You are here: News, Views and FAQsLatest News on Hotels & Their Rewards PointsGlobal Hotels Alliance & GHA Discovery - Timeline

GHA Discovery - Latest news & views for loyalty members

Travellers passing through Melbourne Airport can now access short stays with use of amentities.

Travellers passing through Melbourne Airport can now access short stays with use of amentities.

Travellers passing through Melbourne Airport, Australia’s busiest 24/7 hub, now have instant access to hourly hotel stays.

Following it's recent refurbishment, the PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport, the only hotel connected to the domestic and international terminals via a sky-bridge, is now offering short-stay hourly accommodation.. 

Bookable online or by phone, short stays at the hotel are available in three, five and eight-hour blocks, from $109, $119 and $149 respectively – significantly less than rooms at nightly rates.

Whether it’s to catch up on some sleep, freshen up or just chill for a few hours, travellers can access newly refurbished rooms with city or airport views, a 24-hour gymnasium, heated indoor pool, spa, sauna and steam room

Other amenities include the modern Australian restaurant, Airo, the casual Airo Café for coffee and light snacks, and Airo Bar for boutique beers, regional wines and specialty cocktails (and no doubt conversation with fellow flyers).

PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport boasts 276 rooms including eight suites and eight family rooms.

Loyalty Program

The PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport participates in the GHA Discovery loyalty program.

Our thoughts

The suites and family rooms are a great idea for families travelling at hours that little ones do not cope well with, or after long international flights with broken sleep, enabling you to refresh prior to moving on more refreshed. 

A room at the PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport

New study ranks 2023's best luxury hotel brands in the world

New study ranks 2023's best luxury hotel brands in the world

Mandarin Oriental (one of my personal favourite brands) was recently named the best luxury hotel brand in the world.Source: LTI — Luxury Travel Intelligence.

Our congratulations to Mandarin Oriental  and all the nominees!

There are rankings of the best hotels in the world, but this list, released by the members-only group LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence, ranks hotel brands rather than individual properties. The ranking analyses many hotels within a brand in “granular detail,” using more than 100 “touch points” to evaluate “a brand’s ability to deliver,” ranging from its ethos to staff, according to a press release.

When announcing the rankings, LTI noted that "Mandarin Oriental has always performed well in LTI's ratings. This year, they have improved further across all our touch points, placing them at No1.

It is an engaging brand with a loyal and growing following, who appreciate its commitment to excellence"   (including us - it is a long-term favourite),  "...the much-anticipated opening of their London Mayfair property could be a pivotal moment for them."

Luxury Travel Intelligence memberships cost $700 per year and grant access to the group’s travel research. It doesn’t sell advertising, and research is independent and funded by subscriptions, according to its website.

The best luxury hotel brands

Mandarin Oriental was recently named the best luxury hotel brand in the world by LTI — Luxury Travel Intelligence. There are other rankings of the best hotels in the world, however,this list, released by the members-only group LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence, ranks hotel brands rather than individual properties. The ranking analyzes many hotels within a brand in “granular detail,” using more than 100 “touch points” to evaluate “a brand’s ability to deliver,” ranging from its ethos to staff, according to a press release. Luxury Travel Intelligence memberships cost US$700 per year and grant access to the group’s travel research. It doesn’t sell advertising, and research is independent and funded by subscriptions, according to its website.

2023's best luxury hotel brands

Here are this year’s results, reflected as percentages, with last year’s positions in brackets:

  1. Mandarin Oriental    81.4% (2)
  2. Oetker Collection     81.3% (6)
  3. Auberge                    79.6% (4)
  4. Six Senses                79.0% (1)
  5. Aman                         78.8% (5)
  6. Belmond                   76.3% (8)
  7. Four Seasons           76.1% (9)
  8. One&Only                 75.1% (7)
  9. Rocco Forte              73.8% (11)
  10. Rosewood                 72.1% (3)
  11. Peninsula                  69.8% (New Entry)
  12. Raffles                      68.5% (New Entry)

Mandarin Oriental took the top spot for the first time, — topping Oetker Collection by a very narrow margin, despite Ortker's  ranking rising by 4 places. Oetker Collection operates 12 hotels across the globe, including the icons Le Bristol in Paris, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, and The Lanesborough, London.

In 2022, Six Senses was ranked No. 1, followed by Mandarin Oriental (No. 2) and Rosewood (No. 3). So two of last years leaders have fallen a surprising number of spots - Six Senses has dropped 3 places and Rosewood has dropped 7 positions.

Auberge Resorts Collection — ranked third on the list — operates hotels like Mauna Lani in Hawaii, The Lodge at Blue Sky in Park City, Utah, and The Vanderbilt in Newport, Rhode Island. Those are just three of the 27 hotels and resorts under the Auberge brand.

Two well-known brands are new to the list this year: Peninsula Hotels and Raffles Hotels & Resorts.

Other recognized brands

LTI also highlighted other brands that it said “rated sufficiently” enough to be monitored. The brands are: 1 Hotels, Alila, Anantara, Banyan Tree, Como, Dorchester Collection, Firmdale, Jumeirah, Leela, Oberoi, Park Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-La, Soho House, Red Carnation, St. Regis, Taj, The Luxury Collection and Viceroy.

Additionally, brands that have fewer than 10 properties — the minimum required to make the list — but were rated highly are: Airelles, Althoff Collection, Bulgari, Capella, Cheval Blanc, JK Place, La Reserve, Maybourne, Montage, Nikki Beach, Pendry, Soneva, Ultima Collection and Virgin Limited Edition.

Our associated Travel Agency - Rewarding Travel has a preferred relationship status with 10 of the top 12 brands and over half of the brands that rated special mentions. To see what makes them so special and how we can make your stay even more luxe at no additional cost, contact Rewarding Travel to discuss your preferences.

The scoring system

Luxury Travel Intelligence uses an algorithm to assess hotel brands, which has a maximum of 4,663 points, said Crompton.

This year, it measured 130 “touch points,” evaluating factors like in-room dining, guests’ pre-arrival process and a brand’s social media engagement, Crompton told CNBC Travel. The group uses a points-based system to remove “inevitable emotiveness and personal opinion” from the ranking, he said.

Crompton also noted that brands’ investments — either in new hotels or in the renovation of existing ones — was a major factor this year.

Crompton did not reveal how touch points are weighted, but said that “each year we tweak the touch points and the weighting.”


