(Un)intended devaluation of Plat benefits?

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by sendaiben, Mar 2, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    I just checked into the St. Regis Bangkok, which is lovely. The staff were great too, finding us a room at 06:30 and making sure we had a nice view, etc. Very happy with the hotel. It's all that people had said in the forum here and I am glad we chose it for this stay.

    However, I did have one unpleasant surprise checking in (it's very much a first world problem, but we care about these things here, right?).

    This hotel used to provide complimentary breakfast for Platinum members. Now, however, as breakfast is one of the platinum amenities, Platinum members can choose it at checkin.

    However, previously Plat members would have gotten breakfast and starpoints. Now they have to choose between them. This seems to be an unintended devaluation, and I'm worried that all hotels are now going to be doing this, which is a pretty serious devaluation in my eyes. My plat status is now worth 500 starpoints less per stay :(

    I'll be staying at Le Meridien Koh Samui in a couple of days, so we'll see how they handle the issue...
     
  2. techguru
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    techguru Silver Member

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    Yes definitely a first world problem, but a problem never the less ;-)
     
  3. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    While a devaluation, that is an exception situation, as most SPG hotels didn't offer free breakfast for Platinum guests.

    At a place like where you're at, I suspect it would be in either FHR and/or Virutoso...so you could book through them to get the breakfast benefit...then nominate points for the Platinum benefit. So, there is a workaround.

    Or, have two breakfasts! ;)
     
  4. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    That may be true overall, but I live, work, and travel mostly in Asia, and almost all the non-budget SPG hotels did provide complimentary breakfasts... until yesterday :(
     
  5. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Yes this is a pretty serious deval n my inion (tho not clear if all the Asian properties will actually downgrade). More serious if hotels that offered free real breakfast downgrade to just continental -but well have to see
     
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  6. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    It's only a couple of days in to the changes and I experienced the exact same thing when I checked in to the St. Regis Bangkok today. Before it was breakfast AND amenity (like it is throughout Asia). Now it's breakfast OR 500 points/local amenity.

    So while Gold gets a real benefit upgrade, Platinum gets a devaluation at most international properties and at all properties that has a club, just like I predicted.

    Can't wait to see how the properties that don't have clubs interpret the "continental breakfast" benefit.

    And after coming from a 1200 sqft suite stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo confirmed 4 months in advance, I have to tell you, my 50+ night status with 10 suite NIGHTS upgraded a few days out, does not make me give more business to SPG.
     
  7. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Thank you for posting this sendaiben!

    Non-elite & Gold elite guests at the St. Regis Bangkok pay around $36/person for the amazing breakfast spread ... that's THB 960++ ... and if you are staying with a family, that can add up pretty quickly. So, I am willing to sacrifice the per stay $17.50 (retail value of SPG points or $12.50 when on sale :)) on the altar of their amazing daily breakfast spread :D
     
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  8. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    No question about it, but when SPG is banging hard on the drums announcing BIG improvements, it's absolutely wrong to take any sort of devaluation and at the St. Regis Bangkok there is a devaluation of benefits for their best customers. And this is a devaluation from the last time I stayed at this property. It's 500 points in the crapper while the Grand Hyatt down the street offers full breakfast AND 1000 points for Diamonds.

    In fact, the properties I tend to come back to, there's no change at all or a devaluation. Checked out of the St. Regis Bangkok early this morning and I noticed (and saved) the new SPG key holder stating the new Platinum benefits. They're making a BIG deal about the NEW continental breakfast benefit. I'm quite sure we'll see more reports from various properties with devaluations like this in the coming months.
     
