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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)

j1194 Apr 27, 18 7:19 pm

Marriott Bonvoy ‘Ambassador Elite’ Level : Ambassador experiences [Master Thread]
 
Has anyone had a disappointing SPG ambassador?

This year, so far, I have done 21 nights and haven't had anything special done except when I finally gave up and asked for some fruit and water to be waiting in my room. She hasn't gotten a suite for me ahead of time or had any extra amenities waiting for me at arrival. The icing on the cake was this week, was when I was in the elevator, expressing my disappointment to my girlfriend and a guy, my age, was like check out what my ambassador did. Although, the hotel was a Le Meridien with no suites, this guy's ambassador got him two connecting rooms with one converted to a living room. He also had a bottle of wine, cheese and crackers waiting. I asked him if he asked for these things and he replied never, she asked what I liked and they are always ready in my room for me, each trip. When I got ambassador status I filled out the survey, indicated what I liked and not once has my ambassador sent anything I indicated. I'm thoroughly disappointed. I spent over 20k and 104 nights with SPG last year and I see no improvement in service.

Is this normal? I hope not. If so, why would I ever choose to spend this much money and time with SPG?!

Should I request a different ambassador?

Thanks!!

clublounger Apr 27, 18 7:42 pm


Originally Posted by j1194 (Post 29691708)
Has anyone had a disappointing SPG ambassador?



Thanks!!

This is the first I've heard of a disappointing ambassador. Anyone else?

justforfun Apr 27, 18 7:51 pm


Originally Posted by j1194 (Post 29691708)
Has anyone had a disappointing SPG ambassador?
Is this normal? I hope not. If so, why would I ever choose to spend this much money and time with SPG?!

Should I request a different ambassador?

Thanks!!

Very normal. Many in this forum have expressed disappointment with their ambassador. I've given up on mine. I just assume I don't have one.

CPRich Apr 27, 18 8:24 pm

I wasn't disappointed because I didn't really expect much. Mine was a single point of contact vs. tracking down SPG/property manager/others, and was a consistent email address for all communications.

I had a welcome gift at two properties for family trips, but I didn't really expect/need anything on business trips. I didn't expect lavish suites/treatment beyond standard PLT upgrade policy, so I got what I expected most of the time, and a nice upgrade 2 or 3 times.

PointWeasel Apr 27, 18 8:25 pm

My first thoughts are: really? create a new thread about this ongoing issue?

j1194 Apr 27, 18 9:30 pm

Right, but what's the point then? I can book my own rooms much faster than a phone call. If I wanted to talk to someone I could call AMEX Plat concierge or Sapphire Reserve concierge.

I haven't even had a welcome amenity I didn't request or even a standard suite I didn't procure myself. Why spend this much money with SPG for basically nothing? Last week a checkin agent noticed my status and took it upon herself to send me a bucket of beers, chips and salsa. My ambassador should have been the one to do that. I only know it was the desk agent because she called me afterwards, to confirm I got it, told me she sent it and thanked me for my loyalty.

Others clearly have great, proactive ambassadors. I only pushed an extra 20 nights to hit the 100 nights for my blog in work, so this should be a great review of SPG ambassador status... :/

derpelikan Apr 28, 18 2:15 am

same
 

Originally Posted by clublounger (Post 29691752)
This is the first I've heard of a disappointing ambassador. Anyone else?

mine never contacts me if I don't reach out.
I was ambassador in the beginning af the amb program than stopped it, just did 100 nights last year so I wil be ambassador in the joined program 2018.

flyerbjorn Apr 28, 18 6:11 am

I've had zero benefits from my ambassador. She's been out every time I've asked for something, so I just email the ambassador team these days, not my ambassador.

I get way more perks by knowing the front staff and being a regular guest. Will be asking to switch ambassador shortly. A close friend has a good ambassador.

TerryK Apr 28, 18 7:08 am


Originally Posted by j1194 (Post 29691708)
Has anyone had a disappointing SPG ambassador?................Is this normal?.....

