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-   -   Marriott Bonvoy ‘Ambassador Elite’ Level : Ambassador experiences [Master Thread] (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marriott-marriott-bonvoy/1906860-marriott-bonvoy-ambassador-elite-level-ambassador-experiences-master-thread.html)

UA-NYC May 17, 18 3:52 pm


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 29765990)
You're SPG Plat 100 with Ambassador. The person to whom you're responding has a Marriott Ambassador but only a status match to SPG PlatMinus, which is what the W hotel would see.

PlatMinus only exists in your own mind. I might get some nice snacks in room once in a while (though not on either of these two trips). Got my standard "thanks for being a Plat" welcome (never "Ambassador Guest" BTW). But to these hotels I was a regular Plat. As are Plats, Plat 50s, Plat 75s. Enough with the misinformation already.

bhrubin May 17, 18 4:41 pm


Originally Posted by bhrubin (Post 29699689)
I am hoping we all can share our Ambassador experiences here, both good and bad, so we can have a more balanced view on what the program can do for everyone. I think the details are important, so I encourage everyone to share the identity of the hotels in question so that we all have proper perspective.

Bolding mine—from my first post to begin this thread.

For those who think Ambassador status means little or nothing, there seems to be an incessant need to keep posting here, regardless. It’s a lot like trolling. If one is so certain that Ambassador status is worthless, then one logically would expect posting about it to be just as useless. Me’thinks some doth protest too much.

While we are not yet finished our 2 week Japan holiday, I’d say my Ambassador status has delivered in spades yet again:

I had my 3 SNAs returned to me for the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho...and yet arrived at 7:15 am on arrival into Japan Haneda to be upgraded to a Kioi Suite. Pretty good...and saved me 3 SNAs. The BRG of $234 was pretty darn amazing, too. The fact that there were no suites available for purchase almost a full week before our arrival shows the hotel pulled the suite inventory for us because of my status.

I was upgraded 6 months ago at Suiran Kyoto from an entry level award room to a Shirosumire Premier Room as a complimentary gesture after I asked my Ambassador about what upgrade options were possible. That’s the best room before the 4 suites in a hotel with just 39 rooms. Pretty impressive considering the room goes for almost $1500-2000.

I was able to negotiate a small but very fair cash upgrade at Suiran Kyoto for their Presidential Suite for our 5 nights. Pretty impressive considering that the Presidential Suite regularly goes for $3000-3500.

Suiran Kyoto allowed us use of their private dining room every morning for breakfast at no charge—despite it regularly costing $350 or so—in order to allow me a comfortable air conditioned space at 18 C! I didn’t even ask...they just arranged it. They did the same for one of our dinners. Pretty impressive service that they clearly don’t do for just anyone. Suiran Kyoto had purchased 2 separate portable air con fan units for the Presidential Suite in order to be sure that I could be comfortable. Again, we never asked—the hotel just did it. That is amazing service that we otherwise have come to expect from only an Aman hotel! FWIW, the hotel was completed sold out during our stay.

We now are at the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto on an award stay for 2 nights—and we were upgraded to the Kamogawa Suite, the 3rd best category suite in the hotel. They clearly know I’m an Ambassador guest—even though that status doesn’t yet exist in the Marriott or Ritz-Carlton universe and the new loyalty program hasn’t even begun yet! FWIW, the hotel is almost sold out.

We leave today for the St Regis Osaka, where my 3 SNAs also already have been returned to me with “no chance” of suite upgrade for our award stay. There are no suites available for purchase there either—and that’s been true since before we left for Japan on May 7.

MSPeconomist May 17, 18 4:56 pm

Your temperature requirements are becoming legendary.

How did you travel in parts of Europe like France before the infamous heat wave that killed hundreds of people and caused many luxury hotels to change their stance that AC just isn't nice and instead install it in various historic hotels? I learned to always get a written confirmation that any hotel room in Europe has AC that will be functioning at the time of my stay (after I was burned on this at the Palace Hotel in Anacapri, where the hotel insisted that Italian law didn't require them to turn on the AC before July 15th despite a nightly AC fee on the bill and published room descriptions that included AC) and I remember begging for fans (which the hotel wouldn't confirm in advance) at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm as they were considering whether to retrofit the building with AC that summer.

