Hotel Loyalty Programme Series – GHA Discovery

Besides the likes of Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt, there is another form how hotel properties can get together and create a different – looser, but also “freer” – alliance. GHA, or Global Hotel Alliance, is one of them.

Rather than an alliance of hotels, GHA is an alliance of hotel groups. These groups are relatively small, so they need a platform like GHA to increase their visibility and drive sales.

[GHA Brands]

The main brands in GHA are:

  • Al Faisaliah Hotels, Resorts, Residences
  • Alila Hotels and Resorts
  • Anantara Hotels and Resorts
  • Atura Hotels
  • Avani Hotels and Resorts
  • Bristoria Hotels
  • Corinthia Hotels
  • Discovery Destinations
  • The Doyle Collection
  • Lewana Collection
  • GLO Hotels
  • Grace Hotels
  • JA Resorts and Hotels
  • Kempinski Hotels
  • The Leela Places, Hotels, Resorts
  • Lungarno Collection
  • Marco Polo Hotels
  • Meritage Collection
  • Meydan Hotels and Hospitality
  • Mokara Hotels and Spas
  • Mysk Hotels
  • Niccolo Hotels
  • NUO Hotels
  • Omni Hotels and Resorts
  • Outrigger Resorts
  • Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts
  • Parkroyal Hotels and Resorts
  • QT Hotels and Resorts
  • The Residence by Cenizaro
  • Rydges Hotels and Resorts
  • Shaza Hotels
  • Thon Hotels
  • Tivoli Hotels and Resorts
  • Ultratravel Collection
  • Viceroy Hotels and Resorts

You probably have heard some of them already (e.g. Anantara, Kempinski and Omni), although you might not know they are part of GHA. Because GHA has a huge diversity of brands, it is quite strong in both the upscale and midscale market.

[Membership Tiers and Benefits]

All the hotel groups under GHA share the same membership system:

  • Gold: once you’ve registered, you can enjoy free wi-fi, bottled water and newspapers
  • Platinum: 10 nights per year. Benefits include welcome amenity, one-level room upgrade and late checkout till 3pm.
  • Black: 30 nights per year. Benefits include welcome amenity, two-level room upgrade, early check-in at 9am and late check-out till 6pm.

Note that room upgrade and early check-in / late check-out are all based on availability only. However, most hotels appear to be happy to honour them as long as they are not fully booked.

Unfortunately, you do not get free breakfast or executive lounge access for being an elite member.

[Local Experiences]

GHA doesn’t run a point-based loyalty program. You do not earn anything directly for your stay. Instead, your loyalty is rewarded by this scheme called local experiences.

You get one Platinum local experience for reaching Platinum status, and likewise a Black local experience for attaining Black. Whenever a Platinum or Black member stays at a new brand, they get an additional Platinum or Black local experience.

The experiences you can redeem for can be found here. They are labelled either Platinum or Black and the latter tends to be more exclusive of course. Some experiences must be redeemed while you are staying at the hotel.

A typical local experience could be a dinner, spa service and airport transfer offered by the hotel. Yet there are many other options that are less conventional.

A personal stylist experience at Selfridges London with £100 gift voucher

A trip to Chengdu Panda Research Base with a concierge

Or a VIP arrival ceremony on an elephant!

Needless to say, local experience awards can represent exceptional value and bring you very unique experiences. Unfortunately you cannot earn it for as many times as you want, but only when you achieve Platinum / Black status or stay at a new brand.

[Fast Track to Elite Status]

The best part is, You don’t necessarily have to stay 10 or 30 nights to become an elite member with GHA.

Pay £30 for a yearly Business Traveller UK subscription, and Platinum status is yours.

The American Express Platinum / Centurion Card in Germany and Austria comes with Platinum / Black status.

Although GHA doesn’t have an official status match program, you can try your luck by emailing [email protected] if you are an elite of another hotel program, and some people have reported success.

Failing that, keep in mind that GHA is an alliance of many hotel groups and each of them can grant you status, which is valid across the entire alliance. For example, Thon hotels will status match you if you have status with Radisson or Nordic Choice, and have a reservation with them. In fact, this is how I got my GHA Black card!

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