Leaving Starwood At 11:59 PM On October 29, 2014
The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, FL will be leaving the Starwood system at 11:59pm on October 29, 2014. Reservations for dates on or after October 29, 2014 will not be eligible for Starwood Preferred Guest membership benefits, award redemption or accrual.
Starwood may have to re-accommodate guests that have booked award stays past October 30 elsewhere, they haven’t made any announcements about how such stays will be handled yet that I can find.
The hotel had something like 86 suites in the upgrade pool. From 2005 through 2009 I only failed to receive a complimentary upgrade to a suite once, and that was during the week between Christmas and New Years. Every suite I ever had there included a balcony which faced the ocean (and sometimes was in the tower where I’d get a view of the intracoastal as well).
The property has a lovely club lounge, up on the 33rd floor with both indoor and outdoor seating — facing both the intracoastal waterway and the ocean.
There’s no question that the quality of the club’s offerings declined over the years. They used to have three separate services daily — there was a separate dessert service late in the evening. The dessert service got merged into evening appetizers, and both the desserts and the appetizers got cut back. If you snoozed and came late, you’d miss out, once the night’s food was gone it was gone. And the vultures descended early!
Continental breakfast was always lovely, but they adopted a practice of bringing out $0 checks for guests to sign — a way to solicit tips for the self-service buffet.
There are spectacular views, of course. The pool was always busy and the beach too, but it’s a very very large hotel and to be expected.
Since Starwood Platinums would always get suites if available, and the suites were almost always available, this was a very useful property indeed.
It will be interesting to see how practices shake out with Hilton, where suites are permitted as an upgrade but absolutely never an entitlement.