Please post your Royal Ambassador experiences (Archive Thread 2008)

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Old Nov 29, 04, 7:23 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 193
Please post your Royal Ambassador experiences (Archive Thread 2008)

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 Jan 1, 08, 10:25 am
  #2  
 
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 Almaty Kazakhstan

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
Yes. This modern and well maintained property used to be the Regent until about 18 months ago and is conveniently located next to the huge construction site the city's main square has become.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked King Superior room for 46000 KZT (= ~380 USD). Upgraded to Club IC Suite on 9th floor with view of tennis courts and mountains out the back.

How are the rooms?
Spacious and confortable 2-room suite with the usual IC toiletries in a large bathroom. Minibar had no champagne and the wine was some undrinkable Italian plonk, but there were plenty of spirits miniatures (2 each of gin, vodka, whisky, cognac) plus some Turkish beer and Heineken and a good selection of soft drinks. Only the soft drinks were replenished on the 2nd day.
A fellow RA staying at the same time in the suite next door had a ghetto blaster in his bedroom but I wasn't so lucky.
Amenity was a nice plate of white chocolates, some fruit and a tiny bottle of wine (the same Italian gasoline as in the minibar).

How is the exec. lounge?
Club lounge was not open on w/e nights but we were invited to use the Members bar downstairs, where we had to sign for everything but nothing was charged to our rooms. On the last night the lounge was open and it was fine - good selection of cold snacks and drinks plus internet access and some newspapers.

What was good and what was bad?
Good:
- Lots of services available in lobby, incl. travel agency, bank.
- Laundry service good and quick once I got hold of a laundry list (not as easy as it sounds!).
- No hassle getting RA early check-in (useful when you arrive on KL at 0500 or so).

Bad:
- Some staff are rather clueless and have poor English, esp. in restaurant, but front desk and lounge staff were excellent.
- No actual RA gift, but then again they don't seem to get all that many RAs in Central Asia...
- No availability for award bookings even months in advance.

Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
As an RA this property is definitely value for money, especially since the only alternative at this service level is the Hyatt, which I'm not alone in considering an inferior property to the IC (regardless of status).
HugoCH is offline  
Old Jan 1, 08, 1:18 pm
  #3  
 
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 Astana Kazakhstan

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
Not really, but I came here straight from the IC Almaty - a hard act to beat.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked King Deluxe room for 329 USD + 16 % tax, i.e. 381 USD total. Upgraded to executive room: "You pay standard room you stay executive room!" chirped the receptionist.

How are the rooms?
Spacious enough, but the windows were dirty and there was only 1 TV (in the bedroom) and none in the lounge area even though there was plenty of space for one on top of the minibar cabinet. Indeed, the pattern of dust suggested a TV set had only recently been removed...

How is the exec. lounge?
I was told there was no Club lounge, but later found a "Club Lounge" on the 2nd floor. However, it was firmly locked.

What was good and what was bad?
Good:
- Reasonably good location in the middle of the old Soviet part of the city.
- Good minibar with 2 of everything including Bombay gin and tolerable wine but no champagne (probably just as well).
- Amenity was a decent bowl of fruit.

Bad:
- Luckily I'd brought my reservation printout with me because the pre-tax rate had mysteriously increased from $329 to $374 by the time I arrived. I was able to get it reduced again, though.
- No VIP welcome, RA gift or welcome letter (no big deal ).
- This property is showing signs of wear and tear and the tap water smelled foul, but that's probably not the hotel's fault.
- The hotel website has hilarious directions: "FROM TSE AIRPORT: DIRECT ROAD TO HOTEL. HOTEL LOOMS ON THE HORIZON ON MOST OF THE DRIVE FROM THE AIRPORT". This is most politely described as a contraction of the truth. In fact, the route in from the airport involved numerous turns and changes of direction, and in spite of my best efforts with the city map I didn't catch sight of the hotel tower until I was half a block away.

Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Not particularly good VFM but it is the only international-class hotel in Astana until the new Radisson SAS opens. A Kempinski is reportedly in the pipeline.
HugoCH is offline  
Old Jan 2, 08, 8:31 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Programs: Tesco Blue, Library Card
Posts: 348
IC Barclay New York

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
Yes. This is a well maintained, well run hotel in a good location.

