InterContinental Frankfurt reducing Royal Ambassador benefits for consistency’s sake…

Via Vielfliegertreff, it looks like the InterContinental Frankfurt is reducing Royal Ambassador benefits in the name of consistency.

I’ve stayed at the InterContinental Frankfurt several times before (reviews here, here, here, and here), and found it to be a great value as a Royal Ambassador member. I haven’t returned lately, though, as their lack of wireless internet is a deal breaker for me.

That being said, a guest checking into the InterContinental Frankfurt received a letter at check-in informing them that Royal Ambassador members would no longer receive complimentary access to the club lounge as in the past. It’s one thing if a single hotel devalues their benefits, though what’s interesting is that the second paragraph of the letter states that this is a new standard at European InterContinental hotels, whereby Royal Ambassador members will no longer receive free club access. Instead this hotel is offering Royal Ambassador members discounted club lounge access for 35€, instead of the usual rate of 70€. I wonder whether this is actually the case, or if the management at this hotel is just trying to find a scapegoat.

Royal Ambassador status used to hands down be the best top tier hotel elite status, though over the years it has been disappointing to see them slowly reduce benefits at the more generous properties in the name of consistency. My Royal Ambassador status is expiring at the end of the month and I’m not feeling too bad about it at this point.


Club InterContinental Frankfurt

(Tip of the hat to @PatBateman23)

Comments

  1. When was the last time you stayed at a top-tier hotel without using a FHR or Virtuoso rate?

    Seems hotel status is more burdensome than helpful if you’re usually on one of those rates. The only downside would be no benefits on award stays (at least with the chains that honor status on award stays).

  2. @ Murphy — Well I’m often redeeming points for top tier hotels, in which case I can’t book an FHR or Virtuoso rate.

  3. I don’t think lounge access was ever an official program benefit, so never really understood the big deal with Royal Ambassador, especially considering it is not even valid on award stays.

  4. @ Carl — What I loved about them is how consistent they used to be. Upgrades, 8AM check-in, and 4PM check-out were all guaranteed, and hotels were usually quite generous with them. So what I loved is that I always knew what to expect and was rarely disappointed, since there was no upgrade roulette. However, in the name of “consistency” we’ve seen benefits decrease considerably, and it hardly seems worthwhile anymore.

  5. This implication about standardization would be bad news about other EU ICs: Paris Le Grand, Vienna, etc. These props even gave Club benefits on award stays.

  6. I note your comment about lack of wireless internet. I stayed here a couple times within the last 6 months and am confident that my room had wireless internet. Perhaps it’s been added since your last stay.

  7. I stayed on last sept in IC frankfurt and got upgraded to deluxe room with no club lounge access,i wrote later to the management and been guaranteed suite with club on next stay!!!European properties used all to grant club access which is in t&c of royal benefit EXCEPT IC london and it seems to align their policy with the greedy english they are all scrapping their benefits!!!i ve been royal since its creation and this program its getting worse and worse and with no consistency at all,i ve been left twice waiting fir my room despite 8:00am check inn.

  8. @Lucky – pretty much the minibar and early check-in were the only benefits i saw worthwhile. But Starwood has 1600 checkout as well (not resorts) and for those with 75 nights, the Your 24 benefit, which had some growing pains at first, but for which i have not had any problem since and to me is a better benefit.

    Now i know you and Gary have had some spectacular upgrades over the years, a la Bali, but i have as well with Starwood (my Ambassador in Singapore is very proactive) and some of your recent Hyatt upgrades like Saadiyat have seemed spectacular as well.

  9. @Lucky, they now do WiFi in all the rooms (in fact they took away the cable in all the rooms I stayed in).

    The IC FRA was always good to me in the past but let’s face it, upgrading people from the cheapest room to a studio suite or panorama suite with club access was way more than the T&C of RA say they had to do.

    On the other hand the great upgrade including club was what influenced my decision to stay there despite all the negative points from old TV’s over outdated furniture and bathroom.

    I’m not really sure what I will do now, let’s see how the next stay is.

  10. @ Sven — Happy to hear they finally have wifi, that’s long overdue! While I agree they were somewhat generous with upgrades, I really have no incentive to stay here as a Royal Ambassador if they’ll only upgrade you to a deluxe room given that just about any chain has more generous upgrades for their top tier elites (and gives them lounge access).

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