Starwood pioneered assigning each 100 night guest to a staff member who would handle all their needs with the chain. Marriott built out that program after acquiring Starwood, though they’ve increased the requirements to have one up to 100 nights and $20,000 in spend.
When I had an Ambassador a couple of years ago they were excellent, helping me find rates I wouldn’t have thought to book and taking care of confirming 24 hour check-in and out times with hotels. I lucked into an outstanding agent, so it was a real loss when I didn’t spend 100 nights with Starwood again (I was committed to also continuing to hit top tier status with Hyatt and my travel dropped slightly).
This year it appears that Marriott is sending Thanksgiving gifts to its Ambassador members. A reader shared that they received a cheese board as a Bonvoy Ambassador elite member.
Inside are suggestions about cheese, the board, and cheese knives. That’s a nice enough rather generic gift, of course, though it’s not clear what these have to do with Thanksgiving (other than perhaps having people over to use them, and Marriott hopes they’ll prompt conversation by their best customers about the chain). It’s not clear why cheese boards are connected to the Ambassador level either. Although the 13 year old boy inside me is tempted to say that Bonvoy cut the cheese.
Indeed the Ambassador program is supposed to be all about personalization. I would hope each Ambassador would select from a list of gifts the item they believe is most appropriate to the member, based on getting to know the customer.
Ambassadors are spread too thin with Marriott substantially increasing the workload for each one. Marriott currently has too many Ambassador members but with the new $20,000 minimum spend requirement kicking in next year the number will fall.
Member experiences with Ambassadors vary. That was true in the old Starwood program, and it’s true for Hyatt (where they are called concierges). However whether a member has a good concierge or a poor one, and whether that concierge has enough time to think about a member and their requests, Ambassador members are at least getting cheese boards.
If you’re a Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador member, did you receive a gift? And if so was it a cheese board or something else?