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Please post your Royal Ambassador experiences (Archive Thread 2004-2006)

Please post your Royal Ambassador experiences (Archive Thread 2004-2006)

Old Nov 29, 2004, 7:23 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 193
Please post your Royal Ambassador experiences (Archive Thread 2004-2006)

I thought I start a thread to post Royal Ambassador experiences:

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
- How are the rooms?
- How is the exec. lounge?
- What was good and what was bad?
- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?

Moderators Notice:
Older Posts for the years November 2004 - December 2006 could be found in this thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/inter...04-2006-a.html

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TimWong is offline  
Old Nov 29, 2004, 7:23 am
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 193
Please post your Royal Ambassador experiences (Archive Thread 2004-2006)

I thought I start a thread to post Royal Ambassador experiences:

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
- How are the rooms?
- How is the exec. lounge?
- What was good and what was bad?
- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 7:23 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 193
IC London

IC London

- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
I booked a standard room with points and received a suite upgrade + welcome gift

- How are the rooms?
Suite was nice with sepaarate living and sleeping room, huge bath. Bath still ok butolder/dated compared to rest of the room

- How is the exec. lounge?
I spent only a short night (late arrival/early departure). I had no time to check if there is a lounge.

- What was good and what was bad?
Good location; very friendly staff

- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Excellent value for the points. I'd return
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 7:58 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: NH
Posts: 5,720
IC de la Ville, Rome

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?: Yes indeed. This is a very nice hotel and the location is excellent.

- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive? We booked a superior room and got a suite. Also got water & fruit on arrival, and on New Year's Eve when other guests (in our party... not 6C members) got splits of champagne, we got a full bottle.

- How are the rooms? Very nice. Separate living room with it's own TV, as well as king size bedroom with TV in there too. Bathroom older but in fine shape.

- How is the exec. lounge? I don't think I knew about exec. lounges when I was there. But we didn't spend a whole lot of time in the hotel, since we were in Rome.

- What was good and what was bad? The hotel facade was under renovation at the time, as well as the rooftop garden. We wanted to be on the roof for the city fireworks at midnight. It took a bit of coaxing, since it was officially closed to the public. But at 11:40 we were permitted access to one of the best views of the city's fireworks.

- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return? We got a decent rate using their "internet" rate. And considering the dollar to euro rate was $1.03/1E, it was a very good deal. We would definitely return.

Rita
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 12:32 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Naples, Florida, USA
Programs: DL Diamond, 2MM; Hilton Diamond; IC Platinum Ambassador
Posts: 792
Originally Posted by TimWong
I thought I start a thread to post Royal Ambassador experiences:

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
- How are the rooms?
- How is the exec. lounge?
- What was good and what was bad?
- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
There are others on this list who are much more experienced Royal Ambassadors than I. However, since becoming one in March 2004, I've had the following experiences, all of which I would characterize as very good to excellent, as well as very good value for the money.

London: Two room suite, very nice, with two bathrooms and nice separate living room. We entertained guests there and it was very comfortable. The executive lounge must be booked as part of the original reservation (at least that's what they told us). It is very nice with courteous service and good amenities, including free high speed internet on working computers. Sometimes crowded, however, as was the coffee shop downstairs for breakfast.

Edinburgh: Two room suite, very large and nice. The hotel is a bit older as others have discussed, but the service and room were excellent. Did not see the executive lounge if there is one. I believe we booked a standard room, and received what appeared to be the best room in the house. Excellent deal and definitely would return.

Barclay: Two room suite, actually similar to the London hotel. Spacious and nicely appointed for New York. No charge for anything in the minibar, beverages or candy (unfortunately!). Did not check the executive lounge, if any, and none was offered. Showed up early and they gave me a room to shower and take a nap until mine was ready.

Washington, DC -- Two visits, both times received a two room suite. First was an "oval" suite with a very elegant oval sitting area done in gold and red. Literally the nicest hotel room I've ever stayed in, booked for the standard room price (which, however, was not cheap). Cleaned out the two minibars entertaining without charge for the beverages but, thank goodness, the candy was charged and therefore deterred further vices. Second visit received another two room "executive" suite, very nicely appointed and very spacious. I did not check out the executive floor, if any, and none was offered.

New Orleans -- beautiful and very large two room suite on the club floor. The hotel seemed to be largely deserted (it was over Thanksgiving), which may explain the particularly nice suite and club floor access. The club attendant was superb, very friendly and willing to please. The club itself was a bit small, and the food was not even close to London's. However, the truly superb room and the very low room rate (AAA member rate, $125 per night), not to mention being in New Orleans made this perhaps the very best return on the $.

