Shangri-La Hotels has launched a brand new program for its loyal guests. The Shangri-La Circle allows members to earn points that can be redeemed for discounts, upgrades and other prizes. Members can also share the benefits of their loyalty with friends and family in kind words or even through gifts from Shangri-la hotels
Shangri-La Hotels is launching a brand new loyalty program called Shangri-La Circle. The program will allow members to earn points for every dollar spent at the hotel, and redeem those points for rewards like spa treatments, luxury travel packages and more.
As we emerge from the worldwide epidemic, Shangri-La Hotels, a premium Hong Kong-based chain with over 100 locations, is among the first of the big chains to renew its reward program across the board.
Shangri-La has hotels in Paris, London, and Istanbul, as well as nine buildings in the Middle East and three in Australia. Hotels may also be found in Canada.
They’re redesigning the program and reworking both how elite status is obtained and the rewards that come with it. They’re also creating a consistent and flexible redemption value and rebranding the program. Next year, Shangri-La Golden Circle will become Shangri-La Circle, and:
- All activity counts towards elite status. They’re keeping elite nights as a qualifying criteria for status, and introducing a way to earn status based on spend (while dropping stays as a qualifying criteria). The interesting thing here is that all spend activity counts, including food and beverage when you’re not a guest and even online shopping.
- New benefits, including an invitation-only level. Their VIP level is more exclusive, and more rewarding, than any other hotel level I’m aware of including Marriott Cobalt status and Hyatt’s Courtesy Card.
- Flexible redemption. Instead of award charts with blackout dates, they’re allowing points to be spent at a consistent rate of 15 points is worth one US dollar. That’s true whether redeeming for room nights or non-stay awards, and it’s true for new cash and points awards they’re introducing.
Shangri-La Circle is credited with this image.
In The New Shangri-La Circle, How Elite Status Is Earned
Shangri-La status is now awarded depending on the number of nights or the amount of money spent. The term “stays” is no longer used. The intriguing thing is that regardless of whether you’re staying on site or not, every dollar you spend counts. You may acquire elite status by hosting a meal at their restaurant or purchasing anything from their online shop.
- Gold – Base member
- Jade – 20 nights or 6000 elite tier points
- Diamond – 50 nights or 15,000 elite tier points
While counting expenditure when you aren’t a visitor makes perfect sense, many chains find it difficult to implement. It’s possible that the restaurant uses a different system, or that points are connected to a guest folio. Shangri-La owns the majority of its hotels, allowing them to implement the kind of consistent technology that allows this to happen.
The New Shangri-La Circle Offers Elite Benefits
Shangri-La owns 80 percent of its hotels, which makes a tremendous difference in terms of providing advantages. They don’t have a wide range of proprietors to please, and they’re not just franchising their brand. This makes it easy to provide excellent advantages and guarantee that they are applied consistently at the property level.
The following are some of the most important advantages of the elite tiers:
- Jade: 25% bonus points, daily breakfast, elite rollover nights, 11am check-in/4pm checkout, welcome amenity, upgrade
- Diamond: Jade benefits plus 50% bonus points, 8am check-in/6pm checkout, suit pressing on arrival, club lounge access
It’s vital to understand that ‘club lounge access’ is distinct from the Jade level’s hotel breakfast bonus. As a hotel visitor in the United States or Europe, you may not anticipate Shangri-La clubs. These are one-of-a-kind events that feature sit-down meals and menu ordering.
Elites also get a Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer status match and a Taj Inner Circle status match, both of which are uncommon outside of this program.
The World’s Best Invitation-Only Elite Level?
God Save The Points calls Shangri-La’s Polaris invitation-only level “the most baller hotel status in the world.” While that’s not the way I’d phrase it myself, the sentiment seems correct.
This level provides access to hotel amenities such as the club lounge, health center, gym, swimming pool, business center, and more at any Shangri-La location worldwide, even if you are not staying there. You may visit and profit from a Shangri-La resort if you’re in a city, since Shangri-La realizes that its most important clients are just as valuable on days when they’re not staying on site.
Polaris members may check in beginning at midnight on arrival day and check out by 6 p.m. on departure day. It’s alright if they arrive in the middle of the night. There’s no need to ‘book the night before’ or wait for a room to become available.
That room, of course, may be enhanced. Polaris members may upgrade their accommodation up to 10 times each year for up to 14 nights per stay. Oh, and how will they get onto the property? They get free jet bridge meet-and-greets and airport transfers (Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore) six times a year, as well as complimentary four-hour luxury vehicle service during stays at Shangri-La and Kerry hotels.
Members of Polaris may also nominate a member of their family for Diamond status. I’ve always believed that how well you treat the individuals who are crucial to an important client is more important than how well you serve that customer. Nominating someone to the highest degree of public standing directly addresses this.
Finally, and at the risk of ‘burying the lede’, Polaris members (along with a guest) get to choose a Welcome Experience when they reach this level. There are currently 5 options to choose from. And to say they’re amazing and over the top would be an understatement.
- Tokyo – A Day with a Sushi Master Visit Tsukiji Market with Sushi Master Yoshi, a 4th generation renowned Sushi chef, as guide “the same Master who once represented Japan in front of the British Royal Family during the Royal Windsor Cup and the First Ladies during the G20 Osaka Summit.” You then visit his 100-year-old restaurant for lunch.
