We received a lot of positive feedback from our blog post on how to Get Extra Perks and Avoid Fees when booking with Ourisman Travel, and are very excited to share our “Pro-Tips” for the new Virtuoso.com Booking Tool! If you are a self-proclaimed “RTB Traveler” (ready-to-book) we guarantee you are going to love this new tool!
Ourisman Travel has been testing this tool for a few months now since it’s soft-launch in February, and Virtuoso recently announced the official launch of their online booking tool. We’re happy to have had the last few months for exclusive testing and have identified a few areas that will help our clients get the most from the tool.
The Benefits: The Virtuoso Booking Tool offers a win-win scenario for everyone involved in a luxury hotel-only booking. You receive the ease, convenience, and speed of being able to look up rates and book Virtuoso hotels on your own; from the hotel’s perspective, nothing changes. We will still receive your booking information and, as with any booking, will still reach out to the hotel(s) personally to communicate your details, preferences, and special requests.
Things to know:
- Please keep in mind this a brand new, innovative tool – For a new product launch, we have seen very few bugs or glitches! But, full disclosure, it’s typical for any new tool to see a few hiccups before all the kinks are ironed out. If you run into anything, please contact Virtuoso Help Desk – your feedback is very valuable in continuing to make this tool better!
- Please select Jessica as your advisor – When you search for Ourisman Travel, you will see three options to choose from (Jessica, David, or Jessica & David). Currently, you can only book through Virtuoso.com when you’ve selected Jessica; the other profiles require you to “contact your advisor” in order to request a booking. If you have already selected one of the other profiles, you will have an option to change your advisor after you’ve clicked “send to my advisor” next to the room category you want to book. Change your selection to Jessica and the screen will reload to allow you to book right on the spot.
- Not all hotels are participating – You will see that not all hotels are participating in the program and many will direct you to contact your advisor to request a booking. In those cases you can use the web from on Virtuoso.com or email us and we’ll get you squared away. If you see rates, but are not able to book online, double check that you’ve selected Jessica as your advisor.
- Book any time, any day! – Quite possibly, the main benefit of this tool is that it operates 24/7. While we would love to be available to you 24/7, we do have to sleep! If you are worried about availability or a rate change, this booking tool will allow you to lock your trip in then and there – even if it’s 3 am on a Saturday night!
- USD is the only currency displayed – While this enhances convenience for you, keep this in mind when booking foreign hotels. If your rate is not full pre-pay at time of booking (which we don’t recommend!), your exchange rate may fluctuate before your travel dates.
- Promotions – Keep in mind that not all promotions are created equal! Some promotions will not combine with Virtuoso rates, so you may not see all of them available when searching rates. If you have your eye on a special promotion, feel free to reach out to us to look into it!
- Last Minute Bookings – There are two things to keep in mind if you are booking a last minute (anywhere from 7 days prior to travel, to time of arrival)
- If you book via Virtuoso.com, our last minute fee will not apply. This fee is to cover our team’s time for prioritizing last minute rate inquiries; which of course does not occur if you are booking directly through Virtuoso.com!
- While we will do our best to follow our typical VIP process of contacting the hotel directly for any booking; we cannot guarantee this process for last minute bookings through Virtuoso.com.
When NOT to book via Virtuoso.com:
- Some programs will trump Virtuoso – As you may know, we are fortunate enough to be able to work with many exclusive luxury hotel programs in addition to Virtuoso. While it’s rare, there are a few programs that we will recommend over Virtuoso. In these instances, we recommend you still request your trip through us to get the best value!
- Four Seasons Preferred Partner – Higher VIP status and better breakfast amenity (includes room service)
- Dorchester Diamond Club – Often receives upgrade at booking
- Mandarin Oriental Fan Club – Credit amenity received is more flexible than the Virtuoso credit
- Shangri-La Luxury Circle – Often receives upgrade at booking
- When your hotel booking is not simple – The booking tool is not designed for multiple rooms, special requests, trips involving multiple hotels, or any other “booking complications.” Anytime you have a booking request that goes beyond the most basic hotel reservation, it is still best to contact us first!