I know that others might chime in with negative stories, and I don't wish to sound like a pollyanna, but as I have previously said, I find RA status to be a real, true delight, and the rare loyalty program which yields tangible and constant benefits for customer loyalty. I have now moved as much business as possible to IC, and am planning vacations around, in part, my RA status.

I hope this helps. Casimir
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 4:31 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Stuck on this planet - mainly in STR and LAX
Posts: 5,020
This year so far:

Hong Kong IC:
- Harbour view room (cheapest i could find). Upgrade to Harb. view junior suite.
- Room is nice, big bathtub
- Club not included
- view and service is good
- Expensive, but worth it. return any time (have been there several times)

Singapore:
- Bigger room (about 50 % bigger than normal), no club
- Nice, but not really special
- Club not incl.
- If you get a good rate: yes. return depends on price for the room

Muscat, Oman, Al Bustan
- 2 room suite. As usual booked the cheapest room i could find
- very nice and spacious
- not included
- Seems that the hotel is selling rooms to package tourists. So not the normal clientele.
- Good value, return yes

Dubai
- Bigger room (almost twice as big)
- Nice, but not in any way special
- no club access. They have a small ambassador lounge which is unmanned and a joke.
- ok value, return depends on price for room

San Jose, Costa Rica (actually there right now, writing from my room)
- upgrade to club floow
- ok, just a standard room
- small, in the hallway behind the elevator. a little disappointing
- Very friendly
- Stay again: yes

Barkley NY
- upgrade to two room corner suite.
- For NY standards very nice.
- No lounge/club incl.
- Slow service, understaffed (concierge, room service etc)
- Ok value, Depends on price, but less likely

Santiago, Chile
- Corner room on club floor, booked cheapest room
- ROmm was ok, but small
- Nice, good selection
- Location is a bit from the center of town and the lobby area (coffee shop etc) need a face lift.
- Ok value, return likely
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 3:25 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Programs: DL (suckered me into) Diamond, ICH Plat RA, SPG Plat
Posts: 162
IC Grand Stanford Hong Kong

I just got back from a recent stay at the IC Grand Stanford as an RA.

Room - Was upgraded to a 2-room suite with a City View. Also had the option of an executive room with a Harbour View, but I wanted to check out the suite. I booked the cheapest room I could find which was $125

Room Quality - The suite had 2 large bathrooms (well, I guess 1.5 technically). The seating area had a full length sofa and arm chair as well as a round table with seats. A nice chandelier hanged from the ceiling. Panasonic Tau TVs in each room. Carpet and furniture were fairly new. There is some construction going on the outside of the hotel so there is a little bit of noise during the day, but nothing distracting (the side of the hotel they have finished looks very cool). Overall, nice and well-appointed, but not slick like say a W. Well beyond what you would expect for the price, though.

Lounge - No lounge offered to RAs.

Good - They know how to treat their RAs. I received a box of chocolates, a plate of fruit, a plate of cookies, a teddy bear, flowers, a coupon for a 15 minute massage, and a coupon for a free drink at the bar. All the food and drinks in the minibar were free.

Bad - Lobby service is lacking. Once they pulled me up in the computer, they transferred me to a manager and everything was great. Before that, I felt like I was checking into a motel. No one helped me with my luggage (2 large suitcases and my briefbag). I had to unload the taxi, and carry/roll my luggage while simultaneously pushing open the front door. Didn't really mind, just not what I expect at an IC. Ambassador counter was unattended, which I later noticed to be the norm. After check-in though, everything went great.

Value/Return Stay - For RAs in HK, this place is an incredible value. If I were using points, however, I would opt for the IC HK. Definitely would return at room rates this low (almost half of the IC HK).
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Old Jan 11, 2005, 1:15 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: MUC
Programs: LH Sen // HH Dia; Bonvoy LTTE
Posts: 3,206
Ic De La Ville-roma

Rome: IC DE LA VILLE-ROMA

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
Absolutely.

- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
I was upgraded to a suite on the 8th floor (had booked a standard/classic room). The suite is on the highest floor (there are only two suites on that floor: rooms 839 and 840) and offers a stunning view over Rome from the terrace (large terrace with wonderful sitting area).

- How are the rooms?
Very nice rooms, but nothing exciting.

- How is the exec. lounge?
There is no lounge.

- What was good and what was bad?
Excellent location, outstanding view from the terrace on the 8th floor of my suite. Excellent status recognition (early check-in, very late check-out, minibar free).
Only a very small gym, no pool. Bed cover is a basic blanket only wrapped in white linen.

- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
I would definitely return. Outstanding stay. Excellent value.

Last edited by LH738; Jan 11, 2005 at 1:19 am
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Old Feb 13, 2005, 9:59 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Stuck on this planet - mainly in STR and LAX
Posts: 5,020
Found another stingy one:

IC San Juan, Puerto Rico.

At check in the first did not find my reservation. After some searching in the system still nothing. I gave them the reservation numer and finally they found it.

The upgrade (Royal Ambassador) was a standard room with a better view on a higher floor. When i asked about a 'real' upgrade to a suite the answer was: 'they have upgraded you to this room. Nothing i can do. It is in the system this way.'
I asked politely to check with a supervisor. The supervisor came, did not greet me or intruduced her. She turned her back to me ald told the check in agent: Tell him that he can have a junior suite, but it has no view, is on a low floor, next to the elevator and very noisy.
The agent: You can have a junuir suite, but.......

Some fruits, small bottle of water, no gift in the room.

And something new: Almost nothing in the minibar. 4 beer, 6 soft drinks, 2 small bottles of water. 2 small bags of cookies, 1 small pack of potatoe chips.
Minibar looked almost empty.

Is this a new idea? Free minibar, but nothing in it?
And up-grade taken back to the origin of the word? One level upgrade is one floor higher, two level is two floors?
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 3:39 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Living in SIN™
Programs: TK/QR Gold, Marriott/Accor Plat, IC Dia Amb, Avis/Hertz PC
Posts: 6,709
Had my first stay as an RA last weekend at IC the Grand Mumbai.

- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked the cheapest Deluxe room at $115. Used a weekend night cert for the second night. Regular Ambassadors get an upgrade from Deluxe to a Club room. As an RA, when I checked in, I had been pre-assigned a suite on the top (7th) floor. The guest relations officer walked me to my suite where the checkin formalities were completed.

- How are the rooms?
Awesome! The Club rooms are 46 sq m. The suites are "proper" suites with separate rooms and a door in between. At least 70 sq m, with a huge bathroom and a second smaller bathroom attached to the living room. 29" flat screen TV in each room (no pay movies at this IC). 2 minibars - each with 2 Heineken and 2 Fosters bottles, the 60ml bottles of Smirnhoff, Bacardi, Gordon's and Teachers scotch, Toblerone and Cadbury's, Pringles, assorted nuts and a range of soft drinks. Welcome amenity was an assortment of snacks, fresh fruit and a bottle of local red wine.

- How is the exec. lounge?
Adequate. Didn't see any champagne, but it has a variety of alcoholic drinks and local wines. Hot snacks included vegetarian kebabs and lamb chops. Breakfast was offered at the lounge or the all-day restaurant, which had a full buffet (American as well as Indian breakfasts).

- What was good and what was bad?
All good...only complaint was that the complimentary broadband was spotty. The Rejuve Spa is quite good and the gym is very well equipped. Staff is very friendly too, though the Weekend Night Cert with my second night's booking did throw them for a loop for a while as to how to handle it.

- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Excellent value. Will definitely return.

I have a couple more stays coming up this week at the IC SIN and BKK and will post results soon.

edit: Pictures can be found here

Last edited by Savage25; Feb 17, 2005 at 9:24 am Reason: added link to pictures
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Old Feb 17, 2005, 9:20 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Living in SIN™
Programs: TK/QR Gold, Marriott/Accor Plat, IC Dia Amb, Avis/Hertz PC
Posts: 6,709
Just got back from the IC SIN...the RA experience is turning out to be wonderful!

- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Cheapest room showing was a Club room for S$220. As an Ambassador, this usually means an upgrade to a Junior Suite (a.k.a. Studio Suite) - a larger L-shaped room with Club access. As an RA, a upgrade to a full (by my definition, with a door between the bedroom and living room) Shophouse Suite had been pre-assigned. I asked about the minibar and was told that drinks are complimentary but snacks would be charged.

- How are the rooms?
The Shophouse Suites really take you back in time. The furnishings are a mix of colonial and Asian styles. Mine was on the 3rd floor, accessed through an open-air corridor. You push open these two wooden half-doors (ok, I can't explain that well, look at the pictures) to enter a little open-air shaded area in front of the room with a couple of wooden easy-chairs - a great place for chilling out with wine and a smoke. Inside the room, you enter a little foyer where there is a luggage rack, closet and a huge bathroom on the left. Then you walk into the living room and see the contrasting furnishings. The wooden shutters open into a balcony that looks out into the Bugis Junction shopping centre/walking street. The bedroom has the same ultra-comfortable bed that I want to buy and take home when I do get my own apartment again.

