Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Discontinued Programs/Partners > Starwood | Starwood Preferred Guest
Reload this Page >

New to SPG and already disappointed. What to do?

New to SPG and already disappointed. What to do?

 
Old Nov 28, 12, 1:49 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3
New to SPG and already disappointed. What to do?

Hi all! My wife and I are new SPG member, still just a "preferred guest". I am copying an email I send to customer service and still have not received a reply from either hotel about our experience. We are both unsure about how to proceed from here. Any advice would be appreciated!

Good morning,

We are new members to the Starwood Preferred Guest Program, but actually have been staying at Starwood Hotels for a long time. I just wanted to mention my disappointment with two hotels. Honestly, I am not complaining or expecting anything in return, but I am extremely displeased with my stays.

My wife and I got married on Friday, November 11, 2012. I reserved two nights at the Westin Colonnade Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida for Thursday night, the 10th, and Friday night, the 11th. The first night was for her and her bridesmaids to get ready. The second night was our first night as a married couple. The week before checking in, I spoke with someone from the front desk to have something special prepared for our arrival, after our ceremony. I was told the first night was spectacular - something I have come to expect from Starwood hotels. However, the night I arrived with my wife (the second night), nothing was found in the room. Imagine my disappointment, and that of my wife's, when nothing is in the room when we walk in! I went down to the front desk to see what happened. I was told that a message was written in the front desk book about preparing something for us. The front desk agent saw that the first person I spoke to wrote in the book to prepare some flowers and a VIP welcome basket the night of our wedding. However, nothing was done. The front desk agent told me he would find out what happened and offered two complimentary breakfast coupons. Later, at around 2:00AM, he called and told me that the "do not disturb" sign was on the door so they didn't do anything. I left it at that, as it was late already and I wanted to sleep. I spoke with the maid of honor and she told me that she specifically took of the do not disturb sign because she knew that they were going to come into the room. She knew about this because she came with me the week before to make the arrangements with the first front desk agent. I am just very disappointed with the outcome of our hotel stay on the first night of being married. Worst of all, my wife was disappointed in not seeing anything prepared for her.

The second part, was out stay at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Hotel in Orlando, Floridafor two nights, Saturday and Sunday, the 12 and 13th. This was reserved through the iphone app (in order to take advantage of 500 SPG points that was offered). In the remarks section, I mentioned that we just got married, therefore, to prepare something nice in the room for our arrival. Again, I was hoping to make up for Friday night at the previous hotel. Upon our arrival, again, nothing was prepared for us! I really just wanted some flowers in the room, something, anything, that would make my wife happy - not just an ordinary room. Again, utter disappointment in the hotel. I went down to ask in the front desk and he said that he gave us a King size bed. However, that was exactly what I had requested on the app - therefore, nothing out of the ordinary.

Overall, I am disappointed, mostly because it made me look bad in front of my wife. I just wanted to voice my displeasure and my disconcerted feeling towards Starwood hotels right now. I had one chance, one weeked, two hotels to make it an unforgettable wedding for myself and my wife, and everything was a let down at the hotels. I really expected more from Starwood hotels. I realize that we are not Gold or Platinum members, but I really thought something this simple was easily done. I used to work in the Front Desk at the Hotel Sofitel (your competitor) and I always tried to exceed my guests expectations, much more that just meeting them. I feel like my expectations of Starwood were not even met. I am finding hard to even want to go back to any of those hotels when our anniversary, or any special occasion, comes around.

Regards,
hpvsor is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 2:09 pm
  #2  
Company Representative - Starwood
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Marriott Employee Level
Posts: 31,593
Originally Posted by hpvsor View Post
...Any advice would be appreciated!
My apologies if no one has responded. My advice would be to email Corporate Customer Service and ask them about the disposition of your complaints. Be sure to give them the file number for each to save some time or the necessity for back and forth communications.

[email protected]

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
Starwood Lurker is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 3:02 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MSP
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM (FO soon), A3 Gold, TK Classic Plus, SPG Plat, HH Gold, Hyatt Diamond, National EE
Posts: 1,003
Probably a bit long/wordy, with no desired action and what are rather minor complaints that have nothing to do with SPG. Your complaints are that individual hotels didn't go above and beyond.

