GHA Discovery Platinum Benefit Review: Anantara Bangkok Sathorn & Sari Pan Pacific Jakarta

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Many LoyaltyLobby readers probably signed up for one of the instant Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) Platinum status offers that were around last year and which I wrote about. I certainly did.

GHA Platinum Review

GHA is a marketing/loyalty alliance for 22 hotel brands that consists of more than 350 properties in 61 countries. The most well known brands of the GHA are probably OMNI & Kempinski, although Anantara is well known around Thailand/South East Asia.

You can access Global Hotel Alliance website here.

Global Hotel Alliance Brands:

GHA Brands

Global Hotel Alliance Platinum Benefits:

GHA Platinum Benefits

The GHA does not award you free nights or points. You merely get the status related benefits and can earn Local Experience Awards at the Platinum and Black level (they used to offer these at the Gold level as well).

Status benefits on 3rd party rates:

1.7.  A “Qualifying Rate” is a rate available to the general public for a room night, but specifically does not include any Ineligible Rates.  Qualifying Rates are determined by GHA, in its sole discretion.  If there is a dispute over whether a rate is a Qualifying Rate, GHA and Member Brand Hotels shall make that determination in their sole discretion.  Qualifying Rates can be deemed non-qualifying at any given time, without prior notice.
1.8.  “Ineligible Rates” shall include, without limitation: (1) tours series rates and charter rates (2) room rates for airline staff and crew where rooms are pre-booked and paid for by the airline or directly; (3) travel-industry staff rates; (4) any employee rates, employee family or employee friends discount rates; (5) other discounted rates; (6) any complimentary, free, traded or bartered night stays, or any stays in connection with gift certificates or other awards or vouchers.

The GHA Discovery terms and conditions are vague when it comes to eligible rates and the term and conditions doesn’t explicitly exclude 3rd party ones such as Expedia or Orbitz.

Anantara Bangkok Sathorn

GHA Anantara Bangkok Sathorn

I had a very late arrival to Bangkok from Hong Kong and decided that I should use some soon expiring credits that I had received from Orbitz. The rate for Anantara hotel in Sathorn was only $45.64 (inclusive of tax) and had breakfast included. I thought that even if I wouldn’t like the property the price was so cheap that I would have received my moneys worth.

The hotel was very quiet because this was during the curfew last month. There was one person working on the front desk and he plugged in my GHA number and gave an upgrade. The AC wasn’t properly working on the one bedroom suite and was assigned soon another one.

The breakfast was fine, although not as extensive as in some other hotels but certainly adequate.

The stay at the property was great, the price paid extremely low and I felt that the GHA Platinum benefits honored.

Sari Pan Pacific Jakarta

GHA Anantara Sari Pan Pacific

Here’s where everything started to fall part. I had again made the reservation using Orbitz due to a lower price. The hotel didn’t have specific area for GHA guests to check in so I used their club check in.

The person checking me in claimed that they didn’t have any upgrades available as the hotel was supposedly sold out. The Pan Pacific’s own website and numerous OTA’s were all happily selling all room types.

So, the clerk was not giving in and I asked to him to page MOD (Manager on Duty) to assist us with the checking in. The check in process took close to 30 minutes but I did receive the upgrade at the end.

The manager was then confused about the local amenity that they claimed was only a Black benefit. Told them to check the GHA’s website or their own GHA benefit display that they had on the front desk.

Overall, this was a bad and dated hotel. Fair price would have been $50 to $60 per night, but I paid close to double.

Posting of stays:

GHA Platinum Stay History

Post of the stays that I had booked on Orbitz ended up posting to GHA just fine and each triggered a local experience award.

Conclusion

When you have a mixed collection of 22 brands under one loyalty program umbrella, it is difficult to ensure smooth benefit delivery. I have nothing but positive to say about the Anantara Bangkok Sathorn. The experience at the Sari Pan Pacific was unsatisfactory, however.

At least based on my limited experience witj these two OTA bookings, seems that the GHA credits these towards the qualification without too much of a hassle.

What benefits have you received at Global Hotel Alliance properties as a Platinum or Black members?

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