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The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, Japan, LC [Master Thread]

The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, Japan, LC [Master Thread]

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Old Feb 18, 19, 4:25 am   -   Wikipost
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As of February 2019 this hotel no longer offers club lounge access to Marriott Platinum and higher guests, even if upgraded to a room category which would otherwise offer lounge access, so lounge access mentioned in older reviews would no longer apply.

The hotel also no longer participates in Suite Night Awards.

Breakfast offering for Platinum and higher is in restaurant, with a 1000 yen buy-up for made-to-order eggs or the Japanese breakfast menu.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 4:51 pm
  #616  
 
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What seems strange, considering them taking away the suite upgrade nights and now lounge access, is that from September 19 on, no rooms on points shows. Last week I booked 4 nights on points for early November. Is something going on with this property?
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Old Feb 16, 19, 5:20 pm
  #617  
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Originally Posted by Watkin View Post
Is something going on with this property?
I would imagine they have seen substantially higher award bookings with (i) the much reduced Marriott redemption rate, and (ii) the much greater number of elites in the combined program. And that they don't like it. And want to cut down both the number of award bookings and the cost of providing elite benefits.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 5:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Thanks for the update.

I'm a bit skeptical that's a Marriott pre-printed form. IME, the properties do these themselves based on the particular benefits they provide.
I didnít get a photo but the vouchers were definitely Marriott designed.

Also, I went to the restaurant and found the special menu given for Bonvoy elites. Itís the standard buffet minus the cooked to order dish.


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Old Feb 16, 19, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by nexusCFX View Post

I didnít get a photo but the vouchers were definitely Marriott designed.

Also, I went to the restaurant and found the special menu given for Bonvoy elites. Itís the standard buffet minus the cooked to order dish.


Japanese style ok I can understand the surcharge of 1000 yen, but made to order eggs for 1000 yen...?

Ther concierge is pretty useless and does not respond to emails in a timely matter, I think itís time to move to another property.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 7:05 pm
  #620  
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I'll do my drive-by posting and disappear as I did do a full-on review a few years back.

For those from the SPG side pre-merger, we have already predicted days like this would happen and dreaded its eventual arrival. When the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho join SPG, they always put in good faith efforts in attracting SPG Platinums. The Prince Gallery Tokyo provided amazing suite upgrades and they hired a Caucasian native English speaker originated from USA to help check in non-Japanese and cut down on communication misunderstanding. The SPG program was mostly a frequent stay program so there is a strong case to the hotel that there is a directly link the level of elite is directly proportional to the number of nights stay in a hotel (and thus those stays could be at your hotel!). So if you treat SPG platinums well, some of those paid nights shifts to your hotel.

Marriott program is a multi-marketing tool so people earn status through a variety of ways - from stays, to credit cards, to meetings. There is a weaker link between elite status and paid nights in a hotel. The promise that these elite guests would return as fully paid guests is a lot weaker than when SPG was in the helm. There are a lot more Marriott elite than there were SPG elite and vast majority of them want to stay in luxurious properties without paying the full price (ie point redemption). I remember Marriott flyertakers are all excited to get access to the top level hotels of Starwood post merger. If they were excited just to pay retail price and stay, they would have been joyful when we had status match 2.5 years ago. I only talked (in longer conversations) with two SPG legacy hotel managers post-merge and both say the Marriott management was more bureaucratic than SPG was before and lots of manuals and learning remains.

Combining the above, it took only 6 months for the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho to find out the current generous policy towards combined SPG/Marriott elite members (now on refereed as Bonvoy members) is unsustainable and is ruining the "Prince" brand in luxury and had to do drastic and decisive cuts to how they treat Bonvoy members. Had this merger not happened, they would have followed similar to Sheraton Miyako Tokyo where benefits slowly reduce through 8 years. Or they become like Westin Tokyo (owned and assist manage by Sovereign Wealth Fund of Singapore ) where only a decade of paid and award stay of returning customers will suite upgrades start happening.

In the Prince Hotel's perspective, many Bonvoy members just keep taking and not put in their fair share and their generosity is unsustainable and they must change before it affects the real paying customers like those Japanese guests. Let's remind ourselves some of the greatest hits of flyertalker member's predatory behavior by browsing this thread.

1) There was one flyertalk member that wanted to get benefit for BOTH Prince Hotel brand's frequent stayer program AND SPG program benifits
2) There was overwhelming majority of flyertalk members talk about points redemption stays but haven't given hotel their fair share of wallet spending in forms of hotel dinning or paid stays.
3) Like flying business class, the unwritten honor system says you don't bring crying babies and book business class seats. We have Bonvoy members bringing in children and sometimes unruly children that into a hotel intended for adult only.
4) We have flyertalk members that is in direct violation of the spirit of the breakfast program of member + 1 guest - by having pairs of two. One pair going to the lounge and the other pair going to the restaurant to avoid paying the fair share of the breakfast cost

The hotel in the few months post-merge probably had enough data and experience of enough Bonvoy member's predatory behavior that they need to make drastic changes to make the hotel sustainable and reputation intact. If vast majority of the Bonvoy members staying at this hotel was fully paying stays, I fully believe these cuts would not have happened.

