You may have seen some higher tier credit cards – case in point The Platinum Card by American Express which carries an annual fee of S$1,712 – that come with special hotel benefits such as free breakfast, US$100 dining/spa credit, late check-out and perhaps room upgrade and wish there was a way that mere mortals like us who don’t want to fork out more than a thousand dollars on a credit card and at the same time, aren’t elite members of hotel loyalty programmes to enjoy those same kinds of perks.
This week, Hotelux launches in Singapore as a way for the public to access those luxury travel advisor benefits without having to go through those hoops. The app acts as a booking platform with a similar interface where you input your preferred stay dates with the app showing you its best rates with Hotelux partner hotels as well as a set of benefits that come with the stay.
Do note that when you book with Hotelux, you won’t necessarily be getting the cheapest possible price of the room. The “advance purchase room-only rates” are usually the cheapest rates if price is all that matters. However, the exclusive benefits that come with the Hotelux rates will usually outweigh the extra price. Moreover, the Hotelux rates are more or less the same as the hotel’s cancellable rates if you were to book directly at the property and that usually does not come with extra benefits. Hotelux rates, on the other hand, come with these additional benefits:
- Up to US$100 dining or spa credit
- Early check-in or late check-out
- Free breakfast for 2 people
- Welcome gift
- Room upgrade subject to availability
Hotelux Does Not Charge You For Booking – You Pay Directly at Hotel
Since the Hotelux rates are pretty much similar to the hotel’s cancellable rates, you don’t pay anything to the app upfront. You pay directly to the hotel, only upon checking-out which leads to another benefit below.
You Earn Hotel Loyalty Programme Points + Hotelux Points
Since your bookings through the Hotelux app and payments for stays are handled by the hotel rather than internally (unlike other online travel agents like Agoda, Booking.com, etc), this means that Hotelux bookings qualify for earning points with the hotel’s loyalty programme. At the same time, Hotelux has its own points system where you also get to earn points with each booking.
Points earned in their internal rewards system can be accumulated and used as a voucher to offset the price of a future booking. After tinkering with the Hotelux app, it appears that the points ratio is 1 Hotelux Point for every S$5 booked. 1 Hotelux Point is then equivalent to S$0.10 in vouchers. This means that booking with the Hotelux app gives you an earn rate of about 2%.
The Hotelux app is meant to cover a wide array of cities which will be helpful once international travel becomes feasible again. In Singapore, there are about 12 hotels where you can get benefits when you book through the Hotelux app. These hotels include: Raffles Hotel Singapore, Andaz Singapore, Shangri-la Singapore, Conrad Centennial Singapore, JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, The Westin Singapore, Capella Singapore, Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, St. Regis Singapore, W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, Shangri-la Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa.
For now, users of the app get to do up to 2 bookings for free without having to pay any membership fees. However, anything beyond that would require payment of the standard membership fee which is S$149 per year. This is worthwhile if you consider the exclusive benefits of the Hotelux rates. For instance the US$100 dining credit for your first stay alone is almost enough to recoup the membership. If you make 20 bookings in a year, you get upgraded to Elite Plus membership which comes with more perks like limo transfers between airport or hotel as well as 2,000 bonus points (equivalent to S$200).
Use my promo code: A3EHSD6B for a generous discount on the Hotelux membership fee.