Pathetic: St. Regis Chicago Finds Elite Breakfast Loophole

Pathetic: St. Regis Chicago Finds Elite Breakfast Loophole

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The much anticipated St. Regis Chicago finally opened. Many of us were excited about this, given that St. Regis properties are typically great about elite recognition (unlike Ritz-Carlton properties, they offer eligible Bonvoy elite members complimentary breakfast). Well, it sounds like this hotel is an exception…

St. Regis Chicago plays breakfast games

The Bulkhead Seat stayed at the St. Regis Chicago opening week. As a Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium, or Ambassador member, you’re supposed to be able to select daily complimentary continental breakfast or 1,000 bonus points as your welcome amenity. The complimentary breakfast is by far the better value, especially if you’re staying for more than one night (I value 1,000 Bonvoy points at ~$7).

Well, the St. Regis Chicago is reportedly only giving elite members the option of 1,000 bonus points, and not of complimentary breakfast. Why would that be? The hotel claims that the restaurant at the hotel is operated by a third party, so therefore it’s not eligible for an elite breakfast.

The hotel promotes the restaurant on its website, the restaurant is located within the hotel, and the hotel is happy to make you a reservation at the restaurant (and you can find the breakfast menu here), but it just won’t be covered. Oy.

This is the first St. Regis property in the world that I’ve heard of that has tried to find a way to get out of offering breakfast to elite members. To be clear, there are plenty of properties that have restaurants that are run by third parties, but they still manage to make an agreement for this kind of thing, given the expectations that guests have.

During the pandemic we saw hotels playing all kinds of games with elite benefits, but in this case coronavirus isn’t an excuse. This is just a hotel being cheap. I’m also not sure that I understand what the St. Regis is thinking here. Does the hotel not think elite members will blast them in surveys, TripAdvisor reviews, etc.?

Speaking of TripAdvisor reviews, have a look at the first review posted about the property. Boy, there’s absolutely nothing suspicious about that. That’s definitely not a fake review. Nope.

By the way, I would call the hotel to directly double check that this is accurate, but the phone number listed on the hotel’s website goes to the voicemail of the director of luxury sales. She must be getting a lot of calls.

The St. Regis Chicago has finally opened

Is hospitality a dead concept in the United States?

Hotels are supposed to be in the business of hospitality, yet sometimes it feels like hospitality is a dead concept in the United States. So many hotels charge as much as they can while offering as little as they can, all while trying to find any way to cut corners. This is the prime example of that.

You’d think there would be some customer service left in the luxury sector. I mean, this isn’t some roadside limited service hotel, but it’s a five star property that’s trying to charge $800+ per night for a base room. You should be able to expect that the hotel won’t try to pull some sort of a “gotcha.”

What’s the cost to the hotel of providing an elite member who books a stay here three eggs and a cup of coffee? A few bucks? It’s just sad how different the experience is when you’re staying at a hotel in the United States vs. a hotel in Asia.

Here’s the thing — if the owners of the hotel don’t want to provide any elite benefits to Bonvoy members, that’s totally fine. Just don’t choose to brand as a property where that’s something guests expect. Owners want it both ways. They want the distribution power and loyalty of the major hotel groups, but they don’t want to provide anything in exchange for that.

Is it worth leaving guests disappointed over this?

Bottom line

Many of us were excited about the St. Regis Chicago, given that St. Regis properties generally have better elite recognition than Ritz-Carlton properties. It sounds like that excitement was all for nothing, as the hotel isn’t off to a great start.

The property isn’t letting elite members select breakfast as their welcome amenity, claiming that the restaurant is operated by a third party. This is the first St. Regis property in the world I know of that has tried to pull this card.

What do you make of the games the St. Regis Chicago is playing?

Conversations (124)
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  1. Jaehoon Guest

    What do you even expect from a country that asks for tips at self check outs

  2. jrg Guest

    As a third party, they may have decided to not honor elite status in their contract. Who knows? Do they not have a club room for members, there is always a breakfast buffet in there! I've set them up myself!

