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
- How Good Is This Promotion?
- Boost Your Stay with Accor Gold Status for $139
- Can You Combine with Aeroplan Status Benefits?
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:
- Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile
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.
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 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.
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”.
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.
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.