Tips For Gold Members

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Astrophy, Feb 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Astrophy
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    Astrophy Silver Member

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    Maybe people can toss in their experiences.

    I've found that at many hotels, particularly Sheratons, that if you are gold you will need to ask to be upgraded to the club lounge floor. Many hotels will usually bump you up to a deluxe room, which is nicer than the traditional room... but they will sometimes not upgrade you to the club level. I'm guessing this is so they can make more money. I know of a handful of hotels that do not like to automatically give these out for golds so they can make money on internet charges and do not have to give a free breakfast. Sad, but I can't think of one time I haven't been upgraded without asking when their is availability.
     
  2. trippin_the_rift
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    trippin_the_rift Silver Member

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    Everyone and their mom is a SPG Gold, I never expect Club floor upgrades with such a low status.

    *zipz up flame suit*
     
  3. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    Heh, I'm trying to get gold at the moment (cries). Living in Japan, it's non-trivial...
     
  4. Leumas
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    Leumas Silver Member

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    Club/Exec rooms are not a benefit for Golds. It's just 'the next category' up, which may or may not be a Club Room.
     
  5. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    If you REALLY need to be on there and they did not give you a Club room (as Leumas said, it is not a written benefit), you can also ask about using points to upgrade. I did this a couple of times, when I knew I could take advantage of the lounge and wireless, so it was worth the pts (1500/night).
     
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  6. cheryld
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    cheryld Silver Member

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    On a slightly unrelated note, but still keeping with the Gold benefits....I have two rooms booked at the Dolphin with the 50% off award (which actually did save me over the best reduced rate I could find!). I wrote Customer Service to verify that I will earn points for both rooms - not just the room I am staying in. I found this somewhere on their website - they wrote back in the affirmative. I assume this must be a Gold perk.
     
  7. Astrophy
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    Astrophy Silver Member

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    Just giving my personal experience. I don't know of many times I've been turned down for a Club room when asking for an upgrade to one.
     
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  8. bthobe
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    bthobe Silver Member

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    Agreed. Many times my "upgrade" is nothing more then a room on a higher floor which occasionally includes the club lounge floors as everyone with a pulse seems to have SPG Gold. When I check in, I will hope for an upgrade to something nice but if it does not happen, it's not the end of the world for me.
     
  9. jeff3380
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    jeff3380 Silver Member

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    unfortunately as a gold, I've never gotten a club floor upgrade. I have gotten many "better room" upgrades, where essentially i move to a higher floor. but the club floor hasn't been in the offering.

    Actually now that I think about it - even the times I've been given a room on a club floor, I didn't get club access.....something that "the other site" had a discussion on whereby if you're on the club floor I think they have to give you access?
     
  10. illico
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    illico Silver Member

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    I've been moved to club floors (and even upgraded to suites) on occasion as a gold but this is an exception rather than the rule. As others mentioned it is usually to a higher floor (or an SPG floor).
     
  11. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    The key to being a Gold with Starwood is to attenuate your expectations.

    First off, your really great benefits are 4pm guaranteed late checkout (except at resorts and at peak conference locations, where it's 'if available'). That's actually quite a real benefit, I think, and one that's not matched by any other chain let alone for lowest tier.

    Second, not having the worst room at the hotel. Your status should avoid sticking you above the HVAC. But though SPG promotes upgrades for Golds, and leads to much misunderstanding, the only upgrade benefit for gold is giving you a preferred room within the category you book. So unless you book a club room, you aren't entitled to one. And unless you book a suite, you aren't entitled to one.

    Now that said, some hotels go above and beyond. They may not get a lot of elites of any kind. Or they may need to upgrade someone because they're full of base room bookings for the night. And your status is a tool of persuasion. I would suggest something along the lines of, "I know my Gold status doesn't promise me much, but I was wondering if you could help with an upgrade to a __________ room today?"

    Being Gold and nice may convince an agent with some discretion to treat you better than the terms and conditions of the program require.

    Then again, this should always be the strategy regardless of status. Your status is simply one reason the people you interact with can use to give you what you want. And sure, there are times when the squeaky wheel gets the grease but most often it's just one piece of your arsenal of persuasion.
     
  12. Simon
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    Simon Milepoint Guide

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    I've never heard of anyone aiming for this status. Plenty of ways to get it free and probably will again be in the future. Aim for Platinum instead if anything.
     
  13. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    Any good ways if you're based in Japan? :)

    There is no way I'm going to stay enough to make Platinum, not without staying on the Sendai Westin every weekend for no reason!
     
  14. jeff3380
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    jeff3380 Silver Member

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    i suppose you could sign up for an Amex Platinum card if you were that serious about making Gold status. I think it gives gold status in every country its available (but dont quote me, I'm basing that on 3 countries :) )

    you could pretty easily get to be a preferred guest, a google search should help you on that. at least then you can ask for the late checkout.
     
