Starwood has had an Ambassador program for few years to cater more important guest. In 2012 Starwood extended this program to all SPG members that had at least 100 nights with the chain within a calendar year.
The goal of the program is to communicate the traveler’s preferences to hotels, monitor his/her stays, and take care any possible problems that may arise. Each of the members are assigned an Ambassador that he/she communicates with.
There was the puff piece on Businessweek about the program when it was originally launched and I wrote a piece about it that you can access here.
Then I did a write up about my experience with the program in 2012 that was overall underwhelming. Nothing really wrong, but nothing even closely resembling the experiences on that Businessweek article or the promotional video above. You can access that article here.
What I learned in the business school was always to under promise and over deliver. Doing it the other way around is always a recipe for disaster. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this in-room advertising video that SPG has done about this program that is available on YouTube. Who ever signed off this piece has no touch in reality what is happening with the Ambassador program at the property level.
Caption: David & Sara O., SPG Lifetime Gold Members
David O.: I have an Ambassador that just is so perfect. She is almost part of our family.
Title: Introducing the SPG Ambassador Service.
David O.: I booked the wrong room at the wrong time, done something that, you know, I mean, you’re constantly traveling every week. And she’s on, on, on all the time, no matter what. And even with a time difference, she’s there.
Sara O.: She’ll contact the hotel, get recommendations for dinner, recommendations on where to go, where t— what to see. It does make our life easier.
David O.: And that’s invaluable, uh, service, that I don’t see anybody else offering.
Caption: David N., SPG Lifetime Platinum Member
David N.: I’ve coined a term for Sharon, my Ambassador at SPG, uh, as my angel. She has been there above and beyond the call of duty, and in many circumstances, whether it was arriving to a hotel that could meet my needs, or taking care of my daughter on an international trip, or, uh, setting up, uh, a special, uh, arrival for me at the hotel in Vietnam. I’ve never been left in the cold. And it’s something that I don’t think any other, uh, hospitality, uh, brand in the world can— can offer at this point.
Caption: Timothy R., SPG Lifetime Platinum Member.
Timothy R.: Jennifer has saved me many, many times. She also was able to personalize things to myself, so when I would get to the hotel I was greeted, just like I normally would be, like I was a member of their family, but then when I got to my room there would be things that I liked. So there might be chocolate, or berries, or granola, and my favorite waters, or things like that, and it really made a big difference, especially when you’re getting in late at night.
Caption: Brian B., SPG Lifetime Gold Member.
Brian B.: When I talk to my Ambassador, she really, like I said, she really knows what I want. Beyond that, when I— when she’s not there, and someone else helps me, she will actually follow up. That’s real, personal service, not pretend personal service.
Caption: Kay M., SPG Lifetime Gold Member.
Kay M.: I joked that the Ambassador Service was like being invited into the CIA. I didn’t know that it existed until I was invited in, and now that I’m in I don’t know life… without it.
Caption: Linda M., SPG Lifetime Gold Member.
Linda M.: The Ambassador program enables me to work consistently with one person who knows my profile inside out. It makes my travel life easier. It is a unique component to the SPG program, it’s very value-add, and I was thrilled that there’s one person that I can reach out to whose focus is ensuring that when I’m on the road, my experience is always top-notch.
Title: Learn more about our benefits at spg.com/morepower
This is wrong at so many levels. I would call the Ambassador just the usual Platinum concierge but one with whom you could interact with exclusively. If you prefer reading horror stories about the Ambassador service, you may want to have a look at this thread on FlyerTalk.
It would be beneficial for everyone that is trying to hit 100 nights with SPG during a calendar year to have realistic expectations about this Ambassador program. You shouldn’t believe this SPG’s marketing spiel, but consider the program as an extension of the Platinum concierge.