I’d like to report a positive first experience using SPG Suite Night Awards today. As I blogged before, I will be gallivanting through South America over the next few days. I chose the Tambo Del Inka resort in the Sacred Valley of Peru near Machu Picchu as my first test drive of the new Suite Award program. The Tambo Del Inka ranks #9 in the 2012 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards for best hotels in the world which is the highest of any SPG property. While TripAdvisor’s definition of best hotel in the world differs from mine, it still seems like a worthy upgrade opportunity in my book.
SPG Suite Nights
As a reminder, SPG now awards 10 SPG Suite Night Awards when you accumulate 50 nights in a calendar year. These confirmed upgrades can be used on award nights which differs from Hyatt’s confirmed upgrades which are confirmed on paid stays. The new SPG program isn’t quite as lucrative as it sounds on the surface. The SPG program already explicitly offers Platinum’s upgrades to standard suites on every stay. The suites that the hotel designates online as ‘upgradeable via suite nights’ are inevitably the lowest suite possible. Under the old program, hotels could and would often upgrade you to an aspirational WOW suite or similar. Under the new program, you’ve already ‘received’ your benefit of an upgrade to a standard suite and there is no incentive for a hotel to upgrade you further.
The process was incredibly simple. I submitted the request online via the website.
Voilà! SPG confirmed the suite exactly 5 days before arrival as promised. The experience was seamless and easy. I enjoyed a separate email alerting me that the upgrade had cleared.
My upgrade was confirmed into a Junior Suite which is the second highest level of suite. The hotel’s highest suite level is the Senior Suites.
The bottom line
SPG nailed the process for suite upgrades. I love the ability to request and monitor the upgrades online as opposed to Hyatt’s equivalent process which requires a phone call for upgrades. I still have my reservations of the new SPG suite upgrade system as a whole. I love the aspirational upgrades I used to receive from SPG to WOW Suites or similar. Unfortunately I believe the new system limits the expectation of an award redemption to a standard suite.