First experience using SPG Suite Night Awards

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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.

Request process

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.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at

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  1. I’ve just looked up the hotel and it seems their junior suits are sometimes chaper then deluxe or superiors.

  2. @Lack – I noticed that too. They seem to run pre-paid discount rates on their Junior Suites and not as much on their non-suite rooms.

    @B – One per night.

  3. I think you will LOVE the Tambo del Inka. We were there last month and would highly recommend this hotel. It was one of the best stays I have had anywhere in the world. We did not have a suite, so I can’t comment in regards to the room you will have.
    Have a great time in the Sacred Valley, it was our favorite destination of the three weeks we traveled in S. America.

  4. So jealous! Am currently planning a trip for next May to Peru including Tambo del Inka, and i’m reading about it everywhere I turn.

  5. I had a confirmed Suite Night Award, too, at the Westin Washington National Harbor. But when I showed up at the hotel, they told me that all the suites were full and I would have to stay in a regular room.

    So what’s the use of this program if they still try to sell the room even after they’ve promised it to you as a Suite Night Award?

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