Robert Cook, chief executive officer of both Malmaison and Hotel du Vin has told Business Traveller that the brands are planning a new loyalty programme.
“We are working very hard on launching a loyalty card for June of next year. We said by the half year we need to have a loyalty card in place.”
"Points in the programme will be dependent on spend," Cook said. “It’s modelled on the British Airways Executive Club model, where the more you spend on a seat, the more points you get, so the more you spend on a bed, the more you get, as well as in the restaurants and in our spas.”
Cook said that discussion was continuing over the name of the programme, but that it would be cross brand the 26 hotels (12 Malmaison and 14 Hotel du Vin properties totalling 1,900 bedrooms) across the UK.
“My idea is to have the silver, gold, platinum tiers as well, so the more loyalty you show, the more benefits you get such as upgrades, perhaps a left laundry service where we can launder clothing and have it ready for corporates when they return the next week, or for international guests, to keep hold of their toiletries so they don't have to worry about leaving them behind if they are passing through airports and then buying a new set when they return after the weekend. We are aiming to have benefits that means something to corporate travellers.”
Cook said the programme would be a “personal” one rather than a corporate one, and that the benefits would accrue to individual travellers. “They won’t be something you can get taxed on”, he said.
Cook admitted that the scheme would be expensive to run, but said that the two hotel brands already have a mailing list of 300,000 customers.
“We’re working with a web company to keep the costs of running the programme down, so quite a lot of the interaction will be through the web, though there will be a physical card.
Cook also said there were plans for Malmaison to expand into Europe, with an announcement to be made "imminently" on the location of the first overseas Malmaison.
Report by Tom Otley