I’m No Longer a Royal Ambassador, Either

Lucky is no longer an Intercontinental Royal Ambassador. I’m not either. He’s fine with it. So am I…

I’ve been the fortunate recipient of a Jimbaran Bay Suite at the Intercontinental Bali, the Diplomatic Suite at the Intercontinental Bangkok, a Terrace Suite at the Mark Hopkins, many 1300 square foot suites at the Willard, suites at the Intercontinental Atlanta, and on and on.

Sadly the program is being reined in a bit. Royal Ambassador upgrades seem more limited lately as part of an attempt at standardization. The Intercontinental Le Grande in Paris no longer provides club lounge access (the Mark Hopkins long ago stopped). Free Weekend Night certificates are no longer valid when purchasing suites. Sure, the mini-bar is still free, but they’re revisiting the terms of the program in 2010…

This has long been the best elite level offered by any hotel chain. I suppose with downgrades in the program (not to mention in my own status!) the best option is Starwood Platinum. At least there suite upgrades remain in the terms and conditions of the program, though no one offered suites as consistently — or the kind of specialty suties (to use Starwood’s language for the suites that Platinums don’t get upgraded to!) — that Intercontinental Royal Ambassador did.

If I’m missing any ‘special’ programs out there I’d sure love to know.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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