Please post your Royal Ambassador Experiences 2019

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Old Mar 12, 19, 6:58 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Milan, Dubai, HK
Programs: QR Plat, RA, Oman Air Gold, HH Diamond
Posts: 316
IC Medellin

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 basic room and got two-room suite on Club floor

How are the rooms?
the rooms were large with decent decor and a nice view over the city and good-sized bathroom

How is the exec. lounge?
sort of cool that they had plenty to eat and drinks from 6 to 10PM + a huge adjoining terrace, would have been better if any of the staff spoke English ;-)

breakfast in the restaurant was an option for RAs and a quite respectable spread

Did you receive a welcome gift?
no


How was the minibar?
really nothing special but I believe it was still unlimited drinks for RA

What was good and what was bad?

-Good
The lounge hours and offering
good upgrade

-Bad
service was friendly but sketchy all around

the location did not suit me

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?
darn good value for $150 a night

Would you return?
probably not, likely stay down in the city centre
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Old Mar 12, 19, 7:22 pm
  #32  
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: London
Programs: Hilton IHG LH BA TK
Posts: 11,568
Originally Posted by #1son View Post
IC Medellin

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

Would you return?
probably not, likely stay down in the city centre
Great to see a positive review of a hotel i find delightful - an opinion shared by very few!

but i understand the comment regarding location: if you want to stay "on brand", the HI Express is just fine.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 6:43 pm
  #33  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Milan, Dubai, HK
Programs: QR Plat, RA, Oman Air Gold, HH Diamond
Posts: 316
IC Miami - Chopin Plaza

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
No

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked basic room and got basic room

strict two-category upgrade

stayed there many times and always got a suite

How are the rooms?
rooms are getting a bit tired but still have fabulous views

How is the exec. lounge?
this is a great lounge that has a good layout so you do not feel crowded when there are other guests also getting food or drinks

however it was one of the first times we have ever been chased out of an IC lounge anywhere at 8PM on a weekend night

Did you receive a welcome gift?
no


How was the minibar?
really nothing special but I believe it was still unlimited drinks for RA

What was good and what was bad?

-Good
The lounge and views are good


-Bad
no real upgrade

the management were quite plainly dishonest regarding suite availability

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?
OK after we agreed they would lower the rate that we booked at after no suite upgrade was offered

Would you return?
I have vowed to never return again
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Old Mar 16, 19, 11:03 am
  #34  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Programs: AAdvantage Executive Platinum (3 Million Miler), IHG Spire Royal Amdassador
Posts: 128
IC Washington DC - The Wharf

IC Washington DC - The Wharf

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

Yes but not quite as happy as I used to be. I was this hotel's very first guest when they opened in Oct 2017 and have stayed here about 15 times since then.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Stayed here twice since the Feb 1 changes. Both times booked Standard Room at Government Rate. Received Executive Riverview Suite the first stay (usually the room I receive unless given a better suite) and the second stay received King Promenade (first time I've ever not received a suite!)

How are the rooms?
Modern, with a great view of the wharf and Potomac River. The King Promenade is standard sized, on the 4th floor but has a really nice patio with a table and chairs.

How is the exec. lounge?
There isn't one.
​​​The Royal Ambassador breakfast is the buffet only, which is small and on a side table but not bad. The hot items include scrambled eggs, potatoes (which are amazing), meat, oatmeal, sunny side up eggs (individually portioned). You can order pancakes or waffles from the server. There are also pastries and individually portioned fruit, yogurt, granola, avocado toast, smoked fish.

Did you receive a welcome gift?
Small bowl of seasoned peanuts, 4 cookies, fruit and large glass bottle of evian (same as before Feb 1)

How was the minibar?
A few beers, Johnny Walker Black, Tito's vodka, gin, 375 ml bottles of red and white wine, sparkling water, mixers. However, with the tax and service charge, a $32 bottle of wine will max out your $50 daily limit!
Also, on 3 of my last 4 stays here, the minibar has been locked and the front desk hasn't been able to remotely unlock it. It has taken 1 to 2 hours to get someone to come up and unlock it.
This hotel is not good about refilling it, either. On 2 night stays, it never gets refilled.