For sure in the second case you should have called to confirm, as notes are inconsistently read across all hotel groups in my experience. I mostly just use them to indicate if my wife may check in ahead of me, for example.

If it's that important, you really should be dealing with someone higher up than a random desk clerk.

I'm not sure what your expectations are, but they be mismatched relative to how you worked to arrange things.
mattsteg is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 3:07 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: DUS (and somewhere in transit)
Programs: LH SEN, AB PLAT, BA Gold, Hilton Lifetime Diamond, SPG Lifetime Platinum, IHG RA, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 10,079
For my wedding I did not count on courtesy but gave clear instructions on what I expected (and paid for it). They went, however, the extra mile. It is a bit of taking and giving - in particular for Mr. No name status wise....
Flying Lawyer is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 3:31 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: FRA
Programs: LH SEN, SPG Plat, Hyatt Plat
Posts: 566
Just to be clear, you are disappointed that the hotels didn't go above and beyond? You didn't pay for anything extra, right? While hotels often try to make such nights special, I wouldn't count on it, especially if it's my wedding. You could have ordered (and paid for) some flowers or a bottle of champagne in advance.

It's just like with platinum upgrades, I do come to expect something, but understand that it's not always possible or things sometimes go wrong... So if I really need a better room or a suite, I make sure I book what I want.

I had one chance, one weeked, two hotels to make it an unforgettable wedding for myself and my wife, and everything was a let down at the hotels.
Sorry to say, but it sounds more like you had too high expectations...

What to do? Next time, don't just rely on the hotel to make your stay special. Book a better room and have flowers delivered yourself, that way you can make your stay special.
German-FLyer is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 3:36 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: CT/ Germany - Ich spreche deutsch
Programs: UA Plat, AA Gold, LH Silver, Bonvoy LTTE, HH Dia, Hyatt Disc, PC Plat, CC Gold
Posts: 4,190
I'm confused!

So did you expect the hotel to do something special and give you a VIP basket just because you were getting married? Or did you actual sort this with them and were paying for it?

If the later and you were paying for it, then there is an issue IMHO. If you were just expecting it because you asked for it then you are just not lucky!
christianj is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 3:40 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canada
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Bonvoy PLAT, Priority Pass, Star Alliance Gold
Posts: 3,260
Exclamation contact the hotel directly

I don't understand at all your "disappointment" with SPG after two stays??

For starters, you were a guest at two hotels. Contact them directly about compensation, instead of airing your wedding issues in public! FYI, I have had paid stays reimbursed, I have received compensation of up to 5000 SPG points, free stays, complimentary upgrades, etc. etc.

In short, the problem is not with SPG. The problem is you don't know how to process a customer satisfaction issue. Read it and weep!!
Antonio8069 is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 3:42 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Box Three Five Oh, Boston Mass, Oh two one three four
Programs: Loyal Order of Water Buffalos
Posts: 3,052
Have to agree with the others. It would be nice if these kinds of requests were met with flowers and bubbly, but it would also leave to an inordinate number of guests conveniently celebrating honeymoons, 25th anniversaries, 50th birthdays, etc, in the hopes of upgrades and freebies.

Unless you spoke with someone who said "I'm doing this, this and this for you", all you can do is hope for some recognition.
Out of my Element is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 3:56 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Programs: AA PLT,AS,UA PP,J6,FB,EY,LH,SQ,HH Dmd,Hyatt Expl,Marriott Plat,IHG Plat,Accor Gold
Posts: 10,524
Welcome to FT! I'm sorry to hear about your disappointing experience, but at this point your might do yourself a favor by focusing on lessons learned rather than recriminations. Here are two lessons I'd suggest:

1.
Originally Posted by German-FLyer View Post
What to do? Next time, don't just rely on the hotel to make your stay special. Book a better room and have flowers delivered yourself, that way you can make your stay special.
+1 Even for something as special as a honeymoon, you can't absolutely rely on a hotel going the extra mile. It's great if the hotel does so, but don't based your expectations (and disappointment) on it providing special service. (In addition, I'd note that it sounds like the first hotel did do a good job for the bridal gathering the night before the wedding. But that's neither here nor there at this point.)