Many threads about same issue. Should be merged with:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/star...mbassador.html

My take is you have an average ambassador. Not an outstanding one but not a bad one either. ;)

EuropeanPete Apr 28, 18 8:36 am

There might also be a case of unmanaged expectations here - while some people get free food and drinks on every visit, I get the impression that may be somewhat of a grandfathered benefit: I've certainly never received anything of the sort. Similarly, Ambassadors don't go around upgrading rooms to Suites all the time.

I don't use my (very useful) Ambassador for booking the JFK Sheraton, but he comes in handy for special logistical needs, favours on special occasions and help with the SPG system (missing points, BRG issues, complicated room booking, etc.).

Canada101 Apr 28, 18 10:08 am

I have a great relationship with my Ambassador. For me, the Ambassador program's most important feature is the single point of contact for Starwood. I take the suite upgrades and other amenities as a bonus but that largely depends on the property. ( I've even had instances where my Ambassador has paid for a special amenity that was never delivered by the property. Imagine that!)

I also tend to think that the properties which upgrade me and provide me with a special amenity are those where I have a personal relationship and stay history. So as EuropeanPete says this is as much about managing your expectations as anything else. What will be fascinating will be what happens to those expectations when the USD20K annual spend is imposed.

supatight80 Apr 28, 18 11:57 am

Currently at the Westin Vendome Paris and my Ambassador always remembers my preferences which is bottle of booze! https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...22242d1958.jpg
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...216663b8c4.jpg

j1194 Apr 28, 18 2:24 pm

^^^^ Now this is what I am talking about!! It's just a nice touch to find something like this.

margarita girl Apr 28, 18 2:58 pm


Originally Posted by supatight80 (Post 29693494)
Currently at the Westin Vendome Paris and my Ambassador always remembers my preferences which is bottle of booze!

Funny, a couple of years ago, I asked my ambassador if there was something in my profile that said I liked a basket of fruit. She said no, but would be glad to update it to whatever I liked. I suggested bottle of wine and nuts. I think I got a bottle of wine for the following stay, and it's been fruit ever since. I'm in China now, and in spite of checking in at 8 am, my 2 apples and a banana were delivered at 10 pm when I was fast asleep. The next day, they delivered another 2 apples and a banana but at 6 pm this time, while my roommate was alone in the room trying to catch a nap. LOL

supatight80 Apr 28, 18 3:38 pm


Originally Posted by j1194 (Post 29693854)
^^^^ Now this is what I am talking about!! It's just a nice touch to find something like this.

Last month at the St. Regis Florence I got a bottle of wine of my choice and last February, I got a full size bottle of Moet from the Westbury in London. All thanks to my Ambassador :) https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...c84a17383d.jpg

Westbury London - Feb 2018
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...0dff68f844.jpg

St Regis Florence - March 2018

flying_geek Apr 29, 18 7:35 am

I don't have SPG 100 this year - been 100 on and off - I found the odds of getting a suite better when I was on a family trip and specifically asked for a roll-in bed for my son (he is 8 now, so various ages below that) - other than that - I don't think it really made a difference. The Westin Cancun once decorated my suite with birthday decoration - but I have reason to believe they did this on their own.

Often1 Apr 29, 18 8:20 am

This is all about managing expectations as well as a better of understanding of the linkage between freebies and profitability.

While disappointment is focused on an individual Ambassador, the fact that some people routinely wind up in a suite or find a full sized bottle of Moet in their room while others find a wedge or packaged cheese and crackers is more tied to the revenue you (or your employer) generates.

Or more precisely, whether *W calculates that if it shows you a taste of the good life, you might spend on it the next time.

The Ambassador is the vehicle to personalize all of this and it's a good marketing gimmick. But, whether you are a HVC or likely to become one is more important.

BrockAdams Apr 30, 18 6:38 am

Posted about this recently on a different thread, so in short - My ambassador experience has been virtually nonexistent. I travel weekly, 180+ nights and and $40-50k in spending and get nothing from my ambassador.

bhrubin Apr 30, 18 11:40 am

Post Merger Ambassador Program
 
I am a current SPG Platinum 100 Ambassador guest and thought it might be helpful for Marriott Platinums and others curious about this experience to learn more. There are numerous threads on this topic in the Starwood Forum, and I imagine those eventually will be folded into this thread when the Marriott, Starwood, and presumably Ritz-Carlton Forums are merged here on FlyerTalk.