What was good and what was bad?

-Good
Still a relatively new hotel with great views. Usually, all the staff know me by name and remember I was their first guest

Apparently, I exceeded the $50/day minibar by $1 one day, but when I checked out, they just took it off the bill.

Location at The Wharf

-Bad
Breakfast was included in my room rate plus as RA have free breakfast now. I checked out and verified the bill was correct but a few days later checked my credit card bill and saw I was charged for breakfast (called the hotel and they took care of it, but still...)

Possibly getting stingy on my room upgrades, especially when the website shows suites are available (I was getting used to being upgraded to some of their higher category suites). I've got several more stays booked over the next few months so we'll see...

Minibar sometimes locked and its unable to be unlocked remotely

Minibar tax and service charge is ridiculous here

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?
Yes

Would you return?
Yes
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Old Mar 21, 19, 4:52 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Programs: AAdvantage Executive Platinum (3 Million Miler), IHG Spire Royal Amdassador
Posts: 128
IC The Willard Washington DC

IC The Willard Washington DC

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

Yes, generally. I usually stay here a few times a year.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked Superior Room at Government Rate. Received 1 King Bed Executive Suite.

How are the rooms?
The Executive Suite has a separate bedroom and living room with 2 full baths. The living room has a sitting area plus dining area. The rooms have recently been redecorated and they are a little more modern now, but I feel they don't have as much character as they used to. Nespresso maker in the room, which I love.

How is the exec. lounge?
There isn't one.
​​​The Royal Ambassador breakfast is the buffet or anything from the menu. I chose the buffet both days, which also includes cooked to order eggs. The buffet is really good with a lot of options and variety.

Did you receive a welcome gift?
Nope - prior to 1 Feb, this hotel used to give RAs a full size bottle of red wine and a few times I also received a tin that looked like the Willard with cookies in it. They do not give the bottle of wine anymore (I double checked when I checked out.) I did get fruit -- I received a plate with 3 red delicious apples and a small bowl of dried fruit and nuts. This hotel used to give out a fantastic fruit plate, so this was a little disappointing. Plus received a few bottles of water everyday.

How was the minibar?
The minibar at this hotel is one of the best! 375ml bottles of red and white wine and champagne, 2 local IPAs, 2 Stellas, vodka, JW black, gin, bourbon, and tequila, plus mixers. This exec suite had 2 minibars, too, so I was definitely missing free minibar on this stay.
With the tax (10%) and service charge (15% then tax gets added to the service charge), a $40 bottle of wine ends up being $50.60. The hotel waived the 60 cents when I checked out, though. The champagne is $65 so not in the RA limit.

What was good and what was bad?

-Good
The upgrade from a Superior Room to Executive Suite.
The extra 60 cents was removed from my minibar charges - yay!
Location and history of the hotel, plus it's just a beautiful property
The breakfast is really good (but if I had a choice, I'd take the unlimited minibar)

-Bad
They are sticking to the new rules with no more welcome amenity for RA.
The fruit they brought up was disappointing, this hotel used to provide one of the best fruit plates.
They add tax to the minibar service charge (yeah, it's not a lot but still...).

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?
Yes

Would you return?
Yes
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Old Mar 25, 19, 10:07 am
  #36  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Programs: AAdvantage Executive Platinum (3 Million Miler), IHG Spire Royal Amdassador
Posts: 128
IC Buckhead Atlanta

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

Yes. I usually stay here once or twice a year.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked King Deluxe, received King Executive on top floor.

How are the rooms?
The King Exec is a regular room on a high floor and it's on the small side. The bathrooms are fairly spacious though. As multiple people have posted here, this hotel no longer upgrades a basic room reservation to a suite or corner room like they used to do a few years ago.

How is the exec. lounge?
Pretty good. The cocktail hour is from 5pm to 8pm and has self serve beer, wine, liquor and a decent variety of appetizers (cheese/crackers, veggies, one hot item, multiple cold items individually portioned). Breakfast is better than it used to be - they added hot items back in (scrambled eggs, scrambled egg whites, bacon/sausages) and have a variety of bread, pastries, fruit, smoked salmon, cold cuts, cheese.


