I just made my first booking, so I thought I'd do a post about the booking process now and follow up with info on the actual stay later.
The merger and linking of accounts happened just in time for me. I have an upcoming trip to Helsinki where there are no Marriott properties and was going to resort to the Hilton since I still have the matched Diamond status there.
So, when the announcement came through I went to SPG and did a search and found the Klaus K Design Hotel listed there. It looks like a really cool hotel and I just saw it featured on the last episode of Travel Man. Some of the "Art rooms" are really cool looking but I'm guessing I won't have one of those. I didn't even see them listed on SPG as a possibility. I did see an option to upgrade to a "Sky Loft" which looks pretty cool. Essentially, it's a bigger room with the bed on a lofted area at one end of the room. Not quite a suite, but it does create a pseudo-separation. One of the big points of the Sky Lofts is that they have private entrances. That was slightly above per diem and I didn't want to pay out of pocket, so I chose the King room just below it.
When you click Reserve on a rate on SPG.com it seems to always give you an opportunity to upgrade to the next level. This kind of annoys me because I just consciously chose a different level room so it's kind of second guessing me since it's not like it's offering me a discount or anything. I guess it may be a good sales tactic as it shows only the per night price difference. That probably catches some people with "Well, since it's only an extra $30/night..."
I didn't go for the upgrade since I want to avoid out of pocket and stay within per diem. Besides, this will give them a chance to upgrade me.
Since it is a Design Hotel they are only limited partners with SPG and you only get partial benefits. All the rates include breakfast, so no benefit there. I think it's basically just free wifi, points, elite-qualifying nights, and a theoretical possibility for an upgrade.
After I completed the reservation it took longer to get the confirmation e-mail than I'm used to with Marriott. It seemed to be 10 minutes or more. Not a huge deal, but just thought I'd let people know what to expect.
I booked a stay at the W Vieques Island in Puerto Rico, so the timing was great for me as well. I agree, unless it just a matter of getting used to it, I did not like the SPG website as much. There almost seemed to be too many options, different things to click when searching. You could select various rates to search "free nights, breakfast included, AAA, etc." but you can only select 4 max, which was annoying. I ended up with 3rd night free rate - but the price at website checkout reflects all three nights & then you get credited the 3rd night at hotel check out. This makes me nervous. I am anxious to see how this stay goes & what the reciprocal Marriott Platinum status means (if anything) at this hotel.
So, have officially started my first SPG stay.
Sadly, due to a funding delay I had to cancel my initial booking and delay my trip a day. By the time I got it rebooked I was no longer able to get the same level of room I'd booked (only the most basic was available) and I couldn't get any room for one of the nights of my trip, so at the moment it appears I'll be splitting my stay between two hotels.
Anyway, on to the good stuff... check in went really well as I had requested early check-in (1PM) and my room was ready. Better yet, I was notified that they had a Sky Loft available and I had been upgraded. That is an even nicer room than I initially booked, so that is pretty awesome. I find it odd that it didn't appear on the site as available, but I supposed maybe they had a cancellation.
This is a "Design Hotel" which I guess means some/all(?) of the rooms were designed by some designer. Looking at their website some are really cool. There is a little framed note from the designer on the wall above the desk:
The room isn't HUGE, but it's quite nice the bed area is raised and there is a half glass wall to break it up into separate sleeping and sitting areas:
The Sky Loft comes with a few added perks:
1 free drink at the bar each evening
Access to the "Sky Terrace" where there is a nice view and coffee machine (not quite a lounge, but it's nice)
"Lounge music in room" (You can hear the lobby music in your room also. It's kind of cheesy, but I kind of like it.)
Separate entrance (These rooms have an additional street entrance and elevator if you don't want to go through the main entrance and lobby)
I'll report back on how the breakfast is tomorrow.
Checked out this morning and just got home from the trip. I was quite pleased with the hotel and it is a great location. I'm curious to see how long it takes for the stay/nights/points to post. I'll post an update when they do and also some more photos of my second room, breakfast, etc...
I guess I need to call SPG regarding my points, because they just don't seem correct for the $ we spent? The bill with food and drinks was ~$2000.00. As a plat., I was awarded 3,708 points on my bill (with the elite bonus) and later another 2,472 in my account for the "more for you" bonus. Does this seem correct based upon how your points worked?
I know SPG points don't equate evenly to Marriott, but it just doesn't seem like many points for a $2,000 hotel bill?
Sorry, I posted but it was in a different thread. My bill was also just over $2000. (No food or drinks though. I think those may not get the same points depending on the brand or something so that may be a difference.)
It posted as:
1840 Elite Bonus
500 Welcome Gift
3680 More For You DBL
3680 More For You TPL
So, that's a total of 13,380pts
Thanks! I will just call SPG and ask for an explanation. I received the More for You DBL, but not the TPL?
I don't understand if hotel vs. food/drink is awarded differently? I have not read all the Terms & Conditions, just generally it says "3 Starpoints per US $ spent, and 50% bonus." So I was hoping the $'s spent included food & drink....
I just know with Marriott 6 of their brands give you points on "qualifying charges" while all the rest do so "on your room rate". I was just guessing that may SPG does something similar.
I just looked at their T&C and "Eligible Charges" includes food and drink (except alcohol where prohibited by law). Please post what you find out.
So, I finally have my points sorted out (well kind of). I am still not totally clear on the break down of points, but after some persistence I ended up with 8,955.
This was an increase of 2,775 points from what they originally awarded. Which in Marriott terms does not sound like many points, but SPG points seem to have more value. Anyway, the frustrating part was....it took an online chat (useless), phone call (resulting in an email that they were contacting hotel and would be back with me in a few days), followed by yet another phone call and email when another 10 days had passed. SPG finally adjusted the points, but I never did receive a clear explanation of how they were calculated? Just kind of irritating when the total bill was not insubstantial at ~$2,000.00 room, food & beverage and it took so much effort on my part to get the points adjusted.
I just booked my first SPG stay on points for the Salzburg Sheraton.
One of the booking options was WHAT KIND OF UPGRADE....
You could check a box that said you wanted the 1st available room open, or you wanted the largest room, highest room...now that was pretty cool. I picked biggest room. Not in a hurry to check in really...
I hope I have your luck!!! ;D