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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 24, 18, 12:20 pm
  #346  
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Originally Posted by damon88 View Post
My real "test run" of my Ambassador status will be on our October trip to Paris and Greece. We will be celebrating a big anniversary and it will be the first time I ask my Ambassador to reach out in advance to the hotels.
I don't even find a purported suite upgrade at many domestic, run-of-the-mill, cookie cutter properties worth it. The Marriott Livonia, Marriott Troy and Marriott Detroit Airport, all in the Detroit area, come to mind. The Georgetown (not really in Georgetown) Marriott in Washington, D.C., has suites but they also have extra-large king rooms with an alcove that are just as nice. Other times the suites are often closer to the elevator or on lower floors. It's like when Delta gives you a middle seat in comfort-plus (premium economy) and calls it an "upgrade."

Or it's when a hotel makes a big deal about sending you a bottle of wine as an amenity or service recovery only to discover it's a $5 bottle of wine.

My platinum premier status has been helpful just when you'd want it to be helpful. Hopefully, that's the case with ambassador.

I can generally expense food and drinks. I also don't eat sweets. So I don't find much value in a plate of chocolate candy or a bowl of snacks. I'd rather have something different, like a robe with my name on it or a T-shirt with the hotel's name on it.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 3:14 pm
  #347  
 
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Originally Posted by damon88 View Post
We stayed there earlier this month (just missed bhrubin by a few days) and were extremely pleased by our elite recognition (I just made Ambassador a few months ago)

My real "test run" of my Ambassador status will be on our October trip to Paris and Greece. We will be celebrating a big anniversary and it will be the first time I ask my Ambassador to reach out in advance to the hotels.
Sounds like you had an excellent stay at the St.R in SF! Is there anything in particular you are asking for in connection with your stay in Paris or Greece? Curious what requests people are making, apart from the rather obvious ones of upgrades, reservations, etc.

Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Another data point for Ambassador service:

I had several dinners in spring at The Lambs Club in the Chatwal Luxury Collection hotel in NYC and at Clink in the Liberty Luxury Collection hotel in Boston--but the points never properly posted, as is so common with SPG dining when not staying at the hotel. But the dining spend qualifies for points (and bonus) with SPG.

So I simply emailed copies of my credit card invoices to my Ambassador showing the charges. The points (and my concomitant 4x bonus) were posted to my account within a few days. Easy, simple, wonderful. And a lot of points!
The Starwood board had a good thread on this restaurant issue. I emailed a couple of receipts to the address posted in that thread (research at starwood ...) a day ago. My points haven't posted yet but I'll be curious to see whether an email to the regular email address results in quicker or slower posting than through an ambassador. I had my first missing stay in a Marriott this year and just submitted it online although I suppose I could have submitted it to my ambassador. I received an email within 30 minutes confirming that it had been credited it to my account.

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.
I took your approach on an upcoming stay in a country where there are few MR properties and requested assistance from my Marriott ambassador on an SPG stay. She was able to help with the issue but commented that they had limited abilities to deal with SPG stays pending the combined program date. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad to confirm that it works both ways although it won't matter for long!
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Old Jul 25, 18, 11:00 am
  #348  
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
I don't even find a purported suite upgrade at many domestic, run-of-the-mill, cookie cutter properties worth it. The Marriott Livonia, Marriott Troy and Marriott Detroit Airport, all in the Detroit area, come to mind. The Georgetown (not really in Georgetown) Marriott in Washington, D.C., has suites but they also have extra-large king rooms with an alcove that are just as nice. Other times the suites are often closer to the elevator or on lower floors. It's like when Delta gives you a middle seat in comfort-plus (premium economy) and calls it an "upgrade."

Or it's when a hotel makes a big deal about sending you a bottle of wine as an amenity or service recovery only to discover it's a $5 bottle of wine.

My platinum premier status has been helpful just when you'd want it to be helpful. Hopefully, that's the case with ambassador.

