When an Accor ad becomes real life…

I just flew Thai Airways A380 first class from Tokyo Narita to Bangkok and will write about that experience shortly.

Thai has great entertainment programming on the A380, though before every show is the same stupid Accor ad:

The first guy in the ad says “blah blah blah, I just want to check into my hotel.” The second guy says “I hope I get a king size bed.” And then there are a few others, and the ad finishes with “know what you’re really booking when you book.”

Now, I think it’s a dumb ad because they’re not actually explaining how they’re different than any other hotel chain. What will I know when booking with an Accor hotel that I wouldn’t know if I booked with another chain?

The only reason I gave the ad any thought is because I was forced to watch it six times, and not because I wanted to write an essay about it.

The reason I mention this is because I’m staying at the Novotel Bangkok Airport, which is an Accor property. Literally less than an hour after being forced to watch the ad I get to the Novotel. Much like the guy in the ad I thought to myself “blah blah blah, I just want to check into my hotel.” Sounds great in theory, except there was a 20 minute line at 11:30PM. The weird thing is that there were six front desk agents, though only two were actually actively checking people in, and it seemed to take forever for them to process each guest.

But the kicker for me was that I booked a king size bed, and after the ad I felt assured I’d actually get it. After all, I “know what [I’m] really booking when [I] book.” So I couldn’t help but giggle when the front desk agent asked me if I would mind a room with two queen beds instead. Well I’d certainly prefer a king bed and for what it’s worth (admittedly not a whole lot) I’m an Accor Platinum member, so I asked if there were any Accor Platinum upgrades available (which is a published benefit).

She looked at me like I was from a different planet, ignored my question, and then after making a few phone calls said “fine, I found you a king room,” as if she was dong me a favor.

So Accor, what does your ad mean, exactly?

Comments

  1. The only thing that hotel has going for it is proximity to the airport. I flew back to JFK from BKK – via ICN – in June, and stayed there for 8 hours between the flight from USM to BKK and my flight out to ICN.

    They didn’t have my king room. When I got to the room, the maid was in it cleaning. And there were a ton of ants in the bathroom.

    Also, the TV didn’t work. And the AC wasn’t great.

    I appreciate that you get 24 hours from the time you check in, whenever that is, but the rest of the property seems old and worn down. Which is odd since that airport is just 6 or 7 years old.

    Next time, I’d probably go into the city for the day.

  2. there’s a special check-in area for accor platinums, just past the elevators, opposite the normal check-in desk. I believe it’s a 24-hr lounge/office area. My wife and I got lost trying to find it the first time.

  3. How short are you in BKK for to not go into town and stay at some 5 star joint? I was in your shoes a few weeks ago (10:30 departure the next day) and took the airport train in and stayed right by the station. Whole routine was a breeze, super cheap and nice.

  4. Hey Lucky,
    Just FYI that upgrades at Novotels are not a published benefit of Aclub Platinum. Upgrades are only a benefit at Sofitel,Pullman and Mgallery hotels of the Accor chain. Quirky rule of the program..

  5. @ RI — Hmmm, I tried looking for it and couldn’t find it. The primary check-in queue actually had Accor Club signage, so I believe that was intended to be the member check-in area, though everyone was using it.

  6. @ AdamH — I was tempted, though I had a total of 11 hours on the ground. Factoring in the time it took to get out of the airport and that I had to get to my flight 90 minutes before departure, that’s really a nine hour overnight.

    Seemed worth getting a decent night of sleep rather than going into the city. Though next time I might feel differently.

  7. @ Calvin — Good to know, shows how much attention I pay to the program. So basically seems there are no Platinum benefits, then.

  8. Ben, I was staying at Mercure in Auckland last week, the FD didn’t recognize Accor Plat, he was saying what Calvin said.

  9. Le Club Accorhotels is one of the most useless hotel loyalty programs. At least as a HHonors Diamond (earnt through $10k spend at hotels and not some wanky credit card) I receive a tangible benefit at every brand in the group.

    That said, I now have a best room of the day policy and have given up on hotel loyalty.

  10. Why are you staying at that hotel? It’s waaaaaay over priced. There are like a dozen non chain hotels by the airport that are legit and can be had at 20% the cost.

  11. I’ve also had a similar experience with a slow check in process at that location. Perhaps low staff levels at late hours is to blame…

  12. I stayed at the Pullman in Guangzhou for a quick overnight and had a great experience. Didn’t have platinum status at the time, but booked it through a 3rd party site for $62.66 a night in a Deluxe King. It was so convenient as it was literally within the airport, right as you walk out the exit across the road. Hotel seemed new, clean room, and upon check in, I asked if there were in room wifi and the receptionist said no, but he handed me a wifi router free of charge to use for the stay =)

  13. Same hotel denied my 4pm checkout request earlier this year, even though I have Plat status (like everyone else) on the basis that they were “totally booked” for the next day, so I would have to buy the additional night to stay (wait, I thought you were full?). Nice hotel physically though, good breakfast buffet, saves 40 minute ride into the city for a better hotel and bottled water is free for the asking at the front desk.

  14. Basically, le club platinum status equals nothing compare to Marriott, Hilton and Starwood. It’s so disappointing everytime from my experience with them. I’d rather stay with other chain to make sure the breakfast would come free with my premium status than accor if the company would let me. lol
    At one novotel during the check in, I asked them if I would have free upgrades, the check in lady said I would have free wifi. I was like it’s free to everyone already. Although Novotel is not required in Le club upgrade list, it still shows how little they care about their premium members. sigh!

  15. I stay in the same hotel as you i also asia pacific member of accorhotels and the benefits not granted in this hotels also only privat check-in, the prepaid rate is also not found after the found the rate. on my visa card i found a second rate the booked up from visa. the accorhotels reservation in paris said they can not do any thing for me this is accor asia pacific. and the hotelmanager say sorry and thats all i paid 2 times the same rate nothing come back. i stay not more in the accor hotel group anywhere in the world what a shame.

  16. I stayed a night here less than a month ago because I had a 550am flight to NRT and I thought the hotel agents were a bunch of snots. It was a convenient stay none the less as my layover was rather short. The room was nice and clean and the dinner buffet was decent as well (in terms of quantity of options. The quality of food was fair at best). The transfers to and from the airport were quick and easy. Other than the less than friendly “welcoming committee”, I was happy with the place.

  17. I’m planning an overnight right near the airport in a couple months. One of the other posters mentioned there are quite a few nice places nearby… anybody have any suggestions on place that are 10 minutes or less away? I have stayed at the “Orchid Resort” once before and was reasonably satisfied with it as a clean, low end place… but looking for something a little nicer but as close to the airport as possible.

    @Lucky – do you mind sharing what you paid to stay there @ the Novotel? The rates I’m seeing for a Club Room are around $160… I keep hoping another 50% off sale will come soon.

  18. @ Lanny — Well I’m an idiot because when I started looking at booking the hotel it was around $100 for the night, but I waited too long and then only the flexible rate was available, which was about $160USD.

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