  3. Greg Schmidt Guest

    Boy someone is grumpy because they didn’t get their breakky. Seriously, there are worse things in the world to worry about. Article is a waste of time.

  4. Marshalg Member

    FYI: The negative review has been removed.
    Marshall

  5. Points are a joke Guest

    Did St Regis pay for this review to keep the cheap points crowd away from their property so they can focus on guest who will pay to use the place. Genius psyop if so.

  6. Tips Guest

    I’ve actually found that many places in Europe expect/encourage tips now too. Amsterdam, London, Ireland to be specific. I was surprised.

  7. Andy Guest

    I encourage everyone to visit the Chicago St. Regis TripAdvisor page and tap the “helpful” on the reviews that you feel tell a valuable story about this newly opened hotel. This is a great way for the decision makers to understand the viewpoints of their customers.

  8. Paul Lewis Guest

    I’ve found that over the past decade service in the U.S. has declined dramatically. Where as I used to enjoy visiting the country, after my last visit I no longer do. Fortunately I’ve had many trips to the U.S. in far better times and now concentrate on Europe and other parts of the World.

  9. Travel Dan Guest

    Looks official as Bulkhead published an updated story after confirming the availability of the benefit with the St. Regis. What is not clear is if this was a problem with training of the front-line workers, that has been corrected, or an actual change in their policy. Either way, the result is good news and the power of the community undeniable.
    https://thebulkheadseat.com/update-breakfast-benefit-to-be-honored-at-st-regis-chicago/

  10. ArthurSFO Diamond

    If the hotel really did reverse course, I have to congratulate OMAAT and the other sites that wrote about this for causing this change. Hotels only care about bad press, not individuals complaining one at a time.

    Lots of commenters don't understand that the core issue here is the fact that a mutually beneficial deal was struck (loyalty in exchange for specific benefits) and then *after* one side met their end of the deal, the...

    If the hotel really did reverse course, I have to congratulate OMAAT and the other sites that wrote about this for causing this change. Hotels only care about bad press, not individuals complaining one at a time.

    Lots of commenters don't understand that the core issue here is the fact that a mutually beneficial deal was struck (loyalty in exchange for specific benefits) and then *after* one side met their end of the deal, the other went back on their word and didn't follow through. It's not just about a breakfast.

    If those commenters truly don't have a problem with people who engage in bait-and-switch tactics or who don't follow through on their commitments, then I have an amazing miracle oil to sell them. I promise it cures every known disease, but if it doesn't, they won't care, complain, or do anything about it. Right?

  11. Randy Diamond

    Agree - either participate or don't become a Marriott managed property. Some owners want the Marriott marketing but don't want to go by the rules.

    For this hotel, isn't St Regis suppose to have a restaurant - not just a lease out space to a third party? I would not stay at this hotel anyway.

    Issue with new Fort Lauderdale Courtyard Downtown - restaurant not owned by hotel. Only get a small credit.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Not sure what you mean by suppose to have a restaurant. It does have it, just a different owner. I'm not privy to the contracts but if it states that StR needs an onsite restaurant, then that clause is still met.

      Some PR digging shows, Magellan Development Group and Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants. So the 3rd party is true. Now the room rates are going up and Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants will be getting more business without doing anything.

  12. Huff Daland Guest

    I just came across this very issue at the newly remodeled Courtyard Santa Barbara Downtown this week. I was not welcomed with acknowledgement of my Ex Plat status and given no breakfast choices. When I asked about breakfast, the rep said it's not included as the restaurant is "run by a third-party." We wound up eating there the next morning for convenience sake and paying out-of-pocket.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Courtyard never includes breakfast for elites. Platinums and higher get a choice at check-in of points or $10 per person per day credit that can be used for F&B at the lobby bistro.

  13. Travel Dan Guest

    ***UPDATE*** Lucky - St. Regis Chicago confirmed that they have just updated/clarified their policy on the breakfast benefit. The breakfast benefit will be offered for all elite guests. I just confirmed with the hotel manager. They are going to issue a formal press release on this. Thanks to this blog and others - and you may want to call and confirm this yourself and update post! St. Regis Manager: (312) 787-3447.

