Full disclosure (since we are all one big happy family now), I like SPG luxury properties more than I do Marriott's. I have never actually stayed at a SPG property before out of keeping loyalty (and points) with Marriott. I have however hung out in a bunch of St Regis, Grand Sheraton, Le Meridien and W hotels though. I fell in love with the décor, ambience, food and staff. Now I can stay there guilt free! So the question is who else secretly loved SPG properties and may primarily start staying with them?
I am going to have to wait till next year until I can start staying though. I am still short 20 days to keep Platinum. I have trips to Qatar, Thailand and Switzerland planned and I had hoped to start immediately *tears up*.
I am since there have not been a lot of Marriotts where I've travelled recently. I just had a trip to Helsinki come up and there are none there, but there is an SPG-partnered Design Hotel.
I'm still debating between SPG and Marriott properties over the holidays. I need nights to retain my Platinum but I like some of the SPG options better.
I'll chirp a little... I am not presently "excited" to stay at any Starwood properties...
So these are what compel me to think, "Meh" , at least at this time. I'm sure that someday I will be interested in trying out a couple of the Starwood brands, once the loyalty programs have merged and the dust has settled...
Not particularly exited as gold gets almost nothing at spg. I'll stick with marriott. The only reason I would see my self choosing spg is if the price is better and the Marriott property either has no lounge or is closed. I rarely eat breakfast. I have stayed at the westin on an hotwire reservation with no status and managed to sweet talk my way into an upgrade. But that doesn't matter to me as song as I'm within the budget and the property is nice.
I am ONLY excited for the 2 nights in Salzburg...no Marriott... or I'd be sticking with Marriott.
I will say, I have hung out at the Sheraton New Orleans bar, literally!!! RIGHT NEXT to the JW New Orleans, and had a good time. I liked the openness of the Sheraton there. Really massive lobby area. Good bar food too.
I am pretty much keeping all my eggs with Marriott until they fully combine. SPG just doesn't have the footprint.
Once fully combined, it will come down to price.
I think SPG has a larger international footprint. I have zero data to back that up so I could be dead wrong. It has always seemed like there is always a luxury SPG property on my travels but hit or miss with Marriott. My go to property outside of Marriott brands has always been Four Seasons though.
It feels like while I am always comfortable and content with Marriott I have never actually had FUN. I'm sure you seasoned road warriors have hundreds of wild stories but I can't remember ever checking out and thinking "boy that was a fun time". Meanwhile I've been to numerous bars, clubs, concerts at SPG properties and had a blast.
I don't want to be misconstrued. I (like a crazy person) consider Marriott and Emirates as part of my immediate family. So there is no bashing going on here. I'm just glad Marriot has gotten more "fun" and I can't wait till the full integration. Reading the comments made me realize that I will also have to continue staying at only Marriott. I'm not a business traveler so lifetime status is a pipe dream for me however if I hope to keep Platinum I can't really afford stays that don't count.
I wouldn't classify my thoughts as 'excitement' towards any SPG stays but I look at this 'marriage' as an opportunity to 'explore' some properties in areas that might interest me. I am very comfortable with the Marriott properties and the usually nice reception, upgrades and amenities I get. But, if I find a price point that mirrors a Marriott offering in someplace like... Hawaii...I would certainly look at bunking down at the Royal Hawaiian or the Moana Surfrider properties.
Since I have Lifetime Platinum I have nothing to lose but I agree with pluto77 that if I were chasing the Lifetime status before they change the goal posts, I wouldn't even consider it.
Happy travels to all!
chris0311, I am thrilled because we just booked Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand. Marriott has zero properties in Fiji, but SPG has 4 to choose from! Marriott likewise has no properties near the GBR, but SPG has a beachfront Sheraton in Port Douglas. So it will be fantastic to visit these SPG properties as a platinum! And the ability to shift points between programs is great as well. We are also doing the Marriott Circular Quay Sydney on a vacation package, so it's the best of both worlds. But no Marriott or SPG in New Zealand, so we're using Hilton or IHG points there. I guess you can't have it all
Like pluto77 I'm not presently excited to start staying at SPG properties as I'm trying to obtain Lifetime Platinum Status with Marriott. I need about 70 more Marriott nights to get there. It is nice to know that if I need to stay at a SPG property that I can get the Platinum benefits and able to convert SPG points to Marriott Rewards.
I like the fact that I have more options, but the only SPG properties that are attractive to me are the higher tier ones and those don't meet our corporate guidelines. SPG doesn't have a lot of mid-tier choices, and I find Aloft to be worse than Courtyard. Some Sheratons and most Westins are usually pretty nice if price is right.
I am jealous of many of you who appear to regularly stay at the higher tier hotels. Those are only approved for our SVP's.
I'm in the "not too excited" category like pluto77 and vaboywnder. My type of travel is very flexible so I'm usually able to find a Marriott brand in places I want to go. A some point I will sign up for SPG and perhaps explore some of their brands.
