Shangri-La, a Hong Kong-based hotelier with brands such as Traders, Kerry, and Jen, is about to launch a new top-tier invitation-only elite level called Polaris.
There are a few Polaris members (a few hundred), and the status is essentially based on the member’s spending with the chain. There is no officially communicated revenue or requalification requirement.
You can access Shangri-La’s page for Polaris here.
The flexible check-in time is the most generous that I have ever come across. You can check-in after midnight and stay until 6 PM the following day, turning the maximum one-night stay length to 42 hours. In addition, the ability to access hotel facilities even when not staying free of charge is excellent.
The upgrade benefit could be better. However, as I noted earlier, you are probably already booking suites for most of your stays if you are invited to the Polaris tier.
Complimentary gate meet-and-greet with airport transfers in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Singapore is likely welcomed by many, as is the four hours of complimentary car service on each stay.
Sharing a Diamond status with a family member is great. The ticket giveaways are probably challenging because these travelers are on the road most of the time, and quality requirements high.
Polaris Tier Explained
POLARIS Diamond Benefits plus
Shangri-La All Access Access
- Designated Facilities including club lounge, fitness centre, gym, and more at any Shangri-La property worldwide, even without a stay.
- Check in from 00:00 (hotel local time) on the day of arrival and check-out by 18:00 (hotel local time) on the day of Check-in Anytime departure.
- Dedicated Personal Concierge service for travel and general assistance with crafting a bespoke and elevated Shangri-La experience.
- Enjoy the room upgrade benefit up to 14 nights per Stay and up to 10 times per membership year
Luxury Car Service
- Complimentary luxury car service for every Shangri-La Stay .Subject to availability upon request.
- Nominate a family member for Diamond status.
- Enjoy aerobridge meet and greet service and complimentary airport transfers. Available at the selected airports in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.
Invitation to Exclusive Events
- Exclusive invitations to Shangri-La and coveted global events.
In additional to the tier benefits, we also welcome Polaris members to enjoy four complimentary Quintessential Shangri-La experiences. These can be enjoyed by the member or gifted to a loved one.
Family Experience Package
- Polaris members can indulge in two nights of family fun with your little ones for a holiday they will never forget.
Aromatherapy Treatment at Chi, The Spa
- Experience 90 minutes of bliss in an oasis of calm, enchantment and well-being.
Signature Chef Tasting Menu & Wine Pairing
- Treat yourself to an exquisite dining experience showcasing the best of Shangri-La’s culinary talents.
Buffet Experience for 4
- Savour flavours of the world and embark on a culinary adventure with your loved ones.
These experiences look fantastic, as do these curated itineraries.
POLARIS Curated Itineraries
We invite Polaris members to choose one of five specially curated itineraries across Beijing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore. Its our way of making your Polaris welcome an extra special one.
Tokyo – A Day with a Sushi Master
- Explore Tsukiji Market like an insider with Sushi Master Yoshi, a 4th generation renowned Sushi chef, as guide- the same Master who once represented Japan in front of the British Royal Family during the Royal Windsor Cup and the First Ladies during the G20 Osaka Summit. The market visit will be followed by an exclusive invitation to his 100-year-old, family-owned restaurant for a unique luncheon experience.
Hong Kong – Escape to the Sea
- Cruise around Victoria Harbour and marvel at Hong Kong’s impressive architecture from a luxury catamaran with professional crew. Sail to the Ninepin Group of islands, where you can soak in the beauty of the sea and enjoy views of the famous Tiger Mouth Cave, a natural sea arch. A specially curated F&B experience will be prepared on board the catamaran by Michelin-starred ISL Executive Chef Uwe and Chef Cary of Lobster Bar & Grill.
Hangzhou – Caviar Enchantment
- Embark on a trip of new discoveries as you are accompanied by your personal butler to a remote sturgeon farm in the middle of Qiandao (“Thousand Island”) Lake to learn about the origins of the best Chinese Caviar. Guided by a Caviar master, be prepared for an immersive experience where you get to interact with the sturgeons, and indulge in an extravagant Caviar tasting session paired with a Champagne afternoon tea.
Singapore – Fast and Furious
- Get picked up at the hotel entrance by a professional race car driver in one of the world’s most luxurious cars. The real fun begins at the F1 Auto showroom, where you can take your chosen supercar for a test drive with the pro by your side. If you see a rare Pagani, the treasure of the showroom, you are more than welcome to experience its interiors and learn about its story.
This Shangri-La Polaris reminds me of SPG Ambassador status supercharged when it was first launched and purely invitation-only before Starwood made it an official tier with a number of night requirement (100) that Marriott expanded to include a minimum revenue component of $20,000.
The revenue requirement for Shangri-La Polaris is higher than this based on a chat I had, and there will be a few hundred members at launch.
Polaris joins the other ultra-elite tiers from other chains, including Marriott with Cobalt/Five Stars, Accor ALL Limitless, Hyatt Courtesy Card, and GHA Discovery RED, to name a few.
The revenue and other requirements for these tiers are so high that you are probably booking suites in the first place, so the benefits derived from these status levels can be negligible.
However, it is good marketing trying to keep these members happy and provide them with an unparalleled level of service. Speaking of marketing, hopefully, there is no brand confusion with United Airlines Polaris business class product, launched in 2016.
Let us know if you are get a Polaris invite next week, as we are eager to learn how Shangri-La treats you when the Polaris program goes live on January 1, 2022.