I wouldn’t ordinarily write about these discounts from Loews Hotels until next week (this Daily Getaways offer comes the week after), but Loews is holding a separate 24-hour “Summer Like a Local” sale today and I though it would be interesting to compare the two offers. (HT to Hotel Chatter)
Loews’ Daily Getaways offer is on June 3 and includes several discounted two-night stays. Travel must be completed by June 30, 2015, and it looks like all the offers have between 5 and 30 packages available for sale. I think Loews is a good chain, but you’ll need to be sure you’re staying in one of the markets they serve. All prices below include the additional 10% discount you’ll receive for paying with your American Express card; read my first post on Daily Getaways 2014 for more information on how the program works.
$999 for a suite at the Loews Regency New York
$999 for a suite at the Loews Santa Monica
$315 for a room at one of four properties:
- Loews Miami Beach Resort, Miami Beach
- Loews Don Cesar Resort, St. Pete Beach
- Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Universal Orlando
- Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado Bay
$248 for a room at one of twelve properties:
- Loews Annapolis Hotel, Annapolis
- Loews Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta
- Loews Boston Back Bay Hotel, Boston
- Loews Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood
- Loews Madison Hotel, Washington
- Loews New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans
- Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia
- Loews Regency Hotel, New York
- Loews Santa Monica Hotel, Santa Monica
- Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, Nashville
- Loews Ventana Canyon, Tucson
- Loews Hotel Vogue, Montreal
Loews claims you’ll save about 50% off standard rates by pre-purchasing one of these packages. I don’t doubt that you might save money with the packages for a standard room. $125 a night in New Orleans, Boston, New York, or Santa Monica sounds pretty good.
You’ll probably save money on the suites, too, but I doubt anyone would seriously consider paying $1,000 a night at the regular rate for a suite in New York or Santa Monica. If you’re just thinking of splurging, you would probably want to stay longer — and two nights aren’t going to cut it. These “deals” are great examples of offering discounts up front in hopes that the customer extends his or her stay at the regular rate.
I’m also concerned about the lack of disclosure on availability. Every tab outlining the offer description, redemption, and terms and conditions says there may be blackout dates and to read another tab for more information. But not a single tab actually says what those blackout dates are! Definitely do not buy these packages if thinking about visiting over a holiday. It’s possible entire seasons are off limits.
Given this skepticism, it shouldn’t surprise you that the flash sale isn’t actually that special. Some properties may be offering discounts of up to 20% off their regular rates, or they may include things like free breakfast or savings on local activities. All good, but they won’t save you a ton on the room itself. The flash sale includes a choice of (1) an additional $25 valet discount, (2) two welcome cocktails, (3) free WiFI, or (4) late checkout, but many of these are things you get as part of existing package benefits. At the Loews New Orleans, for example, you receive the following in their “You are different here” package:
- Free welcome cocktails for two.
- Two free Masquerade Masks.
- A free New Orleans-style Voodoo doll.
- Free nightly valet parking.
Like Kimpton, Loews is a smaller chain with properties limited to a few big cities. Here are links to the offers at each hotel:
- Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
- Loews Don CeSar Hotel
- Loews Regency Hotel
- Loews Hollywood Hotel
- Loews Atlanta Hotel
- Loews Philadelphia Hotel
- Loews Coronado Bay
- Loews New Orleans Hotel
- Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
- Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
- Loews Annapolis Hotel
- Loews Madison Hotel
- Loews Miami Beach Hotel
- Loews Boston Hotel
- Loews Hotel Vogue
My conclusion is that while Loews may be offering some discounts, tomorrow and on June 3, they aren’t very compelling once you get past the fine print. They are providing minor benefits, duplicate benefits, or benefits with strings attached. Consider purchasing them if you’re a Loews fan and planning to stay at their hotels anyway, but for the new customer I don’t see them as any better than than a quickly forgotten Groupon.