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Marriott Bonvoy ‘Ambassador Elite’ Level : Ambassador experiences [Master Thread]

Marriott Bonvoy ‘Ambassador Elite’ Level : Ambassador experiences [Master Thread]

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Old Jul 12, 18, 11:14 am
  #301  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
I'm not sure I'd describe myself as pursuing or not pursuing Ambassador status (which I have). I'll hit 100 actual nights in late August or early September (these are actual nights, not credit for meetings or multiple rooms) and will easily meet the spend requirement. None of this is from pursuing or not pursuing ... just the ordinary course of work and fun travel. So I'll certainly continue to have an Ambassador.
I hope you will find the new Loyalty Program Ambassador status and service as rewarding and impressive as I do within SPG. I also hope that the new Loyalty Program basically mimics that which we already get with SPG!
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Old Jul 12, 18, 1:23 pm
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I do hope that Marriott is able to evolve and will adopt Starwood’s longstanding culture of rewarding Elite members.

Ostensibly, the loyalty program was a prime motivator in the acquisition. I do not have enough experience at Marriott yet to make a valid judgment (and the experiences I have had have been as matched Platinum- the true tests will come after the programs combine and I am a Marriott LTPP with Ambassador) but so far no Marriott I have stayed at has come near to the Platinum recognition I am accustomed to at SPG hotels.


I know one can’t draw conclusions about a brand from a single example- but I thought it was interesting that Mystique (SPG) automatically waived the charge to heat our pool next October and Domes of Elounda (Marriott) insists on a charge of $117 per day, even in a Villa.


I do believe there is a culture at Starwood that has not been a part of Marriott yet. I do take hope from comments Marriott execs have made. “CEO Arne Sorenson said his company interested in Starwood Hotels in part "because of the strength" of its loyalty program” Sorensen:
“We want [SPG members] to care intensely about the program, because that shows the value of the program to us.” Marriott has said they want to integrate the “best of Starwood” and there is little question that since the deal for Marriott to acquire Starwood was made official, Marriott has been working hard to add benefits similar to what Starwood has offered – 4 p.m. Platinum checkout, experiential rewards similar to SPG Moments, and an Ambassador program.

Again- only time will tell.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 1:37 pm
  #303  
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Originally Posted by damon88 View Post
I do hope that Marriott is able to evolve and will adopt Starwood’s longstanding culture of rewarding Elite members.

Ostensibly, the loyalty program was a prime motivator in the acquisition. I do not have enough experience at Marriott yet to make a valid judgment (and the experiences I have had have been as matched Platinum- the true tests will come after the programs combine and I am a Marriott LTPP with Ambassador) but so far no Marriott I have stayed at has come near to the Platinum recognition I am accustomed to at SPG hotels.

I do believe there is a culture at Starwood that has not been a part of Marriott yet. I do take hope from comments Marriott execs have made. “CEO Arne Sorenson said his company interested in Starwood Hotels in part "because of the strength" of its loyalty program” Sorensen:
“We want [SPG members] to care intensely about the program, because that shows the value of the program to us.” Marriott has said they want to integrate the “best of Starwood” and there is little question that since the deal for Marriott to acquire Starwood was made official, Marriott has been working hard to add benefits similar to what Starwood has offered – 4 p.m. Platinum checkout, experiential rewards similar to SPG Moments, and an Ambassador program.

Again- only time will tell.
This.

^^^^^

I know one can’t draw conclusions about a brand from a single example- but I thought it was interesting that Mystique (SPG) automatically waived the charge to heat our pool next October and Domes of Elounda (Marriott) insists on a charge of $117 per day, even in a Villa.
It's more than interesting; it's reflective of the difference between a proper luxury hotel and its recognition of elite status, and a pretender to luxury and its failure with recognition of such status.

