Boutique Hotels Join Together in New Loyalty 'Stash Hotel Rewards'

Hotel Griffon

Watch out hotel chains, there's a new player in town vying for business travelers who are tired of the same-old corporate hotel experience. A group of independent hotels are banding together through the new start-up Stash Hotel Rewards, modeled after popular loyalty rewards programs like Marriott Rewards and Hilton HHonors.

Stash Hotel Rewards, which launched yesterday, awards travelers with points for overnight stays at a collection of boutique hotels across the U.S. As of its launch, 65 indie hotels in 50 cities are participating in the program with dozens more expected to join in, according to the Stash Hotel Rewards website. After a free sign-up, members earn 5 points for every dollar spent on their hotel stay. That means for booking a $179 hotel room (895 points) at one of the affiliated hotels, you could earn a free night at places like The Bristol in San Diego. There are no blackout dates on redeeming the points and the points never expire.

Since the indie rewards program is brand-new, there are some glaring gaps in hotel coverage for major U.S. cities currently. For New York City, five Affinias hotels are listed as "coming soon," leaving the program without a confirmed hotel in the nation's tourism capital. There are also no hotels listed as of yet for Washington, D.C. or Miami.

Will Stash Hotel Rewards and their alliance of indie hotels give Hilton and Marriott a run for their money? Probably not, given the scoop of the major hotel chains, each with hundreds of hotels worldwide and millions of loyal customers. But it will certainly inspire more business travelers to try out independent hotels and reward those who prefer the boutique hotel experience for their loyalty.
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