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W Silicon Valley - pre-transition to Aloft Silicon Valley [Master Thread]

W Silicon Valley - pre-transition to Aloft Silicon Valley [Master Thread]

 
Old Jun 28, 05, 1:23 pm
  #1  
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Arrow W Silicon Valley - pre-transition to Aloft Silicon Valley [Master Thread]

I looked at a few older threads on the W in Silicon Valley/Newark, and didn't see any info on upgrades for SPG Golds. Given the hotel is all suites, should I ask for an upgraded room? How have other SPG Golds fared here for upgrades?

I stayed on 3 nights cash+points last year, but weren't gold so no expectations. Now I'm going back for 1 night later this year.
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Old Jun 28, 05, 4:04 pm
  #2  
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You can always ask for an upgrade if you wish, at any property, with status or no...

... but don't expect much based on your Gold status.

You should expect:
* Complimentary late checkout
* 50% bonus on Starpoints earned on eligible spend
* No charge for your newspaper

But Gold doesn't get you much in the way of upgrades. Sometimes Golds will get upgraded (as will some folks who aren't SPG members at all) but the only thing you're entitled to is a 'preferred room' (subject to availability). What this really means is that the hotel should try not to stick you in the worst room at hte property....
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Old Jun 29, 05, 10:21 am
  #3  
 
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When, I was a gold, I often got upgraded to a Kool Korner Suite. As Plat I am upgraded to Kool Korner 80%+.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 1:34 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by billiam
Given the hotel is all suites, should I ask for an upgraded room? How have other SPG Golds fared here for upgrades?
The best I have done here is one of the corner suites. They are a little bigger than the regular “suites”, but they have the same furniture. Taken to the extreme you could put the same furniture in an aircraft hanger and call it the presidential suite, but that does not mean I’d want to sleep in it. I don’t think there are any killer rooms at this hotel to aspire to. Fortunately the regular ones are quite pleasant.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 1:36 pm
  #5  
 
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[QUOTE=schriste]
Originally Posted by billiam
I don’t think there are any killer rooms at this hotel to aspire to. Fortunately the regular ones are quite pleasant.

Kool Korner with a massage chair is about as good as it gets. BTW The Kool Korners are about 40% larger than the standard suite.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 1:44 pm
  #6  
 
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[QUOTE=VPescado]
Originally Posted by schriste


Kool Korner with a massage chair is about as good as it gets. BTW The Kool Korners are about 40% larger than the standard suite.
Oh yes... I forgot about the massage chair. I still preferr the regular suites facing the bay... I can watch the ducks.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 10:31 pm
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The girl laughed at me when I inquired about a gold upgrade... I was staying on the Leap Year special last year for $29. I enjoyed the standard room though - still my only stay at a W.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 10:48 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by geoffco
The girl laughed at me when I inquired about a gold upgrade... I was staying on the Leap Year special last year for $29. I enjoyed the standard room though - still my only stay at a W.
2/29/04 was the only difficult experience I've had at this property. The woman I dealt with not only lied to me, but accused me of lying and accused me of being a scammer for taking advantage of the $29 rate. Eventually I got the room I wanted (only by refusing to take no as an answer), but it was certainly the most ugly upgrade experience I've had with Starwood. The property however has treated me wonderfully before and since.
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Old Nov 23, 05, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by VPescado
The woman I dealt with not only lied to me, but accused me of lying and accused me of being a scammer for taking advantage of the $29 rate. Eventually I got the room I wanted (only by refusing to take no as an answer), but it was certainly the most ugly upgrade experience I've had with Starwood.
Sorry to bump this thread up, but I'm curious, was this $29 rate a special advertised on SPG.com, or was it a pricing error, or an Expedia special, or...? It sounds like a very good rate, but I'll need to remember to stay away from these in the future if all they result in is contemptuous treatment from the staff.
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Old Nov 23, 05, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingToFly
Sorry to bump this thread up, but I'm curious, was this $29 rate a special advertised on SPG.com, or was it a pricing error, or an Expedia special, or...? It sounds like a very good rate, but I'll need to remember to stay away from these in the future if all they result in is contemptuous treatment from the staff.

It was a rate that was semi advertised (emails sent out via starwood presumably to past guests).

I would like to state that this was the behavior of a single person, and that usually the folks at this property are wonderful.

And at least with SPG, you should not worry about bad treatment when staying on any eligible rate (no matter how cheap) as they are required to give you what the program promises - although sometimes it may require prodding.

Incidently, Hyatt is also very good (if not better) in making elites feel welcome no matter what rate they are using for the stay.
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Old Nov 24, 05, 10:31 am
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As a gold member when I checked in I was also upgraded to a Kool Corner room. As a platinum member they usually would upgrade me to a Double Groovy. Thats a 2 room suite at that hotel.
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Old Nov 24, 05, 10:37 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by jocelynt
As a gold member when I checked in I was also upgraded to a Kool Corner room. As a platinum member they usually would upgrade me to a Double Groovy. Thats a 2 room suite at that hotel.
I wan't really impressed the one time (2/29/04) I got the 2 room suite. IIRC it was basically a normal room with a bedroom/bath attached. The seperate bedrooms bed was only a double.

Unless you need the extra bed for more bodies, I think the Kool Korner is a much better choice - It has more living/entertaining space.
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Old Dec 14, 05, 11:50 am
  #13  
 
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Thumbs down Trip Report - W Silicon Valley (Newark) December 2005

Preface: So I have a "thing" for W's. I work for a firm with great corporate rates and a pretty good expense policy (and have a crapload of points), so I've been able to stay at the W French Quarter, W NY Court, W Chicago Lakeshore, LA, San Diego, etc etc. I get a shirt at every one I stay at. I'm not going to lie, I'm addicted.