ParkRoyal Melbourne receives major facelift

ParkRoyal Melbourne receives major facelift

Located just a few steps from the MEL airport terminals, the hotel will soon unveil an ultra-modern redesign from floor to ceiling

The most upscale hotel at one of Australia’s major airports is undergoing a multi-million-dollar refurbishment to reflect Australian lifestyle and nature and aimed at transforming the ‘in-transit’ experience.

The work on Parkroyal Melbourne Airport is due for completion in December 2023 and involves all 276 rooms, the lobby, restaurant, café, bar and the meeting and events floor.

“This refurbishment will elevate the experience for guests staying at the hotel, as well as those attending our myriad business events,” said Parkroyal Melbourne Airport General Manager, Cameron Mead.

The picture illustrates the new clean, contemporary look.

“We are excited to welcome guests to discover our contemporary new interior design aesthetic which has been influenced by Melbourne’s unique personality and inspired by diverse Victorian aerial landscapes, from the city’s grid-style urban planning to the organic form of the Yarra River.” 

Located just 30 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD and directly across the road from Melbourne Airport’s terminals, the property is the only hotel directly connected to the domestic and international terminals via an undercover pedestrian skybridge.

Onsite amenities include modern Australian restaurant Airo, the Airo Café and Airo Bar, which offers boutique beers, regional wines and specialty cocktails.

A fully equipped 24-hour fitness centre, heated indoor lap pool, spa, sauna and steam room further enhance the guest experience.

Every piece of furniture will be custom designed using plush fabrics alongside luminous metal finishes in the newly refurbished rooms. To improve functionality, luggage access, hanging space and the minibar offering will all be enhanced.

GHA launches loyalty partnership with Regent Seven Seas | Triple rewards for limited time

GHA launches loyalty partnership with Regent Seven Seas | Triple rewards for limited time

Members of the GHA Discovery Program can earn elite status by sailing with one of the world’s leading luxury cruise lines.

In an interesting development, Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, has entered a loyalty partnership with luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas Cruises (Regent), which offers access to 500+ ports of call around the globe.

This follows the recent trend of luxury hotel chains launching their own luxury cruise lines (Aman, Belmond, Four Seasons, Accor's Orient-Express, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Club and Virgin Voyages), although only 3 currently have ships sailing.

GHA DISCOVERY members, who have access to 800 hotels, resorts and palaces operated by 40 hotel brands in 100 countries, are rewarded with the program’s rewards currency, DISCOVERY Dollars (D$1 equal to US$1).

Through this exclusive partnership, the program’s members will now enjoy the additional benefit of earning DISCOVERY Dollars by reserving a voyage with Regent and will be able to redeem those benefits in any GHA hotel, resort or palace, but not to book cruises or while sailing onboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises ships.

Benefits for GHA DISCOVERY members
  • Between D$750 and D$2,500 for every Regent cruise reservation made, which can be spent at any GHA hotel or resort worldwide, valid for 12 months.
  • Fast-track upgrade to GHA DISCOVERY Titanium status, valid for over 12 months (the remainder of the calendar year in which it is earned, plus all of the following calendar year), offering benefits such as double room upgrades, special amenities, early check-in, and late checkout at GHA hotels and resorts worldwide.
  • On-board welcome gift of premium chocolates and Champagne with any Regent voyage reserved by a GHA DISCOVERY member.
Launch Promotion

To celebrate the launch of the partnership, GHA DISCOVERY members can collect triple rewards of up to D$7,500, The offer is valid for bookings until 30 September 2023 and cruises departing on or before 31 December 2023.

Our thoughts

While the luxury hotel chains of Aman, Belmond, Four Seasons, Accor's Orient-Express, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Club and Virgin Voyages have chosen to create their own cruise lines, GHA instead chose to forge an alliance with a well-establisd existing luxury line in Regent.

This possibly reflects their background in managing alliances, but also has the advantage of providing immediate benefits for its Discovery members (and potentially many new passengers for Regent) without any teething problems.  

The value of Discovery program should aslo not be lost by Regent passengers, who would be wise to join Discovery prior to booking their next cruise

For more information regarding GHA Discovery, refer to our comprehensive guide to GHA Discovery, which has details on how to join.
For more information on the GHA/Regent alliance, please see the Frequently Asked Questions here.

How six of Spain's top hospitality companies keep their operations more sustainable

How six of Spain's top hospitality companies keep their operations more sustainable

Since 1973, the United Nations has recognized June 5 as World Environment Day, an annual event that it says "puts a global spotlight on the pressing environmental challenges of our times". This seems like the perfect time to highlight a few hospitality businesses and their sustainability initiatives.

In the hospitality industry, embracing more sustainable practices is more than a moral imperative; it makes good business sense. That's because sustainable tourism has become a top priority for a large number of travelers. (This is especially true of millennials and members of Generation Z.).  For some in the hotel industry, implementing more sustainable practices might mean taking small steps — they could replace plastic straws with reusable glass or metal ones, for example — or it might mean making major changes to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and eliminate food waste.

According to a 2022 Sustainable Travel Report from, 73% of travelers say they would be more likely to choose an accommodation that has implemented sustainable practices — and 81% intend to stay in an environmentally friendly location at least once in the next year. 

If this is you, read on to learn more about how these 6 hotel chains lead the way in conscious and meaningful sustainability.

Barceló Hotel Group

Barceló Hotel Group is Spain's second-largest hotel chain, with more than 250 four- and five-star urban and holiday hotels, and more than 55,000 rooms across 22 countries. The company's properties are marketed under the brands Royal Hideaway, Barceló, Occidental and Allegro. 

It has an active loyalty program - my Barceló. 

What they’re doing

Recognizing climate change as a global environmental crisis, Barceló Hotel Group has made a commitment to reduce its environmental impact.

At its Occidental hotels in the United Arab Emirates, for example, the company's sustainability practices are implemented through eco-friendly cleaning products, water and energy conservation, and waste reduction.

Occidental Al Jaddaf, for instance, uses solar panels to operate water heaters for energy conservation and features low-flow devices in public bathrooms and showers to reduce water consumption.

Barceló Hotel Group's vice president for sales and marketing for GCC, Raquel López, said in a news release: “We aim to be at the forefront of sustainability within the hospitality industry to ensure that our properties are not only safe for our guests at this current time, but also for the generations of travelers yet to come. The introduction of this comprehensive strategy has allowed us to lay the framework for even more sustainable initiatives in the future.”


