Two LoyaltyLobby readers contacted me yesterday and forwarded communications that they had received from Le Meridien Khao Lak informing them that the hotel would exit Starwood system on October 31, 2014, and that the property would be reflagged.
Le Meridien Khao Lak was “exiting” the Starwood’s hotel portfolio already the other year but seems that they reached an agreement to extend the contract until the end of October, 2014.
You can access Le Meridien Khao Lak’s website here.
The problem is that once the property is no longer affiliated with the Starwood there are no status related benefits extended such as the upgrades or breakfasts. Also, the guest won’t earn any Starpoints for the spend and there will be no stays or nights counted towards requalification.
Sometimes all the award reservations that were done before the property leaves the system are honored but this is not always the case. The communication that one of the reader’s received seems to indicate that they are currently working how to handle these.
It is clear that those that have booked paid reservations and still want to stay at this property once it has left the SPG can do so.
Here’s what I would do:
1. I would communicate to the GM that the reason why I had booked it was the affiliation with SPG
2. Unless the property honors the SPG Gold and/or Platinum benefits after the October 31 exit date, I would request them to waive any potential cancellation fees and refund any possible prepayments that they may have collected.
Properties are usually willing to work with affected guests and often allow them to cancel reservations that otherwise would be set in stone.
There are are reflags/deflags happening all the time and nobody but the owner knows for sure under what brand the Le Meridien Khao Lak will be operating come November 1, 2014. It is just unfortunate that this will affect guests during the transitioning period.
Often contracts between the property and the brand dont allow communicating the termination of the agreement before it actually happens or maybe a week or two before. It is quite rare to get this information close to five months before the handover date.
I just hope that the LoyaltyLobby readers and others that have been affected by this would reach an amicable resolution with the Le Meridien Khao Lak or under whatever brand it will be on November 1.