Three months as Platinum and not feeling the love

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by MaryDarling, Jul 23, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. MaryDarling

    MaryDarling Silver Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    113
    Status Points:
    325
    Knowing I had a lot of travel coming, and having heard great things about SPG, I decided to do a Platinum status challenge and, on April 6, was successful in earning Plat. Since that time I've stayed at five Starwood properties in Washington, DC (Westin Georgetown, Westin City Center, St. Regis, The Fairfax and the Sheraton Four Points) as well as The Nines in Portland, OR. In general, my stays are 2-3 nights.

    The free internet is great, but I also get that as Hilton Gold. My main interest was in the possibility of upgrade, yet, to date, I've never received an room upgrade, even after asking. Amazingly, every hotel, every time, has had nothing available. On multiple occasions, I've been given remarkably bad rooms upon check-in -- my favorite being the Sheraton, which put me in one of the only rooms directly across the hall from a meeting room which opened its session at 7 am. I've also been next door to elevators, given views of the atrium or air shaft, or provided with double beds rather than a King -- all since reaching Platinum status. And, interestingly, the three times I've called and asked for my room to be changed, they were able to find something a little better. Why didn't I get that better room when I checked-in?

    I realize these are first-world problems, but I do enough travel to earn elite status in one program, and I have to decide whether to give Starwood more of a chance, or give up and go back to Hilton. I like Starwood properties, but so far, my experience isn't living up to what others have described.

    Is there anything I can do/say to improve my chances for an upgrade? Is there some value from Plat that I'm missing? All thoughts welcome.

    (And, on another note, I have to add that I qualified as Chairman's on USAir at the same time I went Plat with SPG, and I'm 100% for upgrades with the airline.)
     
    uggboy and FlyingBear like this.
  2. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    Was your plat status reflected on the reservations? Have you been getting lounge access and your checkin amenity? To some extent you've picked properties that may not be great for upgrades, but for reservations booked prior to status sometimes the status is not updated.
     
  3. MaryDarling

    MaryDarling Silver Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    113
    Status Points:
    325
    Plat status definitely reflected on reservation; lounge status has been offered twice; I've had to ask about it other times. On three occasions I've had to ask about the amenity points. Overall, I'm just amazed at how much work I have to do to get the service/benefits of Plat status.
     
  4. MarkTexNYC

    MarkTexNYC Silver Member

    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    108
    Status Points:
    500
    Showing them some love on social media (Twitter specifically) has always been advantageous. Often they return the love in spades. I've found that their social media team is much more helpful (and expedient) than their global ambassadors (given to Platinum folks staying 75+ nights per year).
     
  5. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    No, 100 nights are required to get an Ambassador.
     
  6. RestlessLocationSyndrome
    Original Member

    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    Status Points:
    925
    Unfortunately, SPG can be inconsistent. Some properties will treat Plats very well without asking. Others make you beg just to be acknowledged. If you try luxury collection hotels, the experience can be even worse than with the core brands. At the same time, you may be unluckily picking locations and dates where you won't get upgrades because my general experience w/ SPG back when I was a plat was generally good... except for the luxury collection and my most recent visit to the St. Regis Monarch Beach.
     
    MaryDarling likes this.
  7. wombat18
    Original Member

    wombat18 Silver Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    429
    Status Points:
    520
    This has been a longstanding issue with SPG, and it would appear to be a "feature" that Starwood senior management allows to continue. If you don't like it, then shift your business elsewhere as it is unlikely to change.
     
    MaryDarling likes this.
  8. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    Not a platinum but my first two stays at Starwood hotels with Gold status have left me very confused and asking questions at check-in about how my benefits work at each property. Haven't been too impressed with how proactive staff are about helping you navigate the information, but have been impressed with the friendliness of the staff overall.

    Have stays in SJU, KUL, BKK, and BER coming in the next few months. Going to see where this goes. :)
     
    wombat18 and MaryDarling like this.
  9. VeryGoodPoints

    VeryGoodPoints Silver Member

    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    341
    Status Points:
    475
    Those are tough hotels to get upgrades at. Westin Georgetown is next to impossible to get upgraded at. Westin City Center will depend on the time of year. St Regis is next to impossible to get upgrades. I usually save my Suite Night Upgrades for St Regis. I tried to use a suite night upgrade at the St Regis NY and couldn't even get it confirmed through that. In the end, I did get an upgrade at the St Regis NY for a 1 night stay but I think that was due to the social media teams help. Not familiar with the Fairfax.

    I would give SPG a chance. You have the status already, so why not. If you visit the same hotel regularly, try to develop a relationship w/a front desk manager who will look out for you. If you're at lots of different hotels (as I am) you just have to take your chances for the most part.
     
    MaryDarling likes this.
  10. CMX

    CMX Silver Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    16
    Status Points:
    120
    According to a comment I once heard on the platinum line, the Westin City Center has a notoriously inflexible GM. I have stayed there a few times and received little to no platinum recognition, nor have I ever had a good stay. I won't stay there again. I wouldn't let any experience there sour you to the program--I've had great luck elsewhere.
     
    MaryDarling likes this.
  11. MaryDarling

    MaryDarling Silver Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    113
    Status Points:
    325
    I agree about the Westin City Center -- I received a room with an interior atrium view and had no luck getting moved; not a great property and not really near anything. In general, when in DC I like the Fairfax for its location and stay there when I can. I'll be curious to see if I do better on DC rooms once tourist season is over.

    The good news is that this week I was in Albuquerque and received my first upgrade! I was given a Junior Suite at the Sheraton Uptown which was spacious and had a great view of Sandia Mountain. The hotel itself is fine -- nothing great, but it gets the job done and the staff is always friendly and helpful.

    I'll keep trying SPG to see how it goes. Now that I can get Hilton Gold status with the new credit card, I can afford to spend a few more nights with SPG and see how it goes.
     
    CMX and SC Flier like this.
  12. tommy777
    Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

    Messages:
    2,674
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Status Points:
    4,570
    I have another non SPG go to property in DC, so I can't comment on how hard it is to get upgrades there, but I have stayed once at the Nines and I didn't get any upgrade. Didn't like the place at all.

    That said, I'm at around 20 stays so far this year and I'm at about 80% upgrade success. I've stayed at 5 different St. Regis and have been upgraded every single time. I've only used one confirmed upgrade night at St. Regis so far.
     
  13. puck

    puck Silver Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    21
    Status Points:
    120
    I have been SPG gold for past 2 years and almost always get upgraded to room on higher floor , or better view, etc...Have also been upgraded to Jr. suites on 2 occasions. My stays have been mostly in Florida, California, Hawaii, and NY but also a luxury collection hotel in Bali.
     

Share This Page