The Intercontinental Royal Ambassador program — which has been the most rewarding elite level program of any hotel chain — is making changes come February. Some foolish Flyertalk members believe those changes will make the program better.
One Mile at a Time says the changes will make the program worse. He is correct.
“[N]ew benefits and a brand new web experience,” as the marketing promises, cannot be good. “New benefits” will mean different and less lucrative benefits rather than “more” benefits on top of the existing ones (like free minibar, exceptionally generous upgrades, and 8am guaranteed check-in). And a “brand new web experience” will offer virtually nothing of value, and will not compensate in any way for whatever is taken away.
Thanks to the Royal Ambassador program I’ve received a Terrace Suite at the Mark Hopkins, the Diplomatic Suite at the Intercontinental Bangkok, a Jimbaran Bay Suite at the Intercontinental Bali, several lovely and massive suites at the Willard, the list goes on an on. These are not just executive suites with a separate living room, these are truly special hotel experiences. I do fear that it was great while it lasted, but I am pleased that it did last.
February here we come, and I hope to be proven wrong!