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Please post your Royal Ambassador experiences (Archive Thread 2007)

Please post your Royal Ambassador experiences (Archive Thread 2007)

Old Nov 29, 2004, 7:23 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 193
Please post your Royal Ambassador experiences (Archive Thread 2007)

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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TimWong is offline  
Old Dec 31, 2006, 6:39 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: Lots O Metal
Posts: 170
IC Boston

IC Boston (RA)

Were you happy with the hotel/stay?


Yes, suited me just fine.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?


Booked a King Bed Deluxe and upgraded to an Executive Suite (three higher than the room originally booked).

How are the rooms?

Exec Suite contained two rooms with brand new furnishings (hotel is only a few months old). The bathroom was all marble with a fantastic shower, tub and L’Occitane toiletries. Although the IC website didn’t list any sort of view, it was a harbourside room with windows lining two walls in the bedroom, and another in the front room with a more limited view. There were also large flat screen TV’s in both rooms.

Mini bar was loaded with goodies; red, white wine as well as champagne (all 350ml), beer, top shelf spirits, chocolate, mineral, soda, juice, cashews and other snacks, an ‘intimacy kit’, etc. A bank loan might be necessary if one had to pay for everything…

How is the exec. lounge?

Under ‘soft opening’ and no club till early 2007.

What was good and what was bad?

Good:


I was really happy with the room. While it was smaller than average for this designation, it was really well furnished.

The hotel manager gave us a brief tour of the hotel and walked us up to the room for yet another dog and pony show. ‘Received both a welcome letter at the check in desk, as well as one accompanying the gifts.

Welcome gifts (which arrived within 10 minutes) included usual mineral water and fruit basket, as well as a nice semi gift-wrapped box (classy hinged copper box) of gourmet teas and chocolates.

Fantastic 24h restaurant, really nice bar, as well as a sushi bar slated to open in April.


Bad:

While I was very pleased to see my reservation was upgraded online to an executive suite before I checked in, the check in staff were only prepared to give me a room with a view for an upgrade. I luckily printed a copy of the upgraded reservation before arriving, and handed it to them, but have doubts as to whether or not I would have indeed received the suite otherwise. I would have been quite upset if they went back on their word about what was confirmed online. Obviously, another guest relations manager oversaw the upgrade, but the M.O.D. was clearly not on the same page.

On the lighter side, bring a GPS / breadcrumbs if you partake in alcohol consumption, or have a bad sense of direction; the journey back to the rooms is a maze – the manager even got lost trying to find ours...

Would you return?


Positively, but I would make absolutely certain I printed any upgrade confirmations before I arrived.
FL350 is offline  
Old Dec 31, 2006, 8:07 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Programs: BA Blue, IC Spire Ambassador
Posts: 5,263
IC London Park Lane

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Were you happy with the hotel/stay?

Yes, very happy overall.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?

Booked an innercourt room and received Royal Park Exec Room (without lounge access and they will charge £50 per day after the full opening for lounge access, unless you are a suite guest)
What was good?

Superb service, shown to room, no queue at check in and excellent bar service.

Bathroom was good, despite no seperate shower cubicle.


What was bad?

Lack of RA benefits/lounge access etc. I would be a bit peeved if i had booked a Royal Park Exec RM and not got an upgrade because they arent fully open yet.

Would you return?
Yes, any time, a great experience^
IAMORGAN is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2007, 5:09 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: GVA
Programs: BA Gold; AF/KL FB Gold; LX FTL; PC Plat/Amb; SPG Gold; HH Gold; Club Carlson Silver
Posts: 235
IC Boston (again)

Were you happy with the hotel/stay?

Yes.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?

Booked a King Harbor View for $345 + tax and was upgraded to a Harbor View Executive Suite.

How are the rooms?

The suite had a spacious living room and large bedroom in the corner of the building with a view of the Fort Point channel as well as a close-up view of the office block next door. The bathroom was large and modern and separated from the bedroom by sliding panels. Toiletries were l'Occitane and there was a walk-in closet with a safe, etc. There were large flat-screen TVs in both the living and bed rooms.

How is the exec. lounge?

N/A

What was good and what was bad?

Good:
Check-in was efficient and I was escorted to the room. The room was spacious and comfortable. I seem to have got the same gift as FL350, namely a metal box containing tea-flavored chocolates and chocolate-flavored teas.

