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-   -   Why am I staying in a Westin? Benefit desert... (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marriott-marriott-bonvoy/1970712-why-am-i-staying-westin-benefit-desert.html)

orca15 May 21, 19 10:22 am

Why am I staying in a Westin? Benefit desert...
 
Stayed in a couple of Westins this year...pre-merger I was pretty much all Marriott. I figured why not try it, since all those SPG-loyals seemed to be wild about how they were treated. As a Titanium, I was really hoping for that nice suite...and then reality set in. [added] Spent the last week at Huntsville and...

No club breakfast plus a $10 voucher, like the Ren, but choose points OR breakfast. OK, I choose breakfast...but breakfast is literally a plexiglass cabinet with some muffins unless you pay extra. No room upgrade. No free bottles of water offered. Room overlooking the parking lot. No hi-speed wifi choice (but it seemed OK). No club- no dinner snacks, drinks, etc.

Basically I'm not sure if I got any benefits at all other than the muffins and presumably my point bonus...I thought the first one maybe was an outlier (LAX) but after the second one (HSV) I have to say I'm not a fan. Bedding was nice, though, which I guess is most of the battle.

What am I missing?

Sulley May 21, 19 10:24 am

The Westin LAX does have a club lounge unless it has closed in the past 60 days.

orca15 May 21, 19 10:28 am


Originally Posted by Sulley (Post 31123869)
The Westin LAX does have a club lounge unless it has closed in the past 60 days.

[edited] Upon further review, my stay at LAX was in the Sheraton Gateway...disregard that red herring, My post is about the Westin HSV.

C17PSGR May 21, 19 10:35 am

The SPG folks on this board can be pretty loyal but I tried a lot of different SPG brands following the merger to give it a chance but ....when choosing between a US Marriott/Renn or a Westin/Sheraton, the Marriott/Renn is almost always the better choice.

1. The Marriott/Renn will almost always offer an upgrade of some type, breakfast and snacks in the lounge, and a $10 coupon or 1000 points
2. The Westin/Sheraton will sometimes offer an upgrade although some legacy GM's are used to designating certain rooms as "standard" upgrades, some will have a lounge, and it will be a choice of breakfast or 1000 points. In some cases, breakfast is a what we think of with ordering from the menu while others are limited to a muffin, juice, or coffee. Even in the same Westin, breakfast will vary from stay to stay.

It's no wonder that in same market comparisons, legacy SPG properties had lower occupancy and RevPAR than legacy Marriott properties.

Still, it varies. There are well run Westin/Sheraton properties in the US that are better than the nearby legacy Marriott properties. The great news is we now have more options and FT is a place to share our experiences so we can stay in the places that treat us well and avoid the ones that don't!

orca15 May 21, 19 10:51 am

[edit] I'm so sorry, but the below applies not to Westin LAX but Sheraton Gateway LAX. Clearly I'm an SPG novice ;)

A little off topic, but I'm starting to recall the LAX Westin Sheraton LAX and the story gets worse...offered "points or breakfast" to which I replied "I booked a "with breakfast" rate." Clerk denies that I have breakfast included so I figure I just mixed it up with something else and select the (continental, though I am not told so) elite breakfast gift. Later I recheck my records, discover that the FD clerk was wrong, and call the manager and leave a message. No response. Call back get a manager, and eventually get the breakfast rate differential ($20?) refunded, which I receive. Am also promised a compensation for the trouble of 10,000 points or some such...never received. Maybe I should have cut my losses at that point but as most of you know, if we stop staying at some brand when that stuff happens, there would be nowhere left to stay after a while.

Kacee May 21, 19 8:41 pm

I am 100% on suite upgrades at Sheraton Gateway LAX in at least half dozen stays over the past 18 months. The lounge there is pretty decent and Plats (and higher) get guaranteed access - why didn't you have breakfast there?

UA-NYC May 21, 19 8:49 pm

Always smart to make a judgment of an entire brand off of a single short-term stay @:-)

Considering that one pre-merger program had suite upgrades written into the rules and the other didn't, it's Bizarro-world to suggest that the latter is better than the former in that respect

Flying for Fun May 21, 19 9:49 pm

I have been upgraded to a full suite at the Sheraton LAX the last two times I stayed. Assigned and updated in the App before check-in. At the front desk, they even threw in a couple of drink coupons for the lobby bar. I had a couple of Top Shelf Vodka Martinis and they waived the price differntial from the max coupon value.

I stayed at the Westin DFW 10 days ago on a layover. Upgraded to a full suite with wetbar on the top floor on an $84 AAA rate.

Outside the USA, upgrades and service are heads above their US Counterparts. I recently stayed 2 nights at the Sheraton Grand in Dubai after an unexpected change of plans. I booked it a 12:00 pm through the app and did an online check in to arrive at 1:00 pm. When I arrived at the hotel I was escorted to the lounge on the 22nd floor for check-in. Beverage was offered. Upgraded to a full suite which wasn't quite ready. A rush was put on housekeeping. I was informed when prior guests had checked out and housekeeping was prioritized. Impressive afternoon tea was ongoing in the lounge. Offered a tour of the rooftop pool area and fitness centre where I could have a shower to freshen up while I waited. I could go on and on. Just a great experience.

