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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 Nov 11, 18, 4:04 pm
  #1216  
 
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What the heck are SNAs? That is not in the site Glossary.
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Old Nov 11, 18, 4:19 pm
  #1217  
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Originally Posted by estedman View Post
What the heck are SNAs? That is not in the site Glossary.
Suite Night Awards.
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Old Nov 11, 18, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by estedman View Post
What the heck are SNAs? That is not in the site Glossary.
Suite Night Awards.
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Old Nov 11, 18, 4:22 pm
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LOL I even have some. Thanks
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Old Nov 11, 18, 4:30 pm
  #1220  
 
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My recent experience with the Ambassador team is rather disappointed. I stayed at the Gritti Palace, told my AMB that its a bday trip of my friend, which she forwarded to the hotel. We used a SNU and at checkin we got that very same suite - no furchet Upgrade. I confirmed with the checkin agent, if he received the messages of my AMB and he said yes. We never got anything as a small bday present - not a card, not a bottle - just nothing!

Since the Gritti stay was truly underwhelming, we decided to stay at the Imperial in Vienna. Booked the standard room and got upgraded to an old suite on the 2nd floor - the floor, which hasn't been upgraded yet. The history is indeed remarkable, service was good, but how can people here say it's better than the Park Hyatt or so many other good 5 star hotels in Vienna. No SPA, tiny and old gym, a sauna which is smaller than a shoe box. Breakfast at the PH is also better.

Overall, I get a much better treatment from my GHA Black status, where I always get a double upgrade on top. And at least in Vienna, always a suite with awesome service. I don't see myself spending 20+k again and stay 100+ nights at underwhelming hotels in the future. Most guys here must have never stayed at a proper Peninsula or Aman hotel and are impressed by average hotels like the Gritti etc.

Last edited by flo_147; Nov 11, 18 at 4:35 pm
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Old Nov 11, 18, 4:40 pm
  #1221  
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Unfortunately those are probably two out of the top 3 Marriott hotels in Europe, so if they don’t do it for you I suspect others might not either.

Having said that, I do think we have to be realistic about spend here. For the Gritti Palace if you booked a base room it was probably what, €700 or so and with the SNA’s you got put in a suite which was presumably more around the €2,000 mark? A base room at the Imperial is usually around €350, with the Elizabeth suite I guess you got sold for perhaps €800? (Incidentally I think I had the same room in the Imperial last time and I have asked to not get it again).

While I think it’s true that even these grand properties don’t really approach the levels of the best Amans in terms of service, the point is surely that the buildings themselves and their ancestry are unequalled in most other collections. I also think it’s important to compare like for like: you would be lucky to get an Aman stay come in at twice what you will have paid for these Luxury Collection hotels.
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Old Nov 11, 18, 5:55 pm
  #1222  
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Originally Posted by flo_147 View Post
Most guys here must have never stayed at a proper Peninsula or Aman hotel and are impressed by average hotels like the Gritti etc.
Oh boy must I disagree with you.

I have had numerous stays at proper Peninsula and Aman hotels and still believe that the Gritti Palace Venice and Imperial Vienna are equally as impressive in terms of service, quality, and amenities. In fact, my Ambassador status went a long way in elevating the treatment I received at both amazing hotels--making both stays feel as amazing as any Aman stay.

And I've stayed at 10 Aman properties thus far, and we actually will be returning for the second time to Amangiri in Jan 2019 for my birthday. I've stayed at the Peninsula Shanghai, the Peninsula Chicago, and the Peninsula Beverly Hills a few times.

Our stay at the Hotel Imperial only last year was absolutely sublime and worthy of any Aman hotel: https://www.flyertalk.com/hotel-revi...ial-suite-2198

We actually had stayed at Amanbagh in India earlier that same year as the Imperial.

Our stay the year prior at the Gritti Palace Venice was also spectacular; we even visited and had lunch at the Aman Venice and still much preferred the Gritti, in fact: https://www.flyertalk.com/hotel-revi...e-upgrade-1632

I think I have a firm grasp and excellent perspective on the best in luxury hotels around the world. I think the Gritti Palace and Hotel Imperial are among the best, right up there with any Aman and Peninsula hotels. I'm sorry if they aren't to your taste, but that isn't the same as not as comparable, especially with regard to service.

