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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 Oct 7, 19, 7:15 pm   -   Wikipost
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Ambassador Service general email address: [email protected]

Ambassador Service general phone line (USA): (866) 924-9885

Europe: +353-21-4861 222
USA: +1-866-924-9885
Asia : +86-20-38157156

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Old Apr 30, 18, 7:23 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 154
For the people that receive special ambassador recognition -- do you do your bookings through your ambassador?

I usually book via spg.com and so far I have received nothing from my ambassador, despite staying at St. Regis, LC, and W hotels.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 7:24 pm
  #47  
 
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... forgot to add- those MR points have given me access to some very nice properties worldwide, too.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 7:35 pm
  #48  
 
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Quite obviously it is easier to hit $20,000 USD in spend when you are staying at more expensive hotels. Quite obviously a property with a Butler team that caters to luxury demanding consumers are better set up with executing special favors. The PDG in Paris obviously would be better set up doing something extraordinary that a Fairfield in the middle of Oklahoma.

Why the outrage at BHRubin? He is stating the obvious to me, which somehow you fail to get. That does not make a luxury hotel consumer better or more profitable (I have written before that a Courtyard customer might be more profitable than a highly demanding STR customer).

And based on your travel patterns you post here, you don't care about the thread count of sheets. Some of us do. Or like being welcomed. I am not saying you are bad or low but your expectations/ wants fit a Fairfield customer more than a STR one.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 7:46 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by SHLTP View Post
Why the outrage at BHRubin?
I personally am more than a little tired of the outrage of SPGers (he being among the most vocal; I mean, was this thread even necessary?!) that us MR people are going to ruin "their" hotels. Like I'd said, I'm really glad MR bought SPG and not the other way 'round.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 8:23 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by kennycrudup View Post
I personally am more than a little tired of the outrage of SPGers (he being among the most vocal; I mean, was this thread even necessary?!) that us MR people are going to ruin "their" hotels. Like I'd said, I'm really glad MR bought SPG and not the other way 'round.
I’m most confused. I never said such things, nor do I believe that MR people are going to ruin anything. I don’t even know how that would be possible? Certainly, those odd suggestions also have no bearing on the topic of this thread.

As far as I can tell, Marriott has largely adopted almost every SPG benefit into the new loyalty program, making me and most “SPGers” pretty pleased overall. Certainly, my Ambassador tells me that most Plat100s like me are pretty happy—with the one caveat of the LT Plat status issue (which doesn’t impact me).

As for this thread being necessary, I actually asked a Marriott moderator’s opinion and permission before starting this thread. There are threads herein explaining every other Marriott elite status level but none yet for this new level. I therefore thought it would foster useful discussion and be helpful for those interested in what a positive Ambassador experience can be like. I’m sorry that you don’t see anything helpful.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 8:35 pm
  #51  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Two questions…

Would an ambassador be helpful with requests like “I always prefer a bigger room over a nicer view”?

Can ambassadors help with more advanced searches like “I want a room with a balcony in a hotel with a lounge within walking distance to a metro stop?”

i have found Marriott customer service generally unhelpful for these types of requests, although occasionally someone surprises me.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 8:39 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
I never said such things, nor do I believe that MR people are going to ruin anything.
There has been an air of condescension wafting from the SPG forum's most active/most elite members into the MR forum since the merger was announced that's thick enough to be cut with a knife, and I don't think that's just my own opinion either.

As for this thread being necessary ... I therefore thought it would foster useful discussion and be helpful for those interested in what a positive Ambassador experience can be like.
I, personally saw a thinly-veiled "Look what great benefit you high-spending MRs* can now have, now that you're part of a far-better hotel program!", which again, just sounded of more SPG condescension to MR (elites). Maybe it's just me, but I sure see it.