I can generally expense food and drinks. I also don't eat sweets. So I don't find much value in a plate of chocolate candy or a bowl of snacks. I'd rather have something different, like a robe with my name on it or a T-shirt with the hotel's name on it.
You make a good point. Upgrades are much more valuable when you are staying at top tier hotels. At this stage in our lives (I think I am one of the older members here) we are fortunate to be staying at higher end properties. Many of our Suite upgrades have been amazing. Recently we've had some great ones- like the Fantastic Suite at W Verbier with an expansive private deck with panoramic views (on a points stay). Suiran in Kyoto upgraded our 8 night point stay to their $3500/night Presidential Suite and the list goes on and on. And we have found that most of our comped wine has been pretty decent. Schloss Fuschl gave us 2 bottles of delicious Ayala Brut Champagne (along with a fresh fruit plate and their signature Torte) President Wilson Geneva gave us a bottle of Perriet Jouet Grand Brut. St Regis SF gave us Napa Mumm. (I think the word is out that we like bubbly
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Old Jul 25, 18, 7:06 pm
  #349  
 
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Originally Posted by bdschobel View Post
Good grief. Could we PLEASE abstain from mind-reading? Let’s not tell other people what THEY are thinking. Let’s not attempt to infer attitudes that may or may not be real. It’s fine to express your own experiences and views, but getting into other people’s heads is just not helpful. It leads to unnecessary conflict almost every time.

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I personally would like to thank op for sharing his experiences. I may not be in his level of spending yet, but do appreciate him sharing his positive experiences with the ambassador program.

I was wondering how to get credit for group stay when MR only gives stay credits for only 1 room?
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Old Jul 25, 18, 7:35 pm
  #350  
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Originally Posted by SC Alum View Post
I personally would like to thank op for sharing his experiences. I may not be in his level of spending yet, but do appreciate him sharing his positive experiences with the ambassador program.

I was wondering how to get credit for group stay when MR only gives stay credits for only 1 room?
Thanks! I spend so much partly because I buy so many hotel rooms for my business and partly because I like to stay in top tier hotels--and tend to enjoy myself and spend a lot during my stays--for leisure.

From what I read elsewhere, it seems like the new Loyalty Program may award 10 elite nights for the first meeting/group, and then only 1 night for every 20 group rooms consumed--which is not dissimilar to what SPG Pro did for meeting rewards towards status.

We will have to wait until Aug 18 or thereafter when the new Loyalty Program terms are released to know for sure.
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Old Jul 26, 18, 3:16 am
  #351  
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Originally Posted by SHLTP View Post
I truly believe his experience of over the top service and upgrades is because he is a big spender and individual properties went above and beyond after he was flagged as a big spender more than Ambassador status. I think it is also because he is SPG Pro. My ambassadors were all generally useless and the program has massive issues. I won't rehash them here as that is written in threads on the SPG side.
i'm a little late to this thread but i agree with you completely.....i'm sure the ambassador helps in some ways but the likelihood of the op being a big spender has a lot more to do with his good experiences than having an ambassador....

i was one of the first members to be invited to the ambassador program in 2011....i was barely spending 50 nights a year in spg properties at that time but i was a big spender....perhaps this was the reason i was invited in the first place....i had an ambassador for 6 years but i only enjoyed the program for the first couple of years because i had a great ambassador & the service worked a lot better because there were just a handful of us in the program....she was the main reason i ended up moving the majority of my stays to spg & spent well over a 100 nights a year....once the program had a published criteria & more people started becoming eligible for it, i feel the service level went down & properties stopped listening to ambassador requests....from 2013 - 2018 i had 5 different ambassadors & none of them were good enough for me to go out of my way to achieve ambassador service....i was often given incorrect information, there were delays in response & simple requests were often ignored....sometimes the ambassadors came through & i had a few good experiences but they were few & far between....

