A loyalty scheme for guests who clock up frequent stays in independent and boutique hotels is to be launched in September.
Pillow Perks is looking to sign up 25 hotels by the time it goes live, with the aim of having more than 250 hotels in the UK, Europe and the USA on its books within three years, along with a database of 250,000 guests. In the long term, the ambition is to sign up 500 hotels.
The scheme is being launched by Paul Slijper, the owner of the nine-bedroom Hotel L'Avenida in Sóller, Majorca. He and his wife, Tania, ran the hotel for five years until last year, when they returned to the UK for their children's education. The hotel is now run by managers.
Slijper said that Pillow Perks would enable owners and managers to quickly and easily access "the complex loyalty arena" at a fraction of the cost of setting up their own programmes.
"Since opening L'Avenida, we have built up a database of about 4,000 guests, which has been very useful, but it is limited. The only way independent hotels can get access to a wider database is buying one, but that can be unreliable.
"Pillow Perks manages the entire reward programme and gives all properties access to the collective database for shared e-marketing and promotions."
Guests will benefit from becoming a member of Pillow Perks by building up points for every night booked into a hotel signed up to the scheme, with the reward of a free night's stay once 2,000 points have been accumulated.
Hotels will pay a fee, based on a sliding scale, from £95 plus VAT per month for a property of up to 10 bedrooms, with a business with more than 100 rooms paying £250 plus VAT. There is also a fixed one-off cost of £195 plus VAT for software installation, magnetic card reader, training and on-site programme set up.
"On average, the operating cost equates to one room-night per month, Slijper explained. "That is a simple way for hoteliers to visualise the investment."
Pillow Perks is looking to sign up independent hotels, upmarket bed and breakfasts, and restaurants and pubs with rooms.
Slijper, who also runs Paella & Company, a catering firm specialising in paella and tapas, has widespread experience working in hotel marketing for Orient-Express Hotels, the Millennium Hotel London Mayfair and Golden Tulip Hotels.