I'd escalate to your Ambassador once the new Loyalty Program kicks in and the Domes officially begins consideration of Ambassador service. If that doesn't work, I'd either escalate further to senior Marriott leadership or switch to the Blue Palace. I never want to reward such poor service or bad behavior pre-arrival.
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Old Jul 13, 18, 12:25 am
  #304  
 
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Old Jul 13, 18, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
This.

I'd escalate to your Ambassador once ... the Domes officially begins consideration of Ambassador service.
Actually, the Domes already is part of the Marriott Ambassador program. Just as my Marriott Ambassador can't assist with SPG properties, those who have SPG Ambassadors can't use them for assistance with Marriott properties. While I understand at least one poster doesn't like the Marriott Ambassador program despite the lack of any knowledge or involvement in the program, I'm confident my Marriott Ambassador would help with this type of issue. Of course, LC and Autograph hotels have looser affiliations with SPG and Marriott than franchised properties so its hard to know what they will do regarding issues that are not defined by the program rules.

On a related note ... what time of the year are you planning your visit to the Domes ... curious about whether the pools need heating in summer as I have an upcoming visit?

Also, on a unrelated note, in speaking with my Ambassador today on tweaking a reservation, they've been informed that official rules are still pending but that they understand normal qualifying spend will be used for the $20,000 spend requirement. In other words, my bar, food, and spa bill should count which is what I assumed. I didn't ask about meetings or spend from multiple rooms since that's not my issue.
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Old Jul 13, 18, 12:24 pm
  #306  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Of course, LC and Autograph hotels have looser affiliations with SPG and Marriott than franchised properties so its hard to know what they will do regarding issues that are not defined by the program rules.
I think your Marriott--based expectation and experience with Autograph Collection is quite different from our SPG-based expectation and experience with Luxury Collection and Tribute Portfolio. Those soft brands are still expected to adhere to program rules in the same way as the other regular brands like St Regis, W, Sheraton, Marriott, JW Marriott, etc. (It's just that Marriott specified different program rules for Ritz-Carlton and Edition than the rest of the Marriott portfolio in a similar way that SPG only did so for the Design Hotels.)

Luxury Collection hotels adhere in the same way to SPG rules and parameters (and elite recognition) as all other SPG brands--except for Design Hotels.

I think Marriott didn't enforce its rules and parameters on its soft brand properties in Autograph in the same way that SPG did with its soft brand properties in Luxury Collection (and Tribute Portfolio). Let's also be clear that Autograph is more closely aligned with Tribute Portfolio, in that the soft branding is for the upper upscale segment, not luxury; Luxury Collection has no perfect luxury Marriott counterpart in that its soft branding is for the luxury segment. But they all are soft brands. (Design is the only (soft) brand in SPG that was never fully part of the SPG rules and parameters.)

That's why Autograph properties like the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas and Domes Crete don't always recognize or offer better treatment for Marriott elites in the same way as at mainline Marriott brands like JW Marriott, Marriott, Renaissance, etc.

That doesn't happen in the SPG universe with Luxury Collection--all Luxury Collection hotels are expected to recognize and offer better treatment for SPG elites in the same way as might happen at any St Regis, W, Le Meridien, Westin, etc. SPG has far more consistent elite recognition across all its brands. Design Hotels was the sole exception as a soft brand added late and without full integration into SPG.

That's why a current "Marriott Ambassador" in the current Marriott Rewards program has less chance to impact this Domes private pool heating issue than a current SPG Ambassador in the current SPG program. That may change for your current Marriott Ambassadors once the parameters of the new Loyalty Program begin. You again are creating a false equivalency between the current Marriott Ambassador program (which is nothing more than a trial run intended to help Marriott copy the SPG version) and the current SPG Ambassador program (which has been running for 5 years and is far more reliably beneficial).

Last edited by bhrubin; Jul 13, 18 at 12:31 pm
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Old Jul 13, 18, 12:46 pm
  #307  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Also, on a unrelated note, in speaking with my Ambassador today on tweaking a reservation, they've been informed that official rules are still pending but that they understand normal qualifying spend will be used for the $20,000 spend requirement. In other words, my bar, food, and spa bill should count which is what I assumed. I didn't ask about meetings or spend from multiple rooms since that's not my issue.
I've heard the same thing. No word yet officially on groups/meetings.