C17PSGR May 17, 18 6:07 pm


Originally Posted by bhrubin (Post 29766195)

For those who think Ambassador status means little or nothing, there seems to be an incessant need to keep posting here, regardless. It’s a lot like trolling. If one is so certain that Ambassador status is worthless, then one logically would expect posting about it to be just as useless. Me’thinks some doth protest too much.

I'm not saying it means little or nothing. But, as far as I can tell, you are the only poster who reports these types of results which suggests to me that it little to do with an ambassador and more to do with your event planning -- or something else. Personally, I remain interested in experiences and ideas that I can expect from an ambassador.

Also, I was at the W Scottsdale, which routinely offers a poor experience that fails to provide program basics but a convenient location. It certainly caters to the sneak in a cooler/squeeze many people in to a room crowd. I've had better experiences at other W's, although of my 14 nights at SPG properties this year, I've only had two suite upgrades-- all were one or two night stays so it wouldn't have been complicated. That's less than I've had at Marriotts this month. Of course, I understand that the SPG properties don't see X4/M0. However, the SPG regulars participating in various threads don't seem to know whether the property can distinguish between a regular plat, a P75, or a P100. And certainly, there doesn't seem to be any other reports that Ambassadors for either Marriotts or SPG are regularly contacting properties proactively to alert them that we are coming. On the other hand, I suspect that if I called my ambassador and told her please make sure my room is at a certain temperature on my stays this week or to alert the property that I was having an anniversary celebration, she would probably do it. Then again, after spending a lot of time in the Middle East, Asia, and Central America -- 135 degrees without AC can be a real drag and a couple of weeks in a poorly heated tent when its 15 below , makes one more flexible on temperature (although my thermostat at the W definitely wasn't working :) Then again, I do expect hotels to follow program rules and provide program benefits.

And just trying to understand reasonable expectations from an Ambassador although its always nice to have someone answer the phone and fix a reservation in two minutes.

bhrubin May 17, 18 6:50 pm


Originally Posted by C17PSGR (Post 29766437)
I'm not saying it means little or nothing. But, as far as I can tell, you are the only poster who reports these types of results which suggests to me that it little to do with an ambassador and more to do with your event planning -- or something else. Personally, I remain interested in experiences and ideas that I can expect from an ambassador.

I’m hardly the only SPG Ambassador guest reporting positive stays and experiences. Even on this specific thread, there are positive reports by UA-NYC, EuropeanPete, callmedtop, SHLTP, itsaboutthejourney, etc. On SPG threads, there are many more, as well. They just get belittled and bogged down by so many people questioning why they don’t get similar treatment when they stay at Sheraton and Elements with only 5-10 suites during the middle of the Christmas-New Year’s Eve season.

If people want to assume that the Ambassador experience is best quantified in the positive by the number of posts on FlyerTalk, then those people are making a big mistake. Boards like these are exemplified most often by those posting negative and questioning examples rather than the positive. Most people who are happy don’t post.

I believe most who are posting about the negatives of Ambassador service are bitter that they cannot qualify for it or stay in the better hotels that make it most worthwhile.


Also, I was at the W Scottsdale, which routinely offers a poor experience that fails to provide program basics but a convenient location. It certainly caters to the sneak in a cooler/squeeze many people in to a room crowd. I've had better experiences at other W's, although of my 14 nights at SPG properties this year, I've only had two suite upgrades-- all were one or two night stays so it wouldn't have been complicated. That's less than I've had at Marriotts this month. Of course, I understand that the SPG properties don't see X4/M0. However, the SPG regulars participating in various threads don't seem to know whether the property can distinguish between a regular plat, a P75, or a P100. And certainly, there doesn't seem to be any other reports that Ambassadors for either Marriotts or SPG are regularly contacting properties proactively to alert them that we are coming. On the other hand, I suspect that if I called my ambassador and told her please make sure my room is at a certain temperature on my stays this week or to alert the property that I was having an anniversary celebration, she would probably do it. Then again, after spending a lot of time in the Middle East, Asia, and Central America -- 135 degrees without AC can be a real drag and a couple of weeks in a poorly heated tent when its 15 below , makes one more flexible on temperature (although my thermostat at the W definitely wasn't working :) Then again, I do expect hotels to follow program rules and provide program benefits.
You aren’t a proper Ambassador elite yet for any current SPG hotels—including W. You are enjoying Marriott’s attempt to mimic the SPG Ambassador program—and that applies now only to Marriott hotels (and not even Ritz Carlton hotels). Your Marriott “Ambassador” trial status does not translate yet at all to Starwood hotels. You are the equivalent now of only a Starwood Platinum at any SPG hotels. Your experiences therefore are those of a mere SPG Platinum. Until August 1 when the new loyalty program kicks in, there are no real Marriott Ambassador guests at any SPG hotels.


bhrubin May 17, 18 7:22 pm


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 29766234)
Your temperature requirements are becoming legendary.

