Discussion: Continental Breakfast – A New Welcome Amenity Choice for Platinum Members

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by SPG Champion 3, Feb 1, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. SPG Champion 3
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    Dear members,

    Continental breakfast will now be an available option as part of the Welcome Gift choice for Platinum’s at check-in. Platinum’s can choose from the breakfast, bonus Starpoints, or a local gift at each stay.

    The following can be found on our official website: spg.com/morepower

    New! Starting March 1

    Platinum Continental Breakfast

    Enjoy continental breakfast, bonus Starpoints or local amenities as your Platinum welcome gift. You and a guest staying on your reservation can start each day with juice, coffee, pastries, cereal, yogurt and more when you choose continental breakfast — along with our thanks for being one of our best members.

    This thread is created for further discussions.

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com

    Thyetus Lee | Social Media Specialist
    Starwood Customer Contact Centre (AP) Pte Ltd
     
  2. SPG Champion 3
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    FAQ at your convenience.

    1.Is free continental breakfast available as a Platinum welcome gift option at all Starwood hotels and resorts worldwide that participate in the SPG program?

    Yes. However, at Sheraton hotels with Club Lounges, Platinum members will receive complimentary breakfast in the lounge as part of their regular Platinum benefit. In those instances, Platinum members can choose from either the bonus Starpoints or the local amenity as their Welcome gift.

    2.When will Platinum Preferred Guest members receive the option of selecting the new breakfast welcome gift?

    Beginning March 1, 2012, the new breakfast welcome gift will be offered as an option to Platinum Preferred Guest members.

    3.What is included as part of the continental breakfast welcome gift option?

    The free continental breakfast will vary by hotel but will typically include cereals, breads/pastries, yogurt, juice, coffee and tea. If the hotel is offering this benefit in an à la carte restaurant, it will be whatever the continental breakfast option on the menu contains. Some hotels and resorts will choose to offer complimentary full breakfast as opposed to continental breakfast. At check-in, front desk associates will be able to fully describe what is included in their hotel’s continental breakfast welcome gift option, so you can make an informed decision.

    4.Will individuals who are traveling with a Platinum Preferred Guest member be entitled to receive the complimentary continental breakfast?

    If the complimentary breakfast welcome gift option is selected by a Platinum Preferred Guest member, both the Platinum Preferred Guest member and one other adult or child who is staying in the same room with the member will receive the complimentary continental breakfast. This welcome gift does not extend to colleagues, family or friends staying in other rooms.

    5.Can a Platinum Preferred Guest member elect to receive a full breakfast at a reduced cost, instead of the complimentary continental breakfast?

    At hotels where a full breakfast and continental breakfast exist, a Platinum Preferred Guest member who elects the complimentary continental breakfast as his/her welcome gift will be able to upgrade to full breakfast for the price difference between the full and continental options.

    6.Does a Platinum Preferred Guest member have any alternative welcome gift options if the hotel has a lounge that offers complimentary continental breakfast?

    At Sheraton hotels with Club Lounges, a Platinum Preferred Guest member must choose from one of the remaining two options: bonus Starpoints or a local amenity.

    7.Is continental breakfast available for the entire length of a Platinum Preferred Guest member’s stay?

    Yes. When the continental breakfast welcome gift is selected, this benefit is for the entire length of stay.

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com

    Thyetus Lee | Social Media Specialist
    Starwood Customer Contact Centre (AP) Pte Ltd
     
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  3. tommy777
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    Thank you for the refresh of the program!

    After reading the terms and conditions, I think the upgrade for Gold members is a lot better than for Platinums.

    Right now, Platinums get 250/500 points as the main benefit at check in. You are adding another choice, continental breakfast to be interpreted by each property (and I'm quite sure we're going to see some interesting interpretations....).

    For Golds, you're adding a 250/125 point amenity and a choice of a free drink up to 15 dollar.

    That means that at properties with a lounge, there's no improvement in benefits for Platinums at all.

    When I travel for work, I will of course continue to get the 500 points and get breakfast elsewhere and have my employer pay for the breakfast.

    When I travel on personal trips, I will have to pay to get full breakfast, so this breakfast benefit is a discount, not free breakfast in my book. And for the discount, I will loose out on the 500 points.

    So at the end of the day, Hyatt offers full breakfast at properties without a club AND 1000 points or amenity at check in. Their benefit is still much better in my book
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    I'm concerned about the specific mention of Sheraton lounges. Does this mean that Westin lounges will be discontinued or will no longer offer breakfast or will no longer give lounge access to Plat guests not having rooms on the Executive Club floor?