in 2017 i ended the year a few nights short of 100 nights....i could have gotten there if i went out of my way but i didn't feel like i was going to miss out on much if i lost my ambassador....i've been without one for about 6 months now & quite frankly i don't feel the difference....this year so far i'm at 60 nights with spg & 80 with marriott....my travel for the rest of the year will be on the slower side & i won't have more than another 40-45 nights....so i'll end the year with about 180 nights, 25 of which are through the spg /marriott credit cards & another 25 will be award nights....that will leave me with about 130 paid nights with an average of about $125 a night & therefore well below $20k spend requirement....i could always increase my spend to get to $20k but i feel that would be a waste of money given the lackluster experience i have had with the ambassador service over the last few years....

to add to the big spender theory....my father in law is one of the leading lawyers in the country & has a considerable amount of work travel per year....he typically prefers to stay at high end properties that aren't part of any big chains....over the last few years i've been working on a lot of cases with him & have been trying to move him towards spg....thanks to me he now ends up spending 30-40 nights a year at spg properties, mostly when i am traveling with him for work....his typical spend is well over $2k a night & as a lowly gold he always got treated far better than i did as a platinum 100 guest....it all has to do with spend....
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Old Jul 26, 18, 3:34 am
  #352  
 
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
I book lots of groups into hotels as part of my business. I can book 20-25 rooms every night. The spending adds up fast, understandably. I was away for 7 of the last 9 weeks for my business, mostly with groups. Even for some weeks when I wasn’t away, I still had groups booked for weeks at a time.

It was because of the amazing benefits that SPG offers that I chose to always put my groups in SPG hotels as much as possible. When there wasn’t an SPG option, I’d use Hilton or Marriott. Once Marriott acquired Starwood, I basically always chose SPG or Marriott.

Please understand that regardless of my groups, my personal BIB 53 nights already has surpassed $20K.
Where you migrated from SPG Ambassador directly to Platinum Premier?
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Old Jul 26, 18, 6:14 am
  #353  
 
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Originally Posted by SC Alum View Post
I was wondering how to get credit for group stay when MR only gives stay credits for only 1 room?
You need to book at least 10 rooms for 1 night to do a group contract through the sales department. If you do, you can book it as a "Rewarding Event" and earn 10 elite nights for the contract plus 3 points per dollar spent on all rooms, regardless of length of stay.

It is unclear whether the 10 nights credit will be repeatable more than once per year in the new program, but it will definitely be good at least once. Even if it is not, you will also earn 1 elite night credit for each 20 room nights booked as a Rewarding Event. In other words, a 2 night stay for 10 rooms nets you an additional elite night. A 2 night stay for 20 rooms nets you 2 additional elite nights.

It is possible to double dip and earn elite nights and points for the group contract AND for your own stay within the block. To do this, you need to tell your salesperson that guests in the block will pay for their own rooms and request a link or booking code to allow them to book into the block. You then use this link to book into your own block.

Last edited by lexdevil; Jul 26, 18 at 8:59 am
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Old Jul 26, 18, 7:40 am
  #354  
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Originally Posted by lexdevil View Post
You need to book at least 10 rooms for 1 night to do a group contract through the sales department. If you do, you can book it as a "Rewarding Event" and earn 10 elite nights for the contract, regardless of length of stay.
you don't need to book any rooms in order to get the 10 nights elite credit as per the thread below:

Platinum Status in Eight Days and $800 - No Stays Required

but after august it seems like the first booking will get the 10 nights credit & then will be limited to 1 night credit for every 20 nights booked....
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Old Jul 26, 18, 7:53 am
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Originally Posted by Keyser View Post
you don't need to book any rooms in order to get the 10 nights elite credit as per the thread below:

Platinum Status in Eight Days and $800 - No Stays Required

but after august it seems like the first booking will get the 10 nights credit & then will be limited to 1 night credit for every 20 nights booked....
Thanks for the clarification. Yes, you can, at least for now, get 10 nights credit for booking a meeting room.

I was answering the "how to get credit for group stay when MR only gives stay credits for only 1 room" question, which is not the same as "how can I get elite nights credit for booking a meeting room" question.

