Posted by Ric Garrido

A Fairfield Inn hotel stay generally does not warrant a hotel review. Fairfield Inn, along with extended stay brand TownePlace Suites are the lowest hotel market segment brands in Marriott International. These two brands are classified as Upper Midscale hotel brands according to STR Global U.S. chain scale ranking for hotel brands. This is the same market segment as Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Country Inn & Suites.

Two reasons I want to give Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek (Marriott Rewards category 3) a brief write-up.

The first reason is I have not stayed in a Fairfield Inn since my LatinPass 1,000,000 bonus miles mileage run days when I stayed at the brand in Miami the night before flying out to Bogota, Colombia back in the year 2000. I do not remember that hotel with fondness for the brand.

The second reason is this stay was a successful experience with Marriott’s Look No Further best rate guarantee for 25% off the lower rate found. I’ll briefly share how I seek out lower rates at online travel agencies while I am searching for hotels to get even bigger discount rates on my paid stays.

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Two double beds at Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek in 9th floor recently remodeled room.

Finding Best Rate Guarantee claims

February 13, just four days before going to Denver, I laid out a grid of hotels and rates on a spreadsheet.

The recent devaluations of hotel awards are disturbing in the fact that the overall value of points has been reduced through the thousands of hotels rising in hotel award category over the next few months. The main idea to keep in mind though is when you need a room the brand hotels can save you money using loyalty program points and features. And for some stays the paid rate will be the better deal than points.

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Denver hotel stay grid of dates and rates.

Business travelers have the benefit of not worrying about price. Every time I plan a trip, my goal is to keep my hotel nights on average under $100 per night. That means I want to spend less than $500 for five nights. And I typically want to be staying in upscale and upper upscale hotel brands.

For me it worth a few hours to analyze hotel rates if I can match some great hotels, rate discounts and awards to fill all my hotel nights. In Denver I planned to have a car so it was not a big concern to change hotels. Setting up this grid let me see that I could book a cheap night with a suite upgrade at Grand Hyatt Denver, save $100 with a Best Rate Guarantee claim at Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek and get one free night at the Crowne Plaza Denver when the published hotel rate was $199. I paid $300 for four hotel nights.

I also wrote this article Strategy Session: When two reservations cost less than one showing how a four night stay at a single hotel can vary in price depending on how you check the dates for stays of one, two, three or four nights.

The hotel dates and rates grid allowed me to see the Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek rate discrepancy on two night stays with hotels.com at $109 for 2-night stays and Marriott’s site showing $125 per night for 2-night stays. Kayak.com checks only showed $125 per night on single night stays.

The risk of a Marriott Look No Further claim is you must book the hotel rate on the Marriott site first, then submit a best rate guarantee claim citing the competitive website and lower rate. My risk was low since Marriott’s site allowed cancellation up to 6pm day of arrival. Hotels.com had a more restrictive cancellation policy of one day earlier.

I booked the $125 room at Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek Denver through the Marriott website and immediately filed a Look No Further (LNF) Best Rate Guarantee claim.

Marriott approved my LNF claim of $109 from hotels.com and reduced that rate an additional 25% to $81.75 per night.

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Bright carpeting on 9th floor Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek.

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Free wireless internet worked well in room.

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Mini-frig in room and  the room had the hotel’s preferred view with a great mountain vista. There are few tall buildings near the hotel and the downtown skyscrapers  are several miles off to the right in the distance.

Kelley though the ceiling seemed too low in the room.

The noise of traffic on Colorado Blvd. is loud and the other side of the hotel is likely better if you want a quieter stay with no mountain view.

The lobby was cozy and colorful. The pool and fitness room are off the lobby. The pool was temporarily closed.

Complimentary breakfast was pretty basic and less than I expected based on stays this past year at Country Inn & Suites and Holiday Inn Express. Waffle maker, muffins, bread, cereal and a microwave egg, bacon and chees biscuit. I did not eat much of the breakfast offerings.

Marriott Best Rate Guarantee outcome

Original rate booked at $125 per night rate on 2-night stay = $286.76.

Marriott Look No Further $81.75 per night rate on 2-night stay = $187.62.

Look No Further claim approval time = one hour after submission.

Savings = $99.14.

Over the course of a year these savings add up to significant hotel spend discounts.

Cherry Creek Denver is suburban luxury and less

Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek was convenient for our visit, but the Loews Denver a half mile north on Colorado Blvd. is probably the best hotel for the price in the Cherry Creek part of Denver. Rates there were $109 and cheaper than the Fairfield Inn published rates.

My mother-in-law lives in a retirement home right by Cherry Creek Shopping Center. This is an upscale mall where you can shop for Burberry wears, Tumi luggage and Restoration Hardware for your home supplies, then dine at Elway’s (yeah, that John Elway former QB in Denver).

Cherry Creek is about four miles out of downtown Denver and the presence of JW Marriott Cherry Creek raised the price of hotel rooms for miles around the area over the past few years. Cherry Creek as a name now describes places a mile or two away from the creek.

Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek is one of those places that is located near I-25, off of South Colorado Blvd, a major north-south cross street for Denver, and about two miles south of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center district. I was shocked by how high hotel rates were in the Cherry Creek area during our stay.

While not too close to the shopping center, the Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek hotel is convenient for I-25 access to reach the Denver Tech Center area. The location turned out to be the closest hotel to the nursing care facility we needed to visit during our stay.

Driving around Colorado Blvd between the real Cherry Creek and the Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek by I-25 brought home the fact that Denver is a really crowded metropolitan area of more than two million. We tended to stay off the interstate during the afternoon commute due to slow traffic.

Related posts:

Grand Hyatt Denver suite, two Best Rate Guarantee hotels and winter storm Q (Feb 23, 2013).

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

2 Responses

  1. I am starting a blog all about the various Best Rate Guarantee programs.

    Check it out: http://bestrateguaranteehotels.blogspot.com/.

    The launch date for this blog is March 1st, 2013. Please subscribe for updates and you could win a $10 Starbucks gift card. A random drawing will take place on March 1st, 2013.

    Please comment on the blog if you have any suggestions.

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