Omni Hotel Rewards
On a recent trip to the heart of Virginia in Charlottesville, we had the opportunity to stay at a charming hotel in the downtown core, the Omni Hotel. This post was in no way paid for by Omni and while they are sponsoring my giveaway this month, this was written well in advance of that agreement. I just want to highlight what I think is one of the best hotel loyalty programs in the country.
First of all, the Omni Select Guest loyalty program is completely free and anyone can join. While this isn’t different from any other loyalty program, what is different is that you start enjoying benefits right away. I first noticed it at check in when they asked for my name, handed me my keys and wished me a nice evening. Even at hotels where I have a high level of status, they still have to swipe my card and ask all of the usual, mundane questions. Not so with the Omni; they already had my card on file and didn’t want to waste my time.
I made my way up to my room, unpacked my laptop and started to login. At first I was dismayed when I saw that there was a fee attached, until I noticed that Select Guest members were exempt. It was free wi-fi! Imagine, never having stayed with them before I was given free internet access simply because I signed up for their free loyalty program. Amazing. No other hotel program to which I belong has such a benefit and it felt like I had won the travel lottery.
I would later find out that there a wide variety of perks, available even to someone brand new to the program including: complimentary morning beverage (including sodas), free clothes pressings, free bottled water every day, turndown service, newspapers and so on.
I honestly can think of no other program to which I belong that affords such benefits to someone without any status. Once you gain status with Omni, of course these benefits just increase.
If you look at the perks, they aren’t huge and don’t result in a dramatic financial impact on the hotel. However the result of these little benefits is to build a tremendous level of loyalty for the brand. When given the option between staying with Omni or another brand of comparable quality, why wouldn’t I choose Omni, the brand that clearly values my business.
Hotels are in a tricky business and it costs less to retain a happy customer than it does to recruit a new one. That’s why I am regularly dumbfounded at how poorly hotels treat their customers. I have a fairly high level of status with two major brands, yet even with that status the perks I receive are not nearly as good as the basic level benefits at Omni.
Hotels should take a hard look at Omni and their ability to make their guests happy and replicate in every way possible.