So when I had to take a last-minute trip to Sunnyvale, I thought "wow, wouldn't it be nice to stay at the W Silicon Valley!". I went through a few (very sparse) threads discussing the property from 2002 - they really didn't help except to paint a fairly negative picture of the property. It turned out to have one of our corporate preferred rates and although I would be driving 17 miles down the 101 to get to training, I thought it would be worth it.

---

I checked in this past Sunday - the drive from the San Jose airport wasn't bad at all. First impression was - this place is in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. I tend to exaggerate - I am not exaggerating here. It's in the middle of a marsh. The closest signs of civilization is a place called "four corners" which is a few miles down the road and has a few crappy fast food places and a crapload of asian (Chinese, Sushi, Thai, Vietnamese) restaurants I was afraid to set foot in (I'm sure they're great, but I prefer going to 'authentic' restaurants with someone who can read the menu to avoid getting a nasty surprise).

So anyway, I checked in - the place was literally empty. A ghost town. The front desk staff was friendly, I guess, but didn't greet me by name and didn't ask me what I wanted for my Platinum gift. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Not because I give a flying crap about the gift or even the regocnition, but because they are SUPPOSED to do this with platinum guests and when they DON'T, it makes me feel like the "cast member" is being snotty (because I am very young and generally dress the part) or just lazy.

I had woken up that day with a knot in my back and really needed a massage - I asked if they could recommend a good spa in the (haha) area. They said that they actually have a massage therapist come on property and they'd be happy to call and see what they could set up for today.

Hours later, still no call.

Now listen, I understand the location sucks - and you probably don't like working at a W that really isn't as "cool" as a W should be. But when you say you're going to do something, do it. Common courtesy. If you can't get them in today, call me and TELL ME THAT.

Ugh.

Room was very nice - I got a corner "suite". It's not really a "suite" - because it's open. Think about it this way - there is a "living room" with a couch, some chairs, a desk and a tv and a "bedroom" that's attached to the bathroom. The tv stand is in the middle of the living room and bedroom and acts as a partition (instead of a wall). I like open spaces, so this was nice.

The room had a massage chair, which was a very pleasant surprise ^ . Definitely one of the "cool" moments I expect when I check into a W. The windows looked like they opened but despite my super-human strength, I couldn't get them cracked. I was able to pop one of the windows off its track and open it in towards the room to rest on the drapes - but I don't think that was supposed to happen.

The room had a nice bar and a microwave in it - which is a nice touch, I guess. If I knew people in the area, or was actually in an area that had people within a 5-mile radius, I would invite people up to my room for a party.

Bathroom was pretty decent - separate bathtub and shower was nice. Bathtub didn't hold water very well, so I had to keep refilling it while I was soaking my back. This was inconvenient. Shower was alright but seemed a little "cheap" compared to the showers I've seen in places like the W Chicago Lakeshore. It's the little things...

Bed was very comfortable, as usual. The alarm clock was some strange contraption that the engineer couldn't even figure out how to set, so he gave me one of those sony cd alarm clocks. Nice way to spent half an hour the night I check in

---

The "bar" would love to stay open until 2 like most of the other W's - unfortunately the fact that the hotel is in the middle of a swamp precludes this from being a "destination". This SUCKS for me - and for anyone else who is used to being able to go downstairs and chill out with people who aren't staying in the hotel. This completely defeats the purpose of staying at a W for me (well almost completely)... so you can imagine I wasn't very happy.

The bar is nice - prices are high but that's what you expect. The 'restaurant' has (seiously) 6 items on its menu - and the food is decent, not great. It's open, has a fireplace, and is full of obnoxious 40-year-old business travelers talking loudly about their landscaping and their Porsche Cayenne (it's a FREAKING VOLKSWAGEN YOU IDIOT). Anyway.

Room service was prompt, service was friendly. The nice girl who brought it up to me was one of two or three shining glimmers of positivity I've had so far - she had that "W attitude" - was very friendly, asked me if I was coming down to the bar later, said I was the youngest person she's ever seen at the hotel, yada yada. If not for her, I probably would have stayed in a bad mood the entire week.

The workout room is pathetic. Dumbells from 5-45 pounds (no 50s??), no machines. 3 treadmills, assorted eliptical / bike stuff. Very unimpressed.

---

Trying to think what else... hm. Traffic down to Sunnyvale (across the Dumbarton Bridge to the 101 South) was NOT BAD. Maybe 20-25 minutes each way IN TRAFFIC. I don't understand why people were spouting horror stories about hour-long drives. You are crazy.

Can't think of anything else right now...

---

Summary - It's a decent place to stay if you have to. If I had a few of my girls from the Chi down to party, I would love throwing on the sattelite radio in the room, ordering some champagne and getting jiggy. I really WANTED to like this place, but I just can't justify giving this place a good rating. This should be in the middle of Palo Alto, not in the swamps of Newark.

They say location is everything, and I think that's the number one reason this hotel is so sub-par.
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Old Dec 14, 05, 12:03 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by stydie
It's in the middle of a marsh.
Plus you can't even see that many animals in the marsh.

But we saw a cool crane one time near the road kind of behind the hotel. He was in a little creek.
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Old Dec 14, 05, 12:15 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by alamedaguy
Plus you can't even see that many animals in the marsh.

But we saw a cool crane one time near the road kind of behind the hotel. He was in a little creek.
Heh - I haven't seen any living things the entire time I've been there, including the staff (HEY-OHHH...)

One other thing I forgot - it's location next to the marsh means the entire place (ESPECIALLY the elevators) reeks of sulfur (when I say reek, I mean reek) in the evening. Awesome.
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