We stay at a LOT of hotels. A few stand out as Wow Hotels but most just blend in. I confine our Hotels, with a few rare boutique hotels, to the Marriott Family (Ritz, Marriott and Starwood), the Hilton Family (Waldorf and Hiltons), Hyatt Hotels and the IHG Family (Holiday Inn and Intercontinental). I use credit cards and their respective Hotel points programs to maximize value.
Sometimes you hit a home run. When I booked the Beijing JW Marriott Central, I knew it would be nice. The “JW” series tend to be their upper level Hotels. I used 60k (15k per night) in Points (value ~$540) for 4 nights (including taxes) and walked in the door.
WOW! As usual, I looked like a bum. (Think Crocodile Dundee Goes to New York, Lilly of course, looked fabulous). The staff was incredible. We had arrived, haggard, in a small crappy looking taxi and the Valets treated us like we had arrived in a Rolls. The lobby and Reception area appeared to be made of marble. At the front desk, we were warmly greeted. The receptionist smiled and said, oh, you booked your stay with Points. I’m thinking, here it comes…we’re basement bound. She then said, I’ve upgraded your room to an Exectutive Level Suite with full lounge privileges (you can pretty much eat and drink all you want for free). In addition, you get free wifi. Being Gold at Marriott isn’t hard, at all, and it’s a mid-level status, but as you’ve seen, it’s clearly worth it. Remember…Amex Platinum card = Auto Starwood Gold = Marriott and Ritz Gold. Our Suite is Glorious with a note and a fresh fruit tray waiting… and a card, Dear Mr McCown, Welcome to the JW Marriott…This is definitely a WOW Hotel.