It is curious to me that you suggest experience with Peninsula and Aman hotels despite not a single post here on FlyerTalk about any stays at either.
My recent experience with the Ambassador team is rather disappointed. I stayed at the Gritti Palace, told my AMB that its a bday trip of my friend, which she forwarded to the hotel. We used a SNU and at checkin we got that very same suite - no furchet Upgrade. I confirmed with the checkin agent, if he received the messages of my AMB and he said yes. We never got anything as a small bday present - not a card, not a bottle - just nothing!
So the Gritti confirmed your Ambassador had made the request for a further upgrade. So your Ambassador did his or her job. I am confused as to why you would be rather disappointed with your Ambassador.

So you used SNAs and got upgraded to a suite but are upset that the hotel didn't upgrade you further. I think entitlement is rearing its head here.

Since the Gritti stay was truly underwhelming, we decided to stay at the Imperial in Vienna. Booked the standard room and got upgraded to an old suite on the 2nd floor - the floor, which hasn't been upgraded yet. The history is indeed remarkable, service was good, but how can people here say it's better than the Park Hyatt or so many other good 5 star hotels in Vienna. No SPA, tiny and old gym, a sauna which is smaller than a shoe box. Breakfast at the PH is also better.
So you booked a standard award and got an upgrade to a suite. And still that wasn't good enough. You easily knew in advance this is a heritage hotel, and yet you aren't pleased by its heritage? I was in an Imperial Suite on the second floor and loved it--even with its curious quirks. I'm sorry you were underwhelmed.

I visited the Park Hyatt Vienna, too. It's also a really impressive hotel--much more modern, but then also lacking the sense of place the Imperial evokes in spades and certainly not having the same immense levels of service. Liking one over the other is a matter of relative priorities. That's why someone might like the Imperial more. I do. I couldn't care less about a spa. You care about a spa. I actually did a comparison review of the Imperial vs Park Hyatt vs Sacher: https://www.flyertalk.com/hotel-revi...-contrast-2206

Still, I am very confused as to how the Ambassador team in any way let you down. I can understand you liking the PH more than the Imperial because of the spa issue, but that has nothing to do with the Ambassdor issue. Am I missing something?

Overall, I get a much better treatment from my GHA Black status, where I always get a double upgrade on top. And at least in Vienna, always a suite with awesome service. I don't see myself spending 20+k again and stay 100+ nights at underwhelming hotels in the future.
Enjoy your GHA Black status! However, very few hotels in the GHA portfolio come even remotely close to those of the Aman and Peninsula hotels you mentioned. Marriott, on the other hand, has with St Regis, Ritz Carlton, and Luxury Collection innumerable examples that I've stayed in that are quite comparable.

Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
While I think it’s true that even these grand properties don’t really approach the levels of the best Amans in terms of service, the point is surely that the buildings themselves and their ancestry are unequalled in most other collections. I also think it’s important to compare like for like: you would be lucky to get an Aman stay come in at twice what you will have paid for these Luxury Collection hotels.
Actually, I think those grand properties do approach the levels of Aman in terms of service. And I would know better than most.

You're right, though, that the Aman entry price is almost always much more substantial than that of the properties being discussed. And my Ambassador status actually helped elevated the treatment I received at both--as evidenced by the details of both reviews.

When I say that Ambassador status can elevate as much as the actions taken by any Ambassador, my stays at the Gritti and Imperial are among the best examples I can share.

Last edited by bhrubin; Nov 11, 18 at 6:11 pm
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Old Nov 12, 18, 3:41 am
  #1223  
 
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@bhrubin
Well, my critic is maybe more property specific than AMB team related, yet I just find the AMBs are not going further than a standard Marriott employee does. I did read some of your trip reports and actually thought - since it's a special occasion - we may get even better treatment than 'standard Plat treatment', since my AMB reached out to both hotels. In the end we just got the bare minimum and the Gritti even forgot about the birthday all together. I just did not feel valued at neither of those properties, which could also be due to a lack of doing her utmost to get the hotel to go maybe a bit 'further' than for regular Plats, which are not celebrating anything.

And yes the hotels are indeed nice, but unlike most of the Americans, who see such grand buildings only when going on vacation to Europe, I see these kind of architecture all day long and history doesn't make a good hotel for me - it is excellent service, good food, good beds and pillows!
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Old Nov 12, 18, 5:19 am
  #1224  
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It’s funny. We have stayed at over a dozen Luxury Collection properties in Asia, Europe and North America and the Imperial was probably our biggest disappointment. It was most likely just bad luck (it happens) but they put us in a tired run down room in the back. (I am still mad at myself for not complaining and requesting a replacement). I know that others rave about this hotel and we went there with high expectations, but it didn’t work out for us.

