Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.
We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.
I’ve been deeply involved in the points and miles hobby since 2015, so it’s rather surprising that I just tried American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts for the first time. I’ve always been intrigued by the program but never found an opportunity to experience it — until now.
On a recent trip to Switzerland and Germany, I spent 1 night at The Charles Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel, which I booked through American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts (FHR).
In this post, I’ll give you an overview of the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program including how to make a booking and the benefits you’ll receive. Plus, I’ll give you a short review of The Charles Hotel and show you the benefits I received from booking through Amex FHR.
American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts is a hotel program available to cardholders of:
It offers exclusive benefits to cardholders at over 1,300 luxury hotels all over the world.Hot Tip:
Fine Hotels + Resorts isn’t the only hotel program from American Express. The Hotel Collection offers guests benefits on stays of 2 days or more. You can read more about both of these programs in our guide to Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts vs. The Hotel Collection.
Booking a stay through Amex FHR offers elite-like benefits without needing to have any type of hotel status whatsoever.
You’ll get these perks when you book through Amex FHR:
Cardholders of the Amex Platinum card get up to a $200 prepaid hotel credit annually for a prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts booking or 2-night prepaid bookings through The Hotel Collection.
To book a Fine Hotels + Resorts stay, log in to your American Express account and click on Menu>Travel>Book Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Then you can search for a hotel as you normally would. The specific experience credit for each location will be listed in the search results. You’ll also see the Amex FHR hotel designation on each listing (this can be helpful if you’re doing a wide search for hotels that may include non-FHR options).
You’ll be able to pay for your stay with your American Express card at the time of booking or at the hotel. You’ll also have the option to pay with Membership Rewards points.
If you want to use the up to $200 prepaid hotel credit from your personal Amex Platinum card, you must pay at the time of booking (don’t worry, many Fine Hotels + Resorts properties offer a flexible cancellation policy, even on prepaid bookings).
You’ll earn 5 points per dollar if you prepay for your booking, but only 1 point per dollar if you choose to pay at the hotel.Hot Tip:
While you can pay for your Fine Hotels + Resorts booking with Membership Rewards points, you’ll generally get much better value by transferring them to airline partners.
A few months after I booked and paid for this reservation, I ended up canceling the Amex Platinum card used for this booking. I wasn’t sure if I would still get the Fine Hotels + Resorts benefits, but I am happy to report that it all worked out just fine.
For this stay we just needed to provide an American Express card in the name of the person who holds the reservation at check-in (for any extra charges) — it didn’t have to be the card we booked with. When we checked in, we provided my husband’s American Express® Gold Card (as the reservation was in his name) and it was no problem at all.
When I was searching for hotels in Munich, location was the number 1 priority. I was traveling with family and we had a lot of activities planned, so we wanted to be centrally located near Marienplatz and the train station.
We ended up choosing Courtyard Munich City Center since it was inexpensive and within walking distance to everywhere we needed to go.
However, I definitely prefer hotels with a touch of luxury, so I kept looking for different options. That’s when I stumbled upon The Charles Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel. The location was excellent, and the price was reasonable after I factored in my Amex Platinum card’s $200 prepaid hotel credit, so I booked it for our first night in Munich as a treat before moving to the more budget-friendly Courtyard.
Through Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts, I paid $473.49 for 1 night at The Charles Hotel in Munich, Germany. I booked using my husband’s Amex Platinum card, so he got a $200 credit, which lowered the out-of-pocket cost to $273.49. He also earned 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar for the purchase.
We arrived in Munich after taking the train from Zürich, Switzerland. The hotel was only a 5-minute walk from Munich Central Station (Munich Hbf).
During check-in, the hotel agents confirmed that I booked through American Express and was eligible for special benefits. Here’s what I received:
I originally booked the Classic Room but was upgraded to a Deluxe Park View Room at check-in. At 430 square feet, the room was quite large, especially by European standards.
At the far end of the room were large windows overlooking the hotel’s front entrance and the park across the street. There were quite a few mature trees outside, so the view was very lush and green.
While it was a bit chilly during my stay, I loved that these windows opened up.
In front of the windows, there was a chaise lounge and a table. There was an additional armchair as well that had a real flower on the side table next to it. This was such an unusual thing to see in a hotel and it added to the understated luxury of the room.
There was a welcome amenity of fresh fruit on the table. It wasn’t expressly stated, but I assumed this treat was because I booked through American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts.
