Swissôtel Circle offers Fairmont Hotels Benefits

Swissôtel Circle is the newly relaunched loyalty program for Swissotel Hotels and Resorts as of August 15, 2011. The former program known as Club Swiss Gold is a hotel loyalty program that never made it into a Loyalty Traveler post so I do not have much comparative information to assess the changes.

There are only about 30 Swissôtel properties worldwide and only five properties in Switzerland. Chicago is the only U.S. location with a  Swissôtel. One of the unique features of Swissôtel Circle is its affiliation with Fairmont Hotels (66 hotels) and Raffles (13 hotels)  allowing elite credit and some benefits for stays at these hotel chains. This increases the number of global properties associated with Swissôtel Circle to more than 100 hotels with numerous Fairmont Hotels in North America.

Swissôtel Circle Elite Membership and Benefits

Membership is free. Elite tier membership is based on a 12-month rolling calendar. This means nights in any 12-month period count towards elite qualification. Most hotel loyalty programs use a calendar year meaning your stays and nights in 2011 reset to zero on January 1, 2012. Swissôtel Circle members can start today and all nights from today to August 2012 will count for elite status. The month you reach an elite tier will start the 12-month calendar for retaining elite.

Swissôtel Circle Elite Levels  (Tier names are based on Swiss Romansh words for starting off point, ascent and summit).

  • Inizia is initial membership tier upon enrollment. Member earns lifetime Inizia status after staying 5 nights.
  • Elevà = 20 nights in 12-month period. Fairmont and Raffles nights count for Eleva qualification.
  • Zenit = 60 nights in 12-month period. All nights must be at Swissôtel properties only.

Inizia Benefits

– personalised room preferences
– dedicated check-in counter
– priority waitlist status
– complimentary newspaper
– complimentary access to spa & sport facilities
– member only promotions
– Advantage Awards you can exchange for free upgrades, breakfast or internet access

Inizia tier members receive a plastic Inizia membership card once five nights are completed in a 12-month period.

Elevà Benefits (20 nights in 12-month period. Nights at Fairmont and Raffles Hotels count.)

– Inizia benefits, plus:
daily breakfast and Club Lounge access
– complimentary internet, local calls and faxes
– 48-hour guaranteed room availability*
benefits and stay credits at Raffles and Fairmont properties
Premier Awards which you can exchange for complimentary room nights or dinner for two.

Elevà membership lasts 24 months from the date of membership upgrade.


Zenit Benefits (60 or more nights in at least two different Swissôtel properties in a 12-month period. Fairmont and Raffles nights do not count for Zenit elite qualification.)

– Elevà benefits, plus:
free upgrades
– invitations to Swissôtel Circle events
partner card providing the same status and benefits to your spouse
– 48-hour guaranteed room availability without black-out dates
– curbside or in-room check-in
– VIP member service
Zenit Awards, which you can exchange for free weekends away in suite accommodations.

Membership for Zenit status is subject to renewal every 24 months.


Advantage, Premier and Zenit Awards

Awards are issued based on the room nights accumulated from your upgrade date into a qualifying award tier and will be calculated based on 12-month periods.

Unless you have opted-out to receive communication from Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, you will be notified regularly by email of any accrued Awards.

Advantage Award

For every five room-nights transacted at qualifying rates, members who have been awarded the lifetime Inizia or Elevà status will be issued an Advantage Award. Each Advantage Award entitles the member to one of the following:

  • A complimentary room upgrade for 2 consecutive nights during one stay, or
  • 2 complimentary breakfasts per stay (either 1 breakfast for 2 people or two breakfasts for one person), or
  • One 24-hour period of complimentary internet access (non-cumulative)
  • A maximum of four Advantage Awards will be issued in a 12 month period.

Premier Award

For every 10 room-nights transacted at qualifying rates, members who have been awarded Elevà or Zenit status will receive a Premier Award. Each Premier Award entitles the member to one of the following:

  • A complimentary room at any Swissôtel worldwide, or
  • A three-course dinner for two people with a bottle of House wine in any participating Swissôtel restaurants, or in-room dining options.
  • A maximum of four Premier Awards will be issued in a 12 month period.

Zenit Award

For every 20 room-nights transacted by a Zenit member at qualifying rates, they will receive a Zenit Award. Each Zenit Award entitles the member to the following:

  • A complimentary weekend stay in a suite at any Swissôtel worldwide (Friday to Sunday or Saturday to Monday).

Additional information  is provided in the FAQ for the Swissôtel Circle program.

Loyalty Traveler Analysis

Future opportunities for Loyalty Traveler analysis will develop as more anecdotal evidence hits social media.

For now I like the opportunity to combine stays at Swissôtel, Fairmont and Raffles properties to earn Swissôtel Circle Elevà tier status after 20 nights in a rolling 12-month calendar. This membership tier provides complimentary breakfast daily, Club lounge access and free internet.

Two year elite tier membership is a benefit that can probably be played with Fairmont Presidents Club membership to compare the two programs as a frequent guest.

Earning a free night every ten nights as a Swissôtel Circle Elevà member earning up to four Premier awards in a 12-month period might hold leverage opportunity to pay for inexpensive hotel stays and redeem at high cost hotels.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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