For the record, I absolutely love the Ambassador program. I love my Ambassador. I have had tremendously positive experiences with my Ambassador and with many other members of the Ambassador team when my Ambassador is not available. I also have had a few less impressive experiences with an Ambassador, but those few do not tarnish in any way my esteem and delight with the program overall. For 2018, I currently have 106 nights with SPG, have 58 nights with Marriott (including 3 nights with Ritz-Carlton), and I would estimate my spending at SPG/Marriott/RC this year so far to be $100,000 based on the total charges I have spent on my SPG Amex Business card at SPG/Marriott/RC hotels. I not only stay at SPG/Marriott/RC hotels for my personal stays (usually at StR, RC, LuxColl, W) but for my own business group stays (most often Sheraton, Renaissance, Westin, Le Meridien, Four Points, and Courtyard). I don't just stay often at SPG hotels, but I also love to order room service and dine in the very nice restaurants when they have them. My spending reflects that.

There are many SPG Plat100s who believe the Ambassador experience is overrated and/or largely worthless. The Starwood Forum is replete with those examples. I could not disagree more with their assessment.

For years, I have indicated my belief that my better Ambassador treatment was due to (1) my very high spending at SPG hotels and (2) the fact that I stay more often for leisure stays at luxury level SPG hotels. In the SPG Forum, those beliefs most often were attacked and considered baseless. I believe the new $20,000 spend minimum to attain Ambassador status is evidence that I most likely was accurate in those assessments.

In my experience, Ambassador service is best executed at better hotels. Ambassador SERVICE is an individualized SERVICE. The hotels that execute personal and individualized service better are the ones that also tend to execute Ambassador service the best. An Ambassador might indicate to a hotel that I like chocolates and strawberries as a welcome amenity and that I require my room to be preset to 67 F, but the hotels must execute those requests. Not surprisingly, luxury hotels offering better service most often execute those requests better than upscale hotels, and upscale hotels most often execute those requests better than midscale hotels. If you stay most often at Marriott and Sheraton and Four Points level hotels, not only will one likely have a tougher time reaching the $20K minimum, those hotels also don't execute special requests as well as hotels with better records for individualized service. I expect more from a St Regis than I do a W, and I expect more from a W than I do a Sheraton. I have concomitant expectations for the Ambassador service execution at those hotels, too.

In my experience, Ambassador service with suite upgrades is almost always better at luxury level hotels because they just have more suites! There are exceptions, as with everything. But just about any time I stay at a St Regis, Luxury Collection, or W hotel, I am upgraded to a suite (almost always without any SNAs). In some cases, I am even pre-upgraded to a suite a week or two or even earlier before my arrival. I just returned from a weekend stay at the St Regis Atlanta, where I was pre-upgraded almost 3 weeks before arrival to a St Regis Suite. In mid April, I was at the W Boston where I had been pre-upgraded a month in advance to a Wow Suite. Both bookings were for paid entry level rooms.

My Ambassador can't always get me pre-upgraded, but she or my status get me upgraded to a suite an awful lot. My most recent luxury hotel stays have included suite upgrades at the StR Atlanta (paid entry room), W Boston (paid entry room), StR New York (paid entry room), StR Punta Mita (discounted paid upgrade to villa!)...and those are all in 2018. In 2017, I enjoyed suite upgrades at the StR San Francisco three times (paid and award entry rooms) in Nov and Dec, The Gwen Chicago (paid entry room) in Dec, W Westwood three times (paid entry rooms) in Nov and Dec, Prince de Galles Paris (award entry room) in Oct, Hotel Imperial Vienna (award entry room) in Oct, the Nines Portland (paid suite) in Aug, SLS Beverly Hills (award entry room) in June, Westin Richmond (paid group room) in Apr, Westin Charlotte (paid group room) in Apr, Sheraton Phila Univ City five times (paid group rooms) in Mar and Apr, Le Meridien Arlington five times (paid group rooms) in Mar and Apr, Le Meridien Cambridge (paid group rooms) and Mar and Apr, the StR Washington (paid entry room) in Apr, the StR Bahia Beach Puerto Rico (paid entry room) in Feb, etc. Some of those suite upgrades were to specialty suites that aren't normally provided in upgrade pools.

