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Old Apr 16, 09, 9:44 am   #1
 
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Smoking vs Non-smoking rooms - what %?

Westin must have done some pretty extensive marketing analysis before converting to all non-smoking rooms. What % of their rooms were smoking before the conversion? I wonder if Lurker (or anyone else) has seen any data on how successful the program has been. It certainly is good not to have to worry about this issue for us non-smokers and I'm sure it saves the hotel money by not having to deal with different room types. But I am wondering if they have a way of measuring how much business they have lost from smokers.

My purpose in asking, in addition to general curiousity, is in trying to assess the likelihood of other chains going the same route.
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Old Apr 16, 09, 9:53 am   #2
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Some effects are shown here, although the piece is a bit dated.

http://hotels.about.com/od/uniqueand...lsbansmoke.htm

Now if we could get SPG to guarantee non-smoking rooms on award reservations...
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Old Apr 16, 09, 11:23 am   #3
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
...Now if we could get SPG to guarantee non-smoking rooms on award reservations...
Smoking preference is already guaranteed on Preferred (free) Night Awards, where it can be absolutely determined that smoking vs. non-smoking rooms are available. It is the bedding preference that isn't.

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

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Old Apr 16, 09, 5:00 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
Smoking preference is already guaranteed on Preferred (free) Night Awards, where it can be absolutely determined that smoking vs. non-smoking rooms are available. It is the bedding preference that isn't.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

guest.forum@starwoodhotels.com
I'm surprised to hear this. Just so I am completely clear. If I book an award night online and the room description says either smoking or non-smoking, then I am guaranteed that room type, as it is available at the time of booking?

When booking award nights over the phone I have repeatedly been told that regardless of the room listed as available, smoking preference can only be requested but is not guaranteed. I'm not talking about changing the room type, just getting the type shown as available.
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Old Apr 16, 09, 9:53 pm   #5
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I'm surprised to hear this. Just so I am completely clear. If I book an award night online and the room description says either smoking or non-smoking, then I am guaranteed that room type, as it is available at the time of booking?
Dear snufl,

Greetings.

Perhaps what William meant is that it is a definite that there will be smoking and non-smoking rooms available for redemption until the inventory for either type runs out.

But the following still applies:

"When using a Free Night Award, bedding and smoking preferences may be requested but are not guaranteed." Visit spg.com for more.

apguest.forum@starwoodhotels.com

Thyetus Lee | Online Forum Coordinator(AP)
Starwood Customer Contact Centre (AP) Pte Ltd
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Old Apr 16, 09, 9:58 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker II View Post
When using a Free Night Award, bedding and smoking preferences may be requested but are not guaranteed.
I must say this is absolutely the stupidest policy of any airline or hotel policy I've ever heard. It makes free nights 100% useless.
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Old Apr 16, 09, 10:20 pm   #7
 
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Hi Thyetus!

Here is how I always thought it worked (because of the T&Cs).

I go online to book an award night and a page comes up with something like:

1 King bed non-smoking

1 King bed smoking

I select smoking (I'm ducking as I type this because I'm sure someone will throw something). My confirmation email says smoking room.

When I get to the hotel I'm told there are no smoking rooms available so I have a non-smoking room. As far as I have understood, because it is an award night, I just have to accept the non-smoking room. Yes/No?

That William has confused me. I must admit I have always relied on Plat status at least getting me preferred room type but it would be nice to know for sure.

Last edited by snufl; Apr 16, 09 at 10:35 pm. Reason: removed bolding
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Old Apr 16, 09, 10:37 pm   #8
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker II View Post
Perhaps what William meant is that it is a definite that there will be smoking and non-smoking rooms available for redemption until the inventory for either type runs out.

But the following still applies:
No. What William said is that smoking preferences can be guaranteed for award nights. I understand that the T&C indicate otherwise, so it seems that there is some inconsistency with regard to member communications/staff knowledge.
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Old Apr 16, 09, 10:39 pm   #9
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I must say this is absolutely the stupidest policy of any airline or hotel policy I've ever heard. It makes free nights 100% useless.
It ranks right up there, I agree. It doesn't make them useless, but I have to ask--if they can guarantee these things on paid nights, and a paid standard room can always be booked as an award standard room, I don't see the need for this difficulty. It seems like an artifact of an old booking system/old award night policy.
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Old Apr 16, 09, 11:05 pm   #10
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It doesn't make them useless
It does to us. If there's even a chance we'll get stuck in a cancer ward or a room with two single beds, it's not worth booking.
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Old Apr 16, 09, 11:07 pm   #11
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It does to us. If there's even a chance we'll get stuck in a cancer ward or a room with two single beds, it's not worth booking.
a) There are some properties that are 100% nonsmoking.
b) I've never not gotten a nonsmoking room.
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Old Apr 16, 09, 11:09 pm   #12
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There are some properties that are 100% nonsmoking.
That still leave the bed issue.
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Old Apr 16, 09, 11:12 pm   #13
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That still leave the bed issue.
Yeah, I agree that it's bad, though I've actually always gotten one bed when I want it and two when I want that.

Of course, at some European properties, the difference between a King room and a Twin room is whether they pull the single beds apart or push them together in prep for your arrival.
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Old Apr 17, 09, 12:43 pm   #14
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
It does to us. If there's even a chance we'll get stuck in a cancer ward or a room with two single beds, it's not worth booking.
I fully agree with you. Useless to book award rooms. Glad to see I'll have less competition when booking them myself.

For the record, I often book both award and revenue rooms when all that is showing is 'smoking' and put in the comments 'NON-SMOKING ROOM REQUIRED PLEASE'. Only once have I received a smoking room and once they replaced all the bedding and pillows it was ok for the one night.
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Old Apr 17, 09, 12:54 pm   #15
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But the following still applies:

"When using a Free Night Award, bedding and smoking preferences may be requested but are not guaranteed." Visit spg.com for more.
Sorry, Lurkers, but I don't see how this can be reconciled with post #3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
Smoking preference is already guaranteed on Preferred (free) Night Awards, where it can be absolutely determined that smoking vs. non-smoking rooms are available. It is the bedding preference that isn't.

Is non-smoking guaranteed when I select that free night room type online or by phone, or is it not?
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