If one wants elite nights credit for multiple rooms, one must book at least 10 rooms for one night. If one is simply looking to pile up elite nights at little cost and without a stay, one can (at least for now) also book a meeting room.
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Old Jul 26, 18, 8:20 am
  #356  
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Originally Posted by lexdevil View Post
Thanks for the clarification. Yes, you can, at least for now, get 10 nights credit for booking a meeting room.

I was answering the "how to get credit for group stay when MR only gives stay credits for only 1 room" question, which is not the same as "how can I get elite nights credit for booking a meeting room" question.

If one wants elite nights credit for multiple rooms, one must book at least 10 rooms for one night. If one is simply looking to pile up elite nights at little cost and without a stay, one can (at least for now) also book a meeting room.
i wasn't referring to your comment on how to get credit for group stays, i was referring to the fact that you don't have to book 10 rooms in order to get night credit for 10 nights....that can simply be done by booking a meeting room (for now)....

you are right that as far as points earning is concerned you need to book 10+ rooms for at least a night each in order to get points for all those rooms....
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Old Jul 26, 18, 9:04 am
  #357  
 
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Originally Posted by Keyser View Post
i wasn't referring to your comment on how to get credit for group stays, i was referring to the fact that you don't have to book 10 rooms in order to get night credit for 10 nights....that can simply be done by booking a meeting room (for now)....

you are right that as far as points earning is concerned you need to book 10+ rooms for at least a night each in order to get points for all those rooms....
And if you don't book a meeting room, you should still get the 10 nights elite credit if you have a Rewarding Events contract for 10 or more rooms in a night. You don't need a meeting room to get the 10 nights, you need a contract. If you are already booking the rooms, there is no need to add a meeting room. You can have a Rewarding Events contract with a meeting room OR 10 rooms for one or more nights. The meeting room trick is mostly useful for folks who don't book groups and are trying to pile up elite nights on the cheap.
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Old Jul 26, 18, 9:09 am
  #358  
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Originally Posted by lexdevil View Post
And if you don't book a meeting room, you should still get the 10 nights elite credit if you have a Rewarding Events contract for 10 or more rooms in a night. You don't need a meeting room to get the 10 nights, you need a contract. If you are already booking the rooms, there is no need to add a meeting room. You can have a Rewarding Events contract with a meeting room OR 10 rooms for one or more nights. The meeting room trick is mostly useful for folks who don't book groups and are trying to pile up elite nights on the cheap.
my point is that you don't have to book 10 rooms in order to get elite night credit for 10 nights....that's all....i'm in agreement with pretty much everything else in your post....
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Old Jul 26, 18, 9:49 am
  #359  
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Originally Posted by flying_fozzy View Post
Where you migrated from SPG Ambassador directly to Platinum Premier?
Currently, any SPG Plat100 Ambassador is only a regular Marriott Rewards Platinum—not Platinum Premier. That includes me.

Just like any current Marriott Rewards Platinum Premier is only a regular SPG Platinum (25 stays).

That changes on August 18 with the new Loyalty Program, of course.

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Old Jul 26, 18, 9:50 am
  #360  
 
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Originally Posted by flying_fozzy View Post
Where you migrated from SPG Ambassador directly to Platinum Premier?
As I understand from learning more about staying at SPG properties, they don't have an official level beyond Platinum but extend additional benefits to Platinums when they hit certain night thresholds. An ambassador is one of those benefits for those who hit 100 nights using the SPG calculation which could include credits for multiple rooms. However, SPG properties cannot see anything beyond Platinum status unless they are contacted by an Amassador. In the Marriott world, Platinum Premier has been an official level but the threshold was unpublished and the benefits were unpublished. It certainly, at a minimum, required several years at well over 100 actual nights and I suspect the dollar threshold was higher than the new standard. Some Platinum Premiers in the MR program were also given ambassadors While I'll leave the discussion of legacy Platinum Premier to other threads, treatment has generally been very good and IMHO exceeds the experiences in this thread but can very depending on the property. The programs map Platinums who have stayed 100 nights over to Platinum Premier with an ambassador. I don't know whether that means 100 actual nights or using the SPG calculation.

