For every frequent traveler, you’ll find a different opinion to the question: does it pay to remain loyal to 1 hotel brand. My opinion is yes, it pays. For me, I’m loyal to Starwood. Now, I’m not saying that you can always stay at a hotel with the brand you’re loyal to. There are going to be exceptions – some cities/towns/countries may not have a hotel within your preferred brand. Starwood didn’t have a single hotel in The Hague, Netherlands, so I had to stay somewhere else. There maybe times when your preferred brand isn’t within your budget and you have to stay elsewhere. However, whenever I possibly can, I stay at Starwood hotels.
Why be loyal? There are perks. The more frequently you stay with a particular brand, or chain, the more valuable you become to them. The more revenue you spend with a brand, the more willing they are to help you when you run into issues or challenges. When you become an extremely frequent guest within a brand, there are special perks you become entitled to. Yep, that’s right, VIP perks.
Having stayed more than 100 nights at Starwood, I have a personal ambassador, who by the way, I happen to love. She’s a direct contact who is my advocate, can help with essentially anything I need help with – including booking a room at another chain if there’s no Starwood that I can stay in – and I get Starwood points by booking through her (that is also available via the Platinum Concierge for people with more than 50 nights in a year.) She arranged something special for my birthday, helped me with an odd situation for my New Year’s Eve hotel reservations and more. It’s great to have one point of contact to work with.
When available, I’m upgraded to the best suites possible, and when there’s not available, I don’t act like an entitled traveler (which I wrote about last year) and usually end up getting some other VIP experience or treatment.
As I said, everyone’s going to have a different a different opinion, and that’s okay. But in my opinion, building a relationship with one brand, and growing it is much better than not having a relationship at all.