We often get asked why we stay in Shangri-La properties over other hotels. No, we don’t work for Shangri-La nor do we get discounts; we simply choose them because of the personalized treatment, and their loyalty program is quite rewarding.
Shangri-La’s Golden Circle, like many rewards program out there, have their requirements and restrictions, but the essence and the execution of the Golden Circle program motivates us to maintain our membership status: Diamond– their highest tier.
Membership definitely has its privileges. As Diamond members, we enjoy many benefits: early check-in as early as 8am, late check out until 6pm, breakfast for two, lounge access for two (at the Horizon Club), a customized selection of welcome amenities for every stay (cookies, fruit, chocolate, beverages), a bottle of wine on each stay, complimentary suit pressing, room category upgrades, and the list goes on. But more than anything, a warm welcome from a team of dedicated personalities who remember who we are sets the high standards of this great program. We also earn points thru paid transactions in any of Shangri-La’s hotels and F&B outlets. And with those earned points, we can redeem them on-demand for dining and spa services, or stays and room upgrades.
All aforementioned benefits do come with some effort. To get to Diamond status, we need to render 50 room nights or 25 stays within the calendar year; that’s a little more than 4 nights per month. So if you’re not a corporate traveler, it may sound impossible… but it can be done. Shangri-La has Golden Circle deals each year(which we regularly check) for double reward stays, giving us a convenient excuse for little staycations, or short weekend jaunts to neighboring countries (with Shangri-La properties, of course… this includes Traders, Hotel Jen, and Kerry Hotels).
With 4 consecutive years as a Diamond member, we’ve learned a few important points about making the most of the membership:
1. Be a stellar guest. Every single person in a Shangri-La property contributes to your stay. Treat everyone with a smile and a hello no matter what their role. Good customers get good karma in the end– like a surprise bottle of champagne by the beach. If something doesn’t meet your expectation,
let the right people know. Be specific, offer a suggestion and be constructive, help everyone be better so you will enjoy your next visit.
2. Spend your reward points smartly. Room deals are always coming and going. Rather than using points on getting a room, use them at the spa and the dining outlets. Menu prices are almost always fixed. If you pay for the room, you earn back some of those points which you can redeem for a nice steak, a fancy pool side cocktail or an afternoon snack.
3. Maximize the reward promotions. Watch out for those Golden Circle special offers– Like you can earn 2x reward nights but if you have 3 or more stays in a specific period you earn 3x rewards. Deals like these happen and you can conveniently check them out using the Golden Circle app on your smartphone.
4. Make each stay special. To really optimize your experience and enjoy the very best Shangri-La has to offer, try not to book the lowest room category because if you select better rooms you’ll be a happier guest overall. Yes, upgrades are possible, but when they are, wouldn’t it be better to be upgraded from a suite to a villa, than from a standard to deluxe room? Do have a nice meal with the vintage of wine you prefer. Remember, it is a holiday! Treat yourself and let the points accumulate along the way.
Becoming a Diamond member of the Golden Circle Program is a labor of enjoyment and respect for the brand and its promise, as much as it is a reward to us as customers. It would take a lot of grit and effort to pry us away from this relationship of shared appreciation for hospitality, service, comfort, and a personalised experience.
Thank you Shangri-La, and Thank you Golden Circle.