This weeks Whine Wednesday is about a situation I ran into most recently at the St. Regis Bangkok where the hotel wanted to charge for a second guest at the rate booked had a breakfast included.
Hotel rates often change based on double occupancy when there is a breakfast inclusion tied to the rate and that’s an acceptable condition, however it’s not in the case of a Platinum member who already has breakfast benefits.
It’s rare that hotel rates change based on guest room occupancy however there are instances where they do. Most of the time when this happens it’s in places such as Japan and especially on corporate rates and those that include a breakfast buffet for each registered guests.
Why is this beneficial for the guests? Because he doesn’t need to hold status in order to go to the breakfast without extra charges. This automatically brings a problem for those travelers who indeed hold top tier status with the hotel chain because whats your actual benefit when it’s already included in the rate?
Just the kind of situation we ran into last weekend traveling from Seoul to Bangkok with a reservation at the St. Regis which pretty much unraveled at check-in. Since I’m already entitled to complimentary breakfast I reserved for one guest instead of two which ended up being a huge issue for them, ultimately leading to me cancelling the stay on the spot and moving to the SPG Luxury Collection property which was not only lower in rate but also provided a better room and Platinum benefits to begin with.
Other guests at the St. Regis Bangkok among pretty much all properties just take ‘visitors’ (prostitutes really) to their room all the time without registering them and not being stopped by the front desk or hotel security. This is common knowledge and rather obvious. Then when a Platinum member arrives and doesn’t ask for anything more than he’s already entitled to this is suddenly a problem for the hotel management. Absolutely ridiculous. The curse of being honest in this instance and not just taking the second guest up without registration I guess. Aside from the fact we weren’t even planning to have breakfast as the plan for the next day was to go for Sunday Brunch.
While I was happy with my new hotel I sent a complaint to Starwood Consumer Affairs to which the hotel responded with lies about the check-in process. Too bad for them I recorded the entire process midway.
Breakfast benefits are associated with most hotels mid/top tier status levels:
- Starwood SPG Platinum
- Marriott Rewards Gold/Platinum as Amenity Choice
- Hilton Gold/Diamond
Sometimes these regulations hotels have in place make zero sense. Even less so when they irk a guest so much that he walks. For sure the St. Regis wasn’t able to sell that room anymore by 5pm on a Sunday so in the end they lost more than they gained by pulling this nonsense.
Hotels that have rates varying by the amount of guests are far and in between but I always suggest to check out the differences before reserving for the maximum amount of adults (2) usually allowed per room. In a situation like the one displayed