Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is reportedly set to launch its own frequent guest loyalty program later this year.
Originally supposedly having resisted launching a frequent guest loyalty program for many years, the purportedly largest luxury hotel company in the world is planning the launch of its frequent guest loyalty program to occur sometime during the third quarter — possibly due to its plans for expansion of adding hotel properties to its portfolio, supposedly having enough hotel properties to warrant a frequent guest loyalty program.
Competition for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts — based in Toronto with 87 branded hotel properties and growing — includes:
- The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, which is based in the United States with 81 branded hotel properties and is now a subsidiary of Marriott International, thereby currently participating in the Marriott Rewards frequent guest loyalty program
- Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, which is also based in the United States with 23 branded hotel properties and is a subsidiary of Hilton Worldwide, thereby currently participating in the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program
- St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, which is also based in the United States with greater than 40 branded hotel properties and is now a subsidiary of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, thereby currently participating in the Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program.
No details are known at this time about the proposed frequent guest loyalty program of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts — but FlyerTalk members speculate, along with an interesting quote posted by FlyerTalk member deer:
“Very bad news.
“A real luxury hotel company treats all guests like VIPs, makes no difference based on ‘points’, does not try to churn stays from cheapskate guests for the reason of ‘earning free nights’, but tries by all means to make guests book because of high hardware and service magic.
“So, Four Seasons: Welcome down on your way of starwoodisation…”
You would logically conclude that if indeed what deer posts is true, then has The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company brand already been traveling down this road of doom since Marriott International has owned 99 percent of the company since 1998? Has a similar scenario been experienced by the Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts and St. Regis Hotels & Resorts brands?
In other words: do frequent guest loyalty programs contribute to cheapening the luxury hotel experience?
What are your thoughts?