Like others, accumulating lifetime nights and points is more important at the moment. While I may not wait until the two programs combine, I'm in no hurry to spread my nights between the Starwood and Marriott. Maintaining status with Marriott while working towards lifetime is still my main focus.
I'm also not too excited. I'm at a point where I need the nights stayed credits to retain Platinum for 2017. Therefore the reciprocal benefits currently offered don't do it for me. I hope to be lifetime Plat by the end of 2017 and at that time I shall revisit this situation.
It's always good to have other alternatives, especially at the Westins and Sheratons. Have reached Marriott Life Time Platinum status a long time ago so that's not a factor anymore. But it's also hard to teach an old horse new habits. In short, I'm moderately excited I guess.
I have lifetime platinum status so I am free to start exploring some SPG properties. I just booked a room at the Nines, a Luxury Collection hotel in Portland, Oregon for an upcoming trip. There are also two great restaurants in that building, The Urban Farmer and The Departure Lounge/Restaurant, both of which I have been to before and highly recommend. So YES, I am excited to start trying some SPG properties.
chris0311, this is a great question, and my sense of things is very similar to those expressed by pluto77, tef6178, bpelican and mustanggt. I do have lifetime status, yet I don't see a compelling reason to cross the aisle unless there is just no Marriott option available. I haven't encountered that circumstance as yet. Perhaps after getting my 20 nights in toward this Fall's bonus, I might consider checking out a Starwood property or two. I am anxious to hear from some of our loyal Insiders as to their experiences at those properties now that we have a status match... Perhaps that's it's own thread. I have to suspect that our gold members won't be happy until the programs truly become one, but I am anxious to hear from the platinums too. Excited? No not really. Not yet.
I have to say, I've stayed at our local Sheraton and while it feels a bit long in the tooth, I like it over MY other options which are Courtyard, Fairfield or Res Inn. Even before the Marriott and SPG came together, they were very nice to me.
But what I'm super excited about is some of the SPG places on the high end. I used to do 100+ nights, now I'm around 75 but this may get me to focus more.
I'm personally just excited to have an option in places that don't have any Marriott. I have a 2 week stay coming up and then possibly a 4 day weekend after that where I'll be in SPG because there's no Marriott. In this last quarter I'll earn almost half as many nights in SPG as I earned in Marriott the first 3 quarters.
For now I'm sticking with Marriott, although it's nice to know I have many more options. I linked my SPG account with my Rewards account and got a pleasant surprise. I had stayed at a Sheraton a few years back, and the Starwood agent said I had points in my account that they will reactivate if I show some activity in the next 90 days.
I'm excited in the sense that it adds options, especially internationally (non-US), where the Marriott brands didn't have properties. I mostly travel for leisure, so it is hard to hit 50 nights just from that each year - which makes SPG being at 25 nights for Gold and allowing more than one room per night to count towards the 25 when paying for a second room (which I do sometimes with my parents), means I might focus on SPG properties next year to keep my Gold status, especially if I head to Asia or South America which I am considering.
I may have misread that in their FAQ - it might be you can only earn points on up to three rooms, not nights towards status from three rooms... (Sorry for that).
I'm trying to figure out the stays/nights distinction (10 stays/25 nights - is that 10 different locations and a total of 25 nights?)
I Have since the account linking was launched included SPG on all of my searches including my current 5-night stay in London, a night in Newcastle, Budapest, Vienna, Nottingham, 6 nights in Orlando and a 15-night Chinese holiday. SPG either has no coverage or is pricier for comparable properties than their Marriott counterparts. So although initiallly quite excited I'm not sure I'll be staying much at SPG.
I just posted on my first SPG stay, chris0311, at a Westin Resort in Panama - you can check it out here:
For the pessimists, my somewhat more optimistic bottom lines remain:
There are a bunch of exciting luxury properties in the SPG family that are worth trying. I look forward to getting back to the Phoenician in Scottsdale, the Nines in Portland, Oregon and the Liberty in Boston. I also want to get to several St Regis and W properties in the coming year.
I just booked 3 nights at the Phoenician in March for a conference. It is nice to have that option as this is the conference hotel and makes life very convenient. I often book a nearby Marriott instead of the conference hotel for events like this, so having the SPG properties as part of the portfolio helps a lot.
The Phoenician has an interesting history. This is the hotel that was originally built by Charles Keating who is most famous for almost single handedly bringing down the entire S&L industry in the eighties. At the time he built the hotel, it set a new record for most expensive on a per room basis. He lost the property to the Feds. The lobby has an unbelievable amount of imported marble in it. Thank you Charles.
mustanggt, thanks for the info. I was booked at the Phoenician for a friend's wedding a few years back, but I couldn't make it due to some medical problems. I've heard it's a great resort, so I'm looking forward to the stay.