For Starwood Lurkers, I think a good addition to our Bonvoy program is to take a page out of AMEX's Fine Hotel Programs for luxury properties. Additional enhanced benefits for elite members only available on paid eligible stays. I think franchise hotels would find this enhancement acceptable.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 10:05 pm
  #621  
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Shots fired! The sad reality is this will most likely happen to all our other beloved, former SPG homes as well.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 10:29 pm
  #622  
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While this news are actually bad and a bit strange as their lounge is not crowded on most of the times during my stays (its pretty much empty hence I really like it)
I dont see the hotel to be blamed as MR own t&c did exclude the lounge access for luxury collection hotel brands

The idea of allowing lounge access for paid stays elite is a very good idea and I hope the hotel (or Bonvoy) could implement that.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 10:45 pm
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Originally Posted by kaizen7 View Post
While this news are actually bad and a bit strange as their lounge is not crowded on most of the times during my stays (its pretty much empty hence I really like it)
I dont see the hotel to be blamed as MR own t&c did exclude the lounge access for luxury collection hotel brands

The idea of allowing lounge access for paid stays elite is a very good idea and I hope the hotel (or Bonvoy) could implement that.
Does the T&C explicitly prohibit lounge access? Telling the hotel they don't have to give lounge access isn't the same as telling them they are not allowed to. (For example, RC Kyoto doesn't have to give breakfast to elites, but they do)
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Old Feb 16, 19, 10:53 pm
  #624  
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As the T&C didnt guarantee lounge access for elites for the luxury collection hotel, the hotel can choose to go above and beyond and provide access.
But they also can remove that benefit.
The elites technically cannot complain.

RC Kyoto can remove their breakfast policy too if they see fit and again elites technically cannot complain.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by kaizen7 View Post
As the T&C didnt guarantee lounge access for elites for the luxury collection hotel, the hotel can choose to go above and beyond and provide access.
But they also can remove that benefit.
The elites technically cannot complain.

RC Kyoto can remove their breakfast policy too if they see fit and again elites technically cannot complain.
That's fair. Still do feel like they should've given a warning to new Marriott elite bookings, even if just as a courtesy.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 12:38 am
  #626  
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It is! Or at least honor the lounge access for booking made prior to Bonvoy as courtesy.

But anyway, it seems like Marriott effort of aligning the luxury brands elite benefit is by simply lowering down other brands benefit to match the ritz carlton offers.

Not the good way ... service/recognition wise to be honest.
Reaching titanium and ambassador level require quite significant spending and yet Marriott rewarding these members by not giving some of good benefit on their luxury brands.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 1:57 am
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Honestly, if hotels cannot or do not want to honour these benefits for Elites, perhaps for luxury brands Marriott could consider introducing Titanium or Ambassador only benefits for luxury brands. I know the T&Cs do not promise these benefits but.... as an ambassador member travelling for work, why would I go the extra mile and stay at Marriott properties like the Prince Kioicho if I have more convenient non-Marriott properties closer by to my offices? What is the benefit then, just the points?
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Old Feb 17, 19, 3:07 am
  #628  
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Originally Posted by mgeldere View Post
Honestly, if hotels cannot or do not want to honour these benefits for Elites, perhaps for luxury brands Marriott could consider introducing Titanium or Ambassador only benefits for luxury brands. I know the T&Cs do not promise these benefits but.... as an ambassador member travelling for work, why would I go the extra mile and stay at Marriott properties like the Prince Kioicho if I have more convenient non-Marriott properties closer by to my offices? What is the benefit then, just the points?
I'm guessing the director of sales (and upper management) thinks the hotel will do just fine without Marriott elites eating buffet breakfast or using the lounge. I'm sure their domestic business is brisk enough and it's a pity because this was one of the finer legacy SPG hotels in the country.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 3:35 am
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
I'm guessing the director of sales (and upper management) thinks the hotel will do just fine without Marriott elites eating buffet breakfast or using the lounge. I'm sure their domestic business is brisk enough and it's a pity because this was one of the finer legacy SPG hotels in the country.
Since it doesn't want to give elite benefits anymore, why doesn't this hotel just leave the Marriott rewards program?
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Old Feb 17, 19, 3:42 am
  #630  
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Originally Posted by zack14 View Post
Since it doesn't want to give elite benefits anymore, why doesn't this hotel just leave the Marriott rewards program?
They aren't obliged to give them under the new Bonvoy T&Cs. The continental breakfast and points earned are probably enough to satisfy the Marriott management contract.
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