Rydges have recently aligned their Priority Guest Program with the GHA Discovery Program. The Priority Guest Program has been the inhouse loyalty program run by Rydges for a number of years. The GHA Discovery program is a separate program that is run by the Global Hotels Alliance – essentially a marketing group for various brands of hotels.
While there were three levels in each of the programs, the programs gave them different names. As part of the alignment the Priority Guest Levels have been adjusted to match the GHA levels. The level changes are as follows:
- Entry level membership cards changed from a Black card to Gold card design
- Mid-tier Gold membership cards changed to a Silver card design
- Top Tier Platinum membership cards changed to a Black card design
As part of the transition, new cards were mailed to the elite levels, while base level members should receive a new card after their next stay at a Rydges hotel.
In essence, members of Priority Guest, will hold a joint membership with GHA Discovery. For the purposes of recognition, the benefits that will apply are:
- Priority Guest Rewards member when staying at a PGR hotel in
Australia, New Zealand or the UK receive Priority Guest Rewards in-stay
benefits and rewards.
- Priority Guest Rewards member when staying at a participating GHA
Discovery Hotel outside the PGR network of hotels & resortsÂ in
Australia , New Zealand or the UK receive GHA Discovery in-stay benefits
- GHA Discovery only members staying at a PGR hotel in Australia, New
Zealand continue to receive GHA Discovery in-stay benefits and rewards.
The benefits of the Priority Guest Program appear to have been modified to align better with the GHA offer. There are still differences in the offer. For example, the Priority Guest Program does not offer room upgrades, and there are significant differences in the Late Checkout provisions.
Rydges benefits are:
|Â Benefits||Gold tier member||Silver tier Member||Black tier member|
|Â Room Discount||10%||15%||15%|
|Â Meal and Drink Discount||20%||20%||50%|
|Â Complimentary Water or Welcome Drink||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Â Late Checkout||1 pm||1 pm||3 pm|
GHA Benefits for the stay are
|In Stay Benefits||Gold tier member||Silver tier Member||Black tier member|
|Â Free Bottled Water||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Â Late Checkout||No||Yes â€“ Â 3pm||Yes â€“ 6pm|
|Â Free Newspaper||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Â Earn Local Experiences||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Â Guaranteed Availability||No||Yes Â -Â 48hrs||Yes -Â 24hrs|
|Â Room upgrades||No||Yes â€“ One level||Yes -Â Two level|
|Â Customised room preference||No||No||Yes|
|Â Local Market Amenity||No||Yes||Yes|
While new members to Priority Guest will automatically be enrolled in the GHA Discovery program, existing members will need to opt in. The option to opt in is available when logging in to your Priority Guest Rewards Account.
GHA is a marketing group that represents a variety of hotel chains. In Australia, this is the Rydges, but also includes the Pan Pacific and Park Royal Hotels. An interesting feature of the Discovery program is that, in place of free rooms, it offers Local Experiences. These are local options selected by the hotels that may be one of a variety of different styles of experiences. These may include dining options, spa treatments or various other tourist options.
One of the downsides of the way they have done this, is that you can only earn in one program or the other. If you have a mix of GHA Hotels and Rydges Hotels, this may complicate the earning of higher status overall, as you will end up working toward status in two separate programs.
On the other hand, being able to apply any status earned in Rydges to other hotels in GHA makes the program more useful when outside of the markets that Rydges is stronger in (Australia and to a lesser extent, New Zealand).
Overall, it seems a worthwhile alignment, as they have kept some good features of the Rydges program, such as dining discount.