Tuesday, November 3, 2009
When I was an editor at Budget Travel magazine—long before my office had a view of swaying palm trees and Bermuda's Great Sound—I, along with my well-traveled editorial team used to tell our readers to join every hotel, car rental, and airline loyalty club possible. Why? Because they're often free to join and give its members perks and discounts usually not found anywhere else. Case in point: I've been a member of Fairmont's President's Club for years, a membership that came in handy yesterday when I had to vacate my home after it was exterminated for ants. (Remember that line from the film Blood Diamond when Leonardo DiCaprio's character said, "TIA mate?" It was short for this is Africa, a sentiment he conveyed after experiencing a particularly stressful situation. Well, TIB mate. This is Bermuda). Not wanting to cast aside a whole day's work I brought my laptop to the Fairmont Southampton, a 593-room resort on Bermuda's south shore. With my President's Club membership number in hand I grabbed a seat at Jasmine's—the hotel's casual lobby restaurant—plugged in my laptop and picked up the Fairmont Guest Access Wi-Fi signal. For free. (Check out the picture above; that was my office for the day). Of course I made sure to order lunch before I took off—an excellent shrimp caeser, by the way—but my free Wi-Fi was just one of the many perks the President's Club offers its members. Some of my other favorites? Complimentary TaylorMade golf clubs at select hotels, free Lexus courtesy vehicles, and 10% off treatments and products at its Willow Stream Spas. So what are you waiting for? Next time you see one of those loyalty club brochures at check in do yourself a favor and fill it out. It'll be the most worthwhile three minutes you've ever spent.