So I’ve been told in the Luxury Hotels Forum. :D


How did you travel in parts of Europe like France before the infamous heat wave that killed hundreds of people and caused many luxury hotels to change their stance that AC just isn't nice and instead install it in various historic hotels? I learned to always get a written confirmation that any hotel room...
I almost always avoid the warmest (and/or most humid) seasons, and I always get it in writing at time of booking that the hotel room can cool to at least 18-19 C during the day and night. I’ll settle for at least 20 C but I prefer to give myself breathing room just to be safe!

I have NEVER visited Europe in June, July, or August. We go every year at the end of September through the first or second week of October. It’s still a crapshoot for me, but I’ve been luckier than not.

I also carry a portable thermometer (given to me by the Prince de Galles Paris last Oct) that I bring with me everywhere I go now. It has proven my point and saved me countless arguments...and money. Luxury hotels don’t get to pretend they are 5 star when their air con can’t cool to the same temperature as a Holiday Inn.

My SPG profile clearly asks that my room be preset to 67 F (or 19.4 C) to help my cause. My Marriott profile now says the same. My Ambassador reiterates the importance of that to every hotel at which I stay. They know well before my arrival how crazy my need is. My profiles with Aman and Four Seasons include the same instructions.

In a few instances where it’s always hot and humid—like Indonesia—I decided it was best to go when it was slightly worst (i.e. May) since at least it would be less crowded and cheaper and with greater chances for upgrades and getting premium award tickets. If I’m going to suffer heat and humidity anyway, I might as well suffer with the chance for better deals on rooms and flights!

C17PSGR May 17, 18 11:00 pm


Originally Posted by bhrubin (Post 29766526)


I’m hardly the only SPG Ambassador guest reporting positive stays and experiences. Even on this specific thread, there are positive reports by UA-NYC, EuropeanPete, callmedtop, SHLTP, itsaboutthejourney, etc. On SPG threads, there are many more, as well. They just get belittled and bogged down by so many people questioning why they don’t get similar treatment when they stay at Sheraton and Elements with only 5-10 suites during the middle of the Christmas-New Year’s Eve season.

If people want to assume that the Ambassador experience is best quantified in the positive by the number of posts on FlyerTalk, then those people are making a big mistake. Boards like these are exemplified most often by those posting negative and questioning examples rather than the positive. Most people who are happy don’t post.

I believe most who are posting about the negatives of Ambassador service are bitter that they cannot qualify for it or stay in the better hotels that make it most worthwhile.



You aren’t a proper Ambassador elite yet for any current SPG hotels—including W. You are enjoying Marriott’s attempt to mimic the SPG Ambassador program—and that applies now only to Marriott hotels (and not even Ritz Carlton hotels). Your Marriott “Ambassador” trial status does not translate yet at all to Starwood hotels. You are the equivalent now of only a Starwood Platinum at any SPG hotels. Your experiences therefore are those of a mere SPG Platinum.


I agree my status as a "charter" -- I've never heard of a trial -- ambassador on the Marriott side doesn't carry over to SPG. So, my experience on the SPG side is as a "mere" Platinum. Of course, you've acknowledged you don't know whether the SPG desk can tell whether a guest is an SPG Plat, a Plat75, or Plat100 with Ambassador. So, as a "mere" Platinum, I only expect the published benefits. But ... after 14 SPG stays in 2018 ... in SPG properties ranging from the LC Park in Buenos Aires to the Westin in Nashville, (one of my SPG stays are at Elements or non-full service SPG properties) I've had two suite upgrades. That hardly meets the published benefits of the SPG Platinum program but I readily acknowledge its not representative of the SPG Ambassador experience. All of the SPG properties i have stayed at have suites and room service.

As for the others, I don't believe there is anyone else who reports the quality of experience you report and in my experience, the group on here and on the SPG board are a group of quality travelers who don't just come here to complain. This isn't TripAdvisor. Most report they use their Ambassador on a couple of occasions a year and get help. On the temperature piece and this trip, did you contact your ambassador in connection with this trip and ask him/her to make sure that all your hotel rooms had the temperature pre-set before your arrival? Is your Ambassador calling for 100 nights a year to different properties?

