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You might not know Sonesta hotels but they’re about to be everywhere

Oct. 04, 2021
4 min read
You might not know Sonesta hotels but they’re about to be everywhere
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If you haven’t heard of Sonesta hotels yet, get ready. These properties might soon be springing up in destinations around the U.S. as the brand opens up franchising opportunities across the country.

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Sonesta is a Boston-based hotel chain that currently has seven brands under its belt: extended-stay Sonesta ES Suites; community-driven Sonesta Select; Sonesta Hotels & Resorts, with locations from Cairo to Cartagena; no-fuss Sonesta Simply Suites; Royal Sonesta, which recently transformed the Kauai Marriott into the Royal Sonesta Kaua'i Resort Lihue; plus a chain of country inns in Peru and a cruise collection sailing Egypt’s Nile River.

Last year, as the travel industry seemed to crumble due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sonesta (a lesser-known brand in the U.S. at the time) acquired RLH Crop, the parent company of America's Best Value Inn and Red Lion Hotels. This acquisition, which TPG reported as a $90 million value, added more than 1,000 properties to the company’s portfolio. Overnight, Sonesta became one of the largest hotel chains in the country (the eighth largest, to be exact).

Now, it’s about to get even bigger. Sonesta announced in September the launch of its global franchising division, Sonesta Franchising. Currently, four Sonesta brands are planned to be included in the U.S. franchise program: Sonesta Hotels & Resorts, Sonesta ES Suites, Sonesta Select and Sonesta Simply Suites.

According to a statement from the company, Sonesta Franchising will offer “a complete platform of franchise services, hotel operations and franchise support, featuring industry-leading brands with a wide range of hotel service levels to meet travelers’ needs.”

(photo courtesy of Sonesta)

While the nitty-gritty of franchising might not be of interest to everyone, what is important to know is that Sonesta may soon be a much bigger player in the travel industry for travelers around the country. And with that, there will be new opportunities to capitalize on its rewards program, Sonesta Travel Pass.

Sonesta Travel Pass currently offers three benefit tiers: Member (zero to five qualifying nights), Preferred (six to 11 qualifying nights) and Elite (12 or more qualifying nights). By simply signing up for the program, members are instantly granted a swath of “instant benefits” including 5% discounts on standard room rates, free upgraded Wi-Fi, the opportunity to earn free nights with no blackout dates and exclusive offers.

From there, members who climb their way up through the benefit tiers have the chance to earn other perks available at participating hotels. Some of these rewards include complimentary club lounge access or continental breakfast at Royal Sonesta or Sonesta Hotels & Resorts for Elite members; “Sip n’ Snack” credits ranging from $5 to $15 at Sonesta Select, Sonesta ES Suites and Sonesta Simply Suites and discounts on dining and potential complimentary room upgrades for Preferred and Elite members at Royal Sonesta and Sonesta Hotels & Resorts.

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(photo courtesy of Sonesta)

Luckily, gaining top-tier Elite status in the program doesn’t even require staying the full 12 nights. As TPG previously reported, Sonesta World Mastercard® holders get automatic Elite status as long as the card remains open, and the program matches status with other hotel chains.

“The Sonesta franchising launch announced this week, during this time of travel’s reemergence, means the potential for additional locations. When brands franchise — it provides additional opportunities to earn under their rewards and recognition programs and also create new locations to use the rewards,” Brian Quinn, chief development officer for Sonesta, told TPG in an email.

While it’ll take some time before we see just how many new properties open as the franchising program launches, the company’s aggressive expansion plans might just mean that Sonesta will soon be a travel force to be reckoned with.

Featured image by (photo courtesy of Sonesta)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023