Bad:
The room was a smoking room even though I'd booked a non-smoking room. Still, the room didn't smell of smoke, perhaps because the property only opened a couple of weeks previously, so I didn't make an issue of it. Also, the last day's minibar items had to be removed at check-out, but that's as bad as it got.

Would you return?
For sure.
HugoCH is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2007, 10:31 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: Lots O Metal
Posts: 170
Originally Posted by HugoCH
Also, the last day's minibar items had to be removed at check-out, but that's as bad as it got.
Same experience here: It was the ‘check out of shame’ when the manager deducted each item, one-by-one, from the bill. Took ages, but still worth it in the end…
FL350 is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2007, 10:32 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: GVA
Programs: BA Gold; AF/KL FB Gold; LX FTL; PC Plat/Amb; SPG Gold; HH Gold; Club Carlson Silver
Posts: 235
IC Berlin (again)

Here's another report on a stay back when I was still RA (as recently as yesterday). After a couple more reports, I will have to stop contributing to this thread

Were you happy with the hotel/stay?

Yes.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?

Booked a Deluxe room for 153 euros and was upgraded to a two-room corner suite on a low floor.
The amenity was a bottle of water and some artistically presented fruit. The RA gift was very original: a USB coffee mug warmer!

How are the rooms?

The suite was not too spacious but it was very comfortable, with a living room and a bedroom in the corner of the building. The bathroom off the bedroom was large and there was no guest bathroom near the entrance so any guest would have to traipse through the bedroom. One oddity was that you couldn't open the safe without also opening the minibar

How is the exec. lounge?

Lounge access was not part of the upgrade.

What was good and what was bad?

Good:
This property is quite well located and the lobby is bright and spacious. Also, the staff seemed quite keen. The room was particularly good.

Bad:
The minibar was not very well stocked (e.g. no champagne). I had a hard time getting ice delivered to the room and went down to the lobby bar in person to get some, but was rebuffed even there!
I arrived at the hotel at 2.30 pm but my room wasn't ready and I was made to wait quite a while - no alternative room was offered. Official check-in time is 1500 and they were sticking to it.

Would you return?
Now that I've been downgraded to Vanilla Ambassador, probably not, but as an RA I would definitely go back.
HugoCH is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2007, 11:13 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23
Thumbs up Austin, Texas IC

My first post here!! [Became RA last month - yeah!]

Which Hotel?
Austin IC (Stephen Foster IC, as it is sometimes called)

Did I like it?
Yes, I loved my stay there!

Which room did I book, and what upgrade did I get?
I booked the cheapest and also wanted avail myself of one of my weekend certificates, but a week after booking realized I got one of those pay-ahead-for-the-entire-stay rates. They would have reimbursed my credit card for one of my two nights (so I was told) if indeed I wanted to use the certificate, but didn't bother. Rate was around $250 a night including taxes for a weekend near Christmas so I thought it was fair, especially when I got my upgrade to 1) Club lounge access & 2.) a nice suite with a seperate living area with additional t.v. and bathroom. For a gift I got a nice bottle of wine, the fruit plate, and chocolate covered strawberries the last night there.

How are the rooms?
Decor was very nice, as was the main bathroom. Couch in living room area pulled out, main bed quite comfy, and there was a safe, mini-bar, and all was rather quiet in my particular room.

How is the Club Lounge?
Very nice, smallish, but adequate. They put out a nice morning spread with more than you could ask for re: breakfast-like options (egg burritos, pastries, lots to drink, cereals [hot & cold], and fruit. For their dinner-time spread there were nice hot and cold appetizers, cheese plate, nachos, drinks, nice quality alcohol & beer, and such. One free access computer, large screen t.v., and about as good a view as that hotel offers (unfortunately while well-located, the hotel is bordered by other buildings blocking the view to the capitol building three blocks away).

What was good and what was bad?
GOOD - The small pool (indoor) and gym were very nice and large for a hotel this smallish. The two bars & two restaurants (again a nice amount of options for a relatively small hotel) looked very nice, and the terrace bar for warmer months looks nice as well. The staff was great, particularly Julia, the concierge. The location couldn't get any better - one or two blocks in any direction got you to the touristy stuff in town. The mini-bar had a nice selection (though the non-liquids were not complimentary per front desk).

BAD - Even on my "high" floor (8) the view was not so good; had that neighboring building not been right there, it would have been a clear shot to the [very impressive looking] Texas state captiol building. Also there were no attendants in the gym, which is generally no problem, but to get a locker key to put clothes in when showering or working out, I was out of luck.

