New Royal Ambassador: What to Expect

Discussion in 'IHG | Rewards Club/Ambassador' started by mowogo, Feb 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    So today I just got my Royal Ambassador packet (for the first time [​IMG]), and although there are some nice benefits:
    • Guaranteed Upgrade to Executive Room or Suite
    • Complimentary mini-bar
    • Complimentary Weekend Night (second one for this year)
    • 8am early check-in
    are there any other benefits that properties award in a consistently unofficial manner?
     
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  2. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    Congratulations, and welcome to the club! [​IMG]

    Specific properties that I frequent regularly treat me better than the usual RA (better upgrade; extra in-room touches like chilled champagne, chocolates, goodies left in the room beyond the Amb/RA gifts, etc.) I don't know of any "consistently unofficial" benefits other than this.

    Do you plan to partake of your status soon?
     
  3. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    I am currently planning a reward stay in Miami at the beginning of April (the MIA DO), but nothing real major planned until I have employment secure again. But with this, it definitely set up which program I will be focusing on now that I will most likely be traveling on my own dime [​IMG]
     
  4. ag51
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    ag51 Silver Member

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    If it's the Miami Downtown IC, that was the first place I stopped as an RA - I had no idea what to expect, but got a fantastic suite and club access. Hope you enjoy your stay!
     
  5. Noelene
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    Noelene Silver Member

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    I think you can expect plenty of people happy to chisten your minibar for you! [​IMG]
     
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  6. no-backpacker
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    no-backpacker Silver Member

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    As the other have said, you can expect differntly from differnt hotels. So far I have stayed, as an RA, at IC Vienna, IC Budapest, twice at IC London and right now I am at IC Berlin. At IC Budepest and IC Berlin I got access to the club-lounge AND suite besides the stated benefits. If I were you I would have read the FT thread http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/inte...e-post-your-royal-ambassador-experiences.html to see some historic data.

    Enjoy! :-D

    Xxx
     
  7. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Treatment really varies a lot by property.

    Upgrades: Some are stingy and deny them on award stays, as the terms and conditions of the program permit. Others will give you a suite regardless of what you book. Still others apply the '2 category upgrade' approach -- you get 2 categories better than whatever you book. I find the best way of handling upgrades is to contact the program in advance of booking and ask them what to expect. Note that some properties will upgrade you in advance (and new room type may even reflect online, if not at priority club.com then at the mobile site) and others will handle closer to or at checkin.

    Internet: apparently this benefit is coming across the board but some hotels have extended it to all RAs regardless of rate and even though it's not a program benefit.

    Club lounge: this is not a benefit of Royal Ambassador status. Some hotels offer it to RAs regardless, others only when your upgrade includes it.

    Love that 8am checkin, it's really wonderful for those transatlantic Eastbound flights arriving early morning, also those midnight Westbound transpacific departures. It's fabulous to turn up at your hotel in the morning and have a room, even if it's just a temporary one until your upgraded room is ready.

    Late checkout is just a regular 'ol Ambassador benefit too, but nice that it's 4pm like Starwood and not catch as catch can as at other chains.

    Minibar is cool, as a new RA one tends to clean the thing out (and maybe even take some bottles home if you're checking luggage or can fit 'em in your Freedom Baggie). After awhile though you settle down, it's nice to be able to have whatever beverages you wish, I persoanlly really enjoy never worrying about having water in the room. :) It's also a big status perk with your fellow frequent travelers.

    Not much in the way of secret handshakes here, but IC RA probably is the best hotel status that's generally attainable, and if your travels allow you to frequent ICs regularly enough it's great!
     
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  8. Sean
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    Sean Gold Member

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    Congratulations on making Royal Ambassador! Do you have your ICH stay stats from last year? Just wondering what it takes to qualify these days.
     
  9. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    If I ever became Royal Ambassador, the first thing I would do is have a party in my suite, get drunk from the free mini bar. The hangover would be how many crappy Holiday Inns I would have to stay at to maintain my status as there are very little ICs where I travel :p
     
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  10. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    Only one paid IC stay, about 5 reward IC nights, and about 70 qualifying nights at all levels of Priority Club properties.
    Just trying to figure out where to go, I will of course accept a trip where someone is paying me to go to a property to try it out ;)
     
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  11. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Just bring me back whatever is left of the free mini bar ;)
     
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  12. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    Ahhh, so you want to bring me up to pre-game or postgame the Mega DO launch party [​IMG]
     
  13. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    RA rocks. Got it a few years ago through a friend and used it HEAVILLY!