Originally Posted by Keyser View Post
i'm a little late to this thread but i agree with you completely.....i'm sure the ambassador helps in some ways but the likelihood of the op being a big spender has a lot more to do with his good experiences than having an ambassador....

i was one of the first members to be invited to the ambassador program in 2011....i was barely spending 50 nights a year in spg properties at that time but i was a big spender....perhaps this was the reason i was invited in the first place....i had an ambassador for 6 years but i only enjoyed the program for the first couple of years because i had a great ambassador & the service worked a lot better because there were just a handful of us in the program....she was the main reason i ended up moving the majority of my stays to spg & spent well over a 100 nights a year....once the program had a published criteria & more people started becoming eligible for it, i feel the service level went down & properties stopped listening to ambassador requests....from 2013 - 2018 i had 5 different ambassadors & none of them were good enough for me to go out of my way to achieve ambassador service....i was often given incorrect information, there were delays in response & simple requests were often ignored....sometimes the ambassadors came through & i had a few good experiences but they were few & far between....
You bring bring up two valid points.

Frankly, I wish those who get credit from meetings would run their own thread on those experiences as they could exchange tips and ideas that don't apply to others who don't get involved in that. For example, earlier this week I was speaking with one of our marketing people who is a year out of college and told me "I was traveling like you last week" and explained she had set up a small event in LV and the hotel upgraded her to a great suite and sent up a bottle of champagne. She's not a regular guest -- and it was one of the big LV properties not a chain -- but the hotel wanted to reward her for the meeting. I believe SPG Pro may provide similar benefits but can't say.

Secondly, there is a thread in the SPG forum extensively discussing ambassador experiences seems to mirror your experience but I'll leave that to others.

Originally Posted by damon88 View Post
Upgrades are much more valuable when you are staying at top tier hotels. At this stage in our lives (I think I am one of the older members here) we are fortunate to be staying at higher end properties. Many of our Suite upgrades have been amazing.
I might slightly disagree. In the Marriott world, most of us who are Plat Premiers are used to getting very good upgrades when traveling internationally. There's even a program for auto suite upgrades in Asia that I hope continues. But ... for those of us who are actually staying 100+ nights in hotels (I have around 85 actual nights year to date), upgrades are always valuable. This week, I'm two for two on MR suite upgrades into routine business properties but last week I was zero for three in routine business properties (one JW, one Westin, one W).


But ... since this is a thread about ambassador experiences (and particularly since SPG properties don't know someone has an ambassador unless the ambassador contacts the property), it seems to me it ought to focus on ambassador experiences, rather than great hotel stays generally. I've had a lot of great hotel stays this year although I'd don't like to stay at St.R or RC properties -- great stays at Marriotts and JW Marriotts in Europe, Hong Kong, Chile, etc. (suites, extra gifts, notes from GM, 7 AM checkins) but those didn't having anything to do with an ambassador and I didn't contact my ambassador in connection with those stays,

For example, while I am a Marriott Plat Premier and have had an ambassador for a couple of years, I'm interested in what requests people have made to their ambassador without bashing each programs.

In the 300 posts, it looks like those requests includes the OP's request for an early check-in, to bring a large dog, to let the hotels on an upcoming trip to Japan know they are celebrating an anniversary, and to request assistance with dining points and that all those things worked well. Another poster asked his ambassador to reach out to the property and let them know he was celebrating an event. In my case, I contacted my ambassador to get assistance with a reservation which was immediately resolved and based on another posters experience, I contacted my Marriott ambassador and asked for assistance with a very late arrival at an SPG property in Europe and she was able to assist.

Are there any other specific requests those with ambassadors have made that we can share with each other?
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