Is not eligible for a free award night with Gold Points redemption; and other exclusions may apply
Is subject to availability
Is subject to blackout dates, as they may apply
Is subject to applicable law and void or not applicable where prohibited by law
Participating hotel and resort properties are subject to change at any time without notice. Cancellation policies vary by hotel or resort property.
Other terms and conditions apply.
“We want to save our members the hassle of spending time searching around for the best deal at our hotels and know that by booking directly through our sites and apps they will be receiving our very best rate,” said Roger Chacko, who is the chief branding and marketing officer of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.
If that sounds familiar to you, it should: Hilton Worldwide introduced its Stop Clicking Around rate exclusively for members of the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program earlier this year; but unlike that initiative which spells out the varying rates of discounts to be enjoyed, Members Only Rate Exclusive tends to be vague at best pertaining to how much of a discount you will receive — only to be found out when actually going through the process of booking a room rate at specific hotel and resort properties.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide also offers a similar exclusive rate for members of the Starwood Preferred Guest program; although the rolling expiration date has been quietly eliminated and now seems to be ongoing — similar to that of Hilton HHonors, Marriott Rewards and Club Carlson— but that will eventually become moot now that it is wholly owned by Marriott International as of today, September 23, 2016.
These marketing campaigns may very well be a way for lodging companies to gain as much control over the buying experience of its customers in order to be able to sell additional options — such as upgrades, for example — during the process of booking a reservation. Simultaneously, the lodging companies do not have to pay a commission to Internet travel agencies such as Orbitz and Expedia when a customer books a reservation directly through an authorized official channel of the lodging companies. The lodging companies have every right to do so as businesses while presenting what could potentially be a win-win situation for the companies and their customers…
…but as much as the lodging companies should be lauded for introducing a special discount for members of their frequent guest loyalty programs, do not automatically assume that you will get the lowest price if you use this discount room rate. There may be times where these exclusive rates are indeed the lowest room rates; but you will only know by continuing to check around to find the best room rate whose terms and conditions are right for you — whether it is a corporate rate, a special rate through an association or other affiliated entity; or as the result of a sale.