- How is the exec. lounge?
They know me too well there...I just have to walk in and they take out a fresh bottle of Piper Hiedsieck The evening snacks are very good - last night was an assortment of cheeses, hot fish cakes, hot chicken and mushroom pies, crab cakes, a salmon thingy and mango pudding. Breakfast is also quite good - they will prepare eggs or an omlette any way you want. Its still on the 11th floor - they seem to be reconsidering moving it down to the 2nd floor which currently houses their offices.

- What was good and what was bad?
Bad? What bad?

- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Oh yeah!


edit: IC SIN pics here

Last edited by Savage25; Feb 17, 2005 at 9:50 am Reason: added link to pictures
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Old Feb 20, 2005, 6:27 pm
  #12  
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM), France and TravelBuzz!
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Paris, France, AF F+ Rouge pour toujours, Flying Blue whatever, LH FTL, HHonors Gold, formerly proud SCC Executive, now IC Ambassador, BA down to nobody, Grand Voyageur Le Club
Posts: 12,418
IC Frankfurt (4 night stay completed last Saturday)

- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
I had booked a standard room (called a Superior Room) at the standard flexible rate and was upgraded to a nice 2 room corner suite, with a very nice river view, on the 17th floor, which is a non-club floor. Last year, I was upgraded to the same room on the 15th floor (It is called a Panorama Suite)

- How are the rooms?
Very good two-room suites, except for the bathrooms which are quite standard.

- How is the exec. lounge?
I was not given a room on the Club floor

- What was good and what was bad?
No amenity nor fruit plate, but I did not complain and will only mention it in my comment card. I was also slightly disappointed that they have discontinued their policy of offering all the wines on their (extensive) wine list by the glass, at 1/4 of the price of the bottle. I remember last year having two glasses of Cristal and one glass of Vieux Chateau Certan, and they opened both bottles in front of me . Room service on the first night was quite slow. The IC is well located, close to the central railway station, which makes it difficult for you to get a taxi if you travel by train and have a lot of luggage : most taxis refuse to take you from the IC to the railway station or back.

- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Good value, more expensive than in most German cities, but that is not surprising. I will definitely come back.

- Buffet breakfast is excellent. The Signature/Veranda and Leon (Italian) restaurants are adequate.

Last edited by JOUY31; Dec 9, 2005 at 7:05 am
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 8:54 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Living in SIN™
Programs: TK/QR Gold, Marriott/Accor Plat, IC Dia Amb, Avis/Hertz PC
Posts: 6,709
Originally Posted by demue
Well that sounds like quite a trip you are planning. Hopefully most of the routing will be on SQ for PPS qualification (don't tell me it's gonna be Y again)
I figure I might as well try some ICs on the RTW - should include Zurich, Frankfurt, Toronto, Chicago, Mark Hopkins SFO and Grand Stanford HKG. It will get me PPS on SQ, btw. I decided to pass on IC Sydney and use my FFNs at the Park Hyatt instead.

Seoul and Tokyo should be on my trip using my DL miles from buying Ambassador...KE and NW in business, not a bad return on $150

French Polynesia is just for future planning if I ever get hitched

Back on topic: IC BKK

- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked the lowest category room (Deluxe) for one on a $66 corporate rate. Online reservation upgraded to Club room. I have a future booking for two occupants for the same room type and rate - online reservation is upgraded to a Corner Suite (I suspect with no club access).

I'd stayed here before as an Ambassador (where the normal upgrade is to a Business room), but on checkin, I was told that as the hotel was fully booked and I was an Ambassador, they had upgraded me to a Club room. So it didn't feel all that "speshul" as an RA.

- How are the rooms?
Quite alright...45 sq m with a 2-seater couch, although I think even the Deluxe rooms are the same size. Toiletries by Audley's of London. The bed is a bit firm and not the most comfortable (I'm spoiled by the one at the IC SIN) - I'd brought this to their notice when I filled in the comments form on my last stay, and they have introduced a "Pillow Menu" for all guest rooms, which offers a variety of pillow types, as well as softer under liners for the bed. ^

- How is the exec. lounge?
Great view from the lounge on the 32nd floor. Cocktails from 5.30pm to 7.30pm with a full range of drinks. No Champagne though, just a sparkling wine which is a bit too sweet. The food spread is amazing - during cocktails there was a variety of canapes, cheeses, hot ham and chees pies and hot spring rolls. The coffee in the room was terrible, so I went down to the lounge at around 2.30pm to get some coffee and they had all the cold snacks and sandwiches out even then.