    Also, what about proprties other than Sheraton and Westin that have been routinely giving lounge access to Plats and offering breakfast in the lounge? Will that be lost too for "ordinary" Plats?
     
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  5. From NYC
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    Would like to add Le Meridien hotels with lounges to the above question.
     
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  6. MSPeconomist
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    The list of places where I've recently enjoyed these lounges includes LRM Shanghai, St Regis Shanghai Pudong (being reflagged as a LC) multiple times, the Nines in Portland, just off the top of my head.
     
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  7. SPG Champion
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    Sheraton is the only brand with a club lounge brand standard (other than at resorts). So, Westins, Le Meridiens, and any other hotel not branded as a Sheraton are free to amend their policies with regard to having club/executive level lounges. However, if one chooses the Continental breakfast amenity, that pretty much makes breakfast a non-issue as every SPG-participating property is participating in this option.

    I don't anticipate we are going to see much change in current policies, frankly.

    Best regards,

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

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
     
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  8. mundosurfer
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    I would also like to add properties like LM Bangkok and St Regis in SIN, they just offer complimentary breakfast for Plats, will they now take this away?
     
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  9. SPG Champion
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    Why would they do that? What would be the motivation for doing so?

    Best regards,

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

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
     
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  10. MSPeconomist
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    Another one is the Laguna Resort LC on Bali. It's a YMMV situation but Plats tend to get comped the big buffet breakfast.
     
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  11. DeltaExpert
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    Did anyone read this?

    3.What is included as part of the continental breakfast welcome gift option?

    The free continental breakfast will vary by hotel but will typically include cereals, breads/pastries, yogurt, juice, coffee and tea. If the hotel is offering this benefit in an à la carte restaurant, it will be whatever the continental breakfast option on the menu contains. Some hotels and resorts will choose to offer complimentary full breakfast as opposed to continental breakfast. At check-in, front desk associates will be able to fully describe what is included in their hotel’s continental breakfast welcome gift option, so you can make an informed decision.

    What hotels are these?
     
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  12. MSPeconomist
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    My guess would be those hotels that already offer a huge buffet for breakfast with no possibility of ordering from a menu and where it would be difficult to separate and monitor the continental part of the buffet. Some examples could include the Singapore St Regis, the Tokyo Westin, and the Laguna Resort on Bali.

    OTOH, where labor is cheap as in Bali, or where there are already staff who could deliver a minimal continental breakfast such as the St Regis Butlers, the hotel could decide to offer the Plat breakfast exclusively through room service.

    Another possible solution would be to set up a continental buffet in a function room for Plats. I have seen this done for groups where a cheap buffet breakfast is included in the group rate and I consider it to be horrible. Usually the room is windowless and depressing with minimal service to restock the buffet, serve coffee, and remove dirty dishes.
     
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  13. Seacarl
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    On the whole I see the offering of breakfast as a Platinum amenity as a positive step, and believe the fear or criticism in this thread is not warranted. There are certainly plenty of hotels in the Sheraton and Westin brands that do not have lounges or whose lounge is closed some days who haven't been required to offer any kind of breakfast to Platinums and often don't, so I see a complimentary breakfast as a positive. Further I expect that some hotels will be generous and give us the full buffet - and certainly those that have already done that, especially in Asia, won't take it away.

    However, as some have speculated, there is the risk of either a poor implementation of what's included in continental breakfast, or of some properties who previously offered full breakfast scaling it back to continental, so I would request that the amenity be defined such that in hotels with breakfast buffets, that a Platinum member and guest get the full buffet, and in hotels with only ala carte breakfast, they get the ala carte continental offering, with the possibility of upgrade. I also think that children staying with the Platinum in the room should be included in the benefit.
     
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  14. Simon
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    Simon Milepoint Guide

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    It is a good step forward but it should just be in lieu when there is no lounge like Hilton rather than an amenity but I still think this is a great step forward.
     
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  15. MSPeconomist
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    I'm concerned that the Plat breakfast option will discourage those properties that have been providing something when the lounge is closed, such as a la carte or full hot buffet breakfast or evening appetizer and drink coupons, from continuing to do so. Hence we would seem to be worse off now when the lounge is closed, although I do realize that hotels have not been required to do anything when their lounges are closed (and some places do not even apologize),
     
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  16. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    Because now one has to choose: points or food. Prior to this change, it was points and food.