Did you receive a welcome gift?
Just fruit and a small bottle of water (same as before 1 Feb, I think but without the dried fruit and nuts they used to provide). The fruit plate was really good with a variety including strawberries, blackberries, a kiwi, a peach and a plum.

How was the minibar?
The minibar was still pretty good. 375ml bottles of red, white and sparking wine, beer, vodka, Macallen whisky, gin, bourbon, and tequila, plus mixers. The best part about the minibar is the prices are very reasonable (especially compared to the DC ICs) and they don't charge tax or service charge!! When I checked in, the front desk agent provided that info and it wasn't listed on the minibar price list. It's amazing how happy that made me.

What was good and what was bad?

-Good
No tax and service charge on the minibar and everything is priced reasonably
Views from the lounge plus friendly staff there
Location

-Bad
They are sticklers about the 2 category room upgrade

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?
Yes

Would you return?
Yes
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Old Mar 25, 19, 9:38 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Amsterdam, Asia, UK
Programs: IHG RA (Spire), HH Diamond, MR Platinum, SQ Gold, KLM Gold, BAEC Gold
Posts: 4,955
Originally Posted by VaBeachGirl View Post
IC Buckhead Atlanta
Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?

Yes. I usually stay here once or twice a year.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked King Deluxe, received King Executive on top floor.

How are the rooms?
The King Exec is a regular room on a high floor and it's on the small side. The bathrooms are fairly spacious though. As multiple people have posted here, this hotel no longer upgrades a basic room reservation to a suite or corner room like they used to do a few years ago.

How is the exec. lounge?
Pretty good. The cocktail hour is from 5pm to 8pm and has self serve beer, wine, liquor and a decent variety of appetizers (cheese/crackers, veggies, one hot item, multiple cold items individually portioned). Breakfast is better than it used to be - they added hot items back in (scrambled eggs, scrambled egg whites, bacon/sausages) and have a variety of bread, pastries, fruit, smoked salmon, cold cuts, cheese.


Did you receive a welcome gift?
Just fruit and a small bottle of water (same as before 1 Feb, I think but without the dried fruit and nuts they used to provide). The fruit plate was really good with a variety including strawberries, blackberries, a kiwi, a peach and a plum.

How was the minibar?
The minibar was still pretty good. 375ml bottles of red, white and sparking wine, beer, vodka, Macallen whisky, gin, bourbon, and tequila, plus mixers. The best part about the minibar is the prices are very reasonable (especially compared to the DC ICs) and they don't charge tax or service charge!! When I checked in, the front desk agent provided that info and it wasn't listed on the minibar price list. It's amazing how happy that made me.

What was good and what was bad?

-Good
No tax and service charge on the minibar and everything is priced reasonably
Views from the lounge plus friendly staff there
Location

-Bad
They are sticklers about the 2 category room upgrade

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?
Yes

Would you return?
Yes
Nice to see an IC playing fair with RA minibar credit. As RA, whilst aware minibar menu prices may/may-not include vat/service, I had neber noticed in many many stays a restocking (per day) fee. One wonders as RA if some IC's have recenty invented/added such fee to degrade RA's $50 credit.

As an aside, what if a guest just drank 1x evian/soda, menu priced $5, then bill expected by guest with service 10%+tax as $6-7, and on checkout charged usd22 due to sneaky $15++ restock fee. Such fees are utter tripe/nonsense.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 7:48 am
  #38  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Singapore
Programs: SIA PPS, OZ Asiana Club, CX MPC, IHG Royal Amb, SPG Gold, Hilton Silver
Posts: 1,871
IC Shanghai Pudong

IC Shanghai Pudong

What is your IHG Rewards Club status?
Spire Royal Ambassador

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?
Stayed here twice this year in Feb and Mar. Both times I booked Club Intercontinental Room and was upgraded to Diplomatic Suite

How are the rooms?
The rooms have been refreshed a few years ago. The suite comes with a sitting area with TV, writing desk as well as the bedroom with another TV.