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  9. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Agreed 110% with you that the announcement was misleading at best (as in the case with HH few years back). I rather keep the full breakfast in Asia than "an enhanced" benefit of a continental one everywhere else. And for a property which upgraded me many folds over from Deluxe to an Astor Suite (difference $300/night in value) on an 5-night award stay, giving either Platinum amenity or the breakfast makes no sense at all to me! :confused:

    We spent 4 nights at Grand Hyatt Erawan (one paid, one award, and two on points) departing on January 1st, 2012 to the provinces. Was a Diamond then, and got upgraded to a suite overlooking Ratchaprasong intersection where the main fireworks event took place at new year's eve (Report will follow in the appropriate thread when time allows). But we did not get a 1K points and was told by GP that this was not available in Asia. Instead, we got a bottle of Italian Red (organic!) and a GH Erawan key-chain as Diamond amenity. Further, although the breakfast spread at the GH Erawan executive lounge was very good including a 4 hot-dishes little menu that changed daily, it was neither a full buffet breakfast nor a match to the St. Regis' ... ;)
     
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  10. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    My mistake, you don't get the bonus points outside of the US.

    I don't think you can compare the two properties as they are not competing, I think you have to compare the new Park Hyatt that's opening in a while. ;)

    But from a SPG customers perspective, no matter how you slice it, what was supposed to be an improvement, has turned out to be a devaluation for Platinums. And where I come from, you shouldn't be happy with that.
     
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  11. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    I just checked in at the Koh Samui Le Meridien, and happily they are still providing the same benefits to plats:

    1. room upgrade
    2. complimentary breakfast
    3. welcome drink
    4. choice of amenity

    Very glad that this is not (for now) an across the board devaluation :)
     
  12. Simon
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    Simon Milepoint Guide

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    Probably is a loss for those of us that stay in Asia but i can imagine those in Europe and US with hotels without lounges will be very happy with these changes. We have it too good in Asia compared what i keep reading about that happens in the US!
     
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  13. RAPC
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    RAPC Silver Member

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    Sadly there are a few unintended devaluations as a result of the recent SPG changes. For example the Sheraton Park Tower has stopped the free Platinum breakfast to go and now requires you to select it instead of points, which isn't worth it. Likewise the contact I have there for my work stays confirmed that they are now restricting suite upgrades only to Platinum members with access to the suite night awards.

    This is the same policy being applied at the Sheraton Edinburgh as well now according to a colleague who stayed there at the weekend. It really does make those of us who didn't qualify for the suite night awards this year 'Platinum Lite' members. I don't believe it was the intention of Starwood to create this, but some properties are already changing the policy to their advantage. Not a smart thing to do when Hilton on the other hand appear to be upping the ante with their Diamond upgrades and treatment based upon my recent experiences.
     
  14. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Not giving upgrades into select standard suites without use of suite upgrade certs is definitely against the
    SPG T&C. Any and all examples of this policy should be reported vigorously to corporate and called to our lurkers' attention ASAP. This is so unacceptable, but it is what I feared would happen. I also suspect that in addition to the properties that admit it, there will be many more who follow this but just do not announce to guest that they have select standard suites but won't give us the upgrade. Anyone without the certs is not able to check suite categories and inventory on line.
     
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  15. Downunder girl
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    Downunder girl Silver Member

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    Ok what did I miss here? I have always been able to see if there were suites online for a particular hotel I planned to stay at.
    MSPeconomist: Why are you saying, that now you can only check to see if there are suites if you are the higher category Plat member with certs? I am really confused :(
     
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  16. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If you're PlatMinus, you cannot see which categories are available for upgrades with the certs, so any sense (as many here said would be an advantage of the new program) of being able to see which suite categories a hotel has and this possibly leading to increased transparency regarding upgrades will not apply to PlatMinus members.

    At least one of the hotels which is following the new "policy" of not giving suite upgrades at check in to Plats (unless suite upgrade certs have been used) has decided to zero out their suite inventory one day in advance. This was reported on TOBB and is another hotel that makes it impossible to check for the availability of select standard suites that a Plat might get as an upgrade on spg.com.
     
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  17. Downunder girl
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    Downunder girl Silver Member

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    WOW! That is bad form and bad news for us :(

    I am guessing I am Plat Minus since I am just ordinary Plat, not Plat 100 nights or whatever.
     
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  18. SPG Champion
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    SPG Champion Official Representative

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    This has already been reported and corrections made, so this won't be happening at either of these two properties or any others that we learn of trying to do the same thing.

    Best regards,

    William R. Sanders
    Social Media Specialist
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
     
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  19. RAPC
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    RAPC Silver Member

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    Many thanks for staying on top of this.
     
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