    Still have an RA cert from 2006 that I plan to trigger at some point in the worlds future - maybe honeymoon or something similar.
     
  14. no-backpacker
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    no-backpacker Silver Member

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    Then you should go to an IC with suites with two mini-bars! A pity I don't drink that much as I have two mini-bars at IC Berlin now (and free club-access with plenty to drink)! [​IMG] A friend of mine, who is also RA, told me to start to drink, he said all RA's do! :-D (I don't mind drinking, I get a very heavy migraine from only a tiny little bit of alcohol... grrrrr....)

    Xxx.
     
  15. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    Last time I was an RA in Hong Kong at the Regent, we kept drinking the champagne and they kept restocking it. Little 350 ml bottles of VC NV. On our last night, we decided to have diner in the room (and upper floor Jr. Suite overlooking the harbour) since the view couldn't be better. Strangely, on THAT day the house staff saw fit to put a 750 ml bottle on the desk for us. Could NOT have been better.

    After having been travelling on the mainland for about two week, we had three nights in HKG. That last night, we had pizza, spaghetti, salads and ice cream sundaes in our suite overlooking the bay. And the full bottle of VC. (after a couple GT's with some friends to start the night off. :) I go back there in my mind almost weekly.
     
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  16. harry0233
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    harry0233 Silver Member

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    Free internet will become an "official" benefit as of March 1st. It's late but better than never:rolleyes:
     
  17. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    I thought internet was going to free for all AMBASSADORS.
     
  18. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    tommy777, you've got an invite, I'd like to have a 'polish off the mini bar Do'.

    As a soon to become RA, thanks for posting the bene's gleff
    I'm not following why it is a best hotel status that is "generally attainable." (I'm guessing your definition of genrally attainable is far different from mine)

    I would think Club access and free internet would be two items that should be guaranteed to RA's, especially as RA attainment is not a stay X nights and get the status like other hotel loyalty programs.

    On a side note is there a thread on MP that discusses how one attains RA ?
     
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  19. and you still get a free movie
     
  20. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I guess what I mean is that Starwood VIP, Hyatt Courtesy Card, etc would trump.

    Agree, that guaranteed club access would be great. But you can generally get club access pretty easily, it just takes understanding what room type you need to book, and some (many) hotels offer club access regardless. And Intercontinental clubs are on the whole generally quite good, better than the clubs you'll usually find at Westins, Hyatts, Sheratons, etc.

    Free internet does become a benefit March 1 as I understand it.

    But seems to me that early check-in, high quality and frequent upgrades (arguably Hyatt competes with their confirmed upgrades, but I generally get upgrades to better rooms than with Hyatt), early check-in and of course minibar I think trump.
     
  21. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I would agree that most IC Clubs are very nice, I have been very pleased with Hyatt's lounges, with SPG/Hilton the lounges have been very hit/miss.

    My RA kicks in in March, peferct timing! thanks for the update.

    BTW, what is the booking process generally to get a club room w/o booking club level, is it one room level below club? (realizing that IC's differ between, I'm looking for a generalization if possible)
     
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  22. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Some hotels give all RAs club.
    Some hotels give a choice of upgrade or club.
    Some hotels give Ambassadors a 1 category upgrade, Royal Ambassadors a 2 category upgrade.
    Some hotels won't upgrade to club at all, you need to book or buy up to club access
    Some hotels of course do not have a club.

    I'll leave the generalizations to others, I tend to research each property specifically before booking. There's quite a bit of variation.
     
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  23. Sam Axe
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    Sam Axe Silver Member

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    Are you doing it on stays or with a referral cert? I just don't have that many nights per year to ever make RA - 95% of my stays these days are 1 or 2 nights as none of my clients have enough time anymore to work with me for three days straight.
     
  24. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I was very fortunate to have been given an RA referral cert[​IMG]. I'm really looking forward to giving RA a good shake as it is the one top major hotel status I haven't had yet.
     
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  25. Gary

    I understand this is a little off topic but what is the criteria for Starwood VIP and Hyatt Courtesy Card, I appreciate it isn't published info, but would be interested in their respective requirements.
     

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