How is the exec. lounge?
Lounge is nice and staff are friendly. There is a reasonable selection of finger food and noodles in the evenings. Have not tried the breakfast as I have used the main restaurant in Level 1 during breakfast. The restaurant in Level 1 offers a good selection of both Asian and Western food including an egg station and noodle bar. Staff are friendly too, but restaurant can get very busy during peak periods.

Did you receive a welcome gift?
A fruit basket and a welcome drink coupon for a drink at the Lounge in Level 1

How was the minibar?
A few beers, orange juices, mineral water and wine and some small bottle liquor. Nothing to shout about.

What was good and what was bad?

-Good
- Excellent location especially if you need to be in Pudong area. It is near the financial area (Lujiazui) with less than 10min taxi or train ride from hotel. Hotel is also near the Century Avenue Station which connects to Line 2, 4, 6 and 9. Line 2 can take you to Pudong International Airport.

- Staff are warm and friendly especially those in the restaurant, housekeeping and in Club Lounge.

- Club Lounge is on 24th level and offers a good nice view of Shanghai

-Bad
- Though the hotel has been refurnished a few years ago, it is starting to show signs of wear and tear and carpet at common area probably need a change.

- Hotel wifi will not allow you to access Google Services, LINE and whatsapps as well as Facebook, amongst others.

- Despite staying there a few times, each time upon check-in, they will need to take a facial image for all guests. This tends to hold up the queue.

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?
Yes

Would you return?
Yes
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Old Mar 29, 19, 1:01 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LHR
Programs: CX DM, BA Gold, OZ*G, IHG Spire RA
Posts: 302
IC NY Times Square

IC NY Times Square

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
I'm a bit mixed here as the hotel is very strictly applying the new benefit rules and have limited the upgrades to a Sky View Corner as the highest level. You are also no longer offered a cocktail as a welcome amenity, it's points only. The resort fees are waived for RA's but the benefits are also waived (no $20 F&B credit and $15 laundry credit). They also say the minibar benefit is for beverage only.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked King Bed Deluxe Corner and received Sky View Corner

How are the rooms?
Fine but relatively small as they are at this property.

How is the exec. lounge?
N/A

Did you receive a welcome gift?
Yes, fruit plate.

How was the minibar?
Quite basic. Five minis plus beer and wine.

What was good and what was bad?

-Good
Staff were all helpful and friendly. The person that checked me in clearly explained the new RA rules.

-Bad
The re-stocking fee on the mini-bar is quite high. Upgrades are now only Sky View Corner max.

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?
OK for $300/night. I usually stay at the Barclay as I prefer it and it is usually cheaper. This time they were asking $400/night.

Would you return?
Only if the rate is much lower than the Barclay.


New rules:

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Old Mar 29, 19, 1:15 pm
  #40  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Milan, Dubai, HK
Programs: QR Plat, RA, Oman Air Gold, HH Diamond
Posts: 316
I would like to see more RAs post there welcome letters

no IC out of 4 properties in 2019 have given me a letter without my requesting it
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Old Mar 29, 19, 1:22 pm
  #41  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Milan, Dubai, HK
Programs: QR Plat, RA, Oman Air Gold, HH Diamond
Posts: 316
IC Miami Doral

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 basic and got a Club room just down the hall from the lounge

How are the rooms?
like a nicer Holiday Inn ;-)

How is the exec. lounge?
greatly improved since a couple years back, excellent service

Did you receive a welcome gift?
no

How was the minibar?

fairly average, no more real champagne

What was good and what was bad?

-Good

lounge was quite good, appreciated to extra service
convenient to Dolphin Mall and MIA

-Bad
no welcome letter

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?
not worth much more than USD 150 IMO

Would you return?

yes

Last edited by #1son; Mar 29, 19 at 1:27 pm Reason: forgot attachment
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Old Mar 30, 19, 11:40 am
  #42  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Programs: AAdvantage Executive Platinum (3 Million Miler), IHG Spire Royal Amdassador
Posts: 128
Originally Posted by DieselYVR View Post
IC NY Times Square

Were you (or for multi-stayers are you generally) happy with the hotel/stay?
I'm a bit mixed here as the hotel is very strictly applying the new benefit rules and have limited the upgrades to a Sky View Corner as the highest level. You are also no longer offered a cocktail as a welcome amenity, it's points only. The resort fees are waived for RA's but the benefits are also waived (no $20 F&B credit and $15 laundry credit). They also say the minibar benefit is for beverage only.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked King Bed Deluxe Corner and received Sky View Corner

How are the rooms?
Fine but relatively small as they are at this property.

