RA booking non upgradeable suite

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Old Jul 11, 19, 5:03 am
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RA booking non upgradeable suite

So I have an upcoming booking, booked directly into the Suite type I wanted as it is excluded from the upgrade pool for the property (as are most decent suites these days it seems). The room type also includes club access so effectively apart from 4 days of $50 minibar credit there is no benefit from being a RA.

I have been offered 10k points in lieu by the property (with a value of $50) which I think is insulting given the cost of my stay and the value of the typical upgrade path from low end room at the property and club access.

What would other RA's feel is a reasonable expectation? It isn't entirely clear from the T&C's as I read it that an offer is required but then neither is it explicitly called out. Downgrading to a lower room type also still will not get me the room type that I want, so there is no way I could get status to work for me here.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 5:22 am
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Make a fair counter-offer - whether itís more points, open minibar, rate reduction etc. - and be willing to say no thank you and book elsewhere if they refuse.

The rules of the game has changed, and Iíve canceled a few stays this year on the basis of poor RA-value (when booking more expensive rooms / suites). Iíve also made sure to copy in the general manager in those cases, so that they see there is a consequence for being cheap rather than rewarding top-tier loyalty. Typically, guest relations has some room to maneuver to sweeten the deal, but if the hotel expects to sell the room / suite anyway, you can assume that theyíll stick to the rules (unless you have some serious stay history with the property in question).
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Old Jul 11, 19, 5:31 am
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Originally Posted by ILS2 View Post
Make a fair counter-offer - whether itís more points, open minibar, rate reduction etc. - and be willing to say no thank you and book elsewhere if they refuse.

The rules of the game has changed, and Iíve canceled a few stays this year on the basis of poor RA-value (when booking more expensive rooms / suites). Iíve also made sure to copy in the general manager in those cases, so that they see there is a consequence for being cheap rather than rewarding top-tier loyalty. Typically, guest relations has some room to maneuver to sweeten the deal, but if the hotel expects to sell the room / suite anyway, you can assume that theyíll stick to the rules (unless you have some serious stay history with the property in question).
It is a flexible booking with the other of 2 suites unsold currently for the duration of my stay in what is fairly low season. There are 2 acceptable Marriotts nearby and I am prepared to move to them if I don't get what I want. It would put a hole in my RA renewal plan but RA is much less worthwhile than it has ever been before. I have also requested a specific suite (of the 2) and they haven't confirmed that either which is surely the very least they could do?
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Old Jul 11, 19, 6:09 am
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If you choose to book a room from which there is no upgrade path, then the hotel isn't required to offer anything ; it has gone beyond what it needs to by offering 10k points ; given that the entitlement is zero, why would you be insulted by 10k points

would the price/room offered/benefits at Marriott be better than staying at the IC in the room which you want to have? if so , then makes sense to change hotels ; if not , then would you not just be cutting off your nose to spite your face?
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Old Jul 11, 19, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by Land-of-Miles View Post
It is a flexible booking with the other of 2 suites unsold currently for the duration of my stay in what is fairly low season. There are 2 acceptable Marriotts nearby and I am prepared to move to them if I don't get what I want. It would put a hole in my RA renewal plan but RA is much less worthwhile than it has ever been before. I have also requested a specific suite (of the 2) and they haven't confirmed that either which is surely the very least they could do?
Having a flexible booking gives you some options in terms of finding equally attractive offers elsewhere. As mentioned above, the hotel has the option of basically giving you nothing, but my experience has shown that if you can reach the right people with authority to make decisions at the hotel, good deals can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

It's a tricky spot to be in when you have to take the overall RA spend requirements into the calculations, but considering the uncertainty of the RA program all together (how long can IHG run three separate reward programs?), that wouldn't be my main concern right now. Worst case: You'll have a year off being Ambassador, then make a comeback if the program still exists and seems attractive the following year.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 8:28 am
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Just look elsewhere. I just had a stay as RA in a hotel with no club lounge. My rate had breakfast included. And the hotel had a ton of room categories with not much difference between them. Being RA at these places becomes relatively worthless.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 12:55 am
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Ask a refund between the price of this room and the price of room 2 cat down and see if that works for both hotel and you.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 3:12 am
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Originally Posted by exs2 View Post
Ask a refund between the price of this room and the price of room 2 cat down and see if that works for both hotel and you.
Given that the room 2 categories lower would not provide the upgrade to the suite that the person wants to book, why would the hotel provide a refund such that it is effectively giving an upgrade which it states that it will not do
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Old Jul 12, 19, 5:31 am
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Originally Posted by Land-of-Miles View Post
So I have an upcoming booking, booked directly into the Suite type I wanted as it is excluded from the upgrade pool for the property (as are most decent suites these days it seems). The room type also includes club access so effectively apart from 4 days of $50 minibar credit there is no benefit from being a RA.

