When the cynics win – the world loses. I’ve been a great fan of the Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) brand for years, believing that unique and independent hotels often unlock the most memorable travel experiences. For that reason, I was extremely excited to see the program offer lucrative perks for referring friends. The perk? A free night for yourself when a friend completes a stay with an SLH hotel. But the SLH group hasn’t honored the promotion the way they should…
Refer a friend, they stay in a SLH hotel and when they do – you get a free night. It didn’t matter how much their SLH stay cost – and neither did the one you’d like. This was an awesome offer where everyone involved wins. Just this week the hotel emailed to retroactively change the terms to state that a minimum of $200 per night must be spent to receive a free night. But that’s not even the problem.
To redeem a free night, SLH members need to email the SLH program to request a free night. The terms do state that the offer is subject to availability – but we believe SLH is taking advantage of this offer term to dissuade customers. We’ve received numerous complaints and done additional digging and we believe this: SLH are denying free nights – even though plenty of availability exists.
Members email SLH to request their free night at any property in the SLH portfolio. Countless readers have reached out after confirming that multiple basic rooms are available at the hotel on the dates of their request, only to be denied. We don’t know if the denials are based on the properties themselves saying no, or SLH not wanting to confirm availability – but this is more trouble than it should be for members with pure intentions.
Running a hotel brand is about running good hotels. My stays at SLH hotels have left nothing but positive impressions, so it’s a shame their updated loyalty program is leaving a sour taste with many members, before they are afforded a proper chance to explore all the brand has to offer. We hope to hear from SLH and really hope they’ll sort this mess out.