It appears that 2017 will be the last year to get close to the true SPG experience before the final tendrils of the Marriott merge take hold. I'm sure we have a few double dippers who have been in both programs along with a few newbees from Starwood now in our ranks. If you had to limit it to a max of three, which SPG properties would you recommend we visit to get the old SPG welcome and feel before it's gone?
I'm currently staying in St. Regis-Mumbai. This is a game changer for me. As Plat, I've been upgraded to a suite, had the most amazing complementary breakfast this am and went to their club lounge which was a blast in the evening. I'm not really into the whole experiential part of the St. Regis ethos, but without a doubt, I've enjoyed myself and if this is a taste of what SPGers experience, I want more.
homoviator, did you have to pay extra for the club lounge? RC doesn't give club access to MR gold/platinums unless you pay extra. Or was it because of the upgrade, do you think?
nope, I didn't have to pay clebert I'm not totally sure if it's all gold/plat members, but my sense is that it was. I know at RC will never give club access to gold/plat. One difference was that their club was only open 2 hrs at this St. Regis, where the RC is pretty much ongoing from what I understand. At the club lounge St. R in Mumbai the space itself was quite small and could only hold about 20 people comfortably and you order off of an appetizer and drink menu. It was also open only 2 hrs. The food was amazing, service was impeccable. It's a different format for sure, but one I really liked. It didn't seem so hectic like it sometimes does in some of the lounges.
Until now I felt like I had heard the SPG program was much better than Marriott's. I'd been looking at other properties since the merge and never really found one that fit our needs and even this one I was really hesitant because the location wasn't ideal for us, but there wasn't really any one hotel that was so we decided that this would serve our needs well.
I have a 3-night stay at The Phoenician this week, so I will report back. I think that property is supposed to be one of the nicest SPG properties, and it should be as I'm paying $411 a night for a standard room, plus a big fat resort fee and a parking fee And that's the SPG preferred rate!
I have never stayed at a St. Regis except for the RC Ft. Lauderdale was originally a St. Regis, and I stayed there right after the rebranding. So I got an idea of the style of a St. Regis, or at least that particular property. One of the Insiders also highly recommended the St. Regis Doha, but I am going to opt for the RC Sharq Village instead, I think.
I will be traveling to Santorini in June. I plan to guide by troupe of friends to the Mystique enjoying some time in a couple of their restaurant/bar/wine cave options. Will keep ya posted....looks totally lovely! It is one of the pictures always featured on the heading bar on our Marriott site!