Applause Rewards is a new UK hotel loyalty scheme launched by Principal Hotels. It is worth signing up if you are an occasional guest at Principal or De Vere hotels in the UK.
Principal Hotels is a new UK city centre brand backed by Starwood Capital, the original backers of the Starwood group. (This new company is not linked to SPG in any way.) They own a number of UK city centre hotels which will be slowly upgraded and rebranded as Principal as improvements are made. De Vere, the edge of town meetings-led brand is under the same ownership and will be relaunched later this year.
The current Principal hotels are:
Principal Edinburgh (ex George, picture below)
Principal Manchester (ex The Palace Hotel)
Principal London (opening this Summer, ex Hotel Russell)
Principal York (ex Royal Station Hotel)
If you ever had a bad experience at any of the hotels above under their old names, don’t worry – Principal seems to have invested a lot of money in bringing them up to modern standards.
This article from The Caterer has an interview with the founders and is a good overview of the fresh approach they are bringing to their hotels.
Applause Rewards has been set up as a reward scheme to cover the Principal properties and De Vere.
As you would expect from a very small chain, the benefits of the scheme are focussed more on rewarding you during your stay than offering you future benefits after a number of visits.
As a member, you will receive:
A 10% discount on all bookings, increasing to 15% after nine stays
£5 credit toward food or bar bills on every stay
One hour late check-out guaranteed
Instant check-out with bills viewable online
It is, as far as it goes, an OK package and you might as well sign up (the link is here) if you will be staying at any Principal hotel. My only issue is that, assuming you are travelling for business, all of the benefits go to your employer.
There is nothing in it for the guest, unless they are on a strict per diem for food and drink which would give the £5 credit more value. If you were being mercenary and your employer allowed it, you would be better off booking via hotels.com and getting a credit in Hotels.com Rewards towards a free night. I explained why I recommend Hotels.com Rewards in this article.
You can learn more about, and sign up for, Applause Rewards on the Principal website here.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)