    1. Anthony Guest

      I called and they confirmed it's now an option!

    2. Erik Quiverson Guest

      This review of a hotel is pathetic because you didn’t get your free breakfast. Yes it was disappointing and I’m glad it worked out but you should’ve at least rate at the hotel on its merits. Totally appreciate being brand loyal and amassing pts to get to top status, but writing a bad review about hotel Soley because you didn’t get your free breakfast is childish.

    3. ArthurSFO Diamond

      @Erik I hope you were able to write your comment during your work hours at the hotel, or that they paid you overtime if you are shilling for them after hours

    4. XPL Diamond

      Erik, this isn't a hotel review. It is a post about St. Regis cheating its customers.

    5. Eskimo Guest

      Waiting to see how they twist responsibility on their formal press release.
      Like always blame training, and being a new property.

      Giving points and saying it's a 3rd party means they are trained to respond that way from day 1.

      Let's see if they're brave enough to own the problem or not, something very lacking in hospitality industry these days.

  14. Michelle Stevens Guest

    Stayed there last night. No breakfast. So disappointing!

  15. Jason Lee Bakke Guest

    Phone is (312) 787-3447. They claim to be Marriott managed, and front desk agent who just answered phone said they are honoring Bonvoy elite breakfasts. YMMV.

    1. Travel Dan Guest

      Jason. Yes this is what I was just told also. The breakfast benefit will be offered for all elite guests. I just confirmed with the hotel manager. They are going to issue a formal press release on this.

  16. JR Guest

    interesting that the fake review - that is the only review he/she has posted

  17. Jr Guest

    Funny. None of these commenters would stay at a hotel charging $800 a night anyway. So what's the issue?

    1. John Guest

      Funny. These niggardly things cumulatively are precisely why many commentators choose not to stay a hotel charging $800 a night. That's the issue.

  18. JW in GA Guest

    Yeah I've seen this absurdist theater before from Marriott and their operators. I stayed at the Autograph Collection EMC2 Hotel north of the loop in Chicago last fall. It was a rainy night so I just had dinner in the hotel restaurant accessed from the hotel lobby called Albert (get the theme, EMC2?).

    I don't always audit my points but it seemed off when it posted. Sure enough, they didn't count the spend from...

    Yeah I've seen this absurdist theater before from Marriott and their operators. I stayed at the Autograph Collection EMC2 Hotel north of the loop in Chicago last fall. It was a rainy night so I just had dinner in the hotel restaurant accessed from the hotel lobby called Albert (get the theme, EMC2?).

    I don't always audit my points but it seemed off when it posted. Sure enough, they didn't count the spend from Albert saying it was an independent restaurant (in spite of its branding and accessing it from within the hotel and billing the charges to my room?). How low can you go to screw people Marriott?

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Normally, a simple call or email to Marriott corrects this. Correct points from Autograph Collection properties are always an issue because these are almost always independent properties with their own systems not totally linked to Marriott.

    2. JW in GA Guest

      Agreed it can be fixed but I really shouldn't have to do quality control to ensure they're not short changing me. I have an idea what the points SHOULD be but I don't want to spend the time to double check every stay.

  19. SoupKuma Guest

    The US has too many people forgetting they need to work hard and be nice to each other. It is so sad that there is so many people is mistaking being barbaric as a sign of strength. The hospitality sector suffers as a result.

    And I think capitalism is working because I'm spending all my money elsewhere.

  20. Chris Guest

    Having visited the United States for decades I can confirm that service standards have dropped, but tipping expectations have risen.

  21. Ann Guest

    Perhaps St. Regis has a butler floor, like the Langham

  22. Pete Guest

    We’re done with these mega-hotels operated by multinational management companies. Give us a suite in a funky, boutique hotel with 100 rooms or less, and we’re very happy. Screw the points. I know the points are the… point… of this blog, but we’ve lost interest in hotel programs.

    1. Pete Guest

      Why on earth would we do that? It's too folksy.

  23. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    All of us need to be more vocal with the rest of the public and these companies themselves. St. Regis can't expect that people will pay the much with little to no loyalty recognition. Ridiculous.

