Reader Question: Lounge Access As Platinum Amenity At Legacy SPG Brand Past Merger?

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question by email if there has been change in welcome gift amenity at SPG brands after the program merger with Marriott Rewards on August 18, 2018.

Keraton Jakarta

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You can access Keraton’s website here.

READ MORE: Marriott Rewards Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Here’s the email from the reader:

I am just wondering if you aware about the downgrade of welcome gift benefits at SPG hotel after 18/8.

I did experience different benefits when I stayed at the Keraton at The Plaza Luxury Collection on Aug 10th and Aug 27th.

I’ll bet that this going to happen at many SPG hotels, for sure all Luxury Collection hotels.

Here’s the email hat the reader had sent to the property:

I don’t have a chance to meet you during my last stay at Keraton a few days ago.

but I did have a nice conversation with Mr. REMOBED (the duty manager) which he forgot to mention that day going to be his last day working at Keraton before moving to Accor.

We discussed many interesting things including  how after the programs officially merged (Aug 18th) and  the Keraton decided  to downgrade  the welcome gift for what so called their platinum elites.

The welcome gift before the programs merged are : 

Lounge access

Breakfast for 2 at restaurant

500 Starpoints

The welcome gift after the programs merged (according the person that checked me in and mr. Sandro) are choices of 1 item below :

Lounge access (as welcome amenity) or

Breakfast for 2 at restaurant or

1.000 Marriott points

The lounge access will be the welcome amenity?

And here’s the reply from the property:

We appreciate your loyalty and thank you for having been our Platinum elite guest in Marriot and SPG.

We delighted to hear that you had wonderful stay with us and our staff’s service helped in making your stay exceptional.

Mr. REMOVED, I apologies if the explanation was not really clear to you.

In The Luxury Collection Hotel, such Keraton at The Plaza, Platinum Elite guest are entitle for:

· 50% Bonus on Loyalty base points

· Room upgrade (Junior Suite)

· Welcome Gift; 1000 pts per stay or amenity (Club Lounge) per stay, or breakfast in restaurant (+1 guest sharing room of the member/daily).

· 4pm late checkout

· Annual choice option (5 Suite Night Awards)

· Guaranteed room type

There are actually several issues in play here and I try to tackle them all. BTW I have stayed at this Luxury Collection hotel in Jakarta three or four times.

Luxury Collection hotels don’t need to have a lounge (not a brand standard) but there are quite a few in Asia that do because of competitive reasons. If they have one, Platinum members do have access and it cannot be a welcome gift choice.

Many hotels that have a lounge allow members to choose whether they want to have breakfast in the lounge or in a restaurant, or if the lounge doesn’t serve breakfast at all lounge guests can then automatically have it in the restaurant instead and it cannot be amenity choice.

I cannot remember if this hotel serves breakfast in the lounge because I have always had it in the restaurant.

Lounge access is available for sure. If the reader would like to have breakfast in the restaurant, he/she can choose it as an amenity choice (if it is available in the lounge and hotel doesn’t allow free access to the restaurant one).

Conclusion

I hope that I explained it clearly enough. The reader has access to the lounge and, if there is no breakfast in the lounge, it should be then served free in the restaurant. If there is breakfast in the lounge and the reader would like to have the restaurant one, they can then choose it as the amenity choice for the duration of their stay.

These Marriott Rewards complimentary breakfast options are really confusing and seems that some hotels may need some additional training when it comes to the elite benefits too. I had to argue about my Platinum upgrade at this hotel couple of times.

You can read my piece about the complimentary Platinum member breakfast options at Marriott and Starwood brands here.

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