We we had a lovely stay at the Gritti back in 2007 when we did something unusual- we spent 2 weeks in Venice, splitting our time between the Danieli and Gritti Palace. Gritti suffered by comparison because the Danieli gave us our best upgrade ever (on a points stay!) to the then 6700 euro a night huge Royal Suite with a magnificent Lagoon View Terrace. Our room was fine at the Gritti Palace, but it had no view of any kind. Still, the service was exceptional and we had a favorable impression of the hotel.

We were just in Vienna again last May and we decided against giving the Imperial a second chance and opted instead to spend 8 nights at the Le Meridien. That turned out great and we were pleased with our decision. Unfortunately our experience at the Imperial just left a bad taste.

We are looking forward to trying Gritti Palace again on our next visit to Venice. With Venice getting more crowded every year we prefer the Gritti’s location.

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Old Nov 12, 18, 5:29 am
  #1225  
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The base rooms at the Imperial are pretty basic. As someone has noted on the Imperial thread it’s like there are two hotels in one.

One hotel for visiting package tourists with the base rooms, the other for people with the highest standards (and unfortunately I think the standard Plat upgrade is a bit of a mix of the two).
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Old Nov 12, 18, 6:04 am
  #1226  
 
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Most likely I went into those stays with way too high exceptions. I had some problems at the Imperial and will give it a second try the next time I am in Vienna. If they then do not deliver, I guess that was it then for Stariott in Vienna for me. Will just keep staying at the Kempinski and PH then - at both hotels I will get a nice suite with awesome beds, the gym and SPA is good as is the breakfast.

Just as a side node, I also stayed at the Falisia, LC hotel, where I booked via a 3rd party and this stay exceeded my expectations. I got a proper suite (from the entry level room), awesome toiletries and the staff treated us as I expect it to be - very well! So maybe the key is to book 3rd party now lol
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Old Nov 12, 18, 7:35 am
  #1227  
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I adore the Imperial and the PH in Vienna, but something that some people here might want to consider would be the strategy of booking a suite at the Bristol (SPG LC and in a historic building too, recently renovated, but not at the level of the Imperial although the Bristol's location across from the opera house is arguably better) instead of a regular room at the Imperial and hoping for a suite upgrade.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 7:48 am
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Well, if you want a new room at the Imperial, then just mention you wanna get a room on floor 4 or 5 - these are the newly renovated floors. Avoid floor 2, which is not renovated yet.

Regarding the Bristol, a friend of mine recently stayed there (also SPG AMB) and he just got the basic room, because they were sold out. He left and went to another hotel. Reaching out to them is maybe the best chance of getting a pre-assigned upgrade to a newly renovated suite (Bristol suite). Proof me wrong, but I think the Bristol suites are the only newly renovated suites atm.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 7:56 am
  #1229  
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Originally Posted by flo_147 View Post
Well, if you want a new room at the Imperial, then just mention you wanna get a room on floor 4 or 5 - these are the newly renovated floors. Avoid floor 2, which is not renovated yet.

Regarding the Bristol, a friend of mine recently stayed there (also SPG AMB) and he just got the basic room, because they were sold out. He left and went to another hotel. Reaching out to them is maybe the best chance of getting a pre-assigned upgrade to a newly renovated suite (Bristol suite). Proof me wrong, but I think the Bristol suites are the only newly renovated suites atm.
When I stayed a couple years ago, my "deluxe" room (I forget the category they gave me) was already renovated and very nice. [It wasn't a suite, but there was a special event in town and most hotels were fully booked, including the Imperial.]

My suggestion was to PAY FOR A SUITE at the Bristol instead of HOPING for a suite upgrade at the Imperial.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 8:46 am
  #1230  
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I think we may want to return to the thread topic of Ambassador service rather than discussing the merits of the Imperial or Gritti.

I will say that my Ambassador status (hotels knowing I had that status due to the contact from my Ambassador, beyond any specific requests she made for me on my behalf) went a very long way at both of those hotels. I absolutely was accorded VIP status because I was an Ambassador guest. Not only did both hotels upgrade me to specialty suites beyond the standard/SNA pool (in fact, my SNAs didn’t even clear for either hotel and I was massively upgraded anyway, almost certainly due to my Ambasssor status and the impact of my Ambassador), but they both treated me like serious royalty. The Gritti had perhaps the most incredible service recovery of any hotel besides a few Amans after a slight mishap with our transfer to have dinner at Le Calandre; the Imperial assigned us our own butler and invited us and seated us front row center for one of the most amazing hotel cultural events in our lives.

The salient point is that my Ambassador status played a massive role in our incredibly elevated experiences and enjoyment at both hotels.
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