GHA Discovery loyalty programme underwhelming

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  • Gastroinn

    My wife and I recently spent a fortnight in Mauritius at The Residence Hotel which is a member of the GHA discovery programme that is bundled into The Business Traveller subscription. I am generally a fan of airline and hotel loyalty programmes and have over 1 million Avios and quite a few hundred thousand in each with both IHG and Hilton. As I had booked my CW air trip with BA and they had a decent offer on hotel accommodation at The Residence I decided to book the hotel through BA via BAEC. Once I realised that The Residence was part of GHA I requested a retrospective rewards award after the trip from GHA Discovery as I thought a 14 night stay might help to propel me to a more meaningful tier level. However after some six weeks of trying along with lengthy waits for a response and then they always wanting more “evidence” of my stay I am at the point of despair as it appears they will not accept a copy of my invoice receipt and hotel voucher from BA as suitable evidence of my stay despite accepting the extras bill as being valid. Having spent some £4K on the accommodation this is rather disappointing. Naturally the hotel only invoiced me for extras but not the accommodation as BA paid them direct. GHA take roughly two weeks too respond back to every response and always then request further evidence. So I am fast losing the will to live. I would suggest that BT Mag reconsiders whether this “subscription bonus” is really worth the paper it is printed on. All in all a very disappointing experience and I would suggest to other readers that they avoid GHA properties avoid GHA properties if this is the best they can do. Next time we’ll use a Hilton or IHG property!

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    I found out many years ago that some hotel programmes only award ‘points’ if the loyalty scheme member makes the booking direct with the hotel group themselves, not through a third party booking agent or airline.

    In my case I used to use Expedia from time to time and found that some hotels were listed cheaper with them than on the hotels own web site, but no hotel points were subsequently awarded to me when I booked through Expedia. At that time it used to be easier to speak to an actual person, rather than a bot, in customer services. It was explained to me that the hotel group would offer a discount scheme to agency, but that the discount was effectively in lieu of loyalty scheme points, in other words make the choice, discount or points, not both. Of course the intermediary could choose whether or not to pass the discount on to the customer. At the time it seemed that maybe Expedia offered part of the discount to the customer as an attraction to get the business, but still kept a small percentage for themselves.

    I could well be wrong but it may be that in your case BA passed on a good part of their discount to you, and as far as the hotel is concerned there is no accommodation “spend” from you direct to them, only from BA, therefore no loyalty points.


    I stayed in a Marriott in February for 2 weeks. I got the Bonvoy points but am not registered as staying for any nights.

    I queried this with Marriott and they told me that because I booked through (which was cheaper than a direct booking) they don’t register my stay. Now, I could understand if they hadn’t awarded me points, but telling me that they won’t register my stay seems a little illogical.


    My preference has always been to book direct with hotels (Bonvoy) not only to ensure points and status but also so the booking can be FULLY managed by the hotel and not reliant on external 3rd party booking agents.

    As far as price is concerned, for one off hotel bookings I find the price can go either way – for my 2 or 3 regular hotels, I negotiate my own rate and benefits packages directly with the hotel.

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