New Chase Sapphire Reserve sbe Hotel Program Review [2019]

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve now comes with a new and interesting hotel benefit. It now provides you access to the sbe hotel collection and offers you elite-like benefits to these hotels. In this article, I will walk you through all of the key benefits of this new program and show you how it compares to other similar programs. 


A quick refresher on luxury hotel programs 

Before jumping into the new sbe hotel collection, I thought it would be a good idea for a quick refresher on the other major luxury hotel programs out there. 

Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection

The Chase Sapphire Reserve already comes with access to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection. This is a wide network of luxury properties all around the world and when you stay at these properties you can receive special benefits like: 

  • Daily breakfast for two
  • Complimentary Wifi
  • Room upgrade (based on availability)
  • Early check-in and late check-out (based on availability)
  • Special benefit at each property (worth around $100 usually)

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

There are also other similar programs like the one offered by Visa for Signature and Infinite cards. The Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection isn’t quite as valuable though it does offer some solid perks such as: 

  • Best available rate guarantee
  • Automatic room upgrade when available
  • Complimentary in room Wi-Fi when available
  • Complimentary breakfast for two
  • $25 food and beverage credit
  • VIP guest status
  • Late checkout upon request when available

The Visa Infinite collection also has an added special amenity (likely valued around $100). 

American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts

And then there is the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program offered to Platinum cardmembers. This is the number one luxury hotel program in my book because it offers the best all-around value for your hotel bookings. With this program you can receive the following benefits: 

  • Noon check-in, when available
  • Guaranteed 4pm late check-out
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Special amenity unique to each property
  • Special offers: 3rd night free, 4th night free, etc. 

So with all of that said let’s get into the new program.

The Amex FHR is the most robust luxury hotel program.

sbe hotel network 

The first thing to know is that sbe is a small (very small) network of properties. As of March 13, 2019 here are all of the properties in the network:

  1. Bahamas: SLS Baha Mar
  2. Doha: Mondrian Doha
  3. Istanbul: 10 Karaköy
  4. Las Vegas: Delano Las Vegas
  5. London: Sanderson
  6. London: St Martins Lane
  7. Los Angeles: Mondrian Los Angeles
  8. Miami: Delano South Beach
  9. Miami: Hyde Midtown
  10. Miami: Mondrian South Beach
  11. Miami: Redbury South Beach
  12. Miami: Shore Club
  13. Miami: SLS Brickell
  14. Miami: SLS LUX Brickell
  15. Miami: SLS South Beach
  16. Miami: The Raleigh (under renovation)
  17. New York: Hudson
  18. New York: Mondrian Park Avenue
  19. New York: Redbury New York

As you can tell a lot of the properties are located in Miami, but this small network of hotels cannot compare to the number of options offered by the programs mentioned above.

With the programs above not only can you find hotels all around the world but you also can find a lot more diverse group of brands like: Parky Hyatt, St. Regis, Conrad, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, The Peninsula, the list goes on…. 


sbe hotel benefits 

Although the network is very limited, there are some nice benefits to this new program. Some benefits may not be as valuable as the first appear, though.  

Fourth night free

The most valuable benefit for this program is probably the fourth night free. While the Amex FHR does offer fourth night free special offer for some properties, this offer is always available for sbe hotels so this is a guaranteed way to perhaps save hundreds of dollars on a 4 night stay. 

Note that for the 4th night free, all booked nights for the entire stay must be exclusive of any blackout dates. It is not clear to me yet how often there are blackout dates but this is definitely something to be aware of.

Free breakfast

You will be offered a free continental breakfast for two people per room. 

In the event the participating hotel does not offer continental breakfast at the property, sbe will provide a substitute benefit of one complimentary drink per person (limit 2 per room) per day at the participating hotel’s lounge or bar. Currently the Hudson Hotel (NY) and Redbury South Beach (FL) do not offer breakfast.

While the terms do specify a “continental breakfast” I am wondering if it is sometimes possible to get a full breakfast buffet at some of these properties. I say that because in the past I have been told I’m entitled to a free continental breakfast but in reality I was given a much more complete breakfast. 

Based on the terms it seems like if there is no continental breakfast available you’ll simply have to settle for a drink coupon. If that is the case then that is a pretty big bummer in my book but it’s hard to know for sure how that will play out at most properties. 

Upgrades

You can receive a complimentary one level room upgrade for duration of stay, if available. This type of upgrade is pretty standard for these programs. The room upgrade is available for every room made in a reservation, limit of four rooms.

It’s pretty cool that they offer the upgrade for up to four rooms (the limit of total rooms you can reserve with the program). 

$30 food and beverage credit

The new program will offer you a $30 food and beverage credit. Any food or beverage consumption within the applicable hotel is eligible, including the mini bar.

Many of the other programs offer credits that are worth at least $100 so this is a step down from the other premium programs. 

Complementary Wi-Fi

Many hotels already offer complimentary Wi-Fi and the other hotel programs also offer this perks of this isn’t really unique.

However, in the case where a property includes the cost of WiFi as a mandatory resort fee, the customer will receive a daily credit from the property in the standard amount the property charges for WiFi and reflected on the customers’ final statement upon check-out.

Late checkout

Late checkout will be given when available. Note that this is different from the Amex FHR which offers guaranteed late checkout. Also, there is no mention about early check-in being available.


Receiving the benefits

To receive the Guest Privileges, reservations must be made through the dedicated Chase/sbe Booking Website.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve and JP Morgan Reserve cardmembers must (a) use their Chase Sapphire Reserve or JP Morgan Reserve credit card to make the reservation
  • You must present your Chase Reserve card at check-in
  • You must use a Chase Sapphire Reserve or JP Morgan Reserve credit card to settle the bill at check-out in order to receive Benefits
  • In the event the eligible cardmembers does not pay with a Chase Sapphire Reserve or JP Morgan Reserve credit card, the current value of any benefits received for every room in the reservation, including but not limited to room upgrades, free Wi-Fi and free Continental Breakfast, will be added to the final bill at check-out.
  • Back to back stays within a twenty-four (24) hour period at the same property are considered one stay
  • Rates are flexible, allowing you to cancel without a fee but there are specific cancellation terms for the properties that you can find here

The terms appear to be a little bit strict when choosing your credit card for checkout. Other programs like the FHR allow you to use basically any Amex card when you check out, so you can still maximize your hotel points. Maybe they won’t be so strict in practice but those type of limitations can detract some value from the stay. 


Final word

Overall, this is a decent hotel program if you have plans to stay in one of these locations. The fourth night free could come in handy and save you hundreds although some of the other benefits seem a little bit less valuable than they typically would be (for example being limited to a continental breakfast and a lower property credit).

The biggest issue to me is the limited hotel network, so while this program does add value to the Sapphire Reserve, that value is somewhat limited.

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