In the spring and fall of 2020, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts had put out a very compelling promotion known as “Stay Close”. This was essentially a “buy one, get one free” deal at many of Fairmont’s top properties, including some of Canada’s famous grand railway hotels.
Fairmont is now bringing it back for a third round: for bookings made by March 15, 2021 and stays until June 30, 2021, you’ll get every second night free at participating Fairmont hotels by using the promotion code “PLCL” during the booking process.
Every Second Night Free
The Stay Close promotion allows you to get every second night for free when you book at many Fairmont properties across North America.
You’ll be able to get a second night free at any of the following Canadian properties (under Fairmont and other Accor brands), as long as you book by March 15, 2021 and stay by June 30, 2021:
The promotion is also valid at over a dozen Fairmont and Accor properties in the United States, Mexico, Barbodos, and Bermuda; for a full list, you can refer to the Stay Close page on the Fairmont website.
Simply search for a stay of at least two nights’ duration at one of these properties using the “PLCL” code, and you’ll see the Stay Close rate pop up.
The rate will show as one-half of the best available Daily Rate, thus indicating the “average” nightly price when you pay full price for the first night and get the second night for free.
The Stay Close rates require an upfront deposit, although they are fully refundable up to a certain cancellation deadline, which is typically 3–7 days before arrival. That gives you the flexibility and peace of mind to secure your rate with a deposit but still cancel later on if needed.
The “buy one, get one” deal can also be used to book two rooms on the same night while only paying for one, in case you wanted to make a one-night stay with a larger group. To do so, you will need to book a two-night stay and then call the hotel directly to amend the reservation and make it a one-night stay with two rooms.
Meanwhile, any bookings for longer than two nights would qualify for the promotion as well; if you’re staying for an odd number of nights, then you’d still pay full price for the final night.
The terms do state that “blackout dates may apply”, when the Stay Close rate is not available. Unlike the last round of Stay Close, the blackout dates are not openly disclosed, although a cursory search reveals that they fall largely on long weekends and public holidays.
If your desired dates fall on a blackout date, then you’ll see the following message when trying to search with the “PLCL” code:
How Good Is This Promotion?
Many of Fairmont’s hotels rank among Canada’s most iconic grand railway hotels, and I imagine that many of you would fancy a stay at one of these historic properties one day.
In my view, the Stay Close promotion is probably one of the best ways to book what would otherwise be a very expensive stay at a more affordable rate. Indeed, last year, I completed my first two Fairmont stays at the Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City and the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.
It’s my understanding that the rates at these hotels tend to be highly seasonal, which means that there are plenty of good deals to be had during the shoulder-season months of February to April.
For example, I’m seeing nightly rates as low as $214.50/night at the Fairmont Banff Springs in late March, by which time the ski season should still be in full swing.
(I had actually booked two nights at the Fairmont Banff Springs last year under the last round of Stay Close, although I eventually decided to reschedule that trip While I’m tempted to take advantage of the current round of this promotion to rebook, I’ll probably be waiting until closer to the March 15 deadline to see if our COVID-19 situation clears up a bit before committing to a trip.)
Boost Your Stay with Accor Gold Status for $139
If anyone’s been in the game long enough to remember when the American Express Platinum Card used to earn you Accor Diamond status (I believe this came to an end four or five years ago), then you might currently still find yourself with a lingering Accor Gold status – as I do.
That means that when I stay at the Fairmont, I’ll be entitled to little things like early check-in, late checkout, a welcome drink, and a welcome gift (although no complimentary breakfast, unfortunately).
Alternatively, you can also earn instant Accor Gold status by signing up for the Ibis Business Card, which costs €90 ($139) for the year.
It’s up to you whether this €90 expense is worthwhile for the potential of a suite upgrade and other Gold benefits. If you have several Fairmont stays lined up under the second-night-free promotion, it may be worth the money to secure a little bit of preferential treatment across all your stays.
Fairmont’s very generous Stay Close promotion has returned for a 2021 edition, offering a “buy one, get one free” deal on some of their best properties in Canada and the US until June 30, 2021.
If you’re interested in exploring some more of our own backyard this year and trying out the experience of staying at a grand railway hotel while you’re at it, I’d encourage you to use the “PLCL” code and make your booking before March 15.