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

Booked basic room at very cheap corporate rate. Upgraded to corner king suite on the 12th floor all confirmed in advance.

How are the rooms?
A good size for NYC and nicely finished. One of the TVs made a high-pitched noise though.

Amenity was a nice plate of fruit with some chocs. I was hoping for more given the season.

How is the exec. lounge?
There isn't one.

What was good and what was bad?
Good:
- Nice welcome at checkin.
- Generally friendly staff.
- Free minibar!

Bad:
- 'Free Weekend Night' not honoured at checkout but swiftly fixed.
- Town car to the airport arranged through hotel wasn't cheap $135 and was an Escalade which is like a reverse tardis, huge on the outside but cramped on the inside.
- Bell Captain made a fuss about me carrying my own bag into the hotel.

Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
For a regular room the rate was reasonable but with the room upgrade and free weekend night this stay was a bargain!
theaxe is offline  
Old Jan 2, 08, 12:13 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NUE
Programs: Skywards Gold, IC Ambassador, SPG Gold, Hilton Gold, Accor Platinum
Posts: 395
IC Frankfurt

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

- Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked a reward night (30 K Points) - room was upgraded the next day to a Panoramic Suite - arranged a further upgrade to a Club Suite with lounge access (+ 80 Euros)

- How are the rooms?
Nice two room corner suite with a balcony. Bathroom also very nice. Living room with seating area (couch, two armchairs), large desk.
Good view over river Main - we were there over New Years Eve - the views of the fireworks from the 19th floor were just fantastic.

But the whole suite really needs an update - old (but still nice looking) furniture and very old TV - all 80s style.

- How is the exec. lounge?
Closed on the day we were there. We were offered breakfast at the Signatures Restaurant - very nice with a good selection - and drinks / snacks at the bar instead.

- What was good and what was bad?
Good: Great staff, good value for 30K Priority Points + 80 Euros. Upgrade, free minibar and movie on reward night. Three piece of fruit, bottle of wine, bottle of water and chocolates (Dominosteine) as RA present.

Bad: Old looking rooms. A/C is only heating during winter - gets really, really warm in the rooms - and opening the windows does not help.

- Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Yes, but hope they will fix the temperature problem in the rooms and start the renovation soon!!!
Mr. LAU is offline  
Old Jan 3, 08, 2:31 am
  #6  
szg
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SZG, Austria
Programs: LH(OS) HON, IC RA
Posts: 33,194
IC Sao Paolo

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

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked a King bed club room, received a Club Suite.

How are the rooms?
Large with seperate living room.

How is the exec. lounge?
Nothing special to write about. There are 2 free Internet PCs.


What was good and what was bad?
Bad: Wake up call hasnīt worked, so my Taxi driver called me on my pick up time, where I am ?

Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Yes, I will return.
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Old Jan 3, 08, 11:48 am
  #7  
szg
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SZG, Austria
Programs: LH(OS) HON, IC RA
Posts: 33,194
IC Santiago de Chile

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

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked a King bed club room, received a Club Suite.

How are the rooms?
Very large suite, with an large living room and a huge bathroom.

How is the exec. lounge?
No free internet PC, but nice selection of food. During the day only coffee and tea available.


What was good and what was bad?
Good location, nice staff.

Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Yes, I will return.
szg is offline  
Old Jan 4, 08, 10:05 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Scotland
Programs: # Neodymium #
Posts: 967
Thumbs up IC Sydney

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
Yes. Despite some voiced concerns over service, we had a fabulous stay over New Years - from 30 Dec to 2 Jan. A personal welcome from the duty front desk manager. No problems getting checked-in, despite arriving before 12.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked Club King Watson's Bay, and received the same. No uprgade. But it was New Year's.. and with Club access, the room just needed to be a room - with a minibar!

How are the rooms?
Good size. Very comfy bed. Minibar with champagne, wines, usual miniatures.. all replenished daily, and no hiccups on check-out.
Amenity was water, fruit, shortbread (in the shape of the Opera House!) and a very nice bottle of wine.