At the Renaissance in Santiago Chile I was upgraded to a Club floor room. When I arrived, I asked about available suites. FD Clerk looked, made a quick call and gave me the top floor Governor's Suite for three nights.

Pre arrival upgrades:

Upgraded to a full suite at the Renaissance Hong Kong. Upgraded to a Marvelous Suite at the W Panama, 2 nights $145 AAA rate. Full suite at the W Santiago. Junior Suite on the Club Floor Westin Wall Centre Vancouver. Full suite for 4 nights at the new Westin Brisbane. Reefside Villa upgraded to an OVW Bungalo Island View at the St. Regis Bora Bora, 2 night stay. Bottle of Billecart Salmon Brut Champaign on ice, a large bottle of Evian and a large bottle of San Pellegrino accompanied with a platter of French Macaroons on a bed of freshly grated coconut was sent over with a note thanking me for being a Titanium Member.

And that is just from the SPG side this year. I have also had some great upgrades on the Marriott side as well like a 7:30 am check-in to a Junior Suite at the Marriott at Circular Quay.

Prior to the merger, Platinum recognition coming from Marriott, especially at SPG properties, was abysmal. I wasn't finding value in my loyalty and decided not to chase it any longer. With my experiences this year, I am rethinking that, especially with the double elite night promotion.

James

Dr. HFH May 21, 19 9:58 pm


Originally Posted by C17PSGR (Post 31123912)
It's no wonder that in same market comparisons, legacy SPG properties had lower occupancy and RevPAR than legacy Marriott properties.

Which markets? Sounds like an overly broad and sweeping generalization to me.

Nuhusky May 22, 19 4:26 am

Post merger I as a loyal Marriott plebe tried the Westin union square in sfo. Upgraded to a one bed corner suite and breakfast in the restaurant. Breakfast was continental which was more than enough as a self serve buffet but the staff told me to take anything in the place. Nice gesture but I just wanted cereal

i do prefer marriotts in general but you can’t beat the heavenly bed

Duke787 May 22, 19 5:13 am

No issues here with staying at a Westin post-acquisition. They also tend to have the best gyms because of the Westin Wellness Program -- and I really appreciate that most (if not all) in the US now have Peloton bikes which are very useful to me as someone who likes to spin a couple times a week for the low impact on my knees / joints

orca15 May 22, 19 12:41 pm


Originally Posted by Flying for Fun (Post 31126099)

Upgraded to a full suite at the Renaissance Hong Kong. Upgraded to a Marvelous Suite at the W Panama, 2 nights $145 AAA rate. Full suite at the W Santiago. Junior Suite on the Club Floor Westin Wall Centre Vancouver. Full suite for 4 nights at the new Westin Brisbane. Reefside Villa upgraded to an OVW Bungalo Island View at the St. Regis Bora Bora, 2 night stay. Bottle of Billecart Salmon Brut Champaign on ice, a large bottle of Evian and a large bottle of San Pellegrino accompanied with a platter of French Macaroons on a bed of freshly grated coconut was sent over with a note thanking me for being a Titanium Member.

James

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.


Originally Posted by UA-NYC (Post 31125944)
Always smart to make a judgment of an entire brand off of a single short-term stay @:-)


Originally Posted by UA-NYC (Post 31125944)

Considering that one pre-merger program had suite upgrades written into the rules and the other didn't, it's Bizarro-world to suggest that the latter is better than the former in that respect



And for the poster that said I was making a conclusion based on a single stay, you clearly didn't read my post. I asked if I was missing something. Perhaps the no club, no upgrade, no free water, and muffins were indeed an outlier, As someone who has only stayed in Westin once recently, the prudent thing to do would seem to be to ask the crowd WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I AM DOING. Even the title is a question to the crowd.

Since FlyerTalk is purportedly a place to share experiences and travel tips, I never understand why folks like that want to berate those of us asking for people to share experiences and travel tips.

orca15 May 22, 19 12:48 pm


Originally Posted by Kacee (Post 31125929)
I am 100% on suite upgrades at Sheraton Gateway LAX in at least half dozen stays over the past 18 months. The lounge there is pretty decent and Plats (and higher) get guaranteed access - why didn't you have breakfast there?

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.

UA-NYC May 22, 19 2:24 pm

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".

CCIE_Flyer May 22, 19 2:54 pm

The property in question is quite nice following a recent renovation. I also like most of the FD personnel I encounter there. But the management is borderline criminal. I recently stayed there under a “government” rate, which was nearly $30 over the actual per diem lodging rate for HSV. It was explained to me that breakfast was mandatory under their gov rate structure, and that’s why I had to pay above and beyond what I could claim for reimbursement. Well, then come to find out this $30 breakfast is exclusive of anything to drink other than tap water. And they are quite proud of their juice!

For me it comes down to location - I can walk between this property and where most of my meeting take place. And obviously with the open-air mall there’s plenty to choose from in terms of dining. And although I’m not terribly impressed by how it’s operated, I do partake of the cigar lounge next door. So I hold my nose and try not to think too much about how I’m being swindled every time I turn around by this stinker of a management team. Which is a shame given the potential for this property to be a real gem.


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