Frequent Travelers often complain and sometimes even a little too much but it’s just fair to also give some credit where it’s due and I think one of such cases is when hotels really go above and beyond for their Elite Guests.
Members of Hotel Rewards Programs can expect a certain minimum standard based on the benefit schedule of their elite status but some hotels actually offer way more than that.
One good example is the St. Regis Beijing where I was staying this week on a SPG free night award which offers their Platinum Members a wide array of benefits and amenities.
Upon request I received this benefit letter at check-in (you should always ask for it in case it’s not being delivered to you automatically).
- SPG Platinum Welcome Amenity (500 Points or Local Gift)
- Two Bottles of Evian Mineral Water
- Seven (!) Pieces of Pressing Service
- Upgrade to a Suite upon availability
- Welcome Fruit & Chocolates
- 4PM Late Check-Out
- Complimentary Full Breakfast at the Restaurant
- Free Local Calls & Internet
On top of that the hotel also offers a Happy Hour between 5 and 7pm every day which is also not St. Regis brand requirement.
Based on the SPG Platinum benefit schedule (access here) a member holding Platinum Status is entitled to a choice of welcome amenity which includes 500 Starpoints, a local gift or complimentary continental breakfast. The fact that the hotel offers a full breakfast on top of the Platinum Choice is very generous.
The same goes for seven (!) pieces of pressing. Mind you this isn’t laundry but pressing your clothes after they were squeezed into the suitcase is a great benefit. In fact I actually stopped ironing the shirts at home after washing if I know I will be checking into a hotel the offers pressing amenity. Why do the same job right before and still have the clothes squashed? Seven pieces is out of the ordinary, usually hotels offer max two or one suit.
I was lucky enough to have been upgraded to a comfortable St. Regis Suite on this stay as well (actually I always got a suite here whenever I stayed). A nice (peeled) fruit plate and the Evian water was also appreciated. I rarely drink still water but if I do then I prefer Evian or Fiji Water.
Lower brands such as aloft can also sometimes surprise as at the aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral I always receive a full complimentary breakfast as well as an upgraded room with free mini bar as platinum member on top of the 250 Platinum Points. Aloft branded properties don’t have to provide any of this as they are excluded from the most valuable Platinum benefits.
The St Regis Beijing but also many other properties try to really please their Platinum Guests with extra amenities and this makes these hotels popular among regular guests. I guess the competition is stiff in Beijing nowadays, especially in the 5 star segment.
It came to my mind writing about this after Johns recent article (see here) about the quasi non existent elite benefits at the Aloft Bangkok were outlined at the counter with the help of a big sign. The article provoked some very different feeling among our readers so I wanted to bring you the other side of the coin as well.