- What was good and what was bad?
Good: Welcome amenity was a bunch of chocolates, fresh fruit, a bottle of Jacob's Creek 2002 Shiraz and a gift-wrapped pack of IC-branded lemongrass bath salts.

Bad: Broadband charged at 600 baht per day - when I stayed here as an Ambassador, it was free in the Club room. Also, when I was here as an Ambassador, I noticed that the minibar had 200ml bottles of my good friends Johnnie Black, Johnnie Red, Jack, Pierre, Gordon and Hennessy placed outside the fridge. Apparently, for RA's, these are removed from the room and only the drinks in the fridge are complimentary - 2 each of Singha, Heineken and Asahi beers, Bacardi Breezers, and the usual soft drinks. When I expressed my disappointment to ladies at the lounge, they were kind enough to send up Johnnie Black without asking. Wait - this last part should go in the "Good" section.

- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Hmmm...toughie. If it wasn't for the low corporate rate, I'd say the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is better value for money if you are an SPG Plat. I'd take it over the Grand Hyatt Erawan or the JW Marriott though.
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Old Mar 13, 2005, 12:44 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: أمريكا
Posts: 26,796
Oopps.. forgot to mention it was the IC HKG

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
Great hotel and fantastic service. The club is not to be beat!

- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked the Virtuoso deal - superior harborview with a guaranteed upgrade to a junior harborview suite. That's exactly what I got a check-in -- nothing more.

- How are the rooms?
The suite was large and had phenominal views. The room itself (xx16) was very unimpressive - it was worn down and the appointments were cheap. It needed a lot of work. The bathroom was great.

- How is the exec. lounge?
Fantastic. Great view of the harbor and the activity in the lobby lounge (great for people watching). The food was great (though limited for vegetarians) and the service was excellent in the lounge and everywhere else.

- What was good and what was bad?
The room had obviously been neglected. I'd never stay here again for the room itself, but the views and service made up for it.

Only drinks were free in the minibar - not snacks - and there was no notice provided. Also, as there was availability, I would have appreciated a further upgrade based on my RA status beyond what the Virtuoso rate had guaranteed.

- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Good value for the Virtuoso rate. I'd stay again.

Last edited by Doppy; Mar 14, 2005 at 3:33 pm
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Old Mar 25, 2005, 8:59 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 859
IC shanghai Pudong

- Welcome Gift
Some nice looking chopsticks in a nice looking bag. A bottle of red wine, a bottle of white wine and a bottle of chinese wine.

- Minibar content

Red Wine, Scotch, Cognac, Vodka, Gin, Local Beer, Heineken, Asahi, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Energy Drink, Perrier, Evian, Ice coffee, blueberry flavoured water, Chrysanthemum flavoured water, apple juice, orange juice.

The drinks (including alcohol was free), the snacks are not.

- Were you happy with the hotel/stay?

Not really at first. The staffs at this IC is not really eager to please. They know what is takes BUT they wont do it. But once the problem surfaced to the GM, action was taken very quickly to solve it and to keep me happy. I was eventually happy for the rest of my stay with the upgrade to the Club Suite with Club Access.

- How are the rooms?

the normal suite rooms have a very dated design. It had a day bed just beside the full glass window in the bedroom. I find it comfortable to just lie there and look at people downstairs. I think the rooms are rather warm. Though I adjusted the thermostat, but because they put the heater on, it doesn't really help. I am still hot. The amenties were generic amenties which I didn:t really enjoy.

The Club suite had a more contemporary design. I rather enjoyed it. The bathroom were better appointed even though I am not very satisfied with the shallow bathtub. The amenities for the Club suite were by Aigner Parfums. Nothing fantastic.

- How is the exec lounge.

The service was excellent. The views were among the best of the hotel. It was on the 24th floor. Food was great.

- What was good?

In the Club suite, everything was great. Ranging from free internet to the free massage.

- What was bad?

If you are not in a club suite, then everything is bad. My suite toilet was acting weirdly. The room design was horrible. The bed was uncomfortable. Staff at this IC is not willing to please. They are too operational.

- VAlue for $ or PC points?

I don't think it is really a fantastic hotel. There are many better IC where you can put your money or points to better use. If you are coming to shanghai, a much better hotel to stay in would be the Grand Hyatt. I stayed there before and had a view of the famous BUND.

- Would you return?

Probably not. Unless I have to come to Shanghai again which I would call the GM before I come to make sure that everything is ok.
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