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  15. Simon
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    Simon Milepoint Guide

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    Just wait for double stay promo and you might have a better chance.
     
  16. Christian Martinez
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    Christian Martinez Gold Member

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    Here's my advice. Use 50% certs for suites and when you check in, THEN ask to see if you can be upgraded to a better suite, It helped me get a better suite then a Plat. Politeness goes a long way kiddies!
     
  17. RCyyz
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    RCyyz Silver Member

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    Wot?! DYKWIA?! [​IMG]
     
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  18. spddemn
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    spddemn Active Member

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    I've found personally its how ofter you stay at the particular hotel and they get to know you, I seem to get that extra personal touch at several SPG properties I stay at.
     
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  19. illico
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    illico Silver Member

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    This is true for me as well. The two SPG properties i frequent the most treat me very well as a gold.
     
  20. nomflyer
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    nomflyer Silver Member

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    All I ever got as a Gold was an upgrade to the "Starwood Preferred Guest" floor.
     
  21. tigerwong
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    tigerwong Silver Member

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    Take a trip to Asia. I found my Gold status to be quite valuable. At various locations throughout Thailand I received a suite upgrade, free breakfast and other nice perks.
     
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  22. The last 2 stays that I had (Sheraton Atlanta Perimeter North and Sheraton Gateway Hotel Atlanta Airport), I was upgraded to a suite upon request both times, and at the Sheraton Gateway, they gave me Club Lounge Access as well! I know this is not expected, but I've been getting lucky with SPG Gold. The worse I've gotten were SPG floors on a couple occasions and this past December, I got a Junior Suite at the Sheraton Waikiki. YMMV, but I'm loving Gold! =)
     
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  23. Simon
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    Simon Milepoint Guide

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    It stands to reason the more often you stay and the same hotel, the more they will reward you.
     
  24. tlott
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    tlott Silver Member

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    This is great advice.

    4pm late checkout is the most important guaranteed benefit. I feel Gold is pretty much useless aside from 4pm checkout in the US (got a nice suite upgrade once), but while gold for 2 years I received nice upgrades in Europe and Asia frequently (junior suite or more often an upsized room with a nice view).

    It pays to not have the crappiest room in the hotel and have some bargaining power to get a higher room for instance if the lower floors have street noise, etc.

    All depends what you value - for me a suite is nice, but doesn't really add much to my stay (I don't spend a lot of time in the hotel) - I primarily want a quiet, clean room with good service. Don't need a suite for that.
     
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  25. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    As has been pointed out above, as a SPG Gold you don't have a lot of published benefits.Your only upgrade is supposed to be a better room in the same category, which frequently means a high SPG floor with a better view.

    Usually the SPG floor means free bottled water, sometimes better toiletries, sometimes a small plant in the room, and sometimes a bathrobe in the room and turndown service without calling to request it I would hope that it would also mean a more recently renovated room.

    In many properties, you can you the SPG line to check in and check out, as well as for minor concierge-type inquiries depending on the size and set-up of the hotel. Some properties (I've seen this more with upper-tier SPG brands such as LC and StR outside of the US) have a staff position for a SPG-coordinator or similar title that you can contact if any questions or problems arise at the property.

    Frequently very important to me is the GUARANTEED (except for resorts and hotels with convention/conference in their name) 4 pm check out time. This means that you tell them nicely, usually at check in so that your key card is good during the last afternoon. You don't have to call early on your day of departure and beg.

    My best experiences were checking in as part of a large group (usually all with a special rate for a "run of house" room), including as part of a big convention that filled the city. With SPG status, you are very unlikely to be walked to another (farther away, nonheadquarters, and frequently lower category) hotel in town (or outside of town) or to be assigned a room that doesn't respect your smoking and bedding preference. Your room is far more likely to be ready when you arrive (priceless). You will probably get an upgrade to a high but non-suite room category because the hotel would rather upgrade someone with SPG status than some random individual. (IME suites are all booked far in advance for more money.) Depending on whether VIPs get club rooms as part of the contract and whether the group has a lot of higher SPG status participants, you might well have a very good chance of getting a room with lounge access, such as one on a designated club floor. Overall, not bad!

    I always try to get my SPG number noted on the initial reservation, but it may appear in some comment field that hotel staff don't see unless they look for it. So, when the reservations are transferred over to the hotel (if booked through a conference housing agency or a conference website), I always call to ask that my number be entered on the reservation and then request a written confirmation from the hotel (not just the conference housing confirmation, which is less useful if problems arise). They a day or two before arrival, I call to reconfirm and check again that they are aware of my status. This strategy has worked well for me.
     

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