For the past few trips we have ended up staying in hotels in the Accor chain (Hong Kong, Bangkok, Moscow). This French chain has a big presence mainly Europe and in Asia. The Accor chain consists of high-end hotels like Sofitel & Pullman, mid-end hotels like Novotel and Mercure and the low-end hotels like Ibis and Formule1.
One of the main reasons we end up staying and looking at Accor hotels is the price. Our budget for our hotel stays is in the sub $100 USD per night range. We tend to not splurge on the hotels (except on special occasions) that we stay in and instead rather use the money on food or shopping when we travel. Most of the other chains such as Hilton and Starwood do not have the low/mid range hotels available outside of the US.
The good side of the Accor's loyalty program, A-club is that it is relatively easy to obtain elite status through various promos and status matches. Recently, A-club was offering Gold and even up to Platinum status for holders of various elite frequent flyer programs. I got an "upgrade" to Gold due to my SQ *A Silver Status. Joining the Accor Advantage Plus program also gets a complimentary upgrade to Silver. The A-club's status levels and their requirements:
- Classic - entry level.
- Silver - 10 nights or 2500 club points
- Gold - 30 nights or 10,000 club points
- Platinum - 60 nights or 25,000 club points
The rewards of the A-club program are also very poor. The earn rate is 2 A|Club points for 1 Euro spent during your stays at Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Suite Novotel and Mercure OR 1 A|Club point for 1 Euro spent during your stays at Ibis and All Seasons hotels. It is also important to note that they are some hotels as part of the Accor group that don't participate in the Aclub program so you don't earn points stay in those hotels. From a redemption perspective they don't offer room redemption for points accrued but instead only offers hotel vouchers. For 2000 points, one can get a 60USD voucher.
In summary, we will continue to use Accor Hotels due to our budget and perks obtained through our Accor Advantage Plus program. Here's to hoping that they make the Aclub perks better in the future.