Operating more than 100 hotels in 16 countries, Iberostar has built its brand image on its dedication to promoting responsible and sustainable travel. The Iberostar Group's offerings range from all-inclusive beachside resorts in Mexico, Jamaica and Brazil to chic urban hotels in cities like New York, Barcelona, Marrakech and Lisbon.

It has closed its own loyalty program - Iberostar Horizons.  Almost all properties now participate in the IHG One Rewards program via a marketing alliance.

What they’re doing

Iberostar's Wave of Change program signals that the international hotel chain is committed to moving towards a circular economy, promoting the responsible consumption of seafood and improving the health of coastal environments.

In addition to phasing out single-use plastic items in 1999 — eliminating the use of over 420 tonnes of plastics annually — the company has committed to making its operations waste-free by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2030.

Earlier this year, Iberostar reopened its Cristina hotel in Playa de Palma, Mallorca, following an upgrade in its energy supply that has eliminated the use of all fossil fuels in favor of electricity from renewable energy sources. This move makes the hotel greener by reducing its carbon footprint to zero without compromising the guest experience.

Iberostar has also pledged that its seafood consumption will be 100% sustainable by 2025, and it has already hit that target in Mexico. Investment in sustainable fishing supports local communities and helps preserve local ecosystems for future generations.

Iberostar is hoping that, by 2025, Wave of Change will be a major driver for 60% of all hotel-room bookings at its properties.

Meliá Hotels International

One of the 20 largest hotel companies in the world, Meliá Hotels International operates more than 380 properties on four continents.

It has an active loyalty program -  Meliá Rewards, for which we have a detailed guide.

What they’re doing

Meliá's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement has led it to identify specific medium-term environmental objectives related to combating climate change.

Driven by innovation and technology, Meliá has developed an efficient management system designed to reduce the use of natural resources and shrink each hotel's carbon footprint.

The company's sustainable strategies include:
  • Implementing sustainability criteria throughout the supply chain, beginning with hotel concept and design
  • Using certified sources of renewable energy, standardizing efficient management systems and implementing systems that reduce water usage
  • Reducing or eliminating high-impact waste from the ecosystem
  • Measurement and control of consumption through tools, indicators and scientific criteria
  • Training employees and raising customer awareness through programs focused on respect for the environment and biodiversity

NH Hotel Group

NH Hotel Group is one of the 25 largest chains in the world and operates 356 hotels across 33 countries in Europe, the Americas, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

It recently migrated its loyalty program to participate in GHA Discovery.

What they’re doing

NH Hotel Group has dubbed its environmental management plan UP FOR Planet, which is its roadmap for fulfilling the commitments it has made to combat climate change and progress towards decarbonization, the efficient management and consumption of resources and the development of more sustainable products.

The company has set a number of sustainable development goals, with the aim of achieving the following:
  • 64% of energy use by hotel buildings is to come from renewable energy sources
  • 15 million single-use plastic amenities (e.g. plastic straws and cups) eliminated each year
  • 35% yearly reduction in energy consumption per room nights
  • 89% local purchases

Palladium Hotel Group

Palladium Hotel Group is an international hotel chain based in Ibiza, with 48 hotels in six different countries (Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Italy) around the world.  

Palladium has its own loyalty program - Palladium Rewards.

What they’re doing

Palladium's green practices are focused on the following goals, among others:
  • Reducing single-use plastics 
  • Moving towards digitalization
  • Rational, sustainable use of water 
  • Measuring the company's carbon footprint more accurately 
  • Reducing energy consumption 
  • Circular economy initiatives 
  • Reducing, recycling and reusing waste 
  • Protecting biodiversity 
Palladium's sustainability initiatives include a turtle conservation and release program in Jamaica, beach cleanup and maintenance at all of its hotels, and a program that monitors the health of the mangrove forests on its properties along the Riviera Maya.


The state-owned Paradores de Turismo specializes in cultural and nature tourism, with 97 properties throughout Spain's autonomous communities and one in Portugal. In addition to having Paradores in nine cities that have been declared World Heritage Sites, the company also operates accommodations in national parks and other natural areas, often housed in heritage properties such as castles and monasteries.

Paradores has a little known loyalty program - Amigos de Paradores.

What they’re doing

Paradores has implemented a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate its impact on climate change, with the objective of being net-zero in 2030.

A few milestones on Paradores' sustainability journey to date:
  • In 2019, the organization announced that it would replace plastic straws, bottles and cups with compostable alternatives.
  • Starting in 2020, Paradores has calculated the carbon footprint of all of its properties with an eye toward replacing deficient or highly CO2-emitting equipment as well as the improvement of automatic control systems for energy consumption.
  • Electricity at each of Paradores' properties is generated through the use of renewable resources.

To find out more about sustainability in the hospitality industry, visit the website of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. Members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance include some of the biggest names in the hotel industry, such as Iberostar, Accor, Hilton and Marriott International.

Capella Sydney Opening Date Confirmed - book while you still can!

Capella Sydney Opening Date Confirmed - book while you still can!

Further to our post of 30 October 2022, Capella Sydney, the first Australian property in the Capella Hotels and Resorts portfolio, is now accepting reservations for arrivals beginning 15 March 2023.

It is the newest 5-star hotel in the Sydney CBD and includes 192 guestrooms (such as the one pictured) and suites, anchored by three ground-level food and beverage outlets: Aperture, Brasserie 1930 and McRae Bar.  . 

For travellers unfamiliar with this luxury brand, “The Capella brand is synonymous with luxury, excellence in the craft of hospitality and cultural immersion. Capella Sydney takes this to the next level through unparalleled experiences that go above and beyond the expected, underscored by world-class accommodation and dining,” said Marc von Arnim, Capella Sydney’s General Manager.

The beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites are replete with deluxe textiles, standalone tubs, custom Italian Frette linen and exclusive Haeckels amenities. Guestrooms at Capella Sydney offer an abundance of space, volume and natural light. Starting at 46 square metres, each room features curated artwork, sumptuous furnishings and intriguing objet d’art complete with luxurious pillow-top beds fitted with custom Italian Frette linen and exclusive Haeckel’s amenities

The  guestrooms start from AU$530 per night (Superior rooms - 46 square metres), while the uppermost jewel, the 235-square-metre Capella Suite on the ninth floor, boasts the largest offering in the portfolio, starting from AU$6,430 per night.  

