One less well-known group of hotels is the Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) “chain”, a loose grouping of about 500 independent hotels (locations here)
SLH has a loyalty program and it’s interesting because of the very low threshold needed to earn any sort of meaningful status. The program is free to join, and (supposedly) rewards you from Day One.
There are 3 tiers
– A hotel room upgrade on us (subject to availability at check-in)
– Access to Club Rates
– Regular Club newsletters with exclusive partner offers
After 1 stay you’ll receive all the benefits above, plus:
– Daily complimentary continental breakfast for two
– Late check-out (subject to availability at check-in)
After 5 further stays you’ll receive all the benefits above, as well as:
– Free reward nights (terms and conditions apply)
– Priority complimentary room upgrade (subject to availability at check-in)
– Early check-in (subject to availability at check-in)
If you’re not big on the conventional loyalty programs and like to stay at boutique hotels, this might be the “chain” for you. The lowest tier is free to join and already grants you an on-availability room upgrade. Make that 1 stay and you’re already a Loved member, getting free breakfast thrown into the mix and late checkout.
I’d like to point out that there’s a link here you can use to sign up and instantly get Loved member status, thereby skipping you one tier up the (rather short) ladder.
How good are the properties?
The rates in Singapore are rather eye-popping, unfortunately. This is how it priced out for a 2 night (Friday-Sunday) stay for 2 adults
Even though the above is for 2 nights, that’s still no small amount to pay!
I checked the prices for booking directly with the hotel and although Hotel Vagabond prices out the same, the Scarlet prices out at $506, surprisingly more than on SLH (and creates the possibility for a BRG claim)
What about more “affordable” markets like Bangkok?
Still pretty expensive, I’d say. FYI, SLH properties do alright on Tripadvisor- not the best but certainly nowhere near the bottom. in Bangkok, S31 Sukhumvit ranks 198 out of 807 hotels on Tripadvisor, Maduzi fairs much better at 58.
I’d like to clarify that being part of SLH does not mean the hotel has won some special award or is in some way elite (although I’m sure many of the properties are very special in their own way). SLH is not an “award”, SLH is a marketing initiative bringing together various small independent hotels
SLH runs occasional sales which offer 3 nights for the price of 2, or 4 nights for the price of 3. This brings down the rates into more affordable territory,
My advice is that if you’re booking a non-chain hotel, your best bet is to still go via Kaligo/Rocketmiles to earn some milesback, or via Expedia etc to earn cashback. However, if you’re staying enough nights to get good value out of the free daily breakfast, and if the price difference is negligible, you might want to look at SLH.