RA's - Do you contact hotel in advance of your arrival?

Discussion in 'IHG | Rewards Club/Ambassador' started by Sweet Willie, Apr 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Do you contact the hotel in advance of your arrival?

    If so, what are you asking/stating and to whom? (& how are you getting the person's email?)

    I've been told that at IHG's this type of approach helps. I never did this at SPG or Hyatt & always had fine treatment but a number of things I've read & heard from fellow travelers is that IHG & RA is different and some 'massaging' is needed to max benefits.
     
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  2. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    Always, because sometimes they "forget" some of yours rightfull perks!!!
     
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  3. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    I normaly call the hotel one week before my arrival!!!
     
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  4. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Depends whether or not I 'care'.

    * A one-night stay at the IC ORD? Not gonna bother calling. Didn't call last time, wound up in a suite with a view of the ORD approach path. Incredible bathroom, incredible view watching the planes all line up for final approach.

    * A vacation stay with msgleff? Definitely. IC is a bit different than other hotels in that each one tends to (a) have its own approach to how it handles upgrades and (b) any number of different room categories. If I care what room type I want, I want to know what type I should book.

    Usually my question is what to expect as a Royal Ambassor?

    I may ask in particular what kind of room I need to book in order to get Y room.

    Some hotels offer club lounge access to RAs, some do not. Some offer it in lieu of an upgrade. Some don't have lounges (and some of those will comp breakfast, others will not).

    Some hotels offer a 2-category upgrade to RAs, whatever you book you get 2 room categories higher. The room categories don't always, exactly correspond to the categories you see available for booking on the website.

    Some hotels do 2-category upgrade but cap the upgrade at a certain level room (no guaranteed upgrades above X suite).

    Some hotels just say "suite or executive room" and it's catch as catch can.

    Seem like a lot of work? Only if you are set on specific outcomes. You can get to specific outcomes much more easily than with other hotel chains. I've had no problem booking presidential suites or suites nearly as high in category by booking a relatively inexpensive room by asking what I needed to book and confirming that the suite I wanted was available and would be confirmed. It's a great benefit.

    It's just that there's inconsistency, that breeds confusion, and contacting a hotel can help to untangle that confusion.
     
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  5. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    seems like you both call the hotel, who are you asking to speak with? (what title)
     
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  6. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    i email
     
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  7. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Most of the time, no. However, on an award booking I will sometimes ask for a clarification of what upgrade I might expect. Since I prefer a regular room with Club lounge access over a suite, if mention is made in the response that I will be upgraded to a suite, I will write back to ask if I can forgo the suite for a regular room with Club access. On paid nights, I seldom if ever email since Club level upgrades seem to now be the norm for RAs.
     
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  8. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Usually I email and confirm reservation and request whatever I need or want such as early check-in, room location (view), upgrade, etc. Sometimes I ask if breakfast is available and get it comped. never hurts to ask.
     
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  9. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    I do (and it's always via email) if there is something "unusual" regarding my reservation -- like I need to confirm car pickup at the airport, or early check-in; or if I need clarification on what to book in order to get the upgrade I want.

    Personally I've always wondered if contacting them ahead of time only hurts your chances of getting an exceptional upgrade. Apropos of nothing, I've just always wondered...
     
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  10. FirstClassQueen
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    FirstClassQueen Silver Member

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    I always call and email. Then I email the same person everytime I need to something done and after I send a thank you card to that person.
     
  11. Hodgie
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    Hodgie Active Member

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    My short answer is: I usually do exactly what 'gleff' said.

    Longer answer: I email more often than not. I even have a set format that I just copy and paste... I've noticed that I do get treated 'better' when I have emailed. Also, it never hurts to ask about upgrades and the like. Once for my anniversary, we were staying at the Williard I asked about the Jenny Lind Suite (a nice 'couples' suite in the attic of the hotel) for the weekend. It priced out at something like 2500/night, so I said no thanks and booked a different category. At check-in we were given the Jenny Lind Suite! It never hurts to email.
     
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  12. NE Flyer

    NE Flyer Active Member

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    Forgive the silly question, but who do most people email and how do you go about finding her/his email address?
     
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  13. you can call the property's sales or reservations department, number listed on IHG website for questions, ask the CSR for their email and follow up that way.
     
  14. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    I'm lazier than that. I just find the hotel via Priority Club or the InterContinental website, and click the "Email Hotel" link. :D

    For properties I stay at frequently, I have the email address of the Guest Relations Manager and/or the General Manager.
     
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  15. I understand that would be quicker, if it's a property I haven't stayed at I find having a couple of contacts with the same person often helps, a phone call and follow up email, then by the time they email you back, and you respond with a Thanks, they do tend to go out of their way to help. That's been my experience.
     
  16. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    It is always good to give a heads-up to the hotel, because as a RA, you have to exercise your rights such as early check-in, late check-out, flat airport chauffeur service, Welcome amenity and most important Club access and upgrade. Some hotels do offer me a choice of upgrade when I contact them early, some like the IC Century City (Los Angeles) upgraded me and offer me to put on their Presidential Suite for more 50 dollars a day, which was a extreme good deal for me who was staying there with 4 people (Family) for 5 days!!!

    cheers
     
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  17. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I rarely call or email. I think if you are looking for a special room or service, it's recommended though. If I'm traveling by myself, I'm not super picky. If with my SO, then I may want something more special. 90% of the time, I just put a comment when booking, and hope they read it.
     
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  18. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    I gave up on hope for that comments a long time ago, so all the time I travel I contact them directly, so they won't make no apology regarding something that has been accorded!!!
     
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  19. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    back many years as Hilton was going downhill, I used to carry with me a printout of the HHonors perks in order to prove what I was due.
     
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  20. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    We all should do that, since we often encounter resistance on getting the perks that are rightfully ours!!!
     
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