To make a booking for this gorgeous new property in the heart of Sydney, contact our associated Travel Advisor, Neil McPherson at Rewarding Travel, and ask what perks he may be able to add to make your stay even more special.

2023 hotel openings - our "can't wait to stay" list

2023 hotel openings - our "can't wait to stay" list

Exciting New Properties Opening in 2023

There are many brands opening new properties globally this year, as the worst of the global pandemic may be behind us. This is our ” bakers dozen” list of properties opening in 2023 that we are super excited about and can barely wait to book, listed in geographic regions.  With most of these, booking through Rewarding Travel can provide you with luxury perks (eg daily breakfast, room upgrade st availability...) at no additional cost.

It’s going to be a busy year…

1.  Raffles London at The OWO (2Q 2023)
An architectural masterpiece, the Old War Office on Whitehall (OWO) is undergoing a meticulous restoration to create the Raffles’s first UK hotel.  OWO dates back to 1906 and is famed for housing influential leaders. These include Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George and John Profumo. It also inspired Ian Fleming to write the James Bond series after working here as a key liaison.
The landmark building has undergone a monumental transformation and now features 120 lavish guestrooms and suites, 85 spectacular private residences, 9 ultra-stylish restaurants and 3 bars, bars including one gracing the rooftop with views across The Mall on to Buckingham Palace.

 An exclusive Guerlain spa and member’s health club (a 20-metre indoor swimming pool, saunas and steam rooms ) by movement and nutrition experts Pillar will offer private memberships for locals in the know.

2. The Peninsula, London (May 2023)
Swish Hong Kong hotel group Peninsula – famed for its Rolls-Royce fleets, crisp-suited bellboys and want-for-nothing service – is finally landing in London. Located at one of the most prestigious addresses in the British capital, overlooking Hyde Park Corner and the Wellington Arch, The Peninsula London is bringing the best of British – culture, art, and cuisine – to this new build in Belgravia.

Expect Peninsua’s usual sleek and understated elegance in each of its 190 rooms, while several destination restaurants, a Peninsula Spa (including a 25m indoor pool ) and a grand ballroom are also on-site. The Peninsula London also features a one-storey shopping arcade, with nine retail shops housing international luxury brands keeping luxury style very close at this new central London location.

 3. Mandarin Oriental. Mayfair (2Q 2023)
The luxury hotel chain is expanding its presence in London with the opening of Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, London providing a smaller, more intimate sister property to the award-winning Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in nearby Knightsbridge. Situated on Hanover Square, Mayfair’s oldest square, the hotel will provide a calming, discreet sanctuary for hotel guests.

The property comprises 50 guestrooms and 78 private residences in the heart of Mayfair, one of London's most stylish neighbourhoods. Taking advantage of its world-class location within walking distance of London's admired fashion houses on Bond Street and the boutiques of Saville Row, as well as art galleries, the new hotel will offer guests and Fans of MO ( its loyalty program ) exclusive access and experiences from high fashion to art, culture, and dining. It will also house the first namesake Akira Back restaurant in the UK from Michelin Star award winning Chef Akira Back, as well as his 'ABar Lounge' concept. There will also be an urban spa, focussed on renewal and recalibration, featuring an indoor 25-metre swimming pool, sauna, vitality pool, relaxation room and a myriad of bespoke wellness treatments.

4. Adagio London Whitechapel (Late 2023)
For guests who desire the helpful services of a hotel and the freedom to live like a local in a neighbourhood apartment, Adagio offers an easy balance of both. Designed for longer stays, the 147 serviced apartments conveniently located on Whitechapel Road in East London will provide one or two-bedroom apartments, complete with kitchens.

5. 100 Princes Street  Edinburgh (August 2023)
Red Carnation Hotels’ group first Scottish property is to be 100 Princes Street, whose name is a nod to their illustrious address on one of Edinburgh’s most famous streets. The interiors – designed by the team behind Ashford Castle in Ireland – will be full-blown Scottish chic with custom-made tartan by Araminta Campbell, roaring fires and a central staircase with a hand-painted mural of Scottish explorers by Croxford and Saunders restoring the former Overseas League building to its former glory. There’ll be just 30 guest rooms, some looking to Edinburgh castle, and a staff ratio of 2:1, so you know service will be a priority.

6. Six Senses Rome (March 2023)
For their new Rome hotel, Six Senses painstakingly restored parts of a Roman 15th-century compound, including the exterior Renaissance facade and interior staircase. Architect Patricia Urquiola is masterminding the interiors - guest rooms feature traditional cocciopesto plasterwork, locally-sourced travertine limestones, and sun-drenched terraces. Located steps from the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain, overlooking via del Corso, it is a great place to rest after a long day exploring the city. They currently have an opening offer, valid until 30th of April:- 15% off best flexible rate.- Includes: breakfast, upgrade upon availability, a welcome drink, use of Roman Baths, Sleep questionnaire, bedding and sleep tracker and access to their Earth Lab. From Deluxe Suite onwards receive a one-way Airport transfer as well and a 20-minute skin instant lab. Contact RewardingTravel for more details.

7. Bulgari, Rome
The eternal city’s hotel scene is seeing an injection of fresh style with new branches of Nobu Hotels and Six Senses, plus the boutique ROMEO, in a 16th century palazzo. But top of our must-visit list for OTT luxury is Bulgari Rome. This Italian brand owns hotels as far afield as Shanghai and Bali, but finally opens its flagship on home city turf this coming spring or summer. Set in a 1930s modernist building dripping in travertine marble and red brick, it’s sure to be the epitome of more-is-more Bulgari style with warm jewel tones, fabulous artwork and unashamedly luxurious suites.

8.  Anantara Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi. (April 2023)
Following extensive restoration and renovation works, the heritage hotel – occupying a 13th-century monastery and former Cappuccini Friars Convent – will be restored to its original glory. The historic 52 guest room and suite  property will reveal new-look accommodation, refreshed dining concepts and a completely redesigned spa, all perched on a clifftop 80 metres above sea level with spectacular views of the Mediterranean Coast.

9. Maison Delano Paris (Early 2023)

Located in the heart of the ultra-chic 8th Arrondissement, Maison Delano Paris is an oasis within the bustling city. Occupying an 18th century courtyard building at 4 Rue d’Anjou, this is a place to experience exceptional and exclusive culinary concepts by three-star Michelin Chef Dani García, a fresh perspective on wellness and hyper-exclusive curated moments.