How is the exec. lounge?
N/A

Did you receive a welcome gift?
Yes, fruit plate.

How was the minibar?
Quite basic. Five minis plus beer and wine.

What was good and what was bad?

-Good
Staff were all helpful and friendly. The person that checked me in clearly explained the new RA rules.

-Bad
The re-stocking fee on the mini-bar is quite high. Upgrades are now only Sky View Corner max.

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?
OK for $300/night. I usually stay at the Barclay as I prefer it and it is usually cheaper. This time they were asking $400/night.

Would you return?
Only if the rate is much lower than the Barclay.


New rules:

How was the breakfast?
​​​​​
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Old Mar 30, 19, 4:37 pm
  #43  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: in a cabin
Posts: 6,090
Looks like loosing RA is a blessing, judging by reports here.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 5:28 am
  #44  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Milan, Dubai, HK
Programs: QR Plat, RA, Oman Air Gold, HH Diamond
Posts: 316
IC Moscow

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 and got Club room but paid to upgrade

How are the rooms?
small and getting a bit tired

How is the exec. lounge?
excellent service
much better food than IC average IMO
breakfast offered in restaurant or Club
so-so drinks

Did you receive a welcome gift?
no but did get fruit plate and water

How was the minibar?
all about the "price gouge"
USD 108 + 20% VAT for 1/2 bottle (375 ml) of Lanson champagne ;-(
almost USD 7 + VAT for a can of Coke or bottle of water??
I did not want to know what the re-stocking fee was

What was good and what was bad?
-Good

lounge is fairly classy
great location
attentive service
upgrade to suite was cheap
breakfast is excellent IMO and happy hour tapas were high quality and professionally prepared, could be your dinner

-Bad
no real upgrade
no welcome letter
over USD 20 + VAT to press a suit?
rooms are getting rather tired - 28" TVs in suites?
strange glass doors in otherwise nice bathroom

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?

fantastic value for RAs, just do not order any extras or services ;-)

Would you return?
yes
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Old Apr 2, 19, 6:14 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Programs: AAdvantage Executive Platinum (3 Million Miler), IHG Spire Royal Amdassador
Posts: 128
IC New Orleans

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

Yes. I stay here at least once year.

Which room did you book and which upgrade did you receive?
Booked King Top Floor, received Presidential Suite

How are the rooms?
The Presidential Suite was amazing, over 2000 sq ft. Bedroom had a lot of light and faced the streets (on the corner), the living room and dining room faced the courtyard so they were a little dark. There was a huge balcony, one and a half baths.

How is the exec. lounge?
They don't have one anymoreh but this hotel started providing breakfast for RAs after the lounge closed. Breakfast buffet is decent, several hot items plus made to order eggs and waffles. Lots of fruit, bagels, smoked salmon, pastries.

Did you receive a welcome gift?
Bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered Oreo with Fleur de Lis design. Plus large bottle of Fiji water every day and fruit.

How was the minibar?
The minibar was decent. 375ml bottles of red & white wines, local beers, vodka, JW Black, plus mixers . Prices were average ($25 for wine, $8 for beer, $11 for liquor). Tax is 10% and service charge is 20%.
After the second day, the automated sensors stopped working (realized this when checking "current charges" on the IHG app). Hopefully, we won't get charged for things after we checked out I did let the front desk know about the issue, though.

What was good and what was bad?

- Good
The room upgrade
Location
Champagne in the room
Front desk manager really took care of us

-Bad
Minibar fees (becoming my typical complaint)
Automated sensors in the minibar stopped working (could be good, I guess!)
No robe in the room. Asked at the front desk if they could send one up and they never did. Had to call when we got back to the room later.

Value for $ or Priority Club Points?
Yes

Would you return?
Yes
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