Whine Wednesdays: Useless LHW Membership Benefits As Applicable Rate Is Double Compared To Hotels Own Offer

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It’s Whine Wednesday again and today we’re looking at the practical benefits of the Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) membership that applies to a variety of hotels under this partnership – but only when booked through LHW!

LHW Hotels are just a collection of hotels that have this badge attached to the property but it can be an entire different chain on it’s own and the LHW membership benefits only apply when you book through the respective website.

Unfortunately the rates available on the Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) website are mostly inflated and don’t correspond with the Best Available Rate from the hotel itself or a random OTA.

A few days ago John wrote about the free LHW membership that usually costs $175 per year and that indeed comes with some nice benefits so I decided to check it out.

In Bangkok where I am currently there are two hotels that are a member of LHW:

  • The Okura Prestige
  • Capella Bangkok

The Capella is $500 a night (with a $200 hotel credit) so not exactly great value. The Okura Prestige has popped up recently for around $90-100 per night on social media and OTA’s so I decided to check with them.

There were the rates from Okura Prestige directly:

That’s a very reasonable rate. I always wanted to try this hotel and would certainly do so at such a low rate but there is no was to enter your LHW number when reserving through.

Here the rates from the LHW website:

The LHW Rates are more than double but would come with upgrade benefits and free breakfast.

Booking a breakfast rate with Okura directly would be ~ 300 Baht extra. An upgrade can always be negotiated especially in these tough economic times.

After requesting information from the Okura if LHW benefits applied when booked directly with the property I was told no:

Thank you very much for your email.

Please be informed that your LHW membership benefits is not apply when book direct to hotel, however your One Harmony Member is eligible for collect point credit and night stay accordingly.

Kindly advise your email confirmation in order to confirm reservation from 14-15 April 2021.

If we can be of any further assistance or service to you in the meantime, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Best Regards,

Waranya P, (Ms.)

Reservation Officer The Okura Prestige Bangkok

That’s extremely annoying but hardly surprising. The Okura has it’s own program called oneHarmony but that doesn’t confer any substantial benefits unless you have a high tier level.

I’m not surprised though. The same issue applied when booking Small Luxury Hotels directly with the hotel instead of World of Hyatt. You won’t get any benefits or nights/points credit when doing so.

Conclusion

These partnerships are essentially a scam, forcing flex/rack rates on the customer in exchange for the elite benefits rather than allowing to book the Best Available Rate of the property.

In the end I decided against booking the Okura. I can get a bunch of other nice properties in Bangkok at the same or lower price. Maybe they should overthink the way they’re handling their affiliation with LHW and how they attach benefits as it might very well cost them customers.

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