  24. ChicagoBlowz Guest

    Stay at the St. Regis Chicago and get robbed of breakfast. Step outside the hotel and get robbed of everything else.

  25. Ed Guest

    I think you’re way over amping here. If you can afford to stay at a St. Regis, you can afford breakfast.

    1. Luke Guest

      Looks to be a way to deny breakfast for points/certificate/award stays. I'd imagine most who book this hotel using cash will go through a program like FHR, Marriott Stars, etc and receive breakfast that way.

    2. UA GS @ SFO Guest

      ah yes because every customer at the St Regis is wealthy and the hotel chain does not at all serve people who might be indulging in a special vacation .. not to mention the fact that the hotel is shirking on a published benefit that customers factor in when making their purchase decisions ...

      Idiots like you, Ed, are why people vote Republican. I myself did before the Trump era, because who are you to...

      ah yes because every customer at the St Regis is wealthy and the hotel chain does not at all serve people who might be indulging in a special vacation .. not to mention the fact that the hotel is shirking on a published benefit that customers factor in when making their purchase decisions ...

      Idiots like you, Ed, are why people vote Republican. I myself did before the Trump era, because who are you to tell me what I can and cannot afford? Who appointed you as my money manager? Why don't you fornicate with your own self?

    3. Jake Guest

      True. But conversely if the hotel receives $800 / night they can afford to provide breakfast.

    4. JPK Guest

      I can afford pillows, bedsheets, water, ac/heat & electricity, should the St Regis not provide that either?

  26. MoJoe Diamond

    This St. Regis' breakfast benefit may be gone, but their Bonvoy game is world class.

  27. John Guest

    Once upon a time, the U.S. was the world leader in the quality airline and hotel businesses. But we wrote off U.S. airlines decades ago. That crown has belongs to Asia and the Middle East since the 90s. Nobody serious could argue otherwise. Things like this make you realize the U.S. also lost the hospitality crown (how far back is debatable 90s? 00s? 10s?). Although we don't talk about this as much as airlines. I'd...

    Once upon a time, the U.S. was the world leader in the quality airline and hotel businesses. But we wrote off U.S. airlines decades ago. That crown has belongs to Asia and the Middle East since the 90s. Nobody serious could argue otherwise. Things like this make you realize the U.S. also lost the hospitality crown (how far back is debatable 90s? 00s? 10s?). Although we don't talk about this as much as airlines. I'd say Asia wears the hospitality crown too. What next?

    1. Edgar Guest

      Gone with the wind....neither the US airlines nor the hotels will ever reach even a fraction of the level of hospitality in Asia and the Middle East

  28. Paul Guest

    Bonvoy is such a joke at many of their properties. I frequent the W in Beverly Hills due to its proximity to a theater, and they give you a meager $20 credit, which won't cover the pre tax price of any of the breakfast entres, let alone coffee.
    Benefits with bonvoy are not reliable; hence I left them for Hyatt.

    1. N1120A Guest

      What W in Beverly Hills? There are only Ws in Westwood and Hollywood

    2. Luis Guest

      They rebranded themselves as W Los Angeles West Beverly Hills a while ago. Beyond stupid.

  29. XPL Diamond

    Meanwhile, the Guatemala City Holiday Inn recognized my status and without my having to ask gave me all the benefits I had coming plus additional treats they didn't have to. Given the choice between a supposedly luxe property that jerks everyone around vs. a modest but honest property that keeps its word, I know which I prefer.

    1. Pete Guest

      There’s nothing “luxury” about nickel-and-dime’ing the management company’s most loyal guests.

      Spend your money where you’re appreciated.

  30. Moana Guest

    I have long left Marriott bonvoy or Marriott period. In my early days of a road warrior I used to stay at Marriott properties like Courtyards, residence inn but not anymore.

  31. ArthurSFO Diamond

    I booked the St Regis for September, but at this point, I'll likely go to the Chicago Athletic Association instead. We love it there and status benefits are always honored (and often over-delivered).