* - and even as a price-shopping, property-hopping usually CY/FI guest, I HAD the spend- wouldn't have made PP w/o it- and unfortunately, have the Schedule-Cs to show for it
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Old Apr 30, 18, 8:42 pm
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by getagb View Post
I have found Marriott customer service generally unhelpful for these types of requests ...
Are you calling the hotel directly in advance, a few days before your stay begins? When it really matters (i.e., (award) travel with family) that's been quite effective (for me anyway).
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Old Apr 30, 18, 8:55 pm
  #54  
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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.

Bruce
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Old Apr 30, 18, 8:59 pm
  #55  
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Originally Posted by getagb View Post
Two questions…

Would an ambassador be helpful with requests like “I always prefer a bigger room over a nicer view”?

Can ambassadors help with more advanced searches like “I want a room with a balcony in a hotel with a lounge within walking distance to a metro stop?”

i have found Marriott customer service generally unhelpful for these types of requests, although occasionally someone surprises me.
Ironically, the SPG website has a Platinum preference selection precisely between (1) a bigger room, (2) a better view, or (3) a higher floor! Perhaps the new Marriott website might create a selection for that, as well. But as a result, I’ve never had to tell my Ambassador.

I’ve never asked for specific details like you’ve mentioned about location of hotels with a lounge with a balcony; those to me require perhaps a different operator than what an Ambassador may be. But you’re welcome to ask.

To me, that is more appropriate to a TA who knows the city and hotel choices. I’m not sure an Ambassador is always going to know the hotel details you are requiring. An Ambassador may be able to look into those details, but I doubt an Ambassador is going to know that without some research.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 9:02 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by bdschobel View Post
Let’s not attempt to infer attitudes that may or may not be real.
It may not seem like it, but I've tried; but I just can't shake that feeling when I read the posts around "Hotels and Places to Stay" lately. Hell, I'm currently only in a hotel room ~25 nights a year nowadays (and cheap MR ones at that ) and technically shouldn't even have a dog in this fight.

Bu that being said, I'm just going to abstain from posting about anything speculative about either program (or it's forum members) and wait until the fruit shakes out of the trees come this Fall, then we'll all know what's actually going on.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 9:28 pm
  #57  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
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My experience with Ambassador have not been as good as BHrubin's. Our disagreements on the program is how we met online actually.

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 think a good ambassador can flag your high spending ways to individual properties.

As a data point, I did not qualify for ambassador this year intentionally though easily could have. I switched dozens of nights over to Marriott to give them a try as I saw no benefit of being Ambassador level. Thus far my upgrades this year have remained amazing I think due to my spending as I wrote today in the Starwood thread (perhaps it is time to merge FT's Marriott and Starwood spots as I find myself bouncing back and forth), ie 99 nights and big spending is more important than 100 nights gained mostly on points.

I have found that as I have spent more on an annual basis and in aggregate that my upgrades and service get better. I am thinking there is a flag somewhere in there that was tripped that recognizes my bigger spending than before.

I also will reach out to individual GMs/ properties in advance of a stay and find that works well.

One thing that Marriott has done consistently better than Starwood is standardization. I hope that they will standardize Ambassador status. By removing 3 night per room credit as well as putting in a $20,000 USD spend then the number of Ambassador level guests will drop. Hopefully they will standardize BHrubin's experience. . I might then qualify for it for the benefits if I am made whole over LTP.

IN general, I think Marriott has treated SPG members quite well. Overall most are quite happy w the merger so far. The only thing many on this board are upset with is the LTP status... as SPGs we are automatically given lower status than Marriott LTPs and have no chance of achieving that status. It seems to me that is the only real issue SPGers have, aside also from devaluation of Amex cards.

Also, BTW, Marriott won. Starwood I think from experience had much better service at the luxury properties than Marriott. But customer demands and great service might have cost Starwood too much which is why they could not continue as a separate entity.