In my experience, Ambassadors can do a lot to help. But they aren't miracle workers--even when sometimes they can be! I had a prepaid stay at the St Regis Bora Bora in May 2016 for 7 nights, but our Air Tahiti Nui flight was canceled, causing us to arrive a day late and miss 1 of our 7 nights. My first call to the St Regis and the Ambassador team didn't get me any help...but my Ambassador persisted and managed to get me the missed 1 night's stay credited to my account as a food/beverage credit. THAT alone saved me $2,000. I didn't expect it, but her persistence and dedication went above and beyond for me and saved me a lot.

On the other hand, this past weekend at the StR Atlanta, I had to wait 90 min after arriving at 4:30 pm to get my pre-upgraded suite, despite a 3 pm check in time--and the Ambassador team rep (not my Ambassador, who was out for the weekend) was not particularly helpful at all.

I also know that I am treated often as a VIP when I stay at SPG hotels--especially at the luxury level hotels like StR, LuxColl, and W, but also at Le Meridien, Westin, and even sometimes at Sheraton and even Four Points! People tend to know me by name more often than I might otherwise expect, even at a StR or W. Even this past weekend at the StR Atlanta, my first stay there ever, by the second day people knew who I was throughout the hotel. That's impressive service by any measure, and that's directly related to my Ambassador service IMO.

In the Starwood Forum, I firmly believe that many people who complain about their Ambassador are staying at hotels that simply don't execute Ambassador requests--or any special requests, for that matter--particularly well. So they blame the Ambassador--rather than considering that the hotel may have been the culprit. I also believe that people too often complain about not getting upgraded when they stay at hotels that most often are at high occupancy, have few suites, or have so many elites and high paying guests that there just aren't many suites available. When people don't share the hotels where the issues arise, it's a good hint that it's not a great hotel!

I also know that not all Ambassadors are as good as others. There are many examples of Ambassadors who don't respond to requests or who seem to drop the ball too often. When this happens, you can contact the Ambassador team and request a new Ambassador. Please do! The only way the program can recognize bad Ambassadors is by members having the ability to share that information and the details.

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.

Until our fellow Marriott members have the chance to enjoy an Ambassador starting on August 1, I and other Ambassador guests are happy to answer questions about the program.

CPRich Apr 30, 18 11:47 am


Originally Posted by j1194 (Post 29691950)
Right, but what's the point then? I can book my own rooms much faster than a phone call.

Did you expect that an Ambassador would be faster to book a property than typing in a city, dates, and "Search" online?

I've heard others have sent a "please book a room at XX on these dates..." but it never occurred to me to give up control and try to communicate all of my preferences via email/phone rather than just doing it myself.



Originally Posted by j1194 (Post 29691950)
If I wanted to talk to someone I could call AMEX Plat concierge or Sapphire Reserve concierge.

How could they help you find the construction status of the Sheraton Port Douglas when the completion date continued to be pushed closer and closer to your travel date?

What exactly were you expecting?

As noted above, multiple times, a single point of contact for odd situations, problems, specific requests, is what I expected. When I had a layover night in MIA but was going to try to go standby the night before, I reached out to my Ambassador. She told me not to worry about the cancellation deadline - if I was able to catch a stand-by evening flight, I'd be fine. Those are the scenarios where I expected/appreciated the extra help, not booking a room faster.

MSPeconomist Apr 30, 18 11:55 am

Note that Marriott *does* currently offer Ambassador service as an unpublished invitation only benefit on an experimental basis. So it's simply not true that Marriott members don't have the chance to enjoy an Ambassador before August 1st.

OTOH I'm personally skeptical about the quality of Marriott ambassadors since I've found (on the basis of more than ten years as SPG Plat and about a half dozen years as MR PP) that generally SPG Plat Concierge has been much better that the agents I reach on the PP line, despite PP being a special unpublished invitation only level, presumably based on several consecutive years of 100+ nights and an undisclosed revenue requirement that AFAIK exceeds $20,000 but is less than $100,000 per year.

bhrubin Apr 30, 18 12:05 pm


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 29699744)
Note that Marriott *does* currently offer Ambassador service as an unpublished invitation only benefit on an experimental basis. So it's simply not true that Marriott members don't have the chance to enjoy an Ambassador before August 1st.

