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Five-Star Luxury, Four-Star Prices

June 2, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox Travel Agent
 


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The Four Seasons Resort Maui is offering luxury at its lowest rate in four years.

In Hawaii, even luxury resort brands like the Four Seasons are not immune from the need to cut costs and add value. The Four Seasons Resort Maui is currently offering its lowest rate in four years, with standard mountainside rooms going for $395 per night (going up to $445 from the end of June to the end of August). This includes the use of poolside cabanas, canoe excursions off Wailea Beach, fitness classes, oceanfront yoga classes, use of snorkel equipment plus an hour of snorkeling every day, introductory scuba diving clinics and a children’s program.

In April, the hotel’s yield management team, led by Mark Simon, director of marketing, developed the deal in response to customer demand. “With a proliferation of deals in the marketplace,” he says, “we recognized that we could attract new customers to our resort for the first time.” The promotion has been successful in attracting new customers, he adds, noting that the resort has remained busy “with no cutbacks in service, amenities or staffing.”

“To utter a time-worn phrase, you cannot save your way out of this situation, so you may as well find a way to get more guests,” says Simon. “At the five-star level, you need to maintain or increase value in times like these. Our reputation is on the line.”

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New low rates at the Four Seasons Resort Maui still include the use of cabanas and other amenities

At the same time, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is offering guests a $1,000 resort credit with all standard rate room stays throughout the summer. The credit can be used toward spa treatments, food or the price of the room itself. Rates start at $725 per night, and a four-night minimum stay is required. The offer, says Ciro Tacinelli, Jr., director of marketing at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, was developed when the marketing team noticed that guests were shortening their stays rather than trading down. The deal, he says, means that the hotel does not have to reduce room rates, which he believes would be detrimental to everyone. “The prices we charge have not been reduced because the experience has not been reduced,” he says. “If you do cut your price, you have to cut your experience.”

The response has been terrific thus far. “You can do a lot with $1,000 here,” Tacinelli says, and adds that the first week of the offer was the best the hotel has enjoyed year-to-date. “It will always be important to show value. ‘How much?’ is the question.”

Tacinelli’s philosophy is that even in troubling economic times, it is vital for a brand to send a message to guests that the service they expect and appreciate has been protected. And that belief is paying off in spades for Four Seasons.    


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