And as for the Platinum Premier Ambassador experience on the Marriott, my experience is that if I make requests to my ambassador she handles it but I don't know what to request other than some occasional assistance with getting names added properties to the reservation or paying in advance. I'm fairly confident she's not contacting properties in advance. On the other hand, my upgrade rate with 42 nights in legacy Marriott is far better than in legacy Starwood properties. For example, I'm in a Courtyard in rural America tonight since my travels could be Boise, Brussels, or Buenos Aires. I received one of their two suites along with a nice handwritten card from the hotel GM, a bag of snacks from the market, and a couple of drink coupons. This highlights that for a regular traveler who doesn't have time to call an Ambassador to plan out my stays next week at a Marriott, Renaissance, and Westin, an engaged GM has far more value than the Ambassador.

Not that I wouldn't appreciate a bottle of wine and a suite at all those places so I'm hopeful that after August 1, bottles of wine will start appearing in my room on every stay!

bhrubin May 18, 18 2:35 am


Originally Posted by C17PSGR (Post 29767019)
I agree my status as a "charter" -- I've never heard of a trial -- ambassador on the Marriott side doesn't carry over to SPG. So, my experience on the SPG side is as a "mere" Platinum.

Just making sure we all are on the same page. I think the distinction is important.


Of course, you've acknowledged you don't know whether the SPG desk can tell whether a guest is an SPG Plat, a Plat75, or Plat100 with Ambassador. So, as a "mere" Platinum, I only expect the published benefits.
For SPG, there is no published difference in suite upgrade priority preference between Plat50 or Plat75. The only differences published have nothing to do with the experience at any hotel. As a result, there is no reason that hotel staff should know one is Plat50 or Plat75. Your codes may be important and/or make a difference for you in the Marriott universe, but they are wholly irrelevant in the Starwood universe. Platinums are Platinums....except for the Ambassador Platinums.

There actually is no published difference in suite upgrade priority preference for Plat100s, either. Whether or not the hotel staff overall knows who we are from any codes—I cannot say. However, there is no question that for whatever reasons, whether I know them or not, my hotels almost always know I am a VIP guest. Our Ambassadors contacting the hotel teams on our behalf—therefore indicating our status—likely tends to make a big difference. In the Marriott universe, perhaps a new code will also accomplish that feat. And our Ambassadors contacting the hotels on our behalf will serve to reinforce those codes.

In the Marriott business-centered universe, the front desk experience seems to be of serious import to you—because perhaps you focus only on suite and room upgrades and welcome amenities. In the Starwood universe, the front desk is but one of many that are important—since being Platinum should also mean you get better treatment and service, and being Ambassador level should also mean that you’re accorded VIP status. In the Starwood universe, the daily management meeting with relevant staff to highlight the VIP guests (including Ambassador guests) should more than accomplish that same goal but with all relevant departments: valets and parking, front desk, bell service, housekeeping, food/beverage, spa, butlers, etc. That is why I not only get upgraded so much more often but also why I receive such fabulous service all-around as a hotel guest.


But ... after 14 SPG stays in 2018 ... in SPG properties ranging from the LC Park in Buenos Aires to the Westin in Nashville, (one of my SPG stays are at Elements or non-full service SPG properties) I've had two suite upgrades. That hardly meets the published benefits of the SPG Platinum program...
Actually, that very well may meet the published benefits for SPG Platinum! You are guaranteed an upgrade to a standard suite based on availability. If no standard suites are available for the duration of your stays, then you don’t suddenly get them! If there aren’t many standard suites (usually only junior suites and entry level suite categories as the hotel defines them) or if the standard suites already are all booked, you don’t get the upgrade. It’s a guaranteed benefit based on availability only.

We have no idea how many standard suites were available for your stays. It seems like not many.

The Westin Nashville has a total of 456 rooms, only 18 of which are suites. It stands to reason that not all 18 suites are qualified as standard suites. Your chances are minimal with such odds.

The W Scottsdale has a total of 230 rooms, only 33 of which are suites. There are 10 studio suites and 6 cool corner suites. It’s possible only the 10 studio suites are standard suites. Those aren’t good odds, either.

The Park Tower Buenos Aires has a total of 180 rooms, only 19 of which are suites. There are 16 corner suite rooms, so even assuming all of those are standard suites, the odds aren’t wonderful.

