similarly, if you live farther afield, you could book nights into September and wait and see whether travel restrictions are lifted by that time. If they are, you can score a pretty great price on a hotel room in Vancouver. If travel restrictions remain, the 48 hour cancellation policy provides ample time to wait and see before cancelling.
I should note that, in my experience, these offers come and go without warning. Last year I considered booking and stalled on it for two days only to have the offer disappear. However, the gift card offers return frequently. My best guess is that they have a limited number of bookings and when that number is hit, they pull the offer without warning. So, if you are interested, I would jump on these offers while you can!
If you happen to book a hotel, leave us a message with the price savings you obtained and whether you were also able to credit your stay to the hotel’s rewards program.