My experiences after a year of staying at SPG properties

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by jumbo_cards, Jan 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jumbo_cards

    jumbo_cards Silver Member

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    Hey guys,

    I achieved gold status (still pretty far away from plat) this year since I decided to give SPG a try. So far, I think it is over all a positive experience for me.

    Here is a summary of what I liked and don't like from a personal experience this year. Please note that I stayed at international spg properties more than domestic ones.

    What I liked:
    • Decent hotels, I think most if not all properties are pretty up scale (I'm comparing to say, holiday inn).
    • SPG points are pretty flexible and the 5k transfer bonus is good
    • I travel to China a lot, from my experience, SPG seems to have way more hotel choices in Chinese cities than that of other programs. This is actually my primary reason why I chose SPG in the first place.
    • Reward stays now counts towards elite qualification. Although I usually do revenue stay, see next point.
    • Best Rate Guarantee, This is probably the thing that keeps me with SPG. Filing for BRG is extremely easy and 8/10 stays I'm able to find a cheaper rate some other place. They honor BRG even if it is off by a dollar! For that I get 2000 free points. I believe I average around 1800 - 2500 per stay (average of 2 nights per stay) this year with over 20k points from beginning this year just with stays and BRG.
    What I don't like about it:

    • Gold status is really like no status
    • Internet is NOT free at most places.... and way overly priced (although there are those free business centers)
    • Service isn't really consistent among the same categories.
    So I'm looking forward for another year with SPG. On a side note, any recommendations for SPG hotels in Dubai? I'll be there in late May. Thanks!
     
    flyingdawg, Jslo, maradori and 3 others like this.
  2. sendaiben
    Original Member

    sendaiben Gold Member

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    Try doing a Plat challenge -you can get Platinum with just 15 nights over a three month period :D
     
    Titans26 likes this.
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    In another thread, SPG Champion stated that the Plat challenge is once in a lifetime.
     
    TAHKUCT likes this.
  4. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    Ouch, I did not know that... :(

    Guess I'll have to keep my new Plat status the hard way ;)
     
    canucklehead likes this.
  5. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    I really wish that Platinum included breakfast if there is no lounge or it is closed
     
  6. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Thanks for the report. I was considering making the effort to get to Gold, but from reading the feedback from everyone else, I decided against it. I'll earn it later this year, but it didn't make sense for me to go the extra mile to do it at the end of 2011.
     
  7. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    At the Gold level Hilton is more valuable - Internet and breakfast are included at all Doubletree, Hilton and Conrad properties, and Hilton tends to be everywhere.
     
  8. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    I don't. I like my hotels being lower in price by the amount breakfast would cost versus paying a hidden cost for something I don't use anyway.
     
  9. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    The price I pay is the same that non-Plats pay who don't get breakfast. Hotel rates wouldn't change, and one more person eating at the buffet or even ordering an entree won't have an appreciable cost impact.
     
    HiIslands likes this.
  10. jumbo_cards

    jumbo_cards Silver Member

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    I was considering Hilton, but there numbers are so slim in China... =/
     
  11. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    Good post! I agree re: hotels in China. I travel there alot too, and love all the options. I also think across most of Asia SPG is actually even newer/nicer than it is in the US. There are some amazing options and values at pretty high end places in Asia with SPG. Go for Plat! :)
     
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  12. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    +1 Totally agree. Hyatt is also very good in Asia.
     
    Jslo likes this.
  13. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Now, however thousands of persons across dozens of stays per year DOES.
     
  14. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    99% of the people staying at SPG are not platinum. For revenue management purposes they have to set prices without considering the cost of Platinum benefits. The benefit to them is that we are not booking on opaque sites or using OTAs where they have those costs - we get the SPG benefit instead of the hotel paying the OTA commission or merchant discount
     
  15. Simon
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    Simon Milepoint Guide

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    I need to get on the best rate action hmmm. I must explore this more... damn the Japanese for not making same mistakes as those in the rest of world.
     
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  16. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Initially it sounded like there was no rule on this. When the challenges were first announced, I remember asking explicitly if it was still once in a lifetime like the matches, and I think the answer then was that there was no rule. I can imagine folks abusing it if one can do a challenge almost annually.
     
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  17. Simon
    Original Member

    Simon Milepoint Guide

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    If it was allowed every year then they might as well do away with the challenges and just make it a different way to requalify every year.
     
  18. flyer_o

    flyer_o Gold Member

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    I think it's 18 nights in 3 months. I enrolled in my Plat challenge a while back and had the newer, higher requirement.
     
  19. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    I got mine in September last year :)
     
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  20. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    That was my concern when the challenges were first announced. it would be too easy and this would inflate the ranks of Plat. However, a new issue could be whether this makes one merely Plat and now a second class citizen at SPG or gives one the new Plat with 50 nights benefits.
     
  21. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    So you don't want hotel points, amenities, upgrades etc etc? It all costs money, you know, but it pays itself back with loyalty ;)
     

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