How is the exec. lounge?
Simply stunning. The most incredible view I have ever had in a hotel. Service was excellent - attentive, but relaxed. Breakfast food offering is satisfactory. Soft drinks and coffee available all day. Free wine and beer from 5-7 (which is a bit poor if you don't have RA access to your room minibar for later on in the evening.)
New Years Eve was just perfect. Pleasant cocktail party atmosphere, with about 60 guests in the Club. (They made absolutely sure that the ONLY people in the Club were guests who had paid for and were staying in Club rooms. Security guys on the door, and individual swipe cards for each guest room to access the floor.) Watched the fireworks from the balcony.
What can I say. Incredible.

What was good and what was bad?
Good:
- Club lounge
- All RA benefits provided - with the exception of a room upgrade

Bad:
- The rate I paid!

Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Would definitely return, especially for NYE - if I have saved up enough again!
McCoy is offline  
Old Jan 4, 08, 11:49 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: SoCal
Programs: UA 1K 2Millon Mile Flyer, IC Spire Royal Ambassador, SPG Gold
Posts: 464
McCoy, glad to hear you had a great time in SYD! Sounds like it is a great venue for New Years.

Not to rain on the parade, but the "experience" you report is basically booking and getting exactly what you paid for, other than the mini bar and the welcome goodies. The gift would be expected if you were an Ambassador, and the room and club would be included even if you were a non status customer right off the street. What I hear you saying is that the only differential benefit you received for being the top level elite in the entire IHG loyalty program was a free mini bar. IMHO, this is not acceptable, even on New Years Eve. I've stayed in the Watson's Bay rooms and they are nice, but I think it is reasonable for an RA to expect an upgrade (other than from a booked exec. room or suite). It concerns me to hear these reports of upgrade issues from IC SYD.

Again, it sounds like you had an awesome time and were happy with what you received.


Originally Posted by McCoy View Post
Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
Yes. Despite some voiced concerns over service, we had a fabulous stay over New Years - from 30 Dec to 2 Jan. A personal welcome from the duty front desk manager. No problems getting checked-in, despite arriving before 12.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked Club King Watson's Bay, and received the same. No uprgade. But it was New Year's.. and with Club access, the room just needed to be a room - with a minibar!

How are the rooms?
Good size. Very comfy bed. Minibar with champagne, wines, usual miniatures.. all replenished daily, and no hiccups on check-out.
Amenity was water, fruit, shortbread (in the shape of the Opera House!) and a very nice bottle of wine.

How is the exec. lounge?
Simply stunning. The most incredible view I have ever had in a hotel. Service was excellent - attentive, but relaxed. Breakfast food offering is satisfactory. Soft drinks and coffee available all day. Free wine and beer from 5-7 (which is a bit poor if you don't have RA access to your room minibar for later on in the evening.)
New Years Eve was just perfect. Pleasant cocktail party atmosphere, with about 60 guests in the Club. (They made absolutely sure that the ONLY people in the Club were guests who had paid for and were staying in Club rooms. Security guys on the door, and individual swipe cards for each guest room to access the floor.) Watched the fireworks from the balcony.
What can I say. Incredible.

What was good and what was bad?
Good:
- Club lounge
- All RA benefits provided - with the exception of a room upgrade

Bad:
- The rate I paid!

Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Would definitely return, especially for NYE - if I have saved up enough again!
PremExecSNA is offline  
Old Jan 5, 08, 5:45 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SNA
Programs: UA 1K, HH DIA
Posts: 1,780
IC The Barclay New York

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
Not really, only a minor upgrade.

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

Booked basic room. Upgraded to an executive room.

How are the rooms?
Quite small, but ok for NYC.

How is the exec. lounge?
None.

What was good and what was bad?
Good:
- efficient check-in.
- friendly staff.
- free minibar, free movie

Bad:
- rooms are old and need urgent renovation, I felt like I was in a HI, not a IC.
- minor upgrade only
- The Barclay can not compete with great IC's like the Willard.


Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Very good value, one night on cheap AP rate, one night on BOGO, two nights on points.
mapu is offline  
Old Jan 5, 08, 5:51 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SNA
Programs: UA 1K, HH DIA
Posts: 1,780
IC The Willard Washington, D.C.

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
YES! My best IC stay so far.