My apologies! I didn’t meant to impugne the current Marriott concierge service. I just know that the parameters for the invitation-only and largely undescribed Marriott Platinum Premier concierge service and the very public and obviously earned SPG Plat100 Ambassador service are distinct.

I am assuming that the new Marriott PlatPremier with Ambassador level will more closely emulate the SPG Ambassador service. If I’m in error, I’ll be the first to admit that!


OTOH I'm personally skeptical about the quality of Marriott ambassadors since I've found (on the basis of more than ten years as SPG Plat and about a half doze2n years as MR PP) that generally SPG Plat Concierge has been much better that the agents I reach on the PP line, despite PP being a special unpublished invitation only level, presumably based on several consecutive years of 100+ nights and an undisclosed revenue requirement that AFAIK exceeds $20,000 but is less than $100,000 per year.
I may be getting confused by your interchangeable use of concierge and Ambassador terms. SPG “regular non-100” Plats don’t get an Ambassador or concierge; there are Platinum telephone agents dedicated to serve their interests and needs, of course. The invitation only Marriott “concierge” service supposedly was meant to let Marriott experiment with and learn how to emulate and potentially evaluate the SPG Ambassador service program.

Either way, as of Aug 1 it is gong to be a public Ambassador service intended to emulate the current SPG Ambassador program as far as what Marriott execs have stated publicly and what the current SPG Ambassador team has stated privately.

MSPeconomist Apr 30, 18 12:39 pm


Originally Posted by bhrubin (Post 29699777)


My apologies! I didn’t meant to impugne the current Marriott concierge service. I just know that the parameters for the invitation-only and largely undescribed Marriott Platinum Premier concierge service and the very public and obviously earned SPG Plat100 Ambassador service are distinct.

I am assuming that the new Marriott PlatPremier with Ambassador level will more closely emulate the SPG Ambassador service. If I’m in error, I’ll be the first to admit that!



I may be getting confused by your interchangeable use of concierge and Ambassador terms. SPG “regular non-100” Plats don’t get an Ambassador or concierge; there are Platinum telephone agents dedicated to serve their interests and needs, of course. The invitation only Marriott “concierge” service supposedly was meant to let Marriott experiment with and learn how to emulate and potentially evaluate the SPG Ambassador service program.

Either way, as of Aug 1 it is gong to be a public Ambassador service intended to emulate the current SPG Ambassador program as far as what Marriott execs have stated publicly and what the current SPG Ambassador team has stated privately.

My statement is a comparison between the SPG Plat Concierge (PlatMinus and above) phone agents and the Marriott PP telephone agents based on my years of experience with both, including a number of overlapping years. I am not confusing SPG Plat Concierge with SPG Ambassadors (although when the Ambassador program was introduced, I had the impression that many of the better and more experienced Plat Concierges became Ambassadors and the remaining Plat Concierge agents were much less good than before).Marriott PP has much higher qualification standards (unpublished but there's lots of evidence and anecdotal reports on FT to support my claim that it's 100+ nights for several consecutive years plus a revenue requirement, so in fact it's distinctly higher than the way every Plat100 on the SPG side has gotten an Ambassador for about a half dozen years now), so I would have expected PP to be superior to Plat Concierge, but IME the opposite has been true.

If you wish, I can also compare my experience with Hyatt Private Line Agents for (some) Diamonds and then My Hyatt Concierge for Globs.

mab Apr 30, 18 12:47 pm

Thanks for this very informative post.

I've been a Marriott PP (staying mostly at medium-high tier properties) for a couple years now, but am not assigned a Marriott concierge, and will almost certainly qualify for the new Ambassador level in the combined program.

Question: how do you make your reservations when you get this level of service? Do you need to reserve via your ambassador, or can you do it on the web site and they just notice your reservations and do their magic in the background? I ask because while I might be willing to call for a special occasion every now and then when I'd really like some kind of special thing, I am much more comfortable managing my own reservations and making them on the web, etc.

