Sonesta Adds 1,100 New Hotels To Its Portfolio, Offers 2,500 Bonus Points per Stay

AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. Terms Apply to the offers listed on this page. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.

If you're not already familiar with Sonesta hotels, you're not alone. Its small size meant that until now, the brand relied on a smattering of popular properties for its success. But, Sonesta's small size is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Sonesta is set to grow from under 100 hotels to nearly 1,200 in just a few months by acquiring Red Lion Hotels and former IHG and Marriott hotels. So, it seems it's time to learn a new loyalty program!

To help spread the word, Sonesta is also offering a promotion for loyalty members at its new hotels. For a limited time, Sonesta Travel Pass members can earn 2,500 bonus points per stay at over 100 recently re-branded properties.

Let's take a look at Sonesta's Travel Pass program to see if it and this promotion are worth a deeper look.

The Alexis Royal Sonesta Hotel Seattle
The Alexis Royal Sonesta Hotel Seattle

Sonesta Rebrands Over 200 Former IHG and Marriott Properties

In December 2020 and January 2021, over 200 hotels will rebrand from IHG or Marriott to Sonesta. Unfortunately, the reason for this is a common one among travel companies the further we get into the pandemic: poor cash flow.

Hotel brands don't typically own all of their hotels. Most of the time, they lease them from the actual owners, which could include the REIT Service Properties Trust. Known commonly as ‘SVC' (it's NASDAQ symbol), Service Properties Trust currently owns 329 hotels, which were split between brands like Hyatt, IHG, Radisson, Marriott, Wyndham, and Sonesta as a means of diversification.

But, as part of its contracts, SVC has the right to terminate its lease when a hotel brand can't make its payments. This is exactly what has happened with 225 properties operated by IHG and Marriott.

In August 2020, SVC announced that it planned to rebrand all 103 of its IHG properties as Sonesta Hotels. This came as a direct result of IHG defaulting on its payments. The termination became official at the end of November 2020.

In October 2020, SVC announced a similar fate for its 122 properties previously operated by Marriott. Of these hotels, SVC plans to rebrand 98 as Sonesta Hotels and simply sell the remaining 24. The effective date of the termination is January 31, 2021.

Sonesta Simply Suites Phoenix Glendale
Sonesta Simply Suites Phoenix Glendale

Intro to the Sonesta Travel Pass Program

With so many new Sonesta Hotels popping up across the U.S., it seems like it's time to learn a new loyalty program. At first glance, Sonesta Travel Pass shares some similarities with IHG's Rewards Club Program.

Here are some of the basics:

  • Join for free by signing up here.
  • Earn up to 10 points per dollar spent on qualifying room rates.
  • Redeem points online or over the phone for a free night for 10,000 to 50,000 points per night. Sonesta divides its properties between 11 award tiers.
  • Save 5% off the standard rate at all participating Sonesta hotels worldwide when booking direct.
  • Earn Sonesta elite status after completing as few as 6 nights, or top-tier status after only 12 nights.
  • Match your other hotel status to receive elevated elite benefits starting on your first stay.

Overall, Sonesta now offers hotels ranging from full-service (former InterContinental Hotels) to extended-stay properties (former Candlewood Suites). This makes it a viable option for travelers who are traveling to markets it serves. Plus, with the ability to earn top-tier status after only 12 nights, the route from zero to top-tier elite is much shorter compared to other hotel brands.

Perhaps the one major downfall of the program (besides its small footprint) is its inaccessibility. Unlike IHG, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, or Choice, Sonesta isn't a transfer partner with any major bank currency. This means that to earn Sonesta points, you either have to stay regularly at its hotels or apply for and use the Sonesta World Mastercard®.

Earn 2,500 Bonus Sonesta Points Per Stay

To invite members to check out its new properties, Sonesta is running a promotion to make stays more rewarding.

  • Complete a stay at any of the qualifying properties and receive 2,500 bonus points.
  • You must book a Sonesta Travel Pass member rate and complete your stay by January 31, 2021.
  • To qualify, you must use the promo code TPMEM when booking.
  • Allow up to two weeks for points to post after completing a qualifying stay.
  • Sonesta awards a maximum of 100,000 points per stay, including standard and promotional points.

Interestingly, the terms and conditions don't include the typical verbiage excluding back-to-back stays. This suggests that it may be possible to receive the bonus multiple times for stays longer than one night.

Bottom Line

Sonesta's footprint is growing at an impressive rate, adding over 1,100 new hotels to the Sonesta flag in under a year. With so many new options in cities across the U.S., now is a good time to start familiarizing yourself with Sonesta's loyalty program.

Sonesta's promotion offering 2,500 bonus points per stay is intriguing, but not overly so. With free nights starting at 10,000 points, members would need to complete at least three stays with a nightly rate of $100 or more to earn a free night at the cheapest hotel. However, if you're considering where to stay, it's a nice little bonus in a program we are likely to hear a lot more about in the next few months.

Have you stayed at Sonesta Hotel yet?

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

**You may receive 5 bonus AAdvantage miles for leaving a comment (Details/FAQ)

Comments

  • Avatar

    Wow! That chain is growing very quickly! However, you have to spend a lot to get value out of the program it seems. If you earn 10 points per dollar and the cheapest redemption is 10,000 points, you have to spend $1,000 minimum to have any ability to redeem points for the most basic property.

  • Avatar

    I just learned about Sonesta… competition is good for the consumer so I’ll take this as a win!! Will have to see how good the value really is.

    The world mastercard looks promising.

  • Avatar

    This is a fascinating evolution. It reminds me of when legacy airlines were in trouble and Southwest swooped in and boomed gobbling up share. It’d be great to see some more chain-sized competition.

  • Avatar

    Well, at least the pandemic has created some opportunity for some.

  • Avatar

    Well its always nice to learn about something new. I guess I will have to look at this growing hotel company. You’re right I have not heard about Sonesta before. I would bet they made sure to hit the big cities? New York, LA, San Fran? Have ya’ll stayed at one?

  • Avatar

    As others have stated, I have never stayed at a Sonesta property, am troubled by both IHG and Marriott’s having defaulted on their debt service, and think Sonesta needs to offer a more compelling awards plan. Nonetheless, there’s no downside to enrolling, and I appreciate this informative article.

  • Avatar

    It will be a long road ahead for Sonesta to develop its loyalty program.

  • Avatar

    Not familiar with the Sonesta brand at all. More importantly to me though, it seems concerning that both IHG and Marriott are defaulting on payments.

  • Avatar

    Didn’t think we’d see the rise of a new, massive hotel chain in 2020. It’ll be interesting to see if Sonesta decides to really complete with the big players.

  • Avatar

    I’ve never stayed at a Sonesta hotel. Obviously we know that these hotels are based on their previous IHG levels, but anyone with experience with the company themselves?

  • Avatar

    Thanks! This overview arrives right on time as I was planning to look into this program after the recent property expansion. Do you know if they ever offer signup bonuses for joining the program? Even a few points would be a nice kickoff.

  • Avatar

    With that big addition in the US they are really becoming a player. Will certainly be worth a look.

  • Avatar

    I’m always open to a new hotel program but I don’t see any real benefits to joining the program at this time. It does remind me of the IHG program, and for good reason as a lot of the hotels seem to be previously branded Candlewood Suites and even a Kimpton or two. They need to sweeten the deal to get people to change their stays.

  • Avatar

    Great to see Sonesta is a growing brand. I’ve enjoyed my experiences there.

  • Avatar

    This is interesting, I was not previously familiar with Sonesta. I am looking forward to learning more about them this year.