In mid-October, I found myself on another trip to Pasadena. As my hotel chain choices were restricted to Hilton, Marriott, and Starwood, I chose to stay at the Westin Pasadena again. During my previous stay in October 2012, I was a mere SPG Gold member and was upgraded to an Executive King.
I wound up arriving to the hotel rather late in the evening, having previously been delayed on my way from San Diego by my train hitting a truck. I even tweeted about it!
As I made my way from Union Station to Pasadena, I glanced at spg.com’s room availability for the hotel that evening, finding that they had executive kings, suites, and speciality suites available. I was consequently a bit surprised that I received a rather small, standard room after being told that I had been “upgraded” when I checked in.
Starwood’s list of SPG Platinum benefits includes:
“Upgrades to best available room at check-in, including Standard Suites.”
I decided to venture down to the front desk to investigate. The front desk clerk was apologetic, but insisted the hotel was “completely full” after asking me to confirm my room rate–I had booked my stay with a best rate guarantee. He even went so far as to show me a random number on his computer screen that was to prove it to me.
Unphased, I asked what would happen if I booked a Rose Suite (or two) at that moment online with my phone. At this point, he realized that he was now a bit in over his head with his earlier claims, so he grabbed his manager. After the two of concluded that the hotel had suites available (and wasn’t planning on walking guests making bookings at 11PM that very night), I had a new set of room keys in hand.
While Starwood specifies “standard suites” in its benefits language, I received a Rose Suite upgrade after all was said and done.