A lot of hotel chains in India have their own dining program which is a paid program, these programs are usually meant for people who frequently dine at those hotels. I have written about all these programs in another post, this post mainly focuses on Taj's Epicure program which was recently revamped. I will mainly be covering what are the changes which have come to to the program and how is it in comparison with the old program. I will also be mentioning a hack in case someone want to get this membership with the old terms and conditions.
Recently Taj hotels reintroduced its Epicure program, the membership comes in two different variants one is the Epicure Preferred which costs 17500 plus GST and the other one is the Epicure Privileged which cost 25000 plus GST, if you held this membership earlier you would have realised that there is a massive price jump from the older version of this membership (which use to cost approx. 15500 including tax), according Taj the new benefits which comes with this membership justify this increase. The new benefits which comes with this membership are as follows :-
One night complimentary stay
Complimentary one room upgrade
Complimentary set Lunch for 2 people
Complimentary Spa treatment
A celebration cake
Complimentary private dining set up
20% discount on room or suite stay one time
20% discount on annual membership of the fitness centre/ pool
20% discount on room or suite stay one time at Taj palaces
20% discount on room or suite stay one time at Taj safaris
Exclusive access to the Pool, with Set Lunch & Wine at Special Price
These are the voucher benefits which come with Epicure Preferred membership i.e. one time benefits. The fix benefits are as follows:-
25% on dining at all participating restaurants
20% discount on food at Banquets
20% discount on the Qmin app
20% discount on Spa
20% discount on salon
The major difference apart from the vouchers is that the old version of this membership gave a 25% points back whenever you dined at a Taj restaurant (50% for the first three transactions) it also gave you 3 upgrade vouchers and one complimentary night stay. The one benefit which a lot of users liked in the previous membership was the happy hours which is missing in new membership.
Though these new vouchers seem a lot, I don't think it justifies the drastic increase in price. I still prefer the old membership you can still get old membership for free if you hold the Amex Reserve Card. The cards annual fee is Rs 10000 plus taxes but that can easily be recouped if use this membership properly which comes along with this card.
Pro tip: You can still get a 25% discount on your dining spend at Taj without spending any money for a membership, this can be done by becoming a IHCL shareholder. If you own some shares of IHCL which is the parent company of Taj hotels you will receive 25% discount vouchers for spends upto Rs 15000 though you need to hold the shares for at least one year before you get those vouchers. IHCL sometimes takes out other benefits also for its shareholders like recently it took out a promotion in which its shareholders get 25% off on stays across India.
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