TIP - overnight parking right next door was about 5 dollars a night, whereas the hotel wanted about 25 a night.

Would I Return?Heck yeah, everyone there was very nice, and I thought the value was great!
PaulMac is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2007, 11:35 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: GVA
Programs: BA Gold; AF/KL FB Gold; LX FTL; PC Plat/Amb; SPG Gold; HH Gold; Club Carlson Silver
Posts: 235
IC Malta (again)

More RA nostalgia:

Were you happy with the hotel/stay?

Yes.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?

Both ChickenOrBeef and PhilHgot a better deal than I did since they booked Club King rooms and were upgraded to top-floor suites. I also booked a Panoramic Club King but was upgraded only to a junior suite on a non-Club floor, although I did retain lounge access. I was assured at check-in that this was a "Panoramic Junior Suite" but it was panoramic mainly in that several dozen rooms and balconies had a panoramic view of the inside of my room (the room was in the armpit of the building so there wasn't much to look at beyond the hotel itself).
The amenity was a bottle of water, a bottle of Maltese red wine (not bad at all), some Godiva-style chocolates and some bread sticks and pots of Maltese dips (olive and artichoke). A fresh bottle of wine (a different one) was delivered on day 2 even though I hadn't touched the first bottle.

How are the rooms?

The junior suite (actually just a standard room with a couch/coffee table corner and a large bathroom) was quite spacious and comfortable. There was a large walk-in closet and a large desk, and all the furnishings were in immaculate condition.

How is the Club lounge?

The top-floor lounge is one of the best in any IC I've visited. It's huge, with good views from the terrace and excellent staff. The food/canape selection was a little disappointing (no hot food) but the beverage side was good.

What was good and what was bad?

Good:
This beautiful property is quite well located in the middle of the Paceville nightlife area, with many restaurants, bars, movie theatres etc. nearby, but (as already noted) nevertheless very quiet. Room service was very quick.
The concierge desk issued a free exit pass for the adjacent, separately run parking garage on request.

Bad:
The hotel is difficult to find if you're coming by car. I had to get minibar items removed at check-out, and was unable to check out in the lounge due to technical problems with the credit card machine (though this was not necessarily the hotel's fault). Room service options were limited late at night - I couldn't even get a Club sandwich after 2300 hrs.
The minibar was not refilled on day 2 even though I called to request it be refilled.
Unlike PhilH I got no Maltese cross pendant (or anything else) as an RA gift.

Would you return?
Even though I've been downgraded to Vanilla Ambassador, I would probably go back anyway.
HugoCH is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2007, 7:07 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Programs: Globalist, Marriott Plat, various sundry
Posts: 985
Willard NYE stay

IC Willard, NYE weekend.

Were you happy with the hotel/stay?

Yes. Good thing too, as the weekend was stressful as it was!

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked: Deluxe, 2 double beds (needed room for at least 4 people). $359average rate.
Received: Junior Suite, with partial view of Washington Monument, 2 doubles. 3 category upgrade.
Almost got: Executive Suite, 2 double beds. (Turns out that the hotel needed to reserve two of the exec suites for deep cleaning, so what was originally an Exec Suite upgrade became a slight downgrade.)

How are the rooms?

Excellent; very comfortable beds, lots of closet space, enough room for the four people. Excellent appearance of furnishings and plenty of sitting room. Only one minibar though. 4th floor, can see about 1/3 of the WM. Moderately large bathroom, but small bathtub (no separate shower/tub). Room consists of a small bedroom (maybe the size of a premier w/ partial view - 400 sq ft) plus a small living area (300 square feet). (This room is right next to the corner - Oval - suite.)

I really like the TVs they have there - two 37" thin, flat screen widescreen HDTVs (LG). Sound system for bedroom connects to the bathroom speakers, so you can keep up with the football game when you're in the john!

How is the Club lounge?

N/A

What was good and what was bad?

Good:
1. The TVs!
2. Bottle of cabernet savignon (w/ willard label), small chocolate bag (basic chocolates), fruit and water upon arrival.
3. Like the sound setup (see above) for the bathroom.
4. Received breakfast certs for both nights (including free night) of stay ($25 pp, $50 max each). Likely because of some miscommunication/downgrade.
5. When one breakfast cert was lost, the front desk credited the breakfast anyway.
6. Exceptionally comfortable beds. Absolutely wonderful.
7. Concierge was very helpful for driving directions. One of the extra maps given actually helped us figure out where we had to go in order to return home.