10. COMO Le Montrachet (2Q 2023)
Fine wine plus a fine spa – what else do you need? Launching in picturesque Burgundian village Puligny-Montrachet , COMO Le Montrachet is the latest (and first French) property in the wellness-focused COMO resort group is a celebration of life’s good things. Spread across four 18th century stone buildings, serene contemporary suites will channel pure Gallic serenity; meanwhile the Shambala Retreat spa will turn out deep tissue massages and hydrating facials. The restaurant will come with a superb Burgundian wine list, of course. Prefer spirits? Look instead to another exciting French opening: La Nauve, a former cognac distillery turned hotel near the Charente river.  Teasingly Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group has said that “ Besides Europe, we will also add a new luxury resort in the South Pacific to the portfolio next year.”  (ie 2024)
The COMO Group is an international privately-owned company with long-term investments in the world of fashion, wellness, high-level sports and luxury hotels. The group also supports its philanthropic mission through the COMO Foundation. Its subsidiary, COMO Hotels and Resorts, includes 14 international properties. Destinations in APAC include Bali, the Maldives, Bhutan, Thailand and Australia. In the Americas, the group own and operate a private island in the Turks and Caicos. In Europe, The COMO Group operates two city hotels in London and a resort in Tuscany.

11. The Standard, Singapore (late 2023)
Opening right off Singapore’s famed Orchard Road is the Standard Singapore, which aims to enhance the city’s already vibrant cultural scene with its buzzy, night-life-focused brand. In addition to their 143 rooms will be a signature restaurant, an infinity pool, and a bar set within a botanical courtyard. The Standard prides itself on shaking up the establishment and defying convention to deliver a unique experience. The company says its careful consideration of design, detail and service has allowed it to "cultivate a reputation for irreverent and playful sensibility".

12. Capella Sydney (March 2023)
The first property for Capella Hotels and Resorts to open in Australia will be housed in a magnificent heritage-listed sandstone building, centrally located just a short walk from the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge Capella Sydney is all about contemporary luxury balanced with the historical Edwardian-Baroque features – grand soaring ceilings, marble-clad foyer – with contemporary design, international art and 70 species of local floral on a seven-metre-tall ‘green wall’ of this 100-year-old building. Guests will also be granted access to the private Living Room – a signature of Capella properties across the world. Here, local pros or Capella Culturists will be on hand to organise guest activities both in and outside the hotel.

Over eight levels, 192 guest rooms and suites feature walnut wood, natural stones and deluxe textiles with standalone tubs, custom Italian Frette linen and Haeckel’s amenities in the bathroom. Three ground-level bars and restaurants include Brasserie 1930 and McRae Bar is a modern rendition of a Victorian-era drinking den. On level six is an Aruga spa, fitness centre, yoga platform and 20-metre heated indoor swimming pool. While the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge are all within walking distance.

13. The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne (March 2023)
At the Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, which promises to be Australia’s tallest hotel, check-in happens at the Sky Lobby, 80 floors above the city. All of the hotel’s high-rise rooms, spread across levels 63 to 79, will have stunning views of the city and Port Phillip Bay. 

 A sharp eye for design, and two highly respected chefs are set to be the calling cards of Australia's latest Ritz-Carlton, delivering local, seasonal and cutting-edge cuisine across the luxury hotel's culinary offering. The restaurant will sit a cool 80 floors above the CBD alongside the lobby, and below it will lie a holistic wellness spa that includes a heated indoor infinity pool, spa, sauna and yoga studio.  The 257 carefully appointed rooms will feature interiors with custom leather and velvet furniture, handmade glass panels and marble bathrooms with art works by local artists gracing the walls.

Exciting Renovated Properties that will Re-Open in 2023

Not quite "new" but having had significant renovations or refurbishments, these half-dozen properties are also on our list. 

1.  The Dorchester: London

The Dorchester has been a London icon for the last 90 years, and now it's slated to debut its largest renovation since the '80s next year. French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon is redesigning the hotel's entrance, promenade, guest rooms and suites, along with a new Cake & Flower boutique. The legendary Martin Brudnizki Design Studio is redesigning the famous cocktail bar, which is now dubbed Vesper Bar.

2.  The Royce Hotel, Melbourne (4Q 2023)
What do you want from your next trip to Melbourne: a culture hit or a dose of nature? At The Royce, sitting on the border of the CBD and South Yarra’s parklands, you can enjoy both. This 1920s gem is being restored to its art deco glory, complete with a 14-metre high marble fireplace in the lobby lounge and a two-metre wide chandelier. The name pays tribute to its former roles as Rolls Royce (Australia) HQ and major showroom.  
The latest refurbishment, which aims to immerse guests in glamour with its 94 guest rooms, a marble staircase and fireplace, 24-hour concierge, and a swanky bar. In the rooms, freestanding baths, Molton Brown amenities and botanical wallpaper will round out this trendy South Yarra spot.

3.  Le Meridien Melbourne (early 2023)
From its Bourke Street perch, Le Meridien Melbourne will bring a touch of French flair to the theatre district. Expect plenty of surprises behind the art deco façade including an immersive arts program, house-made gelato and a dazzling rooftop pool deck with views looking over Parliament House towards Fitzroy Gardens.  The Parliament end of Bourke Street will welcome back Le Méridien to Australian shores. Originally built as a hotel in the 1850s before going through lives as a cinema, nightclub and theatre, the building will return to its origins as a hotel for the first time in decades. The 235-room hotel is set to have expansive views over the Royal Botanic Gardens along with a rooftop pool deck.

4.  Fairmont Port Douglas
Port Douglas is where the rainforest meets the reef and luxury brand Fairmont promises that its new Port Douglas resort will immerse guests in the area’s spectacular nature.enabling them to  connect with nature amidst eco-friendly luxury.  Expect organic architecture, a treetop walk, and butterfly nets above the children’s swimming pool, as well as an operating philosophy focused on sustainability.

5.  Manly Pacific, Sydney
A seaside favourite gets a new lease of life courtesy of the MGallery Hotel Collection and designers Coco Republic, who have given Manly’s best-located hotel (right on the foreshore)  a five-star makeover. Apart from the spa and the rooftop pool, highlights include a French bistro and Tokyo Joe restaurant, featuring sushi, sashimi and more courtesy of an ex-Nobu chef..

