The upmarket Swissotel hotel group is providing frequent guest benefits in a new loyalty program for its regular visitors, which are worth a look for business travellers.
Swissotel's circle program is named after traditional Swiss papercut circles, which date back centuries.
The tiers of the program are split into three levels: Inizia, Elevà and Zenit. (We don't know what's wrong with the obvious metal-based tiers either, but you have to admit it's got a bit of panache to it.)
At the basic Inizia tier, you get saved room preferences, priority waitlisting, free spa and sport facilities and the chance to exchange your frequent guest points (Advantage Awards) for an upgrade, free breakfast or Internet access.
After a whopping 20 nights a year, you turn into an Elevà member. You'll get free Internet and breakfast, access to the executive lounge, 48-hour guaranteed room availability and Premier Awards to exchange for free room nights or dinner.
After 60 nights -- in at least two hotels -- you'll be rewarded with Zenit level membership. That gives you upgrades, invites to Swissotel circle program events, free Zenit membership for your spouse, no blackout dates for the 48-hour room availability, and Zenit awards for free weekends in Swissotel's suites.
Interestingly, your Elevà or Zenit status is only reviewed every 24 months, so you could qualify on an extended European trip and then coast for a year.
If you travel regularly to the 15 countries with Swissotels, this might be a good deal for you. But our read on the programme is that there are other more worldwide programs that would be a better deal for most business travellers from Australia.
But even if you're only staying at one of their hotels for the first time, sign up -- the room preferences and spa privileges are worth it.
For more: swissotelcircle.com
Swissotels can be found in Sydney, London, Chicago, Beijing, Foshan, Kunshan, Shanghai, Osaka, Singapore, Bangkok, Kolkata, Berlin, Bremen, Neuss (near Düsseldorf), Dresden (under development), Tallinn, Amsterdam, Moscow, Novosibirsk (under development), Basel, Geneva, Zurich, Ankara, Göcek, Istanbul, Izmir, Kiev (under development), Quito and Lima.