I am now at the St Regis Osaka with only 160 rooms, only 12 of which are suites. That’s very low for a St. Regis. Only 5 of those suite are the lowest category Grand Deluxe Suites. I therefore am not very surprised at all that my SNAs and my complimentary Platinum upgrade—even with my Ambassador status—didn’t get me a suite upgrade. Common sense told me the numbers weren’t in my favor. I’m disappointed but not at all surprised. Starwood didn’t fail me. My Ambassador status and even regular Platinum status didn’t fail me. But that darn developer did! :D

As I’ve said repeatedly, there are a ridiculous number of Platinum member complaints about not getting suite upgrades at hotels that don’t have many standard suites and/or at high occupancy/holiday periods and/or high Platinum occupancy hotels—with no recognition for the basic math and odds involved.


but I readily acknowledge its not representative of the SPG Ambassador experience. All of the SPG properties i have stayed at have suites and room service.
Even my Ambassador status can’t change the basic math and odds—or change when I’m at a hotel at high occupancy where all the suites are sold!

Not sure what room service has to do with anything, but I do love room service!

[quote]As for the others, I don't believe there is anyone else who reports the quality of experience you report and in my experience, the group on here and on the SPG board are a group of quality travelers who don't just come here to complain. This isn't TripAdvisor. Most report they use their Ambassador on a couple of occasions a year and get help. [quote]

I acknowledge that there are less effective and even some bad Ambassadors. Those Ambassadors who don’t respond to requests should be replaced. Those guests who are dissatisfied with their Ambassadors should ask for new ones. But those guests who have bad Ambassadors and yet never complain to the Ambassador service or ask for a new Ambassador are being passive-aggressive and enabling if they merely complain on a blog.


On the temperature piece and this trip, did you contact your ambassador in connection with this trip and ask him/her to make sure that all your hotel rooms had the temperature pre-set before your arrival? Is your Ambassador calling for 100 nights a year to different properties?
i did ask my Ambassador to reconfirm the air con settings at these Japan hotels. I don’t ask that for all hotels, nor do I know if my Ambassador does so or not. My SPG profile clearly indicates that my preference is for 67 F for any SPG hotel that bothers to check. Those that don’t bother to check or are incapable of such air con suffer the consequences!


And as for the Platinum Premier Ambassador experience on the Marriott, my experience is that if I make requests to my ambassador she handles it but I don't know what to request other than some occasional assistance with getting names added properties to the reservation or paying in advance. I'm fairly confident she's not contacting properties in advance. On the other hand, my upgrade rate with 42 nights in legacy Marriott is far better than in legacy Starwood properties. For example, I'm in a Courtyard in rural America tonight since my travels could be Boise, Brussels, or Buenos Aires. I received one of their two suites along with a nice handwritten card from the hotel GM, a bag of snacks from the market, and a couple of drink coupons. This highlights that for a regular traveler who doesn't have time to call an Ambassador to plan out my stays next week at a Marriott, Renaissance, and Westin, an engaged GM has far more value than the Ambassador.
Sorry—but I believe you are drawing false comparisons and therefore suffering false equivalency. If you stay at a rural Courtyard that has you as the only Plat or Ambassador or VIP guest, it surprises no one that you get one of its few suites. Rural America doesn’t get many VIPs. An urban hotel does get more. An urban St Regis gets more than that!

EuropeanPete May 18, 18 2:38 am

Apart from specific help, it is often difficult to separate hotels that simply provide good Platinum treatment from those making an effort for Ambassador guests specifically.

24 hours ago I was in a $200 a night Renaissance in Heathrow in a normal sized room conveniently located for the Executive Club, but which didn't even have bottled water. Right now I'm in a 4,000 points Four Points in Beirut (part-night stay only) upgraded from a base room to a giant Executive Suite with two large plates full of Middle Eastern treats and a bowl of fruit. There are clearly different brand standards, different geographies and the differences between Marriott Rewards and SPG at play here, but it's not impossible that my MR Platinum vs. Starwood Ambassador status could have had an impact (I suspect it never hurts when your Ambassador reaches out to a property to organize something with them).

kaizen7 May 18, 18 6:56 am

8 stays and 0/8 suite upgrade for me as SPG PLT
Although I have to say I receive upgrade on all the stays


The best upgrade I got is at The Athenee Bangkok. from cheapest to royal club room (just below suite)

Still have 6-7 more stays this year. hope the suite upgrade rate is improving :D

I believe the upgrade benefit is really based on alot of things.