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

Booked basic room. Advance upgrade to an executive suite with view.

How are the rooms?
Outstanding. Colonial style with top amenities, two full bathrooms, two flatscreen TVs, two minibars with Champagne!

How is the exec. lounge?
None.

What was good and what was bad?
Good:
- great upgrade!
- efficient check-in.
- RA welcome letter that detailed all the benefits.
- very friendly and professional staff.
- free minibars, free movie, a bottle of red wine, fruit bowl.
- excellent spa, though rather expensive.

Bad:
- no RA gift

Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Excellent value, one night on AP rate, one night on BOGO, one night on points.
mapu is offline  
Old Jan 5, 08, 7:27 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Programs: LH SEN, HH Dia
Posts: 518
IC Mar Menor

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

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
"King Deluxe" rooms (which is their lowest category) on the best flexible rate, upgrade to King Deluxe Executive Suite visible online in advance - which is also what we got. Interestingly these suites are simply called "Deluxe rooms" (without a bed type) in the online booking engine and are just 20 EUR more expensive than the lowest category; in the booking engine the term suite is reserved for their senior suites.

The hotel is relatively small and has 64 rooms of which 57 are "normal" rooms (I think they only differ in view and bed type), five are the larger rooms/suites that we received and two are senior suites.

How are the rooms?
Very nice, comfortable and elegant, the hotel is done very well in general. We had two of these rooms (we had 2 RAs in our party) which are located at the ends on each floor. The rooms were quite different in layout. One more a junior suite (seating area in the same room as the bed) but with a fantastic bathroom with a good bathtub and a huge shower with large windows - great for a morning shower in the winter sun; the other one with a separate bedroom and living room. Both had a terasse with chairs and loungers.

Toiletries are the usual "we live like this" stuff, but larger bottles.

The minibar is relatively well stocked and was replenished daily. The fruit basket and complimentary water bottles were exchanged daily as well.

Our welcome gift was a bottle of regional wine.

How is the exec. lounge?
No lounge.

What was good and what was bad?
We felt very welcome and staff was very friendly. Not all of them were knowledgable or experienced though.

Communicating in English was sometimes difficult. Not a problem for us, more surprising as that there seem to be a lot of English home owners and guests in the region.

We did not eat at Aqva - the signature restaurant - as it was closed on the two evenings we were at the hotel. Breakfast and dinner at Nomad - the second restaurant - were good.

The location is in the middle of a fenced Polaris World complex which gives it a weird touch. You really need a car at this property, but then the location is a good base to explore the region. There was no charge for valet parking.

Getting internet access to work was a bit of a hassle (you had to ask the reception for codes and codes kept expiring although they were still valid), but in principle there is wireless and wired access in the rooms. Being in the end rooms, the wireless signal was not very strong, though.

We did not visit the spa except for the beautiful indoor pool in a contemporary moorish design.

Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Yes!
demiurg is offline  
Old Jan 5, 08, 12:03 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Programs: IC RA, BA Club
Posts: 6
IC Frankfurt

IC Frankfurt

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

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

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked standard room on points and received upgrade to executive Room as RA

How are the rooms?
Excellent room, large and clean with toiletries my wife banned me from using as they were too good for me!

Mini bar was OK and replensihed dailey - room cleaning was efficient and thorough.

Our welcome gift was a fruit, wine and mineral water. Mineral water replenished daily.

How is the exec. lounge?
Our room type did not include access to Club Lounge but the hotel agreed I could buy one day access at 50 euros for both my wife and I and then thye would throw in the other 2 days for free. This was a bargain with excellent breakfast, snack lunch and hot dinner selection included each day in addition to free soft drinks and beer during the day and wine/spirits in the evening.

What was good and what was bad?
Very modern hotel - right at the heart of all the shopping and upmarket exclusive stores. Staff without exception all very helpful and pleasant.

Downside for me was the modern design of the hotel with the ground to top floor 'atrium' reception area - it did seem souless to me but my wife was impressed by it. I guess its a matter of individual taste.



Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Yes!
darius13 is offline  
Old Jan 5, 08, 12:58 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Programs: ICH Ambassador, HH Gold VIP, Starwood Platinum Preferred, UA Premier
Posts: 10,627
Originally Posted by mapu View Post
Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
YES! My best IC stay so far.