6.  W Sydney (October 2023)
Darling Harbour’s distinctive new development has already attracted plenty of attention for its eye-catching architecture. It will become even more of a landmark once W Sydney opens with all the modern pizzazz of the W brand . With 585 stylish guest rooms and suites occupying 25 floors with spectacular Darling Harbour views and interiors inspired by the waterfront location (think powder blue tiles and deep circular tubs and stunning Sydney views) we expect this will be one of the city’s buzziest hotels. 
Forming part of the development that includes an IMAX theatre and a retail wing. W Sydney features a two-storey rooftop bar, Level 29 WET® Deck with a heated 30m infinity pool, AWAY® Spa, FIT gym, all-day restaurant, Living Room bar, 1300sqm of event space and direct access to Darling Harbour waterfront precinct, and links across Cockle Bay and Sydney’s International Convention Centre (ICC).). .

Luxury hotel brand Capella comes to Sydney - opening March 2023

Luxury hotel brand Capella comes to Sydney - opening March 2023

Luxury hotel group Capella Hotels and Resorts will open Capella Sydney (pictured) in March 2023.

The luxury hotel will be located at the heart of Sydney’s newest retail and hospitality precinct, Quay Quarter - a short walk to Circular Quay ferries, Sydney Opera House, the historic Rocks precinct and a wide range of dining options.

The historic Department of Education building is being transformed into a space like no other. Inspired by the stories of the sandstone building’s past, the restored hotel is a balance between old and new.

Capella Sydney celebrates its magnificent surroundings and respects the traditions of the building, mingled with contemporary design flair. Paying homage to Sydney’s local culture, guests can find touches of the Harbour City throughout the hotel – from the signature restaurant, Brasserie 1930’s modern art décor, McRae Bar, a reinterpretation of Australia in the 1920s, to a 20-metre swimming pool positioned under a large heritage lantern skylight. and an award-winning Auriga Spa

Being a low-rise building, views of the Opera House and Harbour aren't available, but the 192 spacious rooms and suites are gorgeous and will suit anyone with an eye for design.

Capella participates in the GHA Discovery loyalty program. Learn more about how to best use GHA Discovery.

Select Capella properties (Bangkok, Ubud in Bali, Shanghai, Singapore and Maldives) participate in the Virtuoso program, of which our associated travel agency is a member.  

We are hoping that Capella Sydney will join this prestigious list so that we will then be able to add complimentary perks to stays booked through Rewarding Travel.

Each year Travel + Leisure magazine taps into its readership and invites thousands to complete a survey that rates airlines, spas, hotels, islands and more on many factors. The detailed survey evaluation results in its readers' rankings of the best hospitality has to offer from around the world.

Participants in the survey collected data from late October 2021 through to the end of February 2022. They rated (with a maximum score of 100) hotels, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, etc on numerous characteristics, with the option of rating excellent, above average, average, below average and poor. A minimum number of responses was necessary for a candidate to be eligible for Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Awards.

This year’s results spanned a whopping 120 categories among hotels, resorts and hospitality brands in cities, countries and regions globally; to spas, favourite global cities, and best islands, cruise lines, tour operators, safari outfitters, airlines, car rental companies and National Parks.

Some key observations:

The overall winner was the super-luxury Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Montalcino. Rosewood also had 2 other properties in the top 100. 

Auberge and Shangri-La also both had 3 properties in the top 100.

The groups with the most properties in the top 100 both have Indian roots - Oberoi and Taj both had 6 properties in the list of top 100 hotels. 

While Preferred Hotels owns no hotels of its own, it markets (and offers a loyalty program) for 5 of the top 100 hotels (Pendry Chicago #25, Riggs Washington D.C. #31, Finca Cortesín Hotel Golf & Spa, Málaga #44, Grand Hotel Tremezzo – Lake Como, #53 and Rancho Santana – Tola, Nicaragua, #56). 

Multi-brand Marriott had 4 properties, while Capella, Hilton, Six Senses (IHG), Rocco Forte and Mandarin Oriental each had 2 properties rated in the top 100.

In terms of the Best 25 Hotel Brands in the World, the Accor stable rated very well, with 3 of its brands rated in the top 25 (Raffles #4, Sofitel Legend #6 and Banyan Tree #11). Global Hotels Alliance (GHA) also had 3 of its brands rated in the top 25 (Viceroy #10, Anantara #14 and Capella #17).  

Of the major, multi-brand chains, IHG (Six Senses #19), Hilton (St Regis #24) and Marriott (Luxury Collection #25) each had 1 brand in the top 25.

If you'd like to know more about any of the hotels or brands, our associated Travel Agency is a specialist advisor for Langham, Shangri-La. Rosewood, Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, Raffles, Preferred Hotels, Hyatt, IHG, Conrad and St Regis - able to offer free perks like room upgrades and property credits when you book.

Our congratulations to Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco and all category winners. Far too many to list here entirely, so we list below a selection of the results:

100 Best Hotels in the World

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco (99.25),
Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts Collection (99.22),
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi (99.11),
Pickering House Inn, Wolfeboro (98.95) and
One&Only Reethi Rah (98.93).

25 Best Hotel Brands of the World

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts (97.50),
One&Only Resorts (96.20),
Oetker Collection (96.15),
Raffles Hotels & Resorts (95.5) and
Red Carnation Hotel Collection (95.32).

5 Best Resorts - South Pacific

Namale Resort & Spa, Savusavu, Fiji,
Conrad Bora Bora Nui,
St. Regis Bora Bora Resort,
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora,
InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa.

Best Islands of the World

Ischia, Italy (94.61),
Maldives (94.44),
Bali (92.51),
Milos, Greece (92.50) and
Fiji Islands (92.38).

5 Best International Spas

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico (95.76),
Sha Wellness Clinic, El Abir, Spain (95.20),
Therme di Saturnia (94.15),
Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa (93.26),
Chable Maroma, Punta Maroma, Mexico (89.90).

25 Best Cities in the World

Oaxaca, Mexico (92.96),
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (91.77),
Ubud, Indonesia (91.73),
Florence (91.06) and
Istanbul (90.97).

Best City Hotels - Europe

Hôtel Madame Rêve, Paris (98.73),
Rosewood Villa Magna, Madrid (98.67),
Portrait Firenze, Florence (98.25),
Raffles Istanbul (98.25) and
Shangri-La at the Shard, London (97.86).

