On our last Oregon trip, we decided to stay at The Nines Hotel in Portland using our Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts benefit. I know of The Nines Hotel because of a previous trip I took years ago when it was still part of SPG. Today, the Nines Hotel is under the Marriott brand and is part of the Luxury Collection Hotel sub-brand. I haven’t been to this hotel in probably five years so I was excited to see if anything has changed. Also, it was one of the few hotels that was actually operating during COVID so our choices were pretty narrow to begin with.
DEAL: THE NINES HOTEL WITH AMEX FINE HOTELS AND RESORTS
The Nines Hotel is listed on both the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts Program and the Chase Luxury Collection. Even though it’s listed on both programs, they have slightly different benefits for each card. For example, when we first looked, both offered the $100 F&B credit but Chase does not include alcohol in theirs, but Amex does.
Yesterday, I checked on both programs again and noticed that Amex is now offering a $125 property credit. When we first booked, it was only $100 and just for food and beverage. So, it’s always good to check all your travel programs and to check back often. Especially, with COVID, benefits are changing constantly.
Just as a refresher, the benefits for the Amex Platinum Fine Hotels and Resorts Program includes:
Photo Credit: https://www.amextravel.com/
WHAT DID WE GET:
- Daily Breakfast for Two: We got $30/person for two people so $60 total to spend it at Urban Farmer. It’s usually a sit-down restaurant in the middle of the lobby where you can people watch while you eat your breakfast. Unfortunately, due to COVID, it is now only to-go. You have to order at the bar and they will bring out your food in to-go boxes for you. You can still eat in the lobby, but there’s no waiter service. We tried almost everything off the menu since it was kind of small. Definitely too much food for two people, but definitely try the breakfast sandwich at least.
- Room Upgrade: Originally, we had booked a “Club Room,” which would have given us access to the Club Lounge, but unfortunately due to COVID, the lounge was closed. When we checked in, the front desk agent said that we had an atrium facing room and they upgraded us to a exterior facing room. To be honest, the upgrade was nothing to write home about. The view is just like any other view and thinking back on it, the atrium facing view might have been more interesting. Also, the room was quite small for what is supposedly a luxury hotel. If there wasn’t any substitute for the Club Lounge, I wish they would have at least put us in a bigger room.
- Noon Check-In: We checked into the hotel around 1:45 p.m. and had no issues. There was one person in front of me, but other than that, the hotel seemed pretty empty.
- 4:00 p.m. Check-Out: Our flight wasn’t until 6:30 p.m. so we definitely utilized our 4:00 p.m. check-out. When I know we have a later flight, I always check Amex’s program first because I know that they offer a guaranteed 4:00 p.m. late check-out. Chase advertises that it offers a late check-out, but doesn’t give you an exact time and states that it is offered only if it’s available.
- Complimentary Wifi: There’s no resort fee at this hotel so the extra $5 off was unfortunately not applied to anything. I feel like at least they should have taken it off the room rate, but for $5, I didn’t feel like arguing this one.
- Unique Amenity ($100 Food & Beverage Credit): We spent our F&B credit at one of the hotel’s restaurants called Departure. It’s a trendy restaurant that has a kind of an airplane/airport theme to it. It’s located on the roof and on a nice day, I would recommend sitting out in the patio. I feel like it’s one of the few fancy places in Portland so I would definitely make reservations since it does get packed. We ordered two cocktails, kimchi fried rice, a curry dish, and the roasted chicken. Our bill came to about $140 with tax and tip. On a side note, make sure you ALWAYS check your folio when you check out. When I was reviewing my charges, the $100 F&B credit was not on my folio. I had to call the hotel back and have them apply it on there. I wish this was a one-time thing, but I see this happen all the time so make sure you always check your charges.
SAVINGS (IS IT WORTH BOOKING THROUGH AMEX):
You can always assume that booking on a credit card’s travel program is going to have some sort of mark-up. In all of my travels so far though, the benefits outweighs the extra cost every single time. Otherwise, why would you even book it. Below are the details of our one-night stay.
Cost (Including all Taxes and Fees)
Book Directly Through Hotel’s Website Cost: $240.36 (Marriott Bonvoy Member Rate)
Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts Room Cost: $274.85
Difference: $34.49 extra with Amex
Breakfast for Two: $60
Noon Check-In: ?
Late Check-Out: ?
Unique Amenity Credit: $100
Wifi Credit: $0
Room Upgrade: ?
Total: $160 Value
For an extra $34.49, you can get approximately $160 worth of perks. I couldn’t find out if you could pay for early check-in and late check-out, but it’s definitely worth something nonetheless. Overall, I would say it would only be worth booking The Nines Hotel through Amex if you were planning to eat at one of the restaurants at the hotel. Otherwise, I think next time I might stay somewhere else that had bigger rooms. The small room size isn’t worth the money you are spending. There are much newer hotels like the Hi-Lo Hotel or bigger rooms like the Duniway Hotel and both are cheaper than what you would spend at The Nines. Also, just FYI, all dining and fitness facilities are currently closed until January 16, 2021 so that might be a big factor if you chose this hotel in the near future.