Management policy, hotel occupancy (it seems like St Regis Singapore is always have some sort of event going on hence only 1 or even none upgrades available for SPG PLT.) and also FD staff
Some FD staff readily upgrade members, and some just assign whatever the room assigned to the members at check in.

C17PSGR May 18, 18 8:23 pm


Originally Posted by bhrubin (Post 29767401)

In the Marriott business-centered universe, the front desk experience seems to be of serious import to you—because perhaps you focus only on suite and room upgrades and welcome amenities. In the Starwood universe, the front desk is but one of many that are important—since being Platinum should also mean you get better treatment and service, and being Ambassador level should also mean that you’re accorded VIP status. In the Starwood universe, the daily management meeting with relevant staff to highlight the VIP guests (including Ambassador guests) should more than accomplish that same goal but with all relevant departments: valets and parking, front desk, bell service, housekeeping, food/beverage, spa, butlers, etc. That is why I not only get upgraded so much more often but also why I receive such fabulous service all-around as a hotel guest.



Actually, that very well may meet the published benefits for SPG Platinum! You are guaranteed an upgrade to a standard suite based on availability. If no standard suites are available for the duration of your stays, then you don’t suddenly get them! If there aren’t many standard suites (usually only junior suites and entry level suite categories as the hotel defines them) or if the standard suites already are all booked, you don’t get the upgrade. It’s a guaranteed benefit based on availability only.


As for the others, I don't believe there is anyone else who reports the quality of experience you report and in my experience, the group on here and on the SPG board are a group of quality travelers who don't just come here to complain. This isn't TripAdvisor. Most report they use their Ambassador on a couple of occasions a year and get help.
I acknowledge that there are less effective and even some bad Ambassadors. Those Ambassadors who don’t respond to requests should be replaced. Those guests who are dissatisfied with their Ambassadors should ask for new ones. But those guests who have bad Ambassadors and yet never complain to the Ambassador service or ask for a new Ambassador are being passive-aggressive and enabling if they merely complain on a blog.



i did ask my Ambassador to reconfirm the air con settings at these Japan hotels. I don’t ask that for all hotels, nor do I know if my Ambassador does so or not. My SPG profile clearly indicates that my preference is for 67 F for any SPG hotel that bothers to check. Those that don’t bother to check or are incapable of such air con suffer the consequences!




You make some valid points. I can't expect upgrades that don't exist but I can read occupancy from rates and the vibe since I'm checking in 100 times a year. Certainly, a lot of business hotels don't have suites to upgrade to but the W Scottsdale routinely ignores program benefits and at least a couple of other legacy SPG hotels had rather obvious suites and other upgrades available. In the Marriott world, upgrades are not limited to "standard suites" -- and no one calls a corner room a suite.

Certainly, I focus on the front desk experience in connection with elite recognition but its not, from my view, because of a business centric view. I expect a hotel to recognize those who stay 100 nights a year before those occasional guests (and certainly before the W cooler crowd).

On the other hand, when it comes to "valets and parking, front desk, bell service, housekeeping, food/beverage, spa, butlers, etc.," I confess I don't expect any special treatment. I would hope that those are all of uniform quality and that all guests get treated well with that.

I'm not claiming that my Ambassador doesn't meet my requests. But it seems to me that you're experiences are mostly a function of your requests, not your ambassador reaching out proactively to the hotel to automatically make requests.


Originally Posted by EuropeanPete (Post 29767408)
Apart from specific help, it is often difficult to separate hotels that simply provide good Platinum treatment from those making an effort for Ambassador guests specifically..

Which is my point ... I don't believe my Ambassador is contacting hotels every time I stay. As I recall from your earlier post, you've asked the ambassador for help a couple of times over the year and received it. So, while I'm happy to have an ambassador, I'm still at a loss to know what I should be asking for other than adding a guest checking in first, asking for help with an upgrade, asking for help wither a rewards reservation if I needed it, or asking for a surprise in advance.