Bad:
1. Declined request to get Exec Suite (albeit understandable for NYE).
2. Front desk tried to get me to pay 2nd night room rate ($40 more than first), but first night price was reflected on final bill.
3. Had to request some minibar charges (after 8 AM on check-out day) to be removed, but when the Front Desk person saw them (had to apply a breakfast voucher too) she quickly took care of them without my mentioning it.
4. Higher floor would have been better for the nice WM view
5. A lot of noise in the Oval Suite (410) next to me, although it was taken care of relatively quickly.
6. Difficult to find good NYE dinners nearby that were not invite only or very expensive.
7. Price makes it impractical for me to return, except for reward nights. Very expensive breakfast, although quite good.
8. Couldn't turn off bathroom sound system without turning off bedroom TV!
9. Outlets in sitting room turn off when lights are off (which is annoying if you want to charge a phone while sleeping).

Minibar: Beverages complementary, but not food (according to Guest Services)
Spirits (50 mL bottles each): 2 Grey Goose, 2 flavored Absolut, 1 Tanqueray Gin, 1 Johnnie Red, 1 Jack, 1 Bailey's
Beer (12 ounce bottles): 2 Amstel Light, 2 Heineken, 2 of a local VA beer.
Wine/champagne (1/2 bottles): 1 brut champagne, 1 pinot noir, 1 chardonnay.
1 can Red Bull, as well.

Tips
1. Corner Bakery (13th and F) for quick breakfast/quick eats (if you don't have breakfast rates available)
2. Thai Chili (near 7th and G/Verizon Center) - excellent Thai "fusion" cuisine. $20-24 pp w/o alcohol. Main dishes $8-18. Green curry is excellent.
3. It's easiest to use the Metro for travel in DC; nearest stop to hotel takes you from the back of the hotel (14th and F) and walk 2 blocks (away from the White House) on F.
4. WM views for the hotel are in the front.

Would you return?
The place is absolutely worth returning to, but I certainly couldn't pony up the $500 (including valet parking, tax, etc.) routinely. Excellent points redemption (and plan to do the same if in town), and I would love to book the Jenny Lind there for a honeymoon, because the really nice hotel plus the amazing views would make for a stunning stay there.

One last thing: I think the next time I go there I'm going to request a tour of the Oval/Exec Suites; from what I hear about them, it's worth taking a look for myself even if I can't stay in there!
gmax58 is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2007, 10:36 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Tokyo
Programs: NW Diamond, LH SEN, PC Spire - RA, TG PlatHyatt Diamond
Posts: 585
IC Mid Plaza Jakarta NYE stay

Were you happy with the hotel/stay?

Yes.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?

Booked a end of year deluxe room package for Rp 800,000++ (ca.USD90) inc. breakfast for two.
Upgraded to 1 King Bedroom Suite at the mid level stories (8 out of 14 floors) of the building as the top 3 floors were being renovated.
The amenity was a bottle of water and some seasonal fruits.
There was no RA gift nor personal welcome letter.

How are the rooms?

The suite was quite spacious and very comfortable, with a living room and a king sized bed in seperate bedroom in the corner of the building.
The bathroom off the bedroom was large and there was a guest bathroom, complete with shower, near the entrance.
There are two closets in the main bedroom and another one near the entrance.

How is the exec. lounge?

I was informed that lounge access was not part of the upgrade, but when I went to the lounge to inquire some information on the hotel, the staff let me stay for the cocktail hour and for breakfast. I declined the breakfast as my room rate included breakfast at the Java restaurant anyway.

What was good and what was bad?

Good:
This property is quite well located in the middle of business district.
The lobby is bright and spacious, the swimming pool are very nice and the staff are very polite and keen.
I asked for late check-out and they said they only allowed me to stay at the room until 4PM, but when I check-out at around 5PM, nobody made a fuss at it.
The room was particularly good, but I recommend to ask for the refurbished room as it is nicer.
The minibar was well stocked with mini liquors, no half-bottle wine or champagne though.
Ice cubes and extra pillows and blankets was delivered to the room promptly.

Bad:
The *01-*12 numbered rooms do not really have any view to be proud off.
As it was on NYE, I asked the hotel staff whether they're going to have some event at the hotel and I was informed that there was nothing planned. When I went out from the hotel at about 2AM with my friends, I found out that they did have an event at their lobby. They staff should have been more informed about the event.
The frontdesk was manned by 1 person at around 5PM, I guessed it was because of the New Year day, but it helps if there were more people at the frondesk at that time of the day.

