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Shangri La Bed 3

Shangri La Sydney King Bed

Recently my family and I stayed in the Shangri La Sydney Hotel in Sydney. I’ve always wanted to stay there due to the American Express Fine Hotel and Resorts Program. It provides incredible benefits where in a lot of cases the value of the benefits outweighs the actual cost of the hotel room itself.

In order to have access to Amex Fine Hotel and Resorts – you will need to hold the American Express Platinum Charge card.

I booked the most basic room with Amex Travel Online for the Shangri La Sydney hotel which is the Deluxe Darling Harbour King Room. The cost of the room was $280 for a Saturday night. Typically this is the most expensive night of the week for hotels.

When I checked in though – for Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts Program – we were provide with the following benefits:

  1. Complimentary buffet breakfast for the whole family. We have 2 adults and 2 children. Typically Buffet breakfast of this hotel level are $40 an adults. With children – depending on how old they are – they can be free or half the price of adults. So in this case we received about $80 value
  2. Check-in at noon when available
  3. Check-out at 4pm the following day. This is a great addition as the usual check-out time is 11am. So an extra 5 hour allows you to take an extra shower, have a rest and if you had a late flight that night – then you could leave the hotel later.
  4. Plate of Welcome Amenity – in this case it was a plate of fruit
  5. Upgrade to next room category – we were upgrade to an Executive Darling Harbour King Room. The difference between this room type and the original room type was that we were on a higher floor which can make a huge difference in terms of the scenery of the city. The value of this would be around $50
  6. $100 USD Food and Beverage Credit to use in the hotel restaurants and bars. So this is equivalent to $130 AUD.

So the total value I received back was $80 + $130 + $50 = $260. This is the value of the benefits had I had to pay for them myself. So this is nearly equivalent of the room itself had I just booked directly with Shangri La Sydney hotel itself.

Shangri La Amenities 1

Shangri La Bath 2

$100 USD Food and Beverage Credit

The most valuable of the benefits I see here is the $100 USD benefit. We were able to redeem this for the Seafood Buffet dinner at Café Mix in the hotel. The cost of an adult was $80. So we had 2 adults which is $160. Our children were free as they were below a particular age where it was free. Then I also used the Entertainment Book Gold Card to get 25% off this deal (up to the value of $40). So the cost was brought down to $120. So the $100 USD credit ($130 AUD) more than covered this cost. Plus we had another family join us for dinner that night and was also able to put it on my room account to earn more points later on.

Shangri La Seafood Buffet 3

Shangri La Seafood Buffet 4

Shangri La Breakfast Buffet 2

Shangri La Golden Circle Program

One of the great aspects of the Amex Fine Hotel and Resorts Program is that you are able to combine this with your membership number of that particular hotel program to earn more points and benefits. In this case I was already a Shangri La Jade member with the Golden Circle Program. So by inserting my membership number into the reservation I would be also receiving Golden Circle Points. I ended up receiving 350 Points with this program after staying here. This is equivalent to $35 USD which I can use at a later date at any Shangri La Hotel in the world for dining. So basically I just earned $50 AUD extra by staying here. The benefits/value keep rolling in if you know what points are worth!

Shangri La Sign 1

American Express Points Earned

Easy way to also earn points here is of course paying the bill on your American Express Card. So I made the payment on my American Express Platinum Charge card. So I was able to earn double Amex points here which was about 760 Amex points

Velocity Dining

Another way to earn points at this hotel is to book your breakfast/lunch/dinner with Velocity Dining. So effectively you earn 300 points per booking. In this instance I was able to book for the dinner and earn an extra 300 Velocity points.

Conclusion

I was really impressed by all the benefits we received here with the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts program. The ability to also stack this with your own hotel loyalty program – be it Hilton, Hyatt, SPG, IHG, Accor – puts this program on another level. I’ll be making sure I take full advantage of this when making all my future hotel stays on our travels.

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