BTW, as a PP I found the service I get to be not much different than when I was a regular Platinum. In particular, I find (and found) I get much more attention, better upgrades, etc., at (higher end) properties where I'm a regular than at those where I stay only rarely. I assume local management will always recognize what it perceives to be its own best customers, regardless of formal status in the rewards program.

kaizen7 Apr 30, 18 12:54 pm


Originally Posted by mab (Post 29699934)

Question: how do you make your reservations when you get this level of service? Do you need to reserve via your ambassador, or can you do it on the web site and they just notice your reservations and do their magic in the background? I ask because while I might be willing to call for a special occasion every now and then when I'd really like some kind of extra I am much more comfortable managing my own reservations and making them on the web, etc.

BTW, as a PP I found the service I get to be not much different than when I was a regular Platinum. In particular, I find (and found) I get much more attention, better upgrades, etc., at (higher end) properties where I'm a regular than at those where I stay only rarely. I assume local management will always recognize what it perceives to be its own best customers, regardless of formal status in the rewards program.

I,m very much interested with this ambassador service as well.
Normally I just book the room from my SPG apps

bold : That interesting that PP and PLT treatment is quite similar. Maybe that will happen with the new programs as well .... we never knows for now
I guess local recognition most likely override the program status.

MSPeconomist Apr 30, 18 12:58 pm

Do Ambassadors receive commissions on the reservations they make? Is there an implicit revenue productivity standard for them? {Hyatt seems to have something like this.]

C17PSGR Apr 30, 18 1:00 pm

I have been a PP for several years and a charter of the Marriott Ambassador program. I'm around 110 nights so far this year (with rollover) and haven't used my ambassador this year. I make my reservations on line and get suite upgrades 30-40 percent of the time. I used my ambassador last year a couple of times (get a person added to the res/prepay with a credit card/ask for help with a suite upgrade).

So ... I'm still trying to understand what I should be expecting.

For example, are people receiving benefits calling the ambassador to book the hotel rather than doing it online? Is the ambassador automatically sending strawberries and chocolate to your room when he/she sees your reservation? Do you get charged for that?

bhrubin Apr 30, 18 1:03 pm


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 29699891)
I can also compare my experience with Hyatt Private Line Agents for (some) Diamonds and then My Hyatt Concierge for Globs.

Actually, I would love to hear your comparison in a year or two between the Marriott PlatPremier with Ambassador experience with that of the Hyatt Concierge for Globalist experience.

(The Hyatt footprint doesn't work for me, unfortunately, but I am a fan of the Park Hyatt brand in most locations. I am so-so with Andaz and Grand Hyatt. To each, their own, of course! But I had a very nice stay at the PH Sydney in May 2017.)

bhrubin Apr 30, 18 1:18 pm


Originally Posted by mab (Post 29699934)
Question: how do you make your reservations when you get this level of service? Do you need to reserve via your ambassador, or can you do it on the web site and they just notice your reservations and do their magic in the background? I ask because while I might be willing to call for a special occasion every now and then when I'd really like some kind of special thing, I am much more comfortable managing my own reservations and making them on the web, etc.

You'll be fine! I almost always book my own reservations online, too. I can't imagine asking my Ambassador to do what I so easily can do. I want her to work on big ticket items that have a lot of impact for me, not the nitty gritty that I can handle so easily on my own! Of course, YMMV as with all things.

I can't even recall asking my Ambassador to book a room--though I've asked my Ambassador to change a rate plan from time to time. (My Ambassador also has changed my rate plan a few times without me even knowing because she noticed a new lower rate; I only realize that when I receive the automatic emails indicating the new rates.)

My Ambassador usually (but not always) sends me a reminder about my upcoming reservations. Sometimes, I have just too many for her to do that all the time...which I never mind. She usually asks if I know my arrival times, departure times, things that she can do to arrange so I don't have to bother--but usually I do it on my own. Sometimes, when I tell her I'll arrive earlier than check in (but I don't care to bother with a Your24), she might submit the Your24 for me--and often (but not always) gets that done for me.

usually email my Ambassador to let her know when I really am hoping for a big or special upgrade or when she needn't bother. I really try to do everything with her via email as much as possible, since I think that's easier for both of us.


