China has some wondefully wierd rewards

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Darth Chocolate, Mar 15, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Darth Chocolate

    Darth Chocolate Member

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    OK, I was in the Tianjin Westin for a week. Happy to report that I got the points for the promotion.

    But I they made me an offer. And what an offer.

    One night, on my bed there was an "In-Room Spa Menu": IMG_0310.JPG

    Note the last choice, the "Four Handed Massage", can be had for either cash or Starpoints.

    Is China a great country or what?
     
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  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    The conversion rate for those prices works out to US 1.3 cents / SPG point.
     
  3. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    No "Cash and Points"?
     
  4. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Why is this weird or especially Chinese?
     
  5. Darth Chocolate

    Darth Chocolate Member

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    Because in over 10 years of traveling in China I have never been offered an in-room massage at a western chain for award points. I have been asked at 2 AM if I wanted a "friend for the evening" many times for cash only. But never at a western chain in a major city.

    Given that the "privacy in your own room" is usually code for prostitution, you can have a threesome for around $185-$235 (or Starpoints). Which if you are a single guy and want to check *THAT* one off your bucket list, is a pretty good deal.
     
  6. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    so we are on the same page that this is not particularly "chinese".
    You may be jumping to conclusions - most western hotels offering spa services that I have stayed at offer in room for a surcharge, or if they do not have a spa on site. The decision to offer "instant award" payment in starpoints is something properties can and do do for various things.

    you may be overreaching more than a bit here.
     
  7. Darth Chocolate

    Darth Chocolate Member

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    "Spa" in China basically means "whorehouse" - at least that's my experience in 10 years traveling throughout a good deal of China. Especially outside of the major cities.
     
  8. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Well, to be pedantic they did not mention the word "spa". And they are a western chain in a major city - where you and your 10 years of experience do not report being propositioned. I did randomly click on the pages of 3 other chinese spg hotels - at least one also advertised in-room spa services, and another did list a 2-therapist massage as the first item on their menu. FWIW your hotel did not appear to list in-room massage as a feature.

    You suggest that such services as you are suggesting are made available frequently, but more subtly and on a cash basis. I am surprised that you would jump to the conclusion that the only possible explanation for this offering, from a western hotel in a major city, is blatant advertisement of what is otherwise mostly available outside of such hotels, on a much less documented basis. Maybe a massage is just a massage? (or if it is anything else...I would imagine that the cash "custom" could well apply.)
     
  9. Darth Chocolate

    Darth Chocolate Member

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    Well, to be accurate, I cut the top off of the picture. It clearly states "In-Room Spa Menu":
    IMG_0311.JPG

    So there is that. This was in Tianjin, which is a major city. Not like Dushanzi, or Jilin, or Maoming, or any number of little hole in the wall places. I have spent a fair amount of time in major cities (Beijing and Shanghai among them, although 6 years ago I did get "business cards" slid under my door with pictures of the girls on them when I was in Beijing in 2009).

    Then there was the line in the original photo that states quite clearly: "Services are offered in the comfort and privacy of your guestroom"; the photo above is somewhat clearer as to the intent.

    I have been to many "Spas" in China where I was directly solicited; one time when I declined I was offered a boy and declined that as well.

    Sure, sometimes a massage is just a massage. But when they throw a condom on the table it's pretty obvious that it just ain't a massage.
     
  10. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    So you're telling us that in China, these non-western chains in smaller Chinese cities actively have hotels promoting prostitution via hotel employees?

    I ask because the massage in question is being offered where this Westin is directly communicating and offering this four-handed massage.
     
  11. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I've recently seen a TV documentary on the subject. Indeed female prostitution is rampant in Chinese hotels, and it's usually called a "massage". There are plans to somewhat crack down on this amenity.
     
  12. Darth Chocolate

    Darth Chocolate Member

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    @Max M: I have gotten the middle of the night calls in my room from the hotel Spa; they stopped when I woke up the night shift to complain to them about the practice. They actively do this; how else would they know the room numbers of the western male guests?

    @MX: You are correct in hotels in the major cities there are multiple signs posted (in Chinese, of course) from the police informing guests that it is not legal to have unregistered guests in your rooms. But in the smaller cities, "The Emperor is far away" (as the saying goes.
     
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