    It was [still is?] nice receiving both points and food. I wouldn't want to see benefits that were provided prior to the change - hotel specific "free" breakfasts - go away because we now have the option of choosing breakfast as an amenity. And to differentiate from the my fellow MPers above, these aren't hotels with lounges, just hotels that gave "free" breaky

    Cheers -


     
  17. Leumas
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    While I think it's a welcome option to have free breakfast, given it's only continental, it feels somewhat half-hearted. Seriously, does it really cost THAT much more to offer full breakfasts? I don't necessarily mind the option, (although some will say why not just give breakfast and leave the choices alone), I just think offering continental only seems a bit ... meh, and potentially causing more trouble than its worth.
     
  18. domas

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    Hmmm, it says it is "for whole stay" - so long-staying people may choose it, if they don't have other breakfast option. If it is once-per-stay, then no big deal, but if it is recurring benefit, then sure it is much better than one movie in e.g. three weeks or 500 points in three weeks, which make then whole offering imbalanced.

    Frankly, these welcome gifts are always odd to me (though I like the fruit basket treatment, having it daily would be much better - as the cost is per night, not per stay ;-)
     
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  19. Skye1
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    An excellent point. And, whilst the faq's above indicate things could vary by hotel, at least it sounds having some options and more than one or two items is the "idea", so that one could have a bit of variety across their multi-day stay.
     
  20. thegrailer
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    Why? Good questions - maybe because they can?

    As has been noted, this is already happening at some hotels. Is this something that you will address? You only addressed the suite hiding issue in the other thread.

    see e.g., "http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/un-intended-devaluation-of-plat-benefits.30034/"

     
  21. Simon
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    Motivation is before they were offering it as a extra plus for Plats and now there is a less of reason to. If i was a GM of one of the hotels that offered free breakfast to Plats previously, i`d seriously consider not offering it anymore purely because everyone now that is Plat as the choice to get it.

    If i was super smart thinking GM i might consider then removing free breakfast for Plats but replacing it will some other equally beneficial extra for Plats FOC like free parking at a business hotel and maybe free sunscreen at a resort etc (might be bad examples but you get the idea) .
     
  22. SPG Champion
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    Every comment that anyone - from here or at Flyertalk - makes regarding any of the new benefits, whether it is good or bad, is being reviewed and if corrections are required, they will be made.

    Best regards,

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

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
     
  23. jswong
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    In Asia where breakfast is frequently provided for Platinums (in the restaurant) overall this is a downgrade. Some but not all hotels are now charging (i.e taking points) for what what previously provided for free

    In North America where breakfast was almost never provided (except where there was a lounge) it is good to have this as an option

    In Europe where breakfast was not usually provided, again, it is useful to have this option. Breakfasts in Europe however vary much more than the rest of the world ranging from very simple to truly spectacular

    Seems that a lot more thought and research prior to a stay will be required

    So many factors influence how one will make a decision including

    1. Length of stay. Long stays make the breakfast option much more valuable
    2. Number of guests. If travelling alone the benefit is halved for the same amount of points
    3. When the next meal post breakfast is anticipated
    4. Are the points needed for something else
    5. What the actual hotel provides as it "continental breakfast". This of course is the big unknown in most instances. In some hotels one will get a coffee and muffin whereas in other hotels there might be an amazing spead
    6. The value compared to paid breakfast rates. I.e 500 points for a $10 value would be horrible but a 70 Euro would not
    Overall, happy to have this choice, but life was much simpler before!

    Jeff
     
  24. thegrailer
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    Corrections? I know digital posting doesn't convey how one says things so please understand that I am merely asking here. So if the Dulles Westin no longer provides a full breakfast and points is that going to be corrected? Along these lines, I am not sure what you mean by "if corrections are required, they will be made."

    Also, I want to thank you for paying attention to these posts and if "corrections" means something good for the hotel guest, then even more thanks

    Cheers

     
  25. SPG Champion
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    No, not in an instance such as that. There is nothing to correct there. It is simply a hotel choosing to take a different path than they did before and they are free to do so, if they wish. However, I think you are going to find that for most properties, there will be no change or it will be better than it was before.

    However, if we were to find that a hotel was not meeting the guidelines that were given them, such as the W Los Angeles Westwood handing out $12 vouchers instead of giving access to all of the items listed on the breakfast voucher provided by SPG, then a correction needs to be made there, and was.

    The corrections I'm talking about are meeting the guidelines SPG has given the properties in all areas of the new benefits. In my mind, that will be good for the hotel guest. YMMV.

    Best regards,

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

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
     

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