SPG Ambassador worth it?

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Old Aug 30, 17, 8:35 am
  #76
 
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There are two elements of recognition, one could be possible across the full portfolio, one not so much:
- Things like cards, hellos, Op Mgr walking someone to their room, best available rooms can be done essentially for free, so if SPG wanted to establish certain norms they could (but it would be very difficult and probably not worth the effort)
- Things like welcome bottles of wine, comped meals, bouquets of flowers, etc. relies on an existing discretionary fund being available within a hotel which will tend to only be in the luxury 5* hotels - it's unrealistic to expect that can often be replicated in a more basic property

If I were involved in SPG/ Marriott high value client mgt the aim I would have is that clients who are worth a lot corporately are treated in a hotel the same way the hotel treats people who are worth a lot to them individually.
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Old Aug 30, 17, 9:24 am
  #77
 
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
I note the total absence of W properties from this list....... and that W is the only property specifically mentioned on this one. Consistent with my experience at W hotels.
To be fair 9/10 I have had amazing experiences at W properties. The only W I've had an issue with is the W Leicester Square in London. Horrible Property.

We've had great experiences at:
W Seattle
W Barcelona
W Washington DC (once when we weren't even staying there and wanted to ask the concierge where to find some chocolate oreos they had provided!)
W Chicago North Shore
W New York
W New York - Times Square (where they emailed me specifically after the fact to address a complaint I made to my ambassador...)
etc. etc.
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Old Aug 30, 17, 10:22 am
  #78
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I think we too often may be mixing up hotel quality of experience with Ambassador levels of service. The latest mentions of both subpar and/or good experiences at W hotels go to this point.

A fabulous Ambassador doesn't preclude that some hotel stays won't be good. My Ambassador is amazing, and yet I had subpar service at the W Boston, StR Washington, and StR Dubai. One doesn't necessarily have much to do with the other. Those hotels had issues. My Ambassador doesn't.

My stays at the W Los Angeles, W Bogota, W San Francisco, and W Seattle have been wonderful. That's because they are better managed W hotels, not because my Ambassador was any better or worse.

Ambassadors work with their hotel teams to try and improve and elevate our experiences. But any team is only as strong as its weakest link. That far more often reveals the weakness of the hotel team rather than the Ambassador team when it comes to the quality of our hotel stays.

Ambassador "status" is about having your Ambassador to assist you and help you--and does not and cannot guarantee better hotel experiences because the hotels execute differently. There are always going to be some hotels that are better than others, even within the same brand--because some hotels simply execute better than others. Better hotels are better precisely because they are better managed and better execute good service and better train their staff. Ambassadors can't change this fact. Better hotels will be more likely to execute the wishes of a good Ambassador; poorer hotels will be less likely to execute the wishes of the same good Ambassador. The actual experience at any hotel has much more to do with the quality of the hotel than that of the Ambassador.

Ambassador status doesn't guarantee a spectacular hotel stay any more than staying at a St Regis does; it merely improves your chances that arrangements and some forms of hotel service may be elevated. There are better and worse St Regis hotels, there are better and worse Luxury Collection hotels, there are better and worse W hotels, there are better and worse Le Méridien and Westin and Sheraton hotels, etc. For perspective, there also are better and worse Peninsula hotels, better and worse Four Seasons hotels, better and worse Amanresorts, better and worse Mandarin Oriental hotels, etc.

Having an Ambassador can elevate one's Starwood experience. But it isn't guaranteed at every hotel. If you stay at a subpar hotel within any brand, you still are likely to have a subpar experience even with Ambassador status. That's just common sense.
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Last edited by bhrubin; Aug 30, 17 at 1:21 pm
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Old Aug 30, 17, 11:34 am
  #79
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I had absolutely wonderful service at the W Boston, for what it's worth. They upgraded me to the Wow suite, comped my restaurant breakfast despite choosing points, comped my bar tab the night before, and were totally wonderful.

Also, the hotel was an absolutely wild party the night I stayed there. (Including a 2am stabbing right in front—not their fault though)
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Old Aug 30, 17, 1:50 pm
  #80
 
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Originally Posted by helvetic View Post
Also, the hotel was an absolutely wild party the night I stayed there. (Including a 2am stabbing right in front—not their fault though)
Would be interesting if it was somehow their fault though...
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Old Aug 30, 17, 4:23 pm
  #81
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How many SPG points of compensation would it be worth? Haha.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 10:42 pm
  #82
 
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I think this is spot on. My Ambassador is fantastic. Only nuance i would add is that the Ambassador team has more than "soft" dollars- they have actual hard dollars. To your earlier point, I would assume this is somehow calculated based on overall spend / profitability to SPG, not to a particular hotel.

Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
I think we too often may be mixing up hotel quality of experience with Ambassador levels of service. The latest mentions of both subpar and/or good experiences at W hotels go to this point.

A fabulous Ambassador doesn't preclude that some hotel stays won't be good. My Ambassador is amazing, and yet I had subpar service at the W Boston, StR Washington, and StR Dubai. One doesn't necessarily have much to do with the other. Those hotels had issues. My Ambassador doesn't.