After all, McDonald's is far more profitable overall than a Michelin restaurant.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 9:32 pm
  #58  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: DEN/BDL/LGA/HPN
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I get the concerns expressed by some MR posters here ... that being said, I have 50 actual BIB nights so far in 2018. I have some rollover from last year that takes me over 100 and will get my 15 nights later this year. I suspect I'll be 125-150 actual nights by the end of the year. I'll also note that I try not to be high maintenance since my thousands of actual BIB Marriott nights are in additional to hundreds of nights on the ground, on a truck, on a cargo skid, or in a tent. In the meantime, as a responsible road warrior with a hectic schedule, I'll keep looking for full service properties, conveniently located with affordable rates while hoping I get regular suite upgrades.

All that being said, I like the idea of this thread as I can't figure out what people are getting from their Ambassador so we know what we should expect or what we can ask for. I've just asked for a couple of things so I'd like to know more. I occasionally get food, wine, and nice cards on my stays but I'm pretty confident those came from the GM, not my Ambassador.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 10:23 pm
  #59  
 
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Well, I'm not seeing all the posts by the controversial member in question because I blocked them quite some time ago. But I can already tell from the tone and tenor of the unblocked posts that it's more of the same. Basically bragging about how great the SPG treatment is, especially when getting credit for other people's spending and obsessing to a ridiculous degree to ensure every employee at every property knows just how important they are and why they deserve the biggest suite and the most pampering treatment even when staying on the cheapest possible rates when on actual, personal travel.

Back to the matter at hand, it will be interesting to see how effective Marriott ambassadors can actually be in doing anything more than what a traveler can do themselves either online or with a quick e-mail or phone call to a property. While I realize some people consider their time so valuable that they can't waste it making their own hotel requests, by and large I don't think these people are staying at Marriott/SPG properties (no matter the brand name or price point). So if the ambassador service is intended as an enticement to the usual mass-market traveler to steer more spending to Marriott, but properties don't feel particularly inclined to grant any special privileges when an ambassador calls on their client's behalf, I don't see it being any more effective that PP has been these past several years. Time will tell...
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Old Apr 30, 18, 11:17 pm
  #60  
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman View Post
Well, I'm not seeing all the posts by the controversial member in question because I blocked them quite some time ago. But I can already tell from the tone and tenor of the unblocked posts that it's more of the same. Basically bragging about how great the SPG treatment is, especially when getting credit for other people's spending and obsessing to a ridiculous degree to ensure every employee at every property knows just how important they are and why they deserve the biggest suite and the most pampering treatment even when staying on the cheapest possible rates when on actual, personal travel.
Amen to that! One thing that MR and SPG people have in common is that someone who influences or drives spend for groups, especially in luxury hotels, is going to be flagged for VIP treatment. It's my understanding that the Ambassador program was started to help drive spend and satisfaction among individual guests, letting the sales/SPG Pro team work their meeting/planner clients such as the OP.

My experience as an Ambasador guest (from it's invite-only days) is likely more mixed than what I'm guessing the OP has stated. It was an amazing program the first few years, lots of fun surprises and perks. Over time those have dwindled. Yet, the main feature of the program: a single point of contact for anything you need remains. I do believe that engagement with your ambassador is key, both to keep yourself top of mind with an ambassador that may be overworked due to growth of the program, but the more your ambassador knows your preferences and quirks, they will get better and better at helping you out. I do think that a higher end property (St. Regis, W, Luxury Collection and LeM is more likely to pay attention to Ambassador requests and preferences, but I'll also say that some Sheratons and Westins have truly surprised me with amazing treatment, while some W's have done nada. I do think the $20K spend bar will help the program manage its numbers and hopefully provide greater incentive for consistency in treatment/amenities.

Another thing that has continued to impress me about the program is that the Ambassadors are never pushy in terms of things like upsells or pressuring you to make a booking. And no problem if I booked on my own and later called to ask my Ambassador to change something with the reservation. This seems counter to my impression of Marriott as a sales machine and I hope the Ambassadors do not start suggestive selling or making annoying upsells under Marriott's direction.

I'm anxious to see how my Ambassador gets up to speed with MR properties and how well MR properties embrace the program. My guess is that the learning curve will be easier for an Edition, Autograph, Ritz, and JW while treatment at a regular Marriott, CY or Springhell will be limited.
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