How To Book Virtuoso Hotels Online

We’ve written in the past about the huge value to be had with Virtuoso, which typically requires booking through a qualifying travel advisor. What many people don’t realize is that you can actually make Virtuoso bookings online as well, so in this post I wanted to outline how that works.

What is Virtuoso?

Virtuoso is a network of luxury travel agencies, with a total of over 15,000 advisors worldwide. Virtuoso advisors can get you extra perks when staying at over 1,300 luxury hotels around the world.

The concept is simple — hotels use all kinds of techniques to sell rooms, and one thing they do is offer Virtuoso advisors special perks for their guests.

Typically for booking through a Virtuoso agent you get the following additional benefits:

  • Daily breakfast for two
  • Room upgrade subject to availability
  • Early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability
  • A special Virtuoso amenity (usually a $100 property credit, free massage, car transfer, etc.)

How much more does a Virtuoso rate cost?

As a general rule of thumb, the Virtuoso rate is the same as the best flexible rate offered directly by the hotel (this typically excludes pre-paid or other promotional rates). So in most cases you’re not paying anything extra for booking through a Virtuoso agent.

Virtuoso advisors typically get paid a commission by hotels, so most of the time they won’t charge any sort of a fee for you booking through them. Some agents may charge a planning fee based on the complexity of the trip.

Can you still earn points when booking Virtuoso rates?

Since this is a points blog, this is a natural question. 😉 Yes, for those major chain hotels that belong to Virtuoso, you absolutely still earn points, elite credits, etc., when booking a Virtuoso rate. This is considered an “eligible” rate for all practical purposes.

How to book Virtuoso hotels online

In general you have two options for booking a Virtuoso rate:

So in this post I wanted to walk through the step-by-step of how to make Virtuoso hotel bookings online.

Virtuoso displays hotel rates online, though in order to actually book, you need to go through a Virtuoso advisor’s page. This has to be an advisor who has opted into this specifically. For example, you can find Ford’s Virtuoso page here, through which you can book (other advisors who participate in this are welcome to leave their page links below).

Just enter the name of the city, country, or hotel you want to travel to, along with the dates (you don’t actually have to enter dates if you just want to browse).

Let’s say you’re traveling through Kuala Lumpur. The Mandarin Oriental comes up as an option, and you can see the Virtuoso amenities listed there.

Then once you click the name of the hotel you’ll be prompted to select the dates you’re traveling.

Once you select a rate and push “book” you’ll be prompted to create an account, which is easy — you just have to enter your email address, choose a password, and country.

The next page will just ask you to confirm your advisor.

Then you’ll be on the booking page, which will display the entire cost of the stay, the amenities, the cancelation policy, and more. Read through this carefully to make sure it’s accurate.

You’ll then receive an email confirmation directly from Virtuoso. I can’t speak for other Virtuoso advisors, but if you book through Ford he’ll also follow up to see if there’s anything else you need (or you can contact him directly — [email protected]).

Why you may want to book Virtuoso rates online

A lot of people prefer just to make reservations instantly and not to interact with humans. I know that because I’m one of those people. 😉 So being able to book Virtuoso hotels online in just a few clicks is awesome.

So if that’s the priority, booking through the Virtuoso website is a great option. You can still reach out to your advisor (or they’ll reach out to you) if you have any special requests.

Things to know about booking Virtuoso hotels online

Here are a few things to be aware of:

  • You must be connected to an advisor to confirm a booking online; you can’t do it if you’re not connected to an advisor
  • There is a field to add your loyalty program number to the reservation during the booking process, if applicable
  • If you want to book multiple rooms, you’ll need to make separate reservations for each room
  • If you want to cancel, you can’t do so through Virtuoso; you can either call the hotel directly if you need to cancel immediately (or go to their website, if they allow that), or you can contact your Virtuoso advisor, though you’ll want to leave some time if you choose to contact your Virtuoso advisor to cancel for you

Do book through Virtuoso’s website if:

  • You’re booking two or fewer guests
  • You’re booking at least one business day in advance
  • Booking a Virtuoso rate that you’re not combining with a Virtuoso promotion that is also offered (for example, a third night free) — if you see the promotion listed in the rate description you can book online, but otherwise contact your advisor

Don’t book through Virtuoso’s website if:

  • You’re booking a room for more than two guests
  • You’re booking the same day you’re traveling
  •  A rate isn’t bookable or available through Virtuoso’s website; not all hotels make their inventory available through the website
  • You want to combine a Virtuoso rate with a promotion, such as a third or fourth night free promotion, unless the free night or promotion is accounted for in the Virtuoso rate description and price

Bottom line

There’s a lot of value to be had in booking through a Virtuoso advisor, and if you’re someone who wants to book instantly or avoid human interaction, being able to make a Virtuoso booking directly online can be a great option.