BTW, as a PP I found the service I get to be not much different than when I was a regular Platinum. In particular, I find (and found) I get much more attention, better upgrades, etc., at (higher end) properties where I'm a regular than at those where I stay only rarely. I assume local management will always recognize what it perceives to be its own best customers, regardless of formal status in the rewards program.
I had excellent service as a regular SPG Plat. But I've enjoyed Aman-level service often as a Plat100 Ambassador staying at StR, LuxColl, and even some W properties. (We've stayed at many Amans since 2009.)

Of course hotels at which we stay most often are going to treat us very well. But as a Plat100 Ambassador, I've been treated super well by many hotels at which I've never stayed. Heck, the Gritti Palace Venice in Oct 2016 and Hotel Imperial Vienna, StR Rome, and Prince de Galles Paris in Oct 2017 are places I'd never before been...that treated us like royalty. Our stay at the StR NYC in Mar 2018 was similar--they really were incredible with us. (Keep in mind that I don't mind to pay a lot for things I want...so the hotels almost certainly know this and reward us for that behavior.)

I think there is a relationship between what you spend and how well these programs can treat you and reward you. As with most things!

bhrubin Apr 30, 18 1:24 pm


Originally Posted by C17PSGR (Post 29699977)
For example, are people receiving benefits calling the ambassador to book the hotel rather than doing it online? Is the ambassador automatically sending strawberries and chocolate to your room when he/she sees your reservation? Do you get charged for that?

My Ambassador usually sends a note to her team at each hotel to indicate what I like and need. That includes that I like strawberries and chocolates, most often when I stay at luxury hotels! (I don't think I've ever gotten those at anywhere but a luxury hotel!) Other hotels send me a bottle of wine or even a cheese tray (which I also love). But the hotel executes that--or misses. The StR Atlanta never gave me any welcome amenity at all. That, to me, is the fault of the hotel and not my Ambassador. Others might disagree, but I think I have a good sense of how it works! Yet that wasn't a big deal fo me at the StR Atlanta.

When the air con isn't preset to 67 F, however, there will be hell to pay!

Of course we don't get charged for that! That's just a nice welcome amenity--most often when I stay at luxury hotels. When I'm at the Sheraton Times Square, I have gotten a bottle of wine or even some fruit/nuts as a snack. It's all relative. But it's always a free gesture to welcome me.

I don't personally mind when a hotel forgets the welcome amenity, but I almost always appreciate them--just like the handwritten note from the Guest Relations Manager or GM. Some people get their panties in a twist when a hotel doesn't include those, but I just move on.

As with all things, I suspect your spending and relevance to that hotel might impact your welcome amenity. YMMV

ross123 Apr 30, 18 1:36 pm


Originally Posted by C17PSGR (Post 29699977)
I have been a PP for several years and a charter of the Marriott Ambassador program. I'm around 110 nights so far this year (with rollover) and haven't used my ambassador this year. I make my reservations on line and get suite upgrades 30-40 percent of the time. I used my ambassador last year a couple of times (get a person added to the res/prepay with a credit card/ask for help with a suite upgrade).

So ... I'm still trying to understand what I should be expecting.

For example, are people receiving benefits calling the ambassador to book the hotel rather than doing it online? Is the ambassador automatically sending strawberries and chocolate to your room when he/she sees your reservation? Do you get charged for that?

I have booked most of my travel myself - I need to book them via our company's corporate website. For personal travel I end up a 50-50. Most of my reward travel is through my Ambassador, and most of my paid travel is via the website to make sure i can find the right rate. if i think the rate is higher than I expect, I call my Ambassador who asks the questions to try to find the right rate. Above that, some of the info on the website is not as accurate as he has (lounge and hours, parking, any construction going on, any events at the hotel that will affect my stay, etc). if you have a channel of info, you should use it.

howtofreetravel Apr 30, 18 1:54 pm

I find I get a welcome gift wine or cheese in most SPG hotels as a regular platinum this is not a special ambassador benefit.

kaizen7 Apr 30, 18 3:18 pm


Originally Posted by howtofreetravel (Post 29700169)
I find I get a welcome gift wine or cheese in most SPG hotels as a regular platinum this is not a special ambassador benefit.

