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Why am I staying in a Westin? Benefit desert...

Why am I staying in a Westin? Benefit desert...

Old May 22, 19, 3:51 pm
  #16  
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Interesting experience - I stayed at the per diem government rate, though, of course, no breakfast other than the continental. Yes, you can't beat the location for easy evening dining.
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Old May 22, 19, 3:56 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
This whole thread was a rant at Westin based on two examples, which was then quickly shown to be a single example.

Much like many Marriotts and Rens, some Westins and Sheratons go above and beyond, some fall far short.

No, a Westin is not a "benefit desert".
We will just have to disagree. By my reckoning, my total Titanium Elite benefits at this property was access to a muffin cabinet. I can beat that at a Fairfield Inn. Your point that other hotels or stays might be better is fair, that was indeed the whole point of the thread, to learn if this were the case. Rant? Yes, at least one in this thread.
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Old May 22, 19, 5:45 pm
  #18  
 
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I agree with the OP. As a former 100+ night spger and then a Marriot person, the failure to manage Westins and Sheratons was a huge failure by spg. Westin was hit or miss in the US, some good, some atrocious. Sheratons in the US pretty consistently sucked with a few exceptions.

Elite benefits were also inconsistent at these chains.

The W, LM and StR were the high points of the spg life, but beyond that it was the wild west. (And dont get me started on US Four Points )
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Old May 22, 19, 6:32 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
This whole thread was a rant at Westin based on two examples, which was then quickly shown to be a single example.

No, a Westin is not a "benefit desert".
Nor are MARs necessarily. Goodness knows we've had SPG folk denigrate the entire MAR chain based on 1-2 experiences. Goes both ways

Cheers.
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Old May 22, 19, 6:41 pm
  #20  
 
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If Marriott and SPG employees squabble and snark like their frequent guests do on here, no wonder this merger has been so fraught.
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Old May 22, 19, 8:07 pm
  #21  
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Hotel excluding suites from upgrades (JW Guanacasta Costa Rica)

Man - based on that thread, apparently every single JW in the chain must exclude Titaniums from upgrades!!!

SMH at the logic in this thread
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Old May 22, 19, 8:33 pm
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Hotel excluding suites from upgrades (JW Guanacasta Costa Rica)

Man - based on that thread, apparently every single JW in the chain must exclude Titaniums from upgrades!!!

SMH at the logic in this thread
JWs for the most part offer far more consistent behavior across the board. You cannot be telling us, with a straight face, that spg had any semblance of brand consistency or quality across Westins or Sheratons.

it doesn't need to be a spg vs Marriott argument to recognize the shortcomings of each brand.
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Old May 22, 19, 8:54 pm
  #23  
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Sheraton was pretty inconsistent. The stepchild of Starwood esp in the US. But no more than a Marriott to me. Either nice and renovated with M Clubs or something straight out of the 1980s. Legacy or new Marriott branding. And yes breakfast in lounges on weekends...except for the growing exception list.

Having stayed at more Westin’s than any other Starwood brand, 60-70, yes they were consistent with a common brand identity and aesthetic. Focus on wellness and fitness. Contemporary but not too trendy. Etc. I always sought them out and was rarely disappointed.
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Old May 22, 19, 10:41 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
And yes breakfast in lounges on weekends...except for the growing exception list.
There are well over 1,000 full service properties that have exec lounges (it was 900 before the merger & when you add in all the SPG properties a lot more now). The exception list growing from 14 to 20 out of 1,000+ isn't a huge growth (and a couple of the properties on the exception list have their exec lounges open on the weekend anyway).

Cheers.
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Old May 22, 19, 11:56 pm
  #25  
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"New" Marriott is worse than either program was before. Can we move on now, and stop rehashing an argument that's been beaten beyond death in literally dozens (hundreds?) of threads before?
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Old May 23, 19, 1:04 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by orca15 View Post
I was naively swayed toward the breakfast by the idea that I could trade points for breakfast, which made me assume (incorrectly) that breakfast would be better than a lounge, Otherwise, as I said, what's the point? Turned out there was, indeed, no point - if they have a lounge, take the points and go to it. I know that now.
I happily trade welcome gift points for breakfast in the restaurant when I am staying long enough to utilize the benefit. Sheraton on the Park in Sydney has an awesome offering priced at AUD $44. (USD $30.25) The Sheraton Grand in Dubai is even more impressive at 129 Dirham (USD $35.13).

For 2 people over 2 nights we saved USD $120/$140 in exchange for $5-$10 dollars worth of points! The breakfast buffet at the St. Regis Bora Bora made the USD $169 lunch for 2 a little easier to swallow. The Marriott Santiago provided an upgrade to a full suite, great breakfast in the Restaurant AND points on a 6 night stay, 4+1 nights on points and 1 paid night.

Don't discount the value of restaurant breakfast. It will almost always be better value than taking the points, and you can still use the lounge!

James
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Old May 23, 19, 1:23 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by orca15 View Post

This paragraph alone exceeds my entire lifecycle of good deals with Marriott and Hilton combined , 100 nights per year, so we are clearly doing something different.
I don't know that I am doing anything differently other than I do use the chat feature to contact the property. If I haven't received an upgrade prior, I message the property after check-in and ask if they have any upgrades available. I did this recently at the Marriott Tokyo and got a reply that they don't upgrade two days out. After arriving in Toyko, I sent the hotel another message to advise I would be arriving in 30 minutes. I do this for every stay so they are prepared when I arrive. When I got to the hotel, they upgraded me to a full suite. It, at least, puts a bug in their ear. I think that is better than arriving "cold."

This picture is off topic for Westin, but this was my St. Regis Titanium Appreciation Gift.



James
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Old May 23, 19, 10:31 am
  #28  
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Thanks, FfF, that's a good tip. I mostly just show up except on those rare occasions I have the SO along, then I try harder (with decent success).

Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
Don't discount the value of restaurant breakfast. It will almost always be better value than taking the points, and you can still use the lounge!
This was not my experience at the two properties I mention, Sheraton LAX and HSV Westin - the "elite" breakfast was the pastry cabinet, with an upcharge for the buffet breakfast. I assumed it would be as you describe but was told otherwise when I arrived at the restaurant. I suppose the difference in full price buffet and upcharge buffet would have amounted to a decent return on the points, to be fair--but nothing like the $120 you cite, more like $10 a day.
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Old May 23, 19, 12:52 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
This picture is off topic for Westin, but this was my St. Regis Titanium Appreciation Gift.



James
Well that sure beats the ubiquitous 1000 points!
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Old May 23, 19, 8:09 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by yyzflyer View Post
Well that sure beats the ubiquitous 1000 points!
Thanks! I still got 33K points for 2 nights, breakfast buffet included. The complimentary Champagne was USD $43.50 a GLASs in the restaurant. Cocktail of the day $29.00. Definitely expensive, but a nice finish to an 8-day cruise through French Polynesia. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.

Ok, back to the thread topic....

James
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