If you have any questions about the above, please let me know!

Comments

  1. This would be nice, but the first research I did, I already got a higher price than on the hotel site or through Amex FHR.
    St. Regis Doha costs Q$ 950, about U$ 260, but Ford’s page charges U$ 308.

  2. Bookable with Iberia’s Avios? I have a bunch of these earned through last Fake Iberia’s promo. I need to get rid of them

  3. If you book online, does the agent get the credit? What do you mean by connected to an advisor? Do you mean that you have to have one listed?

  4. I think the booking platform is a mixed blessing. One well known Virtuoso adviser (whom I won’t name – not Ford) seems to be getting out of the day-to-day luxury travel business, especially for business travelers (48 hour response time, closed during business hours, etc.), so the platform allows you to book when they’re minimally responsive. At the same time, though, it means that there’s no loyalty to that particular advisor when you have a bigger trip. They’re just a random name on the website.

    It works reasonably well, though.

  5. @ Christian — Yep, it’s the same as booking directly through an agent. By “connected” I meant your Virtuoso profile has to be linked to a Virtuoso advisor.

  6. @ Carlos — Hmmm, the rate should be the same as the FHR rate. Do you mind sharing the date so I can look it up?

  7. For any current Ourisman Travel clients, our link to the Virtuoso booking engine is https://www.virtuoso.com/advisor/jessicaourisman/luxury-hotels

    Note that Four Seasons does not participate in the Virtuoso booking engine. Also, if you want to book a preferred partner program such as Dorchester Collection Diamond Club or Mandarin Oriental FAN Club, you can use the Virtuoso booking engine … and your travel advisor can revise in Sabre to that rate.

  8. @lucky, @Ford, @Clarita and others who know, in the interest of transparency: What is the commission percentage a virtuoso advisor receives for bookings, whether through a website or through email/ phone? Is it still the standard 15 percent or so even with the additional benefits for the client?

  9. @Lucky – I’m just curious, how are agents affiliated with Virtuoso because all of them are attached to a different travel agency as stated in their profile. Do agents apply to be a part of virtuoso? Also, when I’m planning a trip, often there’s a specific 2-3 agents listed for every package/tours. Do I find an agent first then tell my plan and ask them to book for me or just find whatever package/tour/hotel I’m interested in and book through the agent listed for the particular product? Thank you!

  10. @ AM — It’s agencies that are affiliated with Virtuoso, and then any advisor who works for that agency generally has access to Virtuoso perks. Just about any Virtuoso agent can book any package/tour. Sometimes the Virtuoso website lists a recommended one based on the agent having expressed interest/knowledge in that region/tour.

  11. @ Chris K — This isn’t specific to Virtuoso, but in the industry in general the commission is 10%. Some hotels more, some less, but that’s the norm. Now tell us all about how much you make! 😉

  12. I think also worth mentioning the Signature Travel Network too – Signature has a broader product offering with a very diverse array of benefits. Can be booked by any Signature Network agency.

  13. @ lucky – Thank you very much, that’s interesting. My impression is that any kickbacks that the large OTAs provide (Hotels.com loyalty scheme etc.) come out of the OTA’s pocket i.e. those +-10 percent. In comparison, the virtuoso benefit then comes on top and is essentially paid by the hotel. I guess that makes sense, as those higher priced (or, in industry parlance, luxury) hotels have both higher margins and a reluctance to discount openly.

    Regarding my earnings: The industry standard commission in my industry is 2 percent of assets and 20 percent of profits 😉

  14. The payment is direct to the hotel or through Virtuoso? Say if I want to use my Hilton Aspire resort credit, can I book a Hilton resort through Virtuoso to use the credit?

  15. I don’t see a marked benefit for booking through Virtuoso over myself booking directly through Hotel chains I have status with. Furthermore, I generally find the AMEX FR&H program to be excellent with great benefits. The reasons for using Virtuoso may be beneficial for those who do not meet the two exceptions that I mentioned.

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