My stays at the W Los Angeles, W Bogota, W San Francisco, and W Seattle have been wonderful. That's because they are better managed W hotels, not because my Ambassador was any better or worse.

Ambassadors work with their hotel teams to try and improve and elevate our experiences. But any team is only as strong as its weakest link. That far more often reveals the weakness of the hotel team rather than the Ambassador team when it comes to the quality of our hotel stays.

Ambassador "status" is about having your Ambassador to assist you and help you--and does not and cannot guarantee better hotel experiences because the hotels execute differently. There are always going to be some hotels that are better than others, even within the same brand--because some hotels simply execute better than others. Better hotels are better precisely because they are better managed and better execute good service and better train their staff. Ambassadors can't change this fact. Better hotels will be more likely to execute the wishes of a good Ambassador; poorer hotels will be less likely to execute the wishes of the same good Ambassador. The actual experience at any hotel has much more to do with the quality of the hotel than that of the Ambassador.

Ambassador status doesn't guarantee a spectacular hotel stay any more than staying at a St Regis does; it merely improves your chances that arrangements and some forms of hotel service may be elevated. There are better and worse St Regis hotels, there are better and worse Luxury Collection hotels, there are better and worse W hotels, there are better and worse Le Méridien and Westin and Sheraton hotels, etc. For perspective, there also are better and worse Peninsula hotels, better and worse Four Seasons hotels, better and worse Amanresorts, better and worse Mandarin Oriental hotels, etc.

Having an Ambassador can elevate one's Starwood experience. But it isn't guaranteed at every hotel. If you stay at a subpar hotel within any brand, you still are likely to have a subpar experience even with Ambassador status. That's just common sense.
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Old Sep 5, 17, 5:28 pm
  #83
 
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Just made it to Ambassador level....only few more nights left for LTP....9 nights already for AMB level....still need to find out the benefits...may be great...but I'll have to find out...
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Old Dec 5, 17, 5:33 am
  #84
 
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One week since hitting spg100 and no contact from my ambassador yet. Already a fail.
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Old Dec 5, 17, 7:08 am
  #85
 
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Originally Posted by lilpisher View Post
I think this is spot on. My Ambassador is fantastic. Only nuance i would add is that the Ambassador team has more than "soft" dollars- they have actual hard dollars. To your earlier point, I would assume this is somehow calculated based on overall spend / profitability to SPG, not to a particular hotel.
I'd be curious how they calculate "overall spend / profitablity" given the wide disparity in rates even within the same brand. For example, a Sheraton in one American city can have a wildly different rate structure than a Sheraton in an Asian or European city or even another American city. I've visited many cities where a Four Points/aLoft/Element have higher rates (for whatever reason) than a Sheraton or even a Westin. This wouldn't even take into account corporate contracted discounts, BRG, etc.
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Old Dec 5, 17, 9:50 am
  #86
 
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Hrmm.... anyone else lose their Ambassador contact details on the SPG.com website and in the app?
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Old Dec 5, 17, 9:54 am
  #87
 
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Originally Posted by Canada101 View Post
I'd be curious how they calculate "overall spend / profitablity" given the wide disparity in rates even within the same brand. For example, a Sheraton in one American city can have a wildly different rate structure than a Sheraton in an Asian or European city or even another American city. I've visited many cities where a Four Points/aLoft/Element have higher rates (for whatever reason) than a Sheraton or even a Westin. This wouldn't even take into account corporate contracted discounts, BRG, etc.
Remember though that the vast majority of Mariott-wood hotels are franchised. Hotel profitability <> SPG profitability.
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Old Dec 5, 17, 10:11 am
  #88
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Originally Posted by Jebby_ca View Post
Hrmm.... anyone else lose their Ambassador contact details on the SPG.com website and in the app?
No, my Ambassador info is still there on SPG.com and the iPad app. I don’t see it on the Android app but not sure that ever displayed it.
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Old Dec 5, 17, 10:16 am
  #89
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Originally Posted by Canada101 View Post
I'd be curious how they calculate "overall spend / profitablity" given the wide disparity in rates even within the same brand. For example, a Sheraton in one American city can have a wildly different rate structure than a Sheraton in an Asian or European city or even another American city. I've visited many cities where a Four Points/aLoft/Element have higher rates (for whatever reason) than a Sheraton or even a Westin. This wouldn't even take into account corporate contracted discounts, BRG, etc.
No one really knows whether SPG calculates or tracks this, but I’m fairly confident they calculate and track some metrics along these lines.

It doesn’t matter what is spent at any one hotel necessarily as much as what is spent overall at many properties or over certain durations/the year. When tracking overall spend, it would be irrelevant the the cost differences between properties or at different times of year.

All that SPG would need to know is that a Plat100 guest has spent a lot of money at SPG hotels and therefore is likely to spend an overall high amount of money at future SPG hotels.
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Old Dec 5, 17, 10:50 am
  #90
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Originally Posted by justforfun View Post
One week since hitting spg100 and no contact from my ambassador yet. Already a fail.
Our apologies for any delay. Have you checked your spam folder? If so, and it isn't there, feel free to send us your SPG account number so we can let the Ambassador management team know.

Best regards,

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

spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
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