This package includes a night in a Premier Room at Shangri-La Tokyo, a spa treatment, an Italian supper in your suite, and a photographer to accompany you on your tour to Tsukiji Market.
- Hong Kong – Escape to the Sea Victoria Harbour cruise out to the Ninepin Group of islands and enjoy a meal on board by Michelin-starred chef Uwe. This includes a night in a Premier Harbour View Suite at Island Shangri-La Hong Kong along with dinner and wine pairing and in-suite spa treatment.
- Hangzhou – Caviar Enchantment Visit a sturgeon farm in the middle of Qiandao (“Thousand Island”) Lake and “interact with the sturgeons, and indulge in an extravagant Caviar tasting session paired with a Champagne afternoon tea.”
This package includes a night in a Midtown Shangri-La Executive Lakeview Suite, a spa treatment, and private dinner in a designated room or in your suite.
- Beijing Helicopter tour of the Great Wall followed by picnic lunch, including a night in a Luxury Premier Suite at the China World Summit Wing, ‘Dining through the Decades’ menu, and a photographer to accompany the Great Wall visit.
- Singapore – Fast and Furious Hotel pickup by a race driver and test drive at the F1 Auto showroom, includes a night in The Grand Suite at Shangri-La Singapore, Shang Palace menu served on the suite’s terrace, in-room massage, and 4 course ‘Diner des Fleurs’, presented by their executive chef and served in-suite or restaurant.
Polaris members also get all four of the following items, which they may keep or give to someone else.
This is much superior than anything I’ve seen from other brands, such as Marriott Cobalt or GHA Red Level. I realize that the number of participants in this program is initially modest, which makes sense in order to guarantee that it delivers on its remarkable promises, but I hope that this will be increased in the future.
These invitation-only tiers are crucial not just to cater to the chain’s most significant and prominent clients, but also to establish a standard of excellence that hotels may use to cater to other valuable visitors. There is a possibility of a halo effect throughout the loyalty levels.
The New Revenue-Based Redemption at Shangri-La Circle
Shangri-La has switched to a revenue-based system for earning and redeeming points. This implies that as a once-in-a-while visitor from North America, I may receive value out of the program without having to remain for long periods of time.
Here’s how it works, and it’s based on spending US dollars:
- Gold: Earn 1 point per USD$1 spent
- Jade: Earn 1.25 points per USD$1 spent
- Diamond: Earn 1.5 points earned per USD$1 spent
Then, for every $1 spent, members get 15 points. Before elite incentives, there’s around a 7% rebate on spend, which is comparable to other top programs that don’t give nearly the same level of service and don’t reward points for all purchase while not staying as a guest.
They’re working on implementing cash and point redemptions (already available in China properties, with other hotels joining in April).
For years, I’ve written about how much I like award lists. Shangri-La Circle, on the other hand, provides an intriguing case for fixed-value redemption.
- It’s entirely undetectable. Revenue-based redemptions are notoriously difficult to understand. You’ve got a clear value proposition here, and you know precisely what your points will get you.
- It’s ideal for a North American audience since it allows you to employ a limited quantity of points. You may not have the opportunity to stay or eat with Shangri-La as often as you could in Asia. You may redeem the points you earn during occasional stays here in cash and points with a predetermined value.
- Asian members may dine or have banquets with Shangri-La on a more frequent basis than they can stay, and they can even purchase holiday presents from them online. Earning points for all of these activities might result in more award nights than the former model, which had a chart of awards and ban days.
The Shangri-La Circle has a specific goal in mind.
My writing emphasizes the need of having a goal statement, a clear aim, and a sense of who your consumers are. Employees will be able to comprehend the product they’re expected to provide, and management will have a benchmark against which to make judgments. Shangri-La is unmistakably a premium company, and I like this statement:
Everything we do is done with the warmth and care that is inherent in Asian hospitality, and we treat every guest as if they were a part of the family. We create Shangri-La moments by creating experiences, cultivating community, and doing all we can to make every moment a Shangri-La. We assist each member in discovering their Shangri-La by providing personalized care, customized privileges, and taste-specific suggestions. This is the good life, as we’ve selected it and as you’ve accomplished it.
Shangri-La Circle is credited with this image.
Loyalty marketing is a combination of recognition and reward. Shangri-La Circle offers a transparent, fixed value proposition for reward (redemption). Members don’t give up rebates choosing Shangri-La. But where they’re really going to shine is recognition, the elite experience they’re crafting for members.
The Shangri-La Circle program update, in my opinion, does a lot of things right. Less regular visitors may still benefit from the program at the entry level by accumulating points that can be redeemed for modest sums, and any expenditure (including internet purchasing) gets points. Even the top tier of elites get an 11 a.m. check-in and breakfast, while upper-tier elites receive additional perks. And the way the program treats its most valuable clients is just remarkable.
More From the Wing’s Perspective
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Shangri-La Hotels has launched a brand new loyalty program, Shangri-La Circle. The program will offer members exclusive benefits and perks that can be used at any of the hotels in the chain. Reference: shangri-la golden circle status match.
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