Are There any Specific Requirements to Become a Stash Member Hotel?
Grigelevich told us that Stash approached the Lenox a year ago about joining. Apparently, a hotel is audited before being considered for membership to ensure it reaches a service level that fits the Stash standard. Initially, reputation on travel sites like TripAdvisor and Expedia was also a prerequisite for potential members.
But Grigelevich said that now Stash is the one getting approached by hotels, and it can handpick who is qualified based on factors like locations people want to go. As its roster gets longer, Stash must balance earning hotels—places like the Lenox, which people frequent for business, etc.—and redemption hotels, those beachy destination spots where people vacation.
He added that it helps if a hotel brings something unique to the table. Grigelevich cited the Lenox's environmental efforts, like offsetting the air pollution and carbon emissions of all of its electricity.
Can Member Hotels Make Their Own Point Deals?
We wondered if Stash had final say over offering double-points promotions, or other such specials. But the hotels get to set those deals. "If we wanted to do quadruple points for a stay, we could," Grigelevich said. "Stash just helps promote it." He said the Lenox plans to dole out extra points in winter, a typically slow time since Boston's frigid cold doesn't exactly attract a ton of travelers.
Unlike a lot of branded loyalty programs, which require a set amount of points to earn, Stash's points are based on the best available rate set by the individual hotel. Last we checked, you have to rack up 22,786 points for a free stay at the Lenox (you earn five points for every dollar). "But on a Wednesday in January, it will be lower," he said. "That's why there are no blackout dates. During the Boston Marathon, we wouldn't black it out, but the rate would be so inflated that no one would have enough Stash points to earn a free night."
Do You Offer any Other Perks to Stash Members?
Hotel loyalty programs like Kimpton InTouch reward members in other ways, like free WiFi or free minibar treats. And while Grigelevich says boutique hotels like the Lenox by nature offer lots of amenities like free WiFi, you won't get side perks or swag just for being enrolled in Stash.
Why Did You Decide to Offer Stash to Your Guests?
"It allows us to give back to our loyal guests," he said. "It would behoove them to stay at a big brand and earn points, so this is our way of saying thank you. I think for that alone, it's a really important thing for independent hotels to do."
[Photo: The Lenox Hotel's Facebook]