My family has had a long history with hotel memberships. We become members because we know it’s good value if you use it often. When you are being sold memberships, don’t get swayed by the fancy freebies or the ‘get it now because we’re running out of stock’ trick. Think how often and how likely you and your friends and relatives will be using it in the following year. If you think you will be able to use it often, then let’s go ahead and discuss all the advantages of being a hotel member!
- For many, it’s a status symbol. Isn’t it nice to show off another shiny plastic in that arsenal you call a wallet?
- You get a free overnight stay, preferably with breakfast for two. That overnight stay alone is worth P4,000-7,000 depending on the hotel. Membership prices range from P6,000-8,500, so that free overnight stay alone makes you more than halfway to making ‘bawi’ on what you paid for the membership! So, when purchasing a hotel membership, always make sure that there’s a complimentary overnight stay!
- Buy 1 Take 1 on food at the hotel. Most memberships give you 50% when dining with another person (max of 2 people). That means, when you’re on a date, you only pay for 1 person! This is especially great when eating at the hotel buffets. Not all hotel buffets are created equal, but some deserve mention, like the Sofitel’s Spiral, and Manila Hotel’s Cafe Ilang-Ilang. If there are three of you in your party, the discount becomes 33%, if there are four of you, it’s 25%, and so on. Some memberships give you only a maximum of 33% food discount, even if there are only 2 of you dining. Skip those.
- Free meals for two. I’ve had several superb meals at the Prince Albert Rotisserie using the freebie that came with the membership and the free meals earned for every referral.
- Free cake on your birthday — a hotel cake costs P700-1,500! And you get one for free!
- Free swimming / use of gym — this depends on the membership package, but some hotels let you swim in their pool for free for your entire membership (1 year at the Intercon). This includes use of their shower room and towels.
- Discounted room rates and other promos
- Customer Service – this was a lifesaver! During Ondoy, I was working in Makati and got stranded there, unable to get home because all the streets were flooded. On the second day of being stranded, I was so desperate to get some sleep and take a bath that I was willing to pay for a hotel room. Fortunately, I had my Priority Privilege membership! Rooms were full at the Intercon but I waited at the lobby (and fell asleep! A guard had to wake me several times) for a room. I called the Priority Privilege hotline for some help in getting a room. The Priority Privilege club rep coordinated everything. Finally, some people checked out and I was able to get a room at the discounted member rate. I know this was one of the better experiences during Ondoy, but still, was I glad I had that membership and a place to stay because it took another day before the roads home were passable!
And that’s not all! Most of these memberships are transferable. You can lend them to your friends, colleagues, relatives. Many people can take advantage of the discounts, too, thanks to you! You’ll feel like The Godfather handing out favors.
Hotel memberships are worth buying if you will be able to take advantage of all the perks. Another thing that you should consider is accessibility. Is it easy for you and your family to go to the hotel? Is it too far? Is parking easy? Is parking free? Some hotels will give you free parking if you dine at their establishments, just remember to give the waiter your parking stub so they can waive the parking fee.
If you want to enjoy the perks of being a member at different hotels, another way to do it would be to get a few friends to buy memberships too. Pick a few hotels you like. Friend 1 can buy membership at Hotel A, Friend 2 can buy membership at Hotel B, etc.. Since memberships are transferable, you can just borrow cards from each other whenever you need to.
One more thing before buying the membership – do you like the hotel? If you don’t like the hotel then there’s no point buying the membership.
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The Barat Queen
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