I assume that spend on up to 3 rooms will qualify since the points (but not elite credit) also can be earned under current and new Marriott Loyalty Program rules. I don't know how spend will qualify for groups/meetings.

It will be what it will be. We'll know soon enough!
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Old Jul 13, 18, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
I think Marriott didn't enforce its rules and parameters on its soft brand properties in Autograph in the same way that SPG did with its soft brand properties in Luxury Collection (and Tribute Portfolio). .
While I agree the pool heating issue seems petty from the hotel, I don't think its a rule or parameter in either program for pools to be heated.

I also agree most Autograph properties wouldn't map to LC properties but can't speak as to the Domes, although it seems like it might.

And the couple of Tribute portfolio properties I have stayed seem to be more aligned with Fairfield Inn level ...certainly not any of the Autograph properties, some of which are very nice (Grand Bohemian Orlando/Historic Davenport Spokane/Mayflower DC/Hotel Palacio Del Retiro Madrid) and some of which are OK (Lexington New York). But every Autograph property I've stayed at has upgraded me to a suite during at least one stay and provided with all program benefits.

Last edited by C17PSGR; Jul 13, 18 at 1:14 pm
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Old Jul 13, 18, 2:37 pm
  #309  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
And the couple of Tribute portfolio properties I have stayed seem to be more aligned with Fairfield Inn level ...certainly not any of the Autograph properties
Care to name names? Or is this like another case of all those endless Ws and Westins out there that all classify their corner rooms as suites.

Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Just as my Marriott Ambassador can't assist with SPG properties, those who have SPG Ambassadors can't use them for assistance with Marriott properties.
Note: not factually correct
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Old Jul 13, 18, 4:25 pm
  #310  
 
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post

Note: not factually correct
Can a Marriott Ambassador help with an SPG property or vice versa? Happy to be corrected on that.

Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post

I'd escalate to your Ambassador once the new Loyalty Program kicks in and the Domes officially begins consideration of Ambassador service.
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Old Jul 13, 18, 4:47 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Can a Marriott Ambassador help with an SPG property or vice versa? Happy to be corrected on that.
There is no formal publicized status in the current Marriott program that includes an Ambassador, nor anyone in the current Marriott program that already has qualifed for the New Loyalty program's Ambassador status until that Loyalty Program begins--sometime in August. That isn't true on the SPG side, as any current SPG Ambassador elite obviously already has that status and will continue to enjoy the equivalent status as a Marriott Plat Premier with Ambassador once the new Loyalty Program begins sometime in August.

You continue to compare your unofficial current "ambassador" iteration as somehow equivalent to that of our SPG Ambassadors--or the Ambassadors that are coming with actual power and responsibilities in the New Loyalty Program. They are not equivalent, despite your repeated claims to the contrary. They can't be equivalent because your "trial ambassador" operates still under the current Marriott Rewards program while our SPG Ambassador operates under the SPG program that is pretty much being mimicked entirely by the new Loyalty Program parameters!

As a result, I have had assistance from my SPG Ambassador with prior and future Marriott bookings already. There are reports of other some SPG Ambassador guests having similar experiences. That's only possible because our current SPG Ambassadors will be the equivalently empowered, already organized Ambassadors as in the upcoming New Loyalty Program. There is no such equivalent now in the current Marriott program despite there being "trial Ambassadors" for people like you.

UA-NYC suggests this is not factually correct.
Actually, he doesn't. But @UA-NYC is probably still waiting for you to identify "the couple of Tribute Portfolio properties" that you oddly characterized as being "more aligned with Fairfield Inn level... " I know am also very curious as to what those might be?

Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
And the couple of Tribute portfolio properties I have stayed seem to be more aligned with Fairfield Inn level ...certainly not any of the Autograph properties...
Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Care to name names? Or is this like another case of all those endless Ws and Westins out there that all classify their corner rooms as suites.
FWIW, in case you missed it, BOTH the SPG Tribute Portfolio soft brand and Marriott's Autograph Collection soft brand are considered upper upscale brands in the Premium category. Fairfield isn't even close and is a mere "Select" category brand that isn't even full service!

It's pretty tough to imagine how you can remotely equate them with your aforementioned claim.

Last edited by bhrubin; Jul 13, 18 at 4:53 pm
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Old Jul 13, 18, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
As a result, I have had assistance from my SPG Ambassador with prior and future Marriott bookings already. There are reports of other some SPG Ambassador guests having similar experiences.
Glad to hear that. Wondering why you didn't point that out to the poster with an issue rather than telling him he had to wait.

And ... curious what experience you have with the Marriott Ambassador program that allows you to state what Marriott Ambassadors can or can't do or what benefits are available in the Marriott program presently to those with ambassadors. I confess, I've relied upon your representations and never asked my Marriott Ambassador for assistance with SPG properties.

As for your experiences in the SPG Ambassador program, perhaps they would be more appropriate in the existing thread on the SPG forum:

SPG Ambassador worth it?

I'm not sure most others in the SPG forum have had similar experiences to you but I'm really not qualified to talk about a program I don't participate in.
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Old Jul 13, 18, 5:38 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Glad to hear that. Wondering why you didn't point that out to the poster with an issue rather than telling him he had to wait.
Didn't think it was necessary since it didn't seem like waiting until August for an October stay wasn't a perfectly viable and certain option. I also don't know for sure how widespread my experience and those I mentioned are. I’m sure not all Marriott/RC/Edition properties will respond so favorably to an SPG Ambassador reaching out before the new program. In my cases, I was fortunate...and/or it’s a very positive sign of things to come for you!

And ... curious what experience you have with the Marriott Ambassador program that allows you to state what Marriott Ambassadors can or can't do or what benefits are available in the Marriott program presently to those with ambassadors. I confess, I've relied upon your representations and never asked my Marriott Ambassador for assistance with SPG properties.
There are only a few threads at all mentioning "Ambassador" in the Marriott forum until June 16. You and I have had plenty of exchanges in some of those already. I've been following the threads on "Elite Concierge" started by Marriott since the Starwood acquisition was first rumored in late 2015 and completed in fall 2016.

When will Ambassador benefits kick in for people from the Marriott side? (started June 16, 2018...with 24 replies)

I think I have ambassador status (started June 24, 2018)

Is there something like SPG Ambassador? (How do i get special requests?) (started Sept 28, 2017...with 19 replies)

Booking confirmation... Not Guaranteed: "Ambassador (M0) (started Aug 22, 2017...with 3 replies)

Marriott Ambassador vs Platinum Premier (started Mar 17, 2017...with 11 replies)

Elite concierge services (started May 19, 2016...with 89 replies)

Who Gets an Elite Concierge? (started Dec 16, 2016...with 14 replies)

Then there are your own comments in those threads, along with several others, that detail a particularly unascribed set of benefits that don't seem to make much of the Marriott Ambassador "status" or experience:

Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
And, to answer your question, there is a Marriott Ambassador program and some of us have them (I have a nice metal charter member card too ).

All that being said, I'm not sure whether our Ambassador's work a lot of magic but maybe I'm not asking for the right thing.
Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
I guess that M0 must stand for an Ambassador. I had my Ambassador try to get an advance upgrade at a property (we'll see ... didn't work last time) and my reservation also shows U1 (upgrade requested).

Of course, the problem is that few hotels know what an X4 is (I'm assuming there must be a flag for the GM for an X5) so it seems unlikely they will know what an M0 is. Perhaps there is a flag somewhere???
Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
I'm a charter member as well with 2000+ lifetime nights and 125+ nights per year.

