Lots of hotels have rewards and loyalty programs – after all, it’s only in one’s best interests to entice customers with reasons to make a return visit. But it’s also important to keep everyone in mind, not just the person paying the bill. With so many hotels to choose from that offer comparable spa and recreationg packages, a hotel that offers something extra for the kids may just tip the scales in its favor. Portola Hotel & Spa is one such hotel hoping to tip those scales with the introduction of Portola Pirates, a new year-round loyalty program aimed at children.
Named for Gaspar de Portola – not a pirate, but a Spanish explorer and the founder of both Monterey and San Diego – the program aims to educate kids about Monterey’s history and culture while they visit. Upon check-in, kids are greeted with pirate-inspired goodie bags and a scavenger hunt map. But for return visitors who complete the scavenger hunt, there’s more – a second visit nets two complimentary children’s tickets to Monterey’s My Museum, a third visit earns a Portola Pirate t-shirt, and kids get Portola Pirate sleeping bags at check-in on their fourth visit. The highest prize available comes after a fifth visit: that one earns children an All-Nighter Pirate Party, where your kids and ten friends under the age of 12 can have the run of a hotel suite all night with snacks and games (and connecting guest rooms for the parental supervision).
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As the party hints at (because very few people are going to bring their kid’s ten best friends across the country for a hotel party), Portola is hoping that the rewards program will appeal not just to out-of-town visitors, but also to Monterey locals who might see the hotel as a great staycation destination.
"We are very excited to offer the Portola Pirates Program to our guests," says Portola Hotel & Spa General Manager Janine Chicourrat in a press release from the hotel. "Our goal with this program is not only to enlighten children visiting with parents from out of town about Monterey's rich, cultural history, but local children from the Monterey area as well. We believe this program also serves as a great option for birthday parties and educational field trips for local kids, parents, schools, and organizations."