The comfortable king-sized bed was flanked by nightstands, each with a lamp, plenty of plugs, and complimentary Aqua Panna water.
There was a desk and TV across from the bed.
The built-in minibar area had snacks and beverages available for purchase.
The in-room coffee set-up was located on one of the nightstands, which wasn’t ideal. However, there was a nice espresso machine and real coffee cups and saucers, which is something I really appreciate.
The Rocco Forte-branded cups along with the lush view from my window made for a perfect Instagram morning coffee moment.
My bathroom in the Deluxe Park View Room was large, but not perfect.
Let’s start with the positives first. The bathroom was spacious with a nice stand-up rain shower, a separate toilet with bidet, and a single sink.
The amenities near the sink were beautifully packaged and displayed. There was a shower cap, nail file, and Irene Forte citrus body lotion.
There was a separate soaking tub on the opposite side of the bathroom from the shower and toilet.
The shower was great — it featured a large shower head, good water pressure, and nice bath products.
The problem (which admittedly isn’t huge) was that the door opened into the shower, so it splashed water everywhere when you went to close the door after turning the shower on.
However, once you were in the shower all was well. I loved the bath products by Irene Forte Skincare — Prickly Pear Shampoo, Almond Conditioner, and Apricot Shower Gel.
The other issue in the bathroom just seemed silly to me. The toilet and bidet were in a separate room behind a door — which is excellent. This just makes a hotel bathroom (or even a bathroom at home) so much more functional. The problem was that the door was see-through, which completely defeats the purpose of having the toilet behind a door.
One of the reasons I was so excited to book this hotel through Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts was the dining perks. As part of my booking, I got free breakfast for 2 plus a €100 dining credit which we used for dinner during our 1-night stay. The dining credit could be applied to food and drinks but not the tip.
Sophia’s Restaurant, located right off of the lobby, was The Charles Hotel’s only restaurant and served modern cuisine with an Italian flair.
After arriving at the hotel, we relaxed for a bit in the room before heading down to dinner at Sophia’s Restaurant. Dinner was served daily from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., although the restaurant stays open until 11 p.m.
With high ceilings and a wall of windows looking out onto the tree-lined street, the restaurant felt modern and elegant.
The dinner menu was somewhat limited (as is common at high-end restaurants), but there was also a list of daily specials to choose from.
My husband and I both started with the asparagus soup, which was excellent, and instead of a regular bread basket, we were served bread with fresh roasted garlic, butter, and tapenade. Yum!
My husband ordered the white asparagus with Italian farmer’s ham for his entree (since we visited during white asparagus season) while I chose the stuffed artichoke with leek, truffle, and buckwheat for my entree. It was delicious and unlike anything I have had before.
For dessert, I tried the yogurt panna cotta. It was just okay, but the basil sorbet that came with it was awesome. We also enjoyed some homemade mango truffles on the house.
Getting free breakfast at hotels is a big perk of high-level hotel elite status and can save you lots of money. The beauty of booking through Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts is that breakfast for 2 is included, regardless of elite status.
Breakfast was served at Sophia’s Restaurant from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. We had a busy day planned so I was looking forward to a nice meal before checking out.
The breakfast was served buffet-style but there was also a small menu with à la carte items available.
It was all included in the breakfast benefit. After ordering a cafe latte, I checked out the buffet.
There was lots of fresh fruit along with yogurt and muesli.
The selection of breads and pastries was accompanied by butter, jams, and honey.
For those looking for a traditional Bavarian breakfast, there was a station with Munich white sausages and pretzels.
On my recent trip to Europe, I enjoyed an American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts booking for the first time. I spent 1 night at The Charles Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel using my $200 prepaid hotel credit from the Amex Platinum card.
With my booking, I got a room upgrade, free breakfast, and a €100 food and beverage credit. Overall, it was an excellent experience and one that made me value the benefits of the Amex Platinum card even more.
The only problem with my stay was that it wasn’t long enough!
The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
The Charles Hotel is located about 0.9 miles from the Marienplatz in Munich, Germany. The Marienplatz is the city’s main square and is part of Munich’s Old Town.
The Charles Hotel is about 22 miles from Munich International Airport (MUC).
Was this page helpful?
Travel is changing fast... Stay on top of all the points strategies, exclusive offers & pivotal news - and lock in huge savings along the way.
Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.