Recently, I took advantage of the Swissotel Circle offer for Eleva status after one stay for Etihad Guest Gold members (you can read more about this offer here). Getting the status requirement required one stay and I thought that I would do it while in Bangkok.
I don’t have good discount offers for Swissotel hotels, so I decided to put their Best Rate Guarantee program to test. It offers 50% discount for the first night, if you find a lower rate from a third party site with the same terms and conditions.
The only drawback that I saw was the fact that you were required to complete an online form and that you couldn’t contact the BRG desk by phone. Also, the the terms and conditions are quite interesting for having multiple BRG stays within a week. Basically these would be considered just one stay.
So, I located a price on Booking.com that was around 200 THB lower than the price on Swissotel. Hotels completely control their pricing on Booking.com, so the revenue manager at the Swissotel Bangkok must be sloppy and had forgotten to update the pricing on this website.
The terms and conditions and the room type were exactly the same on both rooms. The rate on Booking.com was best flexible and payable at the hotel.
So, I made the reservation on Swissotel’s website and filled out the short Best Rate Guarantee form. On the first try, I just got an error message at the time of submitting it, but it went through just fine the second time around. I did not receive any kind of email confirmation or BRG case number for the claim that I filed.
The stay was supposed to be in two days, so I was eager to get this resolved. 24 hours went and I didn’t hear anything from the Swissotel or from the property. I sent an email to the Swissotel’s Circle requested an update on this claim.
After 48 hours the property sent me an email that they had processed the claim and adjusted the price of the stay to reflect the 50% discount. This was on the day of arrival. I had already done alternate arrangements and decided to cancel the stay.
Seems that Swissotel’s customer service doesn’t process these claims at all, but rather just forwards them to the hotel’s reservation department for action. I am not sure, what to think of this?
Swissotel’s Best Rate Guarantee seems to be working or, at least, would have worked on my case had I decided to stay at the property. I don’t like the fact that you do not get any kind of confirmation at the time of filing the claim and that there is no single point of contact at Swissotel.