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120 Sheraton Club Lounges around the world got an upgrade this year, and we just happened to have caught a glimpse of the one in Times Square yesterday during one of our routine Manhattan hotel inspection rounds (we don't actually do those, but it sure sounds fun, doesn't it?).
The VIP lounges are only accessible to SPG members, but regular civilians who want to cough up an extra $50-$150 (depending on the season) can also experience the lofty life too.
In the mornings, fruits, cereals and other breakfast items remain laid out until 11am; while in the evenings, dessert is brought up, hors d'oeuvres are served, a bar opens, and guests are invited to linger as long as they like. You see, at Sheraton, the Club Lounge is open 24/7—no weekday closings, no curfew. And because the facility is always available, they've made the new design super user-friendly with individual TV screens, plenty of power outlets all over the place, and of course, killer views everywhere you turn.
Click below to see our photo gallery!
Hotel Loyalty Programs / Loyalty Program News / Starwood Hotels / Starwood Preferred Guest / Starwood Ambassadors / Hotel News / → All Tags
Remember two years ago when we first got wind of this super-secret Starwood Ambassadors program? Well, it turns out the program is now going public.
Today Starwood unveiled a couple of big changes to their Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program starting on March 1st which includes personal ambassadors for SPG members who have spent 100 nights annually in Starwood hotels.
Starwood’s ambassadors work one-on-one with guests to understand their preferences and what matters to them on each trip to deliver a customized experience on property. Ambassadors also provide services beyond the hotel and are even empowered to assist guests when they’re not traveling
SPG also introduced a new loyalty tier for the devoted SPGers--SPG Lifetime which gives guests who stay 250 total nights and who have maintained their elite status for five years (consecutive or not), a lifetime of SPG Gold status. Members who tally up 500 stays and who have maintained their elite status for ten years (consecutive or not), will become SPG Platinum for life.
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At last, Trump Hotels has announced a loyalty program that will give you the Trump card at any Trump hotel..literally.
Called the Trump Card Privileges Program, the card offers members a Personalized Preference Program which will keep your room preferences on file "so no request needs repeating"; the best available room rates; early check-in and late check-out (based on availability) and 24-hour access to signature Trump Attaché service, a welcome amenity upon arrival.
After you meet a certain amount of milestone bookings, the card will also upgrade you to "experience" the Trump Hotel Collection suites. Additionally, you can also earn complimentary stays valid at any Trump Hotel upon certain milestone stays, with no blackout dates.
If you love the staying the night at the SLS Hotel or The Redbury and dining on sushi at Katsuya and are totally going to the Hyde Lounge when it opens at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, then you should probably sign up for the brand-new sbe loyalty program called, sbePREFFERED FRIENDS.
Being a preferred friend will not only help you earn rewards for your sbe dedication across hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and even spas but it will also get you access to the Global Concierge, which offers "lifestyle experiences worldwide."
Here's a bit on how it works:
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) would appreciate it if you didn't find any lower rates on third-party booking sites for any of their eight hotel brands (InterContinental Hotels, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Suites). But if you do, according to their new Best Price Guarantee (BPG) initiative, you will earn yourself a free night.
Why are they so confident? Well, the multinational hotel mega-group has put some serious time and money into making it more appealing for guests to book directly on the IHG brand website. So for example, if you are normally an Expedia booker (and why wouldn't you be?), and you want to book yourself three nights at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, you have two options: either pay slightly more than what's available directly on the hotel's website, or find a lower rate, and get your first night free (plus the other two nights at the lower rate)!
Apparently, IHG's Vice President, Michael Menis, "understands how much price influences a guest's booking decision." Well, thank goodness for that.
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Very big news for Accor Hotels today. The company, which holds Sofitel Hotels and other big European hotels under its umbrella, has announced a reorganization of its hotel brands, particularly in the budget spectrum, as well as a new loyalty program name. Once called the A-Club, the program is now going by the name Le Club Accorhotels. (Yes, Accorhotels is one word like that.) Hmm...we liked A-Club better but oh well.
The biggest change is actually happening with the company's ibis hotels. ibis hotels will become a "megabrand" for Accor with all seasons hotels now going by the name, "ibis styles" and with the Etap hotels going by the name, "ibis budget. Accor hopes to finish this new segmentation by early 2013 with a large-scale communication campaign happening in 2012 to let everyone know about the changes.
There's only one Swissôtel in the United States (in Chicago) but if you're a frequent guest at these hotels in Europe and Asia, you'll be pleased to know the hotel chain has a new loyalty program--Swissôtel Circle. And even if you're not a frequent guest, we think the membership tiers will still give you a giggle.
That's because they are alpine-inspired--Inizia, Elevà and Zenit, giving you more perks for each level you climb, er, reach.
Guests reach the Inizia level as soon as they have stayed five nights at a Swissôtel. This level grants them personalized room preferences, priority waitlist status, complimentary access to spa and sport facilities as well as the hotel's Advantage Awards whcih can be exchanged for upgrade, free breakfast or free internet access.
The Elevà level is for those who do 20 nights in a Swissôtel in 12 months and gives them select benefits such as free breakfast, executive lounge access, free internet, 48 hours guaranteed room availability, and Premier Awards which can be exchanged for free room nights or dinner for two.
No good deed goes unpunished? Singer Gavin DeGraw was maliciously beaten by some "thugs" and then bizarrely struck by a taxi, although not seriously, after he left a bar on the Lower East Side the other night with some friends.
The NY Post reports that he was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he has been hospitalized with a broken nose and cuts on his face. Whoa. Talk about a rough night.
Just days before on Friday, he was giving private piano lessons to two young girls as part of Starwood Preferred Guest's partnership with Live Nation where SPG members can trade in their points for once-in-a-lifetime music experiences.
This is certainly more exciting than Tweeting or Facebooking a new loyalty program promotion. A handful of Hilton Hotels HHonors members stripped down to bright blue bathing suits yesterday morning in NYC's Penn Station as a way to promote the new Great Getaway offer which offers rooms for 40 percent off this summer.
Throughout the day, the bikini-clad "members" took their "impromptu urban beach" flashmob complete with folding chairs, beach balls and towels advertising the HHonors Facebook page to other locations such as Times Square, Grand Central, Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park. And yes, they got looked at strangely everywhere they went.
Fortunately, to take advantage of the Great Getaway, you won't have to do anything as publicly embarrassing as this. All you have to do is book your reservation through HHonors between now and August 22nd to get up to 40 percent off at participating Hilton Hotels worldwide.
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Your Gold Passport will give you a ticket to ride, er, sleep in this bed.
We keep wondering when keyless hotel rooms are going to take off but judging from this recent WSJ article, the future is a long ways off as guests haven't grasped the technology very well and hotels are still concerned about security and privacy.
Yet there is a new development on the hotel key card scene from Andaz Hotels. Both the Andaz San Diego and the Andaz West Hollywood (above) are testing a new program that allows Gold Passport Members to use their loyalty card as their hotel room key. It sounds very similar to what Starwood's SPG has been doing with their Aloft Smart Check-in.
So remember the other week when we told you that Starwood Preferred Guest was linking up with Foursquare for a new Starpoints promotion? We've been down on Foursquare for a while since the benefits weren't outweighing the annoying sign-in/find places/check-in hassle. But this new promotion is totes legit. And it kinda made us like Foursquare again.
We had a confirmed reservation at the Element Las Vegas over the weekend and once we got there, we signed into Foursquare and sure enough, we got 250 Starpoints just for checking in. (We also got a message from one of our Foursquare friends saying, "You're baaaack!") Sadly, we didn't unlock the Free Resort Night Award but 250 Starpoints is good enough.
Foursquare Hotels / Foursquare / Loyalty Program News / Hotel News / Starwood Hotels / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hotel Social Media / → All Tags
We admit, we were fully under the Foursquare influence back in 2010 but as the rewards for checking into places dwindled and the process of checking in became annoying (not to mention the cheats and scams of mayors and the spam "friends"), we pretty much abandoned Foursquare altogether.
But Starwood's SPG program is making us reconsider again with a pretty cool loyalty program incentive. Right now, you can earn 250 Starpoints when you check in for a confirmed reservation through July at over a 1,000 participating Starwood hotels worldwide.
And every day this month, one very lucky Foursquare user will also unlock a Free Resort Night Award which will be hidden at one of the 1,000 hotels. Plus, anyone who does check in to a Starwood Foursquare hotel will automatically enter themselves into a contest to win a resort getaway including five Free Resort Nights AND airfare.