It has been rumored for a while now that Starwood would be adding a major benefit for Platinum members this year, and everyone has assumed it would be free breakfast as of March 1. While Starwood hasn’t confirmed or denied that, check out this FlyerTalk thread, which suggests Starwood will be adding confirmed suite upgrades for Platinum members. Basically Starwood posted an FAQ about “Suite Night Awards,” but then promptly yanked it. So while it’s no guarantee they’ll fully introduce this, I do think it’s worth at least mentioning in the meantime.
Basically, the way it would work is that Platinum members that stay 50 nights annually (notice they’re excluding people like me that qualify on 25 stays) would earn 10 “Suite Night Awards.” Each of those can be redeemed for a one-night room upgrade that can be confirmed between one and five days of arrival.
One part of the T&Cs that stands out to me is the following:
Can I request an upgrade to any room in the hotel?
You can request an upgrade to a suite or select premium room as designated by the hotel. Premium rooms include rooms with great views, or larger rooms.
I suspect the hotels that are currently stingy with upgrades would be delighted to upgrade you to “rooms with great views” in lieu of suites. If they are going to introduce this upgrade scheme, I certainly hope they published which rooms at each hotel qualify for a “Suite Night Award,” since I doubt anyone will want to redeem them for a hotel that will only give you a room with a view.
Anyway, this would be a very interesting development. While I probably wouldn’t personally benefit from this (since I doubt I’ll do 50 nights with Starwood per year anytime soon), I don’t see much downside. That being said, these suite upgrades wouldn’t be nearly as useful as Hyatt’s, since they can only be confirmed five days out. With Hyatt you can plan a special trip a year out and confirm a suite upgrade then. With this program, not so much.
And I think it goes without saying that this better not come at the expense of “unlimited suite upgrades” upon availability at check-in.
I’m still crossing my fingers for free breakfast, though after seeing this leaked, I suspect this was the “enhancement.”
To Starwood Platinum members (or non-Platinum members), what do you think of this leaked benefit?