Best City Hotels - Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific

The Langham, Melbourne (92.53),
Park Hyatt Sydney (90.40),
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney (88.30),
InterContinental Sydney (87.76) and
Shangri-La Sydney (86.40).

Best Islands - Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific

Fiji Islands (92.38),
Moorea, French Polynesia (90.24),
Bora Bora, French Polynesia (87.70),
Great Barrier Reef Islands (86.90) and
Tahiti, French Polynesia (83.33).

NH Hotels officially joins GHA

NH Hotels officially joins GHA

Pictured is the NH Collection Plaza Santiago.

On June 20th, NH Hotels officially joined Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands. 

NH Hotel Group is one of the largest hotel companies in the world and brings to the alliance more than 350 properties in 30 countries under three brands – NH Hotels, NH Collection and nhow.

NH Hotel Group is majority-owned by Minor Hotels, a Bangkok-based operator of more than 160 hotels and a GHA shareholder. Minor Hotels’ global family of brands include Anantara, Avani, Elewana Collection, Oaks and Tivoli which were already member brands of the alliance and participate in GHA DISCOVERY.

The move sees the transformation of NH Rewards into the GHA DISCOVERY loyalty programme, becoming NH DISCOVERY and creating a 21-million-strong global membership. Existing NH Rewards members will retain the value of their points and their other benefits, including Member Rates with up to 10% discount and additional rewards for booking on the NH or GHA websites.

For more details on GHA Discovery, see our Guide to GHA Discovery

A unique feature of the NH Discovery version is that NH Hotels shareholders can upgrade their tier status for attractive benefits.  

Under T&C 4.9 Members of the NH DISCOVERY Programme who are also NH’s Shareholders may upgrade their Tier as follows:

*  To the Gold Tier if they hold a block of shares to a value which is lower than 2,000 Euros; or

*  To the Platinum Tier if they hold a block of shares to a value equal to or greater than 2,000 Euros but lower than 3,000 Euros.

*  To the Titanium Tier if they hold a block of shares to a value equal to or greater than 3,000 Euros. 

The value of a block of shares will be determined considering the number of shares multiplied by their market value. In order to enable the upgrading of a Tier, Members must prove their status as a Shareholder by sending their securities account certificate by email to 

If you are a shareholder of NH Hotels, these upgrades last for as long a you own the requisite value of shares, providing a way of holding tier status without the requirement of stays or spending.

GHA has a promotion for June 2022 - Unlock the Unforgettable - where you can save up to 40% at some destinations within its range of over 30 brands, which include ones we love, such as Anantara, Capella, Corinthia, Kempinski, Niccolo and Viceroy.

Unlock the Unforgettable offers deals right around the globe.  

For example, escape to Australia and NZ with up to 30% off for stays with Oaks booked prior to 31 August and completed prior to 30 September 2022.  Destinations include Brisbane, Port Stevens, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.  Even Auckland and Queenstown !

GHA Discovery is free to join.  Learn more about the program from our Guide to GHA Discovery.

T&C's apply for these offers, so ensure you...

S&P Global's Sustainability Yearbook 2022 considered over 7,500 companies across 61 industries around the world and selected 716 companies for this year’s edition based on their S&P Global ESG Scores using this Yearbook Methodology. Prize winners in the 2022 edition included:

Gold:  ANA     Silver:  China Airlines, EVA     Bronze:  LATAM Airlines      Honourable Mention:  Air France-KLM, JAL, American Airlines

Hotels, Resorts & Cruise Lines
Gold:  Hilton Wordwide      Silver:  Melia Hotels    Bronze:  NH Hotels

Interestingly, both Melia Hotels and NH Hotels are Spanish companies.  Of the total 716 companies selected this year, 26 ( 3.6%) are Spanish companies - a strong showing.

Congratulations and thanks to all whose efforts made the grade for this year’s yearbook !

For more information...

Not yet experienced the luxury and service of a Corinthia Hotel?

Even if you have, you can (re)discover the pleasures of its boutique luxury properties for a limited time with up to 20% off the usual rate with breakfast included !

Tempted ?

Urgent! Anantara Limited Time Offer Of Luxury Stays with 40% off + breakfast included

Urgent! Anantara Limited Time Offer Of Luxury Stays with 40% off + breakfast included

Anantara Hotels & Resorts (advertiser) has a limited time promotion where you can book a stay with up to 40% off the usual rate with breakfast included.

You must stay by 21 December (lots of time) but must book within the next 2 days !

Take a look at Anantara's loyalty program GHA Discovery, to see what other benefits you may be able to gain.

T&C's apply

World Ski Awards - Best of 2021

World Ski Awards - Best of 2021

World Ski Awards - the sister organisation of World Travel Awards  - has unveiled the winners of its ninth annual programme. The results follow a year-long search for the world’s leading ski travel, tourism and hospitality brands.

A brief selection of the prize-winners (and their loyalty programs where relevant) is shown below.

  • World’s Best Ski Resort – Verbier, Switzerland
  • World’s Best Ski Hotel -  W Verbier, Switzerland (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • World’s Best Green Ski Hotel -  rocksresort, Switzerland
  • World’s Best Ski Chalet -  Chalet Zermatt Peak, Switzerland
  • World’s Best New Ski Chalet -  Chalet Face a Face, France
  • World’s Best Ski Tour Operator -  TUI
  • Australia’s Best Ski Resort - Thredbo
  • Australia’s Best Ski Hotel -  Novotel Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa Hotel (Accor ALL)
  • Canada’s Best Ski Resort – The Lake Louise Ski Resort
  • Canada’s Best Ski Hotel – Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside   (GHA Discovery)
  • France’s Best Ski Resort -  Val Thorens
  • Japan’s Best Ski Hotel – The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort – Mount Hutt
  • New Zealand’s Best Ski Hotel -  The Rees Hotel , Queenstown
  • Norway’s Best Ski Hotel – Radisson Blu Resort, Trysil (Radisson Rewards)
  • Poland’s Best Ski Hotel  – Radisson Blu Hotel & Residences, Zakopane (Radisson Rewards)
  • Russia’s Best Ski Hotel –  Rixos Krasnaya Polyana Sochi (non-participating in Accor ALL)
  • Slovakia’s Best Ski Hotel – Grand Hotel Kempinski, High Tatras   (GHA Discovery)
  • Slovenia’s Best Ski Hotel – Ramada Resort by Wyndham  (Wyndham Rewards)
  • Spain’s Best Boutique Ski Hotel – Melia Royal Tanau Boutique Hotel  (MeliaRewards)

Congratulations to all of the World Ski Awards 2021 prize-winners  !