Would you return?
YES
spunk_tokyo is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2007, 11:54 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Naples, Florida, USA
Programs: DL Diamond, 2MM; Hilton Diamond; IC Platinum Ambassador
Posts: 792
Originally Posted by gmax58
IC Willard, NYE weekend.

I think the next time I go there I'm going to request a tour of the Oval/Exec Suites; from what I hear about them, it's worth taking a look for myself even if I can't stay in there!
The oval suite I was once upgraded to is the nicest hotel room I've ever stayed in, and worth trying to get. (I've stayed in junior suites in Paris but never a multiroom suite; I'm too poor to stay at Four Seasons, etc, so IC is as nice as it gets for me!).

The last few times I've stayed at the Willard I've booked the state employee rate (I am a state employee and I was on business each time) and received an upgrade only to a Willard room. I'm not complaining since the state rate is often only about 60% of the full rate. I wonder if the level of upgrade at the Willard depends on whether you've booked a deeply discounted or merely somewhat discounted or full rate.

As I said, I'm not complaining either way as the Willard rooms are nice, but for an executive suite or an oval room there would be times I would splurge. Anyone with any insight?
Casimir is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2007, 9:53 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: LAX
Posts: 1,849
IC Hong Kong

IC Hong Kong

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

An amazing hotel with great service and the best view in the world!
We loved it.

* Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?

We stayed there twice - one night on Christmas' Eve - on points -
got upgraded to an "Executive room" and then 3 nights on New Years' Eve -
paid the cheapest rate for one night, used a cert and then points on the last
one. Got upgraded to probably the best room in the hotel (well, there is
a Presidential Suite ;-) ) - room 1716 on the last floor with the best view.
It's a suite with a little angle - facing both front faces of the bay.

* How are the rooms?

Great, very modern, clean, Bulgari toiletries, Hennessy XO in the mini bar,
what can I say...

* How is the exec. lounge?

Didn't use it, thought the breakfast downstairs is not to be missed.

* What was good and what was bad?

Nothing bad.
Good - everything, from the Rolls Royce pick-up at the airport up to
a very personal service from the manager Elaine, which I stayed
in touch with before we came. She is simply amazing.

* Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?

any time. We had such an amazing time there. Plus our trip
to Cambodia was great too, amazing vacation :-)
Big_Foot is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2007, 10:00 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Programs: ICH Ambassador, HH Gold VIP, Starwood Platinum Preferred, UA Premier, AA, Marriott Bonvoy
Posts: 10,629
Originally Posted by Big_Foot
IC Hong Kong

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

An amazing hotel with great service and the best view in the world!
We loved it.

* Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?

We stayed there twice - one night on Christmas' Eve - on points -
got upgraded to an "Executive room" and then 3 nights on New Years' Eve -
paid the cheapest rate for one night, used a cert and then points on the last
one. Got upgraded to probably the best room in the hotel (well, there is
a Presidential Suite ;-) ) - room 1716 on the last floor with the best view.
It's a suite with a little angle - facing both front faces of the bay.

* How are the rooms?

Great, very modern, clean, Bulgari toiletries, Hennessy XO in the mini bar,
what can I say...

* How is the exec. lounge?

Didn't use it, thought the breakfast downstairs is not to be missed.

* What was good and what was bad?

Nothing bad.
Good - everything, from the Rolls Royce pick-up at the airport up to
a very personal service from the manager Elaine, which I stayed
in touch with before we came. She is simply amazing.

* Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?

any time. We had such an amazing time there. Plus our trip
to Cambodia was great too, amazing vacation :-)
This is not the Grand Stanford, is it?
Camino1 is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2007, 10:22 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: LAX
Posts: 1,849
Originally Posted by Camino1
This is not the Grand Stanford, is it?
Sorry, I thought it's clear - it's IC Hong Kong, not Stanford.
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ic/...questid=429550
Big_Foot is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2007, 10:26 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Programs: ICH Ambassador, HH Gold VIP, Starwood Platinum Preferred, UA Premier, AA, Marriott Bonvoy
Posts: 10,629
Pardon me--I just wasn't sure about the distinction. I stayed at the GS in '05 and it was nice but seems like your stay was nicer.
Camino1 is offline  

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