I have been offered 10k points in lieu by the property (with a value of $50) which I think is insulting given the cost of my stay and the value of the typical upgrade path from low end room at the property and club access.

What would other RA's feel is a reasonable expectation? It isn't entirely clear from the T&C's as I read it that an offer is required but then neither is it explicitly called out. Downgrading to a lower room type also still will not get me the room type that I want, so there is no way I could get status to work for me here.
Agreed 10k points/stay is almost worthless, although a) the current no-upgrade payment on single or mutinight sys b)is not due as they would not be failing to give you a guaranteed Ambassador upgrade,

With you having first booked, the IC hotel is now going to reluctant to negotiate anything with you, hotel now thinking they don't need to win your business those dates.

Seems the best way to do this kind of negotiation is to contact hotel higher management (GM if poss) before even booking, propose that you'd like to stay there in xxx Suite, but are aware both it and suite 1cat below are added to IHG's exclusion list, but you be willing to book the suite 1cat below if they are able to give you as as RA an upgrade as it is low season right now. The IC manager may even prefer you book a base room (less commision to IHG) and pay the usual suite difference as an upsell.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 8:47 am
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The hotel doesn't need to do anything. Which is why they in the first place negotiated the exclusion list with IHG.

Now, if you are a RA, and need to start to invest time in this haggling process, there is no longer a point in being loyal to the hotel/program.

The hotel succeeded in getting stricter rules, result is that they push away customers. What a joke this RA has become.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by 336 View Post
The hotel doesn't need to do anything. Which is why they in the first place negotiated the exclusion list with IHG.

Now, if you are a RA, and need to start to invest time in this haggling process, there is no longer a point in being loyal to the hotel/program.

The hotel succeeded in getting stricter rules, result is that they push away customers. What a joke this RA has become.
I totally agree and have come to the conclusion that new RA simply isn't worth the effort. For broader info the property is the IC Hua Hin and I am booked into a Beach Villa at approx. 18k THB ++ per night.

For comparison my other options are the Sheraton Pranburi Villas, where a significantly better villa with pool would cost me 12k per night (assumed free brekky as a Marriott Plat but no club) and I might even get away with paying less and be upgraded to the villa type I want or use SNA. My other option is the Hyatt staying in a Barai suite also with a private pool and club lounge, daily access to the spa pool etc. and 1 hour a day spa treatments for 2 for a little less than the IC. Both properties have plenty of availability and the Sheraton is probably my immediate Plan B and would not distress me too much to move.

I generally expect a property to reach out to me if I have made a booking typically a week in advance of arrival and here I had to mail them which was not a good start. I have now confirmed my choice of villas which is a start and they have offered 20% off dining plus the 10k points. Whilst this is far from generous I am minded to accept if the discount includes all alcohol and I also get an uncapped minibar (albeit its hard to spend a huge amount on a Thai minibar anyway). I am not holding my breath however. The only reason I booked this was that it is a rare example of an IC with Private Pool Villas (since I hated the IC Samui) and hadn't at the time of booking factored in the minimal benefit of RA in making such a booking.

In the past I would have booked the room type I wanted confident that the property would simply adjust my rate to give me some value and I would in turn then spend a great deal of money in the resort. I obviously could spend circa 7k instead and get an upgrade to a suite and club so I got some value from being RA but then the only reason for my stay at this particular property would be voided.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 8:33 pm
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Who have you spoken to at the property? I have found the club lounge manager to be pretty helpfull certainly for my needs anyway.

When are you going as that will be a factor as there are only the 2 pool villas and they always seem to be in use especially at the weekend.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by shoven View Post
Who have you spoken to at the property? I have found the club lounge manager to be pretty helpfull certainly for my needs anyway.

When are you going as that will be a factor as there are only the 2 pool villas and they always seem to be in use especially at the weekend.
Some reservations people have asked for a GM email
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Old Jul 13, 19, 10:44 am
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Other than the odd hello how are things I have not really had much to do with GM he looks after the IC and the nearby HI, I did here him once advise a couple that mentioned the time it took to reach the resort from bangkok to fly in private to local airport!!!

It would be interesting to find out how the GM responds if you get his email.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 2:39 pm
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My tip is, book 1 cat or 2 cat below from highest upgradable room and pay differences to the desired room. At IC Hua Hin, book club premier suite and you would get 2 room suite which has THB 5000++ value. Then ask upgrade to the villa and pay differences. It saves you more than 10,000 pts, I guess.
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