Avani Sale for Luxury Stays | includes Avani+ in Phuket with 40% off

Avani Sale for Luxury Stays | includes Avani+ in Phuket with 40% off

Avani Hotels & Resorts (advertiser) is having a promotion where you can book a stay with up to 30% off the usual rate.

For the luxurious Avani+ Mai Khao Phuket Suites & Villas (pictured)  it gets even better !  Enjoy upto 40% off at Avani+ Mai Khao Phuket Suites & Villas, Thailand.

Some locations include complimentary breakfast & other benefits, which vary. T&C's apply. 

Anantara luxury villas on Banana Island, Doha | 20% off !

Anantara luxury villas on Banana Island, Doha | 20% off !

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has a promotion running - Villa Exclusive: 20% off at Banana Island Resort Doha, Qatar.

Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara is a crescent of golden beach and over water villas just off the coast of downtown Doha. This private, luxury destination has:

  • 141 sea view rooms, suites, beach and over water pool villas
  • 800 m of golden shoreline
  • Surf pool, dive centre, VIP cinema, bowling alley, putting green
  • Anantara Spa and Balance Wellness Centre.
The offer is valid for stays booked and completed through 31 October 2022.

Like more details? 

Global Hotels Alliance (GHA) has now launched its revamped Discovery program, releasing more details of the now GHA Discovery program.

The changes transform it from a guest recognition program (where guest loyalty was rewarded with  "experiences" tailored to each destination) to more of a rewards program (points earned can be redeemed for benefits, including experiences).

It has added a 4th status tier (and a further by-invitation tier) with an increasing range of benefits at each level, based on either nights stayed, spending or number of new brands experienced.

GHA lost the Omni and Rydges brands earlier this year, but NH Hotels is joining soon. So there should be 946 hotels associated with GHA Discovery by early 2022.

This places it in size (by number of hotels) roughly mid-way between Preferred Hotels and IHG.

Like to know more about the new GHA Discovery ?

Rydges leaves GHA's Discovery | retains Priority Guest Rewards

Rydges leaves GHA's Discovery | retains Priority Guest Rewards

The EVENT family of hotels, which includes  53 Rydges, 10 QT, 11 Independent Collection & 5 Atura properties around Australia and NZ (including Thredbo and Queenstown) is departing from the GHA Discovery loyalty program. Rydges will continue to tun its own Priority Guest loyalty program

Stays booked after 1 December 2021 will no longer have benefits honoured. Sad news for skiiers downunder...although there remain 2 Oaks (a separate GHA brand) properties in Queenstown

This follows the departure of Omni Hotels, effective 30 June this year. It too noted it was going to focus on its own Select Guest loyalty program.

However, NH Hotels will be joining GHA early 2022 & merging its NH Rewards program into GHA Discovery.

Could these moves be related to the revamping of GHA's loyalty program? Possibly, although it's unlikely to be quite that simple.

Perhaps GHA will requiire members to make bookings through a GHA portal to receive their benefits, rather than being able to book direct.  

Time will tell.

GHA makes new Discovery

GHA makes new Discovery

GHA flagged the revamp of its loyalty program Discovery in September. With its December launch under the new branding of GHA Discovery now imminent, details are starting to emerge.

The main changes are:
1)  the move towards a points earning system.
2)  the Discovery experiences will now be able to accessed at all status tier levels. 
3)  you won't have to book flights or nights to enjoy your membership. The new DISCOVERY will offer exclusive benefits both with or without a stay.

Previously, key differentiators from other hotel loyalty programs were the absence of points and tier level based on stays being rewarded for upper tier members by tailored travel experiences, rather than discounted or award stays. So this is a major change in philosophy by the group.

Points earning will be in the form of "Discovery Dollars" or D$. 

From their very first stay, members will earn D$ at 4% to 7% (depending on tier status) of their total bill and D$1 = 1 USD, so the value is clear. D$ will be able to be spent flexibly across the hotel, toward spending on a room, dining, spa or golf. Members simply apply their D$ as a form of payment at check-out.

So the revised Discovery program has some similarities with Accor's ALL - a fixed redemption rate (value of USD 1  or EUR 1 respectively) and a fixed earning rate that increases with tier status (4% to 7% depending on tier status).

Tier qualification requirements will also change.
An additional tier level is being introduced (from Gold, Platinum & Black to Silver, Gold, Platinum & Titanium). Qualification will be based on either Nights/Stays, spending or number of brands stayed at. The latter looks to be the easiest route to top tier status:

  • Gold – Stay 2 times or spend $1,000
  • Platinum – Stay 10 nights, spend $5,000 or stay at 2 brands
  • Titanium – Stay 30 nights, spend $15,000 or stay at 3 brands.
Previously, the 2 top-tier members received complimentary Local Experiences with their stays (different Local Experiences depending on tier level.  Now, all members will have the option to choose to redeem D$ for them (D$100 for what was a Platinum-level experience or D$200 for a Black-level experience), or apply their D$ on other items. In Australia, the GHA brands include Atura, Avani, Oaks, Pan Pacific, ParkRoyal, QT and Rydges, with the more leisure-based Oaks being the most plentiful. In total there are 117 hotels to choose from.

Travellers to Asia will fare best, as there are 142 hotels under the brands of Anantara, Araiya, Avani, Capella, Kempinski, Leela, Marco Polo, NUO, Niccolo, Pan Pacific & ParkRoyal.

Options in the US with 14 locations are more limited, under the brands of Meritage, Outrigger, Pan Pacific, Viceroy & Doyle Collection.

UK travellers may find it even more limited, as the brands there are currently limited to Corinthia, Pan Pacific, Doyle Collectiion & Campbell Gray in a total of 7 locations.

This map of GHA hotel locations shows this more explicitly.

GHA Discovery has not yet communicated what benefits loyalty program members at each tier will receive. Further details will be released soon, particularly in regard to benefits usable without a stay.  

Whether or not status-matching from other programs will be possible is yet to be revealed.

Stay tuned!