2. By no means recall these minor disappointments as major events in your wedding day or marriage. Either forget about them or laugh about them. Hey, my wife and I literally almost killed each other (and ourselves) when we took turns doing some lousy driving when abroad for our honeymoon. Believe me, we got past it quickly. And you'll face far bigger challenges and disappointments in marriage than these little hotel blips. Sorry about the unsolicited advice, but you'll find that life with Starwood and life generally is a lot nicer when you take incidents like this in stride.
Thunderroad is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 4:00 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Programs: Marriott Titanium & Lifetime Platinum, United Silver, Delta Silver
Posts: 506
Agree completely - your complaint is not justified. Sure, you might be disappointed that the hotel didn't go above and beyond, but this is not grounds for a customer service complaint. If you wanted something special, you should have arranged (and paid for it) yourself.

I am a Platinum member with an Ambassador and recently stayed in a hotel in London on my boyfriend's birthday. I left a note with the hotel and asked my Ambassador to mention my boyfriend's birthday to the hotel as well but did not receive anything special. It would have been nice had the hotel provided something, but it is not a big deal and I certainly didn't complain to corporate about it -- as I wasn't relying on the hotel to do anything special.
DCFlyer0306 is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 4:12 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Programs: UA Gold 1MM, Marriott Ambassador/Lifetime Titanium, Accor Silver, Club Carlson Gold, BW Diamond
Posts: 2,431
1) you ARE complaining

2) You clearly DO expect something in return

3) Seriously - as you both entered the room your wife was disappointed not to see some cheap wine or a bowl of fruit? This is a joke, right?


This thread is a test, I'm guessing.
clublounger is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 4:31 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Likely being followed...
Programs: DYKWIA Extraordinaire. TrollSlayer Mega Diamond. [insert esoteric sounding status level(s) here]
Posts: 5,240
Did you offer to pay for the "extras" or just wanted some freebie.
Vuelos is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 5:30 pm
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Thank you all for your replies! I guess I still have much to learn about what to expect from hotels. I agree that my expectations were too high as I was going by what I did (or would have done) when I worked in a hotel.
For the record, I did ask and sort something out with the first hotel and nothing was done.
I really enjoy staying at SPG hotels and this experience is something that will definitely NOT ruin my wedding memories!
Thanks again!
hpvsor is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 7:13 pm
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 90,398
Originally Posted by hpvsor View Post
Thank you all for your replies! I guess I still have much to learn about what to expect from hotels. I agree that my expectations were too high as I was going by what I did (or would have done) when I worked in a hotel.
For the record, I did ask and sort something out with the first hotel and nothing was done.
I really enjoy staying at SPG hotels and this experience is something that will definitely NOT ruin my wedding memories!
Thanks again!
When you worked in a hotel and saw special stuff being done, was it a hotel of roughly the same category as where you stayed? Did that hotel really go out of their way all the time to do special things for unknown guests, as opposed to regulars, those of high status with the hotel chain, or those who had booked expensive meetings or private functions at the hotel?
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Nov 28, 12, 7:55 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,747
Originally Posted by hpvsor View Post
For the record, I did ask and sort something out with the first hotel and nothing was done.
I really enjoy staying at SPG hotels and this experience is something that will definitely NOT ruin my wedding memories!
Thanks again!
Firstly, congratulations on your wedding.

May I now advise you that if you are going to ask others to do "something special" for you on important occasions (like your wedding!), then you are setting your wife up for major disappointments, and yourself for a lot of grief.

I'm getting the impression you didn't buy any flowers or decorate the room etc, but instead hoped/expected that the hotel would do it. Doesn't sound like the sort of planning that should have gone into your WEDDING.

Sometimes there are things you just have to do yourself...

travelswithmyself is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: