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Fairmont’s “Stay Close” Promotion: Every Second Night Free (It’s Back!) Ricky October 14, 2020

Fairmont’s “Stay Close” Promotion: Every Second Night Free (It’s Back!)

Earlier in the spring and summer, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts had put out a very compelling promotion known as “Stay Close”, which 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.

Well, the promotion must have proven to be a smashing success, because Fairmont is now bringing it back for another round.

For bookings made by November 16, 2020 and stays until April 30, 2021, you’ll get every second night free at participating Fairmont hotels by using the promotion code “PLCL” during the booking process.


In This Post

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 November 16, 2020 and stay by April 30, 2021:

The promotion is also valid at about two dozen Fairmont and Accor properties in the United States, Mexico, and Barbodos; 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.

Fairmont Royal York Toronto

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, public holidays, and the most popular winter peak travel season around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

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. 

I myself would love to try out each of these properties as well, and 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.

(I recently completed my first Fairmont stay at the Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, and also have an upcoming reservation at the Fairmont Banff Springs that I booked during the last round of Stay Close. I look forward to sharing reviews of both properties shortly.)

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Fairmont belongs to the Accor hotel chain, but sadly its Accor Live Limitless loyalty program is one of the least competitive out there in terms of unlocking outsized value from your points.

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 $249.50/night at the Fairmont Banff Springs in late March, by which time the ski season should still be in full swing.

Other properties I’ve got my eye on include the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Tremblant, and the Fairmont Royal York Toronto, and I’m seeing plenty of attractive rates at these hotels as well.

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 may 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.

As a side note, I was surprised to see that I still had a set of Suite Night Upgrades in my account from when I was an Accor Diamond member, which happen to be expiring at the end of the year.

However, it seems that these Suite Night Upgrades can only be applied on full-priced rates, not on discounted rates like the Stay Close promotion. That’s a real shame!

Can You Combine with Aeroplan Status Benefits?

One less-discussed perk of the soon-to-be-discontinued Aeroplan status program is that Silver, Black, and Diamond members can receive preferential treatment at Fairmont hotels, including daily breakfast, a space-available room upgrade, a $25 hotel credit, and a welcome amenity.

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 5.11.25 PM.png

When Stay Close first launched, I was excited at the prospect of combining the deal with a set of Aeroplan Diamond benefits that I’ve never used before, but upon further inspection, the terms do say that the Aeroplan states benefits “combined with any other offer, discount or group rates”.

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 6.00.31 PM.png

Indeed, the way that Aeroplan members are supposed to take advantage of these benefits is by inputting a certain promotional code during the booking process, which would then allow you to book a specific room rate with all the benefits attached based on your Aeroplan status. And there’s no way to book the Stay Close rate if you’re booking an Aeroplan status rate, or vice versa.

I imagine that you could always try sweet-talking the front desk upon arrival and mentioning that as an Aeroplan Silver, Black, or Diamond member, you’d love to receive the advertised set of benefits; however, by the exact terms and conditions, you can’t double-up on both the Stay Close promotion and Aeroplan status benefits.

Conclusion

Fairmont’s very generous Stay Close promotion has returned for a Winter 2020 edition, offering a “buy one, get one free” deal on some of their best properties in Canada and the US until April 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 November 16.

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33 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Arcanum

    Check prices elsewhere before making a reservation. I’ve done a few test bookings, and in each case I was able to find a better rate through Kayak. For example, the Chateau Frontenac is coming up as $756 for Feb. 16-20 through Fairmont with the BOGO promo, but it’s $660 at Hotels.com via Kayak. Also, Hotels.com will let me cancel up to 1 day before arrival, while Fairmont is 3 days.

  2. Avatar
    Goldy

    Is anyone seeing any availability for Chateau Montebello in Quebec? I’ve tried well over 20 dates with no luck. I am putting in for one night and I am getting the ” We are unable to find the rate..” Should I just be calling the hotel directly? Thanks

  3. Avatar
    Prashant

    Such promotions are done By hotels to stay afloat. Succumbing to such travel addictions Now is behaving irresponsibly in these testing times. Stay home. Do half day trips. Resume travel once we go back to normal times. If you end up being a super spreader, you are delaying everything

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I think it’s a fair viewpoint, but I also don’t think it’s anyone’s place to judge others’ decisions in terms of what is the right balance between staying home vs. living life with some modicum of normality after eight months of staying home… as long as they are taking all the necessary precautions, of course.

      1. Avatar
        P

        Kindly elaborate on “all necessary precautions, of course”!
        Modicum of normality- forget it till fall of 2021!
        Freedom of expression and an ability to listen and accept differing views without deciding “anyone’s place” is very important in these times.
        Ricky, Even in normal times the amount of travel you do and the opulent style in which you do it is an outlier for 99% of the populace. But for travel nomads who want to escape their routine life to get enriching life experiences, your travel hacks are extremely interesting and inspiring.

        1. Ricky
          Ricky

          Prashant, I know you’re speaking as a medical doctor and I welcome the perspective. By “all necessary precautions”, I mean fastidious mask usage, frequent hand washing, minimizing time spent in indoor spaces, and limiting contacts with others – on this basis and *only* on this basis should folks consider travelling at this time.

          For what it’s worth, I completely agree with you that if we all stayed home then this nonsense would dissipate much sooner. If the Canadian government imposed Australia-style lockdown and quarantine requirements even for domestic travel, I probably wouldn’t be very happy with it but would understand it’s for the better.

          Alas, Canada has chosen a different path, so it’s up to each one of us to decide. Like you said, I think we should all stand by our decision and respect others’ decisions either to travel or not to travel, as long as everyone is taking precautions and keeping their obligation to protect others top-of-mind.

  4. Avatar
    Timbo2

    Strangely enough, this just arrived in my “in box” today.

    “Shop LifeExperiences.ca using promo code FALL202LE to save18% on all e-gift card orders. Terms and conditions are applied to all gift cards. Offer cannot be combined with any other promotion or applied to previous purchases. Promotion is valid through October 17, 2020,11:59 PM ET. This offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time.”

    These are good for Canadian Fairmont properties only.

    A great deal just got better.

    1. Avatar
      Jason

      This came I handy. Heading up to Banff and Lake Louise this week… thanks for sharing Timbo2!

      1. Avatar
        Timbo2

        NP. A reminder that you can use these certificates up to a maximum of $1,000 for each stay.

        1. Avatar
          Jason Christmas

          That might be enough for lunch…lol. I bought $2000 worth to split between both properties so it’s a good savings. Now just fingers crossed they stay open! Thanks again

  5. Avatar
    DenB®

    Hey Ricky, the Accor status provided with the Amex Platinum card was “Platinum” not “Diamond”. Those were the days. I took two rooms at the newly opened Sofitel So|Bangkok (my annual “DenB® And The Girls” trip) and it still ranks as my most thrilling lodgings experience ever. That was the only time a Canadian could get top-tier hotel status from a shortcut. It’s burned into my memory, which is ahy I can write with confidence about the name of the Status level. I still have the old loyalty card.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Thanks for that, DenB, I’ll make the correction. I’d love to ask what a “DenB and the girls” trip entails, but I think I know better. 😉

  6. Avatar
    MM

    Are there posted black out dates? Not getting availability in January with PLCA.

  7. Avatar
    eva

    Can you get this deal through AMEX travel site? to utilize the annual travel credit?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Doesn’t seem like it to me, although it may be worth a call to Amex Travel to see if they can book it manually on their side and then apply the $200 credit.

  8. Avatar
    Daniel

    The cancellation policy is: No cancellation charge applies if cancelled prior to 4 PM up to 3 days prior to arrival.

  9. Avatar
    Leah

    Lake Louise or Banff springs? What’s better?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      It seems like it depends on the season. Both are supposed to be amazing during the summer (and very expensive). People seem to like Lake Louise in the fall when the leaves are changing colour. Meanwhile Banff is probably better November onwards during ski season (I visited, but didn’t stay, back in November 2017 and the hotel looked absolutely majestic in the snow).

      For me, Banff was the bigger bucket list item so I booked it first – but may consider tagging on Lake Louise to the same trip too.

      1. Avatar
        LL

        Fairmont Banff has little tiny room and crowds come to visit the property during the day. Lake Louise room has much bigger size, less outside visitors and additional discount for canoeing if you stay there but the common area is not as ‘nice’ as Banff. Btw, additional 25% off can be applied to up to $1K if you can find Life Experiences gift card at your local Costco (sold out online a while now).

      2. Avatar
        Mohammad K

        Oh man… Definitely Lake Louise Ricky/ Leah. I’ve would put both Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and Lake Louise slightly above Banff Springs (which i also love very much). The locations of JPL & Lake Louise are what give it the serious edge. Also try sneaking in a stay at Kananaskis Mountain Lodge while you’re there.. its cat 6 Marriott property now i think

  10. Avatar
    Tommy

    Ricky,

    Thanks for this. I ended up take advantage of this promotion and booked 2 nights at the Fairmont Banff Spring. Do you know if there is any status match for accor so I can use it during the stay?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Looking at StatusMatcher, there seems to be an interesting opportunity to buy an Ibis Business Card for €90 and receive instant Accor Gold status that way: ibis.accor.com/business/ibis-business-card/index.en.shtml

      Having said that, I’m not sure if the benefits of Gold are quite worth €90.

      There’s also the possibility of buying 50 shares in Accor to get Gold status as well, although that’s significantly more expensive.

      Other than that, Accor doesn’t appear to be running a status match program at this time.

  11. Avatar
    Mitchell

    Banff Springs is a straight-up castle, an amazing property.
    In the days of easy Fairmont Platinum (rip) we stayed there several times, and one time got an upgrade to a Turret Suite – you had to go up maybe three sets of stairs just to get to the suite, and then the bed was up a spiral staircase at the very peak with those tall thin windows. Genuinely a special stay, but in general I think it should have a place on everyone’s hotel bucket list.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Thanks Mitchell, just completed my booking. Now I’ll be asking if I can get a Turret Suite with my suite upgrade instruments.

      1. Avatar
        Mitchell

        I believe they have more than one, looking at the photos on their website. The particular one we were in was Room 807 at the very top right on the header photo – takes up the entire left roofline too, just a crazy suite tucked away in a distant corner of the building. When they gave me the room keys at reception, they came with a wink and a "you’ll like this one". Ask Sebby has a video review of it from a couple of years ago.

  12. Avatar
    Pete

    Any chance this gets extended to other Fairmont properties?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hi Pete, they’ve just added the Ottawa and Toronto Fairmonts to the promotions.

    2. Avatar
      Ricky

      I find it unlikely, but there’s always a chance. The promotion launched with only one property in the US, before they added a few others several days later.

  13. Avatar
    Timbo2

    I am assuming that you could use LifeExperience certificates towards your first $1,000 at each hotel, for an additional 25% off..
    Also, Fairmont Jasper is showing no deposit required on some bookings.

    1. Avatar
      Anthony

      That was my first thought, but Costco removed the LifeExperiences GCs from their site. Hopefully it’s just temporary!

      1. Avatar
        Matthew Cheung

        How do you get 25% off? I am only seeing $100 for $100 Fairmont GC

        1. Avatar
          Timbo2

          Yup… seeing the same thing…$100 for $100 now. Nothing listed on the Costco site. Only a 10% off pop up when your are on LifeExperience site and sign up for their email.

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