But ... what are the travel issues she constantly fixes? I've only used my ambassador on a couple of occasions to add names to reservations.

What else should I be using her for?
Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Has anyone had any experiences in the past couple of months with their "Elite Concierge." Mine seems to have ghosted and wondering if they've just abandoned the program by pulling back resources.
Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Just looked, I've had around nine suite upgrades this year. I asked for a couple of them but most were given to me without asking. About 1/3 of them were upgraded before I got there and I could see it in my res. Not sure what the magic is although I'm a regular at three of the nine.
Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
And ... if my main travel pattern was to hit very high end hotels with family or friends every six months or so, I would get the concierge/ambassador issue (although it seems the posters references to the properties were handled at the property level).

Mine, however, is two average FS Marriotts and a CY this week. One of those, where I have never stayed at before, has a good reputation and I just saw that I've already been upgraded. The others are satisfied with average. And ... as Vicki says, I'm not looking for a lot -- an upgrade that is precleared, a concierge lounge that exceeds the basics,. etc.
Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
But ... on the topic of my concierge, I'm still not sure what I should expect. I stay 150 nights a year (or more) and most are not dream destinations ... I want the desk to know I'm a Plat Premier rather than a plat, I like suite upgrades when available, I expect hotels to have a lounge with offerings that meet brand standards, and I like getting cards and messages from the GM's. All those things show me that the GM is engaged and the staff is trained so I can feel at home during the next 10-12 hours. When I get to the Seattle Airport Marriott, the JW Miami, the Chicago Renaissance, the JW Chicago, the Marriott Waikiki, the Waikiki Courtyard, the San Diego Marquis, the Budapest Ritz, the Santiago Marriott, and the Atlanta Renaissance, I know the GM's there are engaged. In contrast, several others -- and particularly CY managers are not.

For people like me in the SPG world, what does the Ambassador do that people want? Seems like most of the issues I care about are really GM issues not something I expect from my concierge. Next week, I'm at two FS's and a CY. What should I ask for?
It seems your tune has changed considerably based on those earlier posts when you just had a Marriott unofficial "elite concierge" to miimc the SPG Ambassador and you didn't know how you were supposed to take advantage of that? You apparently didn't think much of your ghosting concierge who then became your "ambassador" that didn't do much.

I've followed what the concierge/Ambassador in the Marriott program can do for quite some time.

Last edited by bhrubin; Jul 13, 18 at 5:56 pm
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Old Jul 13, 18, 6:03 pm
  #314  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Can a Marriott Ambassador help with an SPG property or vice versa? Happy to be corrected on that.
Data point - 18 months ago, booked cheapest room at the Cosmopolitan for 3 nights with points. Special trip, pinged my Ambassador (which I don't do too often). She worked with her Marriott counterparts to upgrade me well in advance (like a month or so) to a 1 bedroom Terrace Suite w/fountain view. That's not a normal Plat upgrade.

Sample of N=1, but I have no reason to think I couldn't ping her again for special requests.

Oh, and the two CYs I stayed at this week (Sherman Oaks and Boston Downtown) are probably on par with Four Points.
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Old Jul 13, 18, 6:45 pm
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Data point - 18 months ago, booked cheapest room at the Cosmopolitan for 3 nights with points. Special trip, pinged my Ambassador (which I don't do too often). She worked with her Marriott counterparts to upgrade me well in advance (like a month or so) to a 1 bedroom Terrace Suite w/fountain view. That's not a normal Plat upgrade.

Sample of N=1, but I have no reason to think I couldn't ping her again for special requests.

Oh, and the two CYs I stayed at this week (Sherman Oaks and Boston Downtown) are probably on par with Four Points.
That's great to know on the Ambassador and sounds like she was really able to help. I don't make many requests of mine but never thought to try across the brands. Of course, at this point the brands are integrated soon.

And ... that makes sense on the CY. I almost stayed at the CY in Sherman Oaks this week ... we might have crossed paths at the Bistro!
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