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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 properties for its success. But, its small size is quickly becoming a thing of the past. In under a year, Sonesta will grow from under 100 hotels to nearly 1,200 hotels. So, it seems it's time to learn a new loyalty program!
To help incentivize you to try it out, Sonesta is offering a new promotion for stays through March 2022. So, let's review the Sonesta Travel Pass program to see if it's worth you giving it a closer look.
Double Points Plus an Upgrade Promotion
Sonesta is offering members a unique new promotion. Members that book with the promo code TP2XWD can earn double points plus get an upgrade to a better room type.
The key terms for this promotion:
- Book a qualifying stay by October 31, 2021
- Stay by March 31, 2022
- Use the promo code TP2XWD
- Available at participating Royal Sonesta hotels and Sonesta Hotels & Resorts — all of which are located in the U.S.
- List your Travel Pass account in the reservation
- Non-member guests who book this rate are automatically enrolled in Sonesta Travel Pass by booking this offer
[Booking closed] Up to 8,000 Bonus Travel Pass Points per Stay
Through September 30, 2021, you can earn up to 8,000 bonus points per stay at U.S. and Canadian hotels. You'll get 2,000 bonus points for stays of 1-2 nights; 4,000 bonus points on stays of 3-4 nights; and 8,000 bonus points on stays of 5+ nights.
To earn this bonus, you must:
- Have booked your qualifying stay by August 15, 2021
- Complete your stay by September 30, 2021
- Use the promo code STPBONUS
- List your Travel Pass account in the reservation
- The full list of eligible properties can be found on this page
Allow up to 2 weeks after your stay for the bonus points to post. If you're considering a really expensive stay, note that there's a maximum of 100,000 points awarded for any given stay — including base and promotional points.
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 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 Travel Pass points, you either have to stay regularly at its hotels or apply for and use the Sonesta World Mastercard®.
Sonesta Rebrands Over 200 Former IHG and Marriott Properties
In December 2020 and January 2021, over 200 hotels rebranded from IHG or Marriott to Sonesta.
How'd that happen? Well, hotel brands don't typically own most of their hotels. Instead, hotel owners decided which hotel brand (and thus loyalty program) they want to partner with. In this case, the REIT Service Properties Trust — known commonly as ‘SVC' — owns 329 hotels. These were diversified between brands like Hyatt, IHG, Radisson, Marriott, Wyndham, and Sonesta.
But, as part of its contracts, SVC has the right to terminate its contract 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'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 its loyalty program.
Sonesta's promotion offering up to 8,000 bonus points per stay is intriguing. With free nights starting at 10,000 points, members may be able to earn a free night with just one 5+ night stay. 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 years.
Have you stayed at Sonesta Hotel yet?
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