The reason I am doing post is that – it might no longer exist anymore. The rules of engagement are changing. After the merger of SPG and Marriott, the things aren’t as smooth as they should be. Marriott didn’t think of merger properly for sure. It has been over a month since the merger and things are not back to normal yet. There are too many issues that need to be worked out.
What is the Ambassador Service?
Starwood provides its top-tier member who spends over 100 nights with them with a person who would take care of their stay on behalf of the company. You have a dedicated person who would help you with your SPG related issues.
Reviews I read
Basically, it was confusing as what to expect from SPG service. There were no clear guidelines as what Ambassador service can do. Starwood didn’t declare SPG Ambassador as a separate TIER and hence it never meant that my upgrades cleared out or I got better preference at the hotel as nobody would know that I have an Ambassador. I wouldn’t be given any preference over other SPG Platinums. For most people, benefits ended at 75 nights where they would get an extra point for staying at SPG hotels.
What I thought I would need Ambassador service for?
I qualified for Ambassador service in late May and I was really excited as what could happen once I get Ambassador. I usually prefer to do my bookings. My only issues with SPG were points not posted or folio not emailed to me. Since SPG and Marriott policy were ever changing, at least he/she would keep me updated. I would never ask my SPG Ambassador to get me a room in sold out the property as they always gave me a room at 2x the standard price which I wasn’t willing to pay.
Well, what you don’t know is what you don’t know. SPG assigned my Ambassador after 2 weeks of reaching Ambassador level. Till then they recommended me to use standard Ambassador line or email and any of the Ambassador team would answer my queries.
After 2 weeks, they assigned me my private Ambassador PRADA.
Luckily or Unfortunately, I was in the middle of serious travel across the Europe where the food at SPG properties started becoming a huge issue. I am a Vegetarian who doesn’t eat meat, fish, chicken or eggs. I hate onions. I prefer to eat Gluten-Free food. Most places they don’t understand and hence I just say I am Gluten Free Vegan. Life can be very trying for someone with dietary requirements.
Every morning was spent trying to negotiate my food with the hotel. They were charging me for full breakfast but I would get the pretty much same thing from every damn hotel – Fruits, Juices, Stir Fried Vegetables, Yogurt, and Cereals. I had a choice of Coffee and Tea too. There were no options in the Club lounge for me to consume. The breakfast in Europe usually ranges between €12 to €28. Basically, the shittiest food for high pay. Why would I want to subject myself to that? Hotels usually had an attitude of – well if it’s not in buffet menu, we would charge you. My response was usually along the lines, refund me my breakfast money and I would order from a la carte. Then there would be some negotiation from there and then suddenly the chef gruntingly would pull out some dishes.
Informing, at the check-in desk didn’t really help either. They would always say that there would be something there for you. Our staff is prepared for this. However, in the morning, it would again flip. Negotiate the same every day.
Start of Ambassador Service
For someone with a dietary requirement, Ambassador team came up with the plan that they would email to every hotel before my arrival about my food preferences. They also arranged my meeting with the hotel head chef who would be responsible for ensuring the smooth service.
Since then, I have started loving my stay at SPG so much that every time I stay somewhere else, I feel like I am stuck. Please take me back to my homeostasis. Even when I visit my parents, and they ask me what you would like to eat. I feel like calling one of the chefs that I befriended on the trip and they could help me with few varieties. The hotels have become an extension of my life. I want to be there. I wake up in the morning in a comfortable bed. I head for breakfast and I am usually well fed. The level of satiety and variety is so high. In Germany, they even made me vegan version of their meat dishes. Even there is something prepared for me in the Club Lounge just for me. I can just sit back, write my stuff and carry out my meetings without worrying about what would I eat today.
Thanks to my Ambassador, hotels know that I am Ambassador guest and treat me accordingly too. Which is a special feeling.