I only got fruit platter and some chocolate or candy as PLT
And no suite upgrade yet :D

CPRich Apr 30, 18 5:02 pm

OP is certainly free to feel everyone else is wrong, and OP is right, but just so no one thinks it's all rainbows and unicorns, here's the other side of the experiences/opinions. (Mine are embedded in various of them)

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/star...mbassador.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/star...mbassador.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/star...mbassador.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/star...mbassador.html

HookEm Apr 30, 18 5:54 pm

The OP says that so far in 2018 she has stayed 106 nights at SPG hotels and 58 nights at Marriott, for a total of 164 hotel nights in 2018.
Today is April 30, which is the 120th day of 2018. So how do you have 164 hotel nights in 120 days? Sounds like neat trick! Maybe it’s a typo by the OP.

MSPeconomist Apr 30, 18 6:20 pm


Originally Posted by HookEm (Post 29700940)
The OP says that so far in 2018 she has stayed 106 nights at SPG hotels and 58 nights at Marriott, for a total of 164 hotel nights in 2018.
Today is April 30, which is the 120th day of 2018. So how do you have 164 hotel nights in 120 days? Sounds like neat trick! Maybe it’s a typo by the OP.

Maybe it's a lot of triple night credit for three rooms under the SPG program.

106/3 is about 35 actual Starwood nights, and 35 + 58 = 93 < 120, which is possible, but it illustrates how easy it is for some people to get lots of SPG nights when they travel with friends, relatives, colleagues, employees, etc. and can claim full credit for three rooms.

ADDED: I'm glad that this "feature" is being terminated in the new combined program.

bhrubin Apr 30, 18 6:20 pm


Originally Posted by HookEm (Post 29700940)
The OP says that so far in 2018 she has stayed 106 nights at SPG hotels and 58 nights at Marriott, for a total of 164 hotel nights in 2018.
Today is April 30, which is the 120th day of 2018. So how do you have 164 hotel nights in 120 days? Sounds like neat trick! Maybe it’s a typo by the OP.

First, I’m a he. :D

Second, I’m actually now at 109 nights SPG. I organize and book groups as part of my business, so I can get credit for up to 3 rooms with SPG under my own name/account. I also earn 1 night credit for every 20 room nights consumed beyond those as part of the groups I book via SPG Pro (for event/meeting planners). I can get credit for up to 10 rooms with Marriott group travel, but I stay far more with SPG.

Third, I also have both SPG Amex and Business Amex (5 nights each) and both Marriott personal and business cards (15 nights each).

No typos or tricks.

FYI, I am at 46 actual nights with SPG personally, and another 7 actual nights with Marriott and RC personally year-to-date. I’d say 53 nights year to date personally shows how I easily hit 100 nights anyway. I’ll be leaving on Sunday for 13 nights in Japan—11 nights SPG between Luxury Collection and St Regis, and 2 nights with Ritz-Carlton.

While everyone claims the 3 nights elite credit for up to 3 rooms is somehow generous for SPG, let’s not forget that Marriott gives 10 nights elite credit for 10+ rooms or even for a meeting that costs as little as $100. Sorry, but I’m not crying about the loss of SPG’s 3 nights credit rule because Marriott already is far more generous with groups.

Also, it’s my company. My business. My spending. Every dime.

4getofn Apr 30, 18 6:33 pm

So ... At 100k spend and 109 nights your average room cost is $917 per night ... Nice job ...

bhrubin Apr 30, 18 6:44 pm


Originally Posted by 4getofn (Post 29701046)
So ... At 100k spend and 109 nights your average room cost is $917 per night ... Nice job ...

Remember that I book groups, also, and my group bookings are probably only between $150-200 per night on average.

My personal stays outside of my group tours are likely $400+ or more, on average, hard to say. I just stayed at the StR Atlanta for $500/night. My W Boston was only $233/night. My Ritz-Carlton Boston over Easter was about $600/night. My StR New York weekend in March was about $650/night.

Those are room rates only, of course. I spent over $4K in food/beverage at the StR New York because of Table 55.

4getofn Apr 30, 18 6:49 pm

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