Reader Email: Shangri-La Golden Circle Benefit Downgrade At JEN Hotels?

A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped us an email about benefit change for elite member stays at Shangri-La’s JEN Hotels-brand.

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You can access Shangri-La’s Golden Circle here.

Here’s the email from the reader:

As you may know Shangri-La Hotels spun off some of the older and/or smaller hotels in the group to Traders Hotel several years back and then into JEN Hotels – some were later purpose built like the Singapore Gateway and Hong Kong

Well now the next step in why they’re doing it is getting obvious, as this month Golden Circle sneak is some downgrade of Welcome Amenities at JEN hotels. The updates are in their website, and presumably we can read the change as on July 16, 2020.

It is rather strange that Golden Circle chooses to make such a step when the whole hospitality line is struggling to get customers coming back.

Here are the images that the reader sent:

Here’s Golden Circle Welcome Amenity matrix:

Here’s the previous small print:

Please Note:

Jade Members: A choice of three amenities
Diamond Members: A choice of three amenities plus fresh fruit on arrival

Here’s the updated text:

Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Kerry Hotels and Traders Hotels:

Jade Members: A choice of three amenities
Diamond Members: A choice of three amenities plus fresh fruit on arrival

JEN Hotels:

Jade Members: A welcome drink per stay.
Diamond Members: A welcome drink per room night of the stay.

This certainly looks like a downgrade. Diamond members could previously choose three of the options, including a wine bottle + get a fruit plate.

Here’s the response that we got from the Shangri-La when I asked about this downgrade:

We actually don’t see this as downgrade in benefits. As JEN adapts to the highly driven global citizens of today, we understand guests want easy interactions that suit their natural rhythms. This is why we (Golden Circle) worked with the JEN team to redesigned our welcome amenity.

Now we offer a wide range of beverage options which are exclusive to members allowing them to experience JEN’s signature offerings and enjoy the social vibe at our F&B outlets at their convenience.  It also allows us to interact and connect with members.

Conclusion

It appears that the JEN in Penang didn’t get the corporate memo about “signature offerings” unless generic vodka with lime or long island ice tea could be categorized as ones (I doubt).

My hunch is that Shangri-La and JEN Hotels are trying to get elite members to the bar area to use their vouchers that often would result in other F&B spent too.

I have a few dozens of drink vouchers in my bag. This is one of the benefits that I don’t utilize or appreciate at all. I would much prefer an in-room F&B amenity.

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