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

Booked basic room. Advance upgrade to an executive suite with view.

How are the rooms?
Outstanding. Colonial style with top amenities, two full bathrooms, two flatscreen TVs, two minibars with Champagne!

How is the exec. lounge?
None.

What was good and what was bad?
Good:
- great upgrade!
- efficient check-in.
- RA welcome letter that detailed all the benefits.
- very friendly and professional staff.
- free minibars, free movie, a bottle of red wine, fruit bowl.
- excellent spa, though rather expensive.

Bad:
- no RA gift

Value for $ or Priority Club Points? Would you return?
Excellent value, one night on AP rate, one night on BOGO, one night on points.
Are you sure the red wine and fruit bowl were not your RA gift?
Camino1 is offline  
Old Jan 6, 08, 1:18 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Silver Spring, and Eastern Shore Md. USA
Programs: AA EXP, UA MM/Premier Gold, Hyatt Diamond,Hilton Honors Gold, IHG platinum, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 1,051
Smile IC Boston

[B]Were you happy with the hotel/stay?
Yes

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
"King Deluxe" room(which is their lowest category) on the Travelzoo rate ($169 plus tax and a $25 food voucher good at the Miel or Sushiko restaurants). Received an upgrade to a junior suite (one large room with bedroom and sofa/ chair and desk). Had a view of the harbor--overall pleased.


How are the rooms?
Very nice, and comfortable. Hotel is only about a year old so everything is new. The bath was large with both shower and tub with shutters that could be closed to bedroom. LCD tv and the minibar (my first free mini bar as an RA) Nothing special about toiletries, were a mix/match variety of small containers. The minibar was well stocked. The welcome gift was a bowl of fruit, a box of two chocolates and a large bottle of water.


How is the exec. lounge?
Upon checkin, I asked about the price to access the Club Intercontinental. The hotel was fairly empty during our stay (Jan4-6) and the club access price was $50 per night--a real bargain. There are five offerings of refreshments: Breakfast, Lunch (mon-fri), tea, cocktails and appetizers and dessert. As we arrived early on Friday, we did have the lunch, which was terrific--you could order an appetizer, sandwich or salad and dessert. Lunch alone would have cost $50 for two. The breakfast was nice; two hot items--usually scrambled eggs and bacon/sausage, plus fruit, meats, cheeses, cereal, yogurt and breads/pastries. There was a wonderful cappucino machine and a small refrigerator with sodas and waters. The evening appetizers and drinks were very nice: two hot appetizers and a wide variety of cold appetizers. Wine was self-serve (my favorite NZ cabernet sauvignon was on offer both days) and you could also order a cocktail or beer from the friendly staff in the lounge. We were very lucky--most times we were the only ones in the lounge; today for breakfast there were a few other people. Staff told us over the holidays there were 60 people in lounge at one time--that would not have been pleasant!

I tried the gym and pool: gym had very modern equipment and the pool was an infinity pool--max depth only 4 feet but warm (and it was very cold outside during our stay so this was nice)

What was good and what was bad?
We felt very welcome and staff was very friendly. Susanne, an intern from Netherlands checked us in and escorted us to the room. She also staffed the lounge on several occasions. She and other staff were great!

The location was good--in the seaport /financial district about .6mile from Faneuil Hall in one direction and Boston common in the other. The concierge sent us directions and options to get from the airport. It was very cold so we just took the cab about $25 one way including tolls and it took about 15 minutes as there was no traffic. We had both early checkin (arriving at 10:30 am on Friday) and late checkout (leaving at 2:15 Sunday) with no problem at all.

I would not categorize anything as bad. We did have to ask for our minibar to be restocked the second day but that was all. Upon checkout, no problem with any items from minibar showing or the paid movie but there was an extra day ($50) access to the lounge which was immediately taken off.

Overall a terrific stay and a great first experience as a Royal Ambassador.



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

Terrific value for the room, considering our $169 travelzoo rate. Great value for the $50 lounge access fee as we definitely used it. I would return though in the warmer weather.

Last edited by silver springer; Jan 6, 08 at 1:19 pm Reason: editing
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