Otherwise, I'm perfectly comfortable carrying a backpack and taking the subway in a foreign city to the RC or a LC of a JW. I just want the front desk to give me the best room they have available and to have done some planning. While I've spent hundreds of days in my life sleeping outdoors, when you spend 100 days a year in hotels, I expect the best room they have and room to spread out in with a nice view. American Airlines provides published benefits 99.9 percent of the time, legacy Marriott properties provide it 80 percent of the time, legacy SPG properties are 50/50 and often involve Front Desk staff who are following instructions in lieu of program rules, and Hertz only around 25 percent of the time because of poorly trained staff. And, I mainly dropped Hertz in favor or public transit and/or Uber because they don't follow program rules.

bhrubin May 18, 18 11:42 pm

@C17PSGR, it just may be that you won’t enjoy the extra benefits an Ambassador can bring. I think you’re wrong, and (1) that you’re being sold a bill of goods by bitter and envious people who don’t know any better and (2) because you’ve not enjoyed the VIP perks that often can be afforded Ambassador guests. But you have to decide for yourself, of course.

For those of us who stay more often at nicer hotels, and spend more at hotels, in general, I think Ambassador status gets a ton of added value for us. Especially at 4 and 5 star hotels.

Cheers!

UA-NYC May 19, 18 5:43 am


Originally Posted by C17PSGR (Post 29770235)
In the Marriott world, upgrades are not limited to "standard suites" -- and no one calls a corner room a suite.

Don't confuse the upgrade floor with the upgrade ceiling - I'm guessing most loyal SPGers (like myself) have gotten the Wow suite, a Presidential suite, etc. at some point along the way. Properties can and do go above and beyond.

FWIW I can't remember the last time (or any time) a "corner room" was described to me as a suite. I actually had one of those at the Sheraton Grand in London, it was just described as a large room, and was actually more like a Junior suite. Also in the SPG world no one calls the "concierge/club floor" an upgrade either, when one already has lounge access.


I expect the best room they have and room to spread out in with a nice view. American Airlines provides published benefits 99.9 percent of the time, legacy Marriott properties provide it 80 percent of the time, legacy SPG properties are 50/50 and often involve Front Desk staff who are following instructions in lieu of program rules, and Hertz only around 25 percent of the time because of poorly trained staff.
800 nights and I can't remember the last time a SPG property didn't follow the rules, as you say. Correction, I remember seeing suites available at the LM Charlotte 4 years ago and I wasn't booked into one. So one time.

OTOH if picking up the phone in a timely manner when I call, or sending an e-mail booking of a reservation is part of the "program rules", Marriott is failing heavily for me so far. YMMV.

damon88 May 19, 18 10:36 am


Originally Posted by UA-NYC (Post 29765959)
Which W? I enjoyed a nice 2 room suite at the W ATL Midtown a week ago and another 2 room suite at the W ATL Buckhead the week before that. Quite typical IME. Heavily discounted corporate rates.


This month the W Verbier upgraded us to a huge suite with a large panoramic view deck on an Award Stay. And I’m only P75 (though I will hit 100 in a few weeks)

bhrubin May 19, 18 5:26 pm

We are 2 nights into our 3 night stay at the StR Osaka, where we got only a room category upgrade from our booked Grand Deluxe Room to a Skyline Grand Delxue Room. Of course, the hotel is sold out, so no surprise.

Yet everyone in the hotel knows knows us by name—and face! And we’ve been treated like gold at every turn.

Even in the elevator on our first night, the La Veduta restaurant chef recognized me and introduced himself, indicating he looked forward to our dining with him tonight. Holy cow—that’s some incredibly good service and recognition. Makes us actually look forward to an Italian dinner for our final night in Japan a lot more than we’d anticipated.

At the bar later that first night, both the bar manager and food/beverage director recognized me and introduced themselves. And the chef came over from the adjoining restaurant to say hello again. They all wanted to know more about us, how our day was going, if we needed anything more from the hotel or any suggestions for future days or visits, etc.

in the Rue D’Or breakfast restaurant yesterday morning, the restaurant manager recognized us and introduced himself, too. Made sure we had everything we needed in an otherwise very crowded restaurant space.

Even the valets and bell staff have recognized us every time we’ve arrived and departed from the hotel. Even when we first arrived.

That’s recognition and service you’d expect more from an Aman or a very small and quite impressive boutique luxury hotel. We’ve collected enough business cards here in Japan to staff a mid-sized company, I think!

This level of service may not appeal to everyone, but then not everyone stays often at luxury hotels. For those of us who stay at Aman, St Regis, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Peninsula, Mandarin Oriental, Oetker, Dorchester, etc types of luxury hotels, we know this is extremely impressive service and recognition. We also know that this VIP level of recognition extends to better service and excellent treatment in every other area of a hotel stay—especially when something goes awry.


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