    Bonvoy is running Argentina levels of inflation with its points, and it's exhausting to get hotels to honor basic elite benefits. I'm voting with my wallet by having already canceled our cards (the 35k and 50k certs are not worth the annual...

    I booked the St Regis for September, but at this point, I'll likely go to the Chicago Athletic Association instead. We love it there and status benefits are always honored (and often over-delivered).

    Bonvoy is running Argentina levels of inflation with its points, and it's exhausting to get hotels to honor basic elite benefits. I'm voting with my wallet by having already canceled our cards (the 35k and 50k certs are not worth the annual fees) and moving my paid stays elsewhere.

    1. UA-NYC Diamond

      CAA is amazing for Globalists. Some programs still over deliver for their loyals!

    2. ArthurSFO Diamond

      Having stayed there 5 times, on paid and award stays, as a Glob and not, I couldn't agree more.

      And we both love how much local charm and flavor it has. It's truly unique to Chicago.

  32. Stuart Guest

    The Waldorf in Chicago is also in serious demise. Such a great property with so much potential but it's like they just gave up. On the other the Park Hyatt and Pen are both still fantastic. My take? They are spending the money to properly staff and are understanding the concept of customers who want to return.

    The best I can figure with some of these so called luxury properties , ones that completely...

    The Waldorf in Chicago is also in serious demise. Such a great property with so much potential but it's like they just gave up. On the other the Park Hyatt and Pen are both still fantastic. My take? They are spending the money to properly staff and are understanding the concept of customers who want to return.

    The best I can figure with some of these so called luxury properties , ones that completely underdeliver, is that they think there is a base of customers that will book on brand, think it's luxury, and not really know the difference.

  33. Bob Guest

    Pathetic. It's a st regis not holiday inn. For what they charge per night I would think breakfast is just a blip for them. And for most guests who stays at places like this, they're not going to gorge. And then not having your own restaurant in a st regis is pretty telling how good this property is. Feels like the one in tokyo. A not really st regis. At least for that one, the...

    Pathetic. It's a st regis not holiday inn. For what they charge per night I would think breakfast is just a blip for them. And for most guests who stays at places like this, they're not going to gorge. And then not having your own restaurant in a st regis is pretty telling how good this property is. Feels like the one in tokyo. A not really st regis. At least for that one, the price was commiserate with the service level. Who does the marketing? It's a study on how to ruin your own brand.

    1. D3Kingg Guest

      @Bob

      What do you mean guests that stay at places like this aren’t going to gorge ? I’ll eat however much I want . Especially at $68 for a breakfast buffet.

    2. John Guest

      Bob, You're a little off the mark in throwing shade on HI. I'm staying at a Holiday Inn Express(!) right now in Singapore and eating a complimentary hot breakfast given to all guests. A real nice breakfast, mind you. Not a pathetic 'continental breakfast'. This just makes St. Regis look all the more pathetic..

    3. Alan Smithee Guest

      Tokyo doesn't have a St. Regis. What are you talking about?

  34. Renee Guest

    Hotel breakfast in general is incredibly overrated. In virtually every major city, there are tons of better options a short drive or even walk away.

    1. John Guest

      Are you kidding. Best breakfast I ever had was the Sofitel Munich Bayerpost, butter and yogurt from France, three great unique breakfast beverages etc. Hilton Tokyo I spent easily an hour just gorging myself on their selections. Bottom line a free breakfast at Asia and Europe is a great way to start the day without eating just donuts, and all one usually needs is a snack for lunch.

    2. EK_engineer Guest

      Renee, your claim stretches credibility, to put it delicately. And one of the advantages of a hotel stay is precisely so you DON'T have to drive or walk in rain simply to get a decent breakfast! What next? Skip over to the nearest public lav to wash your face and brush your teeth? Or how about washing your clothes in a fountain?

  35. Chris Guest

    This is a type of inflation, looking at the economics. Too many happy big spenders chasing too few rooms, so the prices rise and amenities disappear, ie net prices are rising.

    For prices to decrease which includes better amenities or service, the economist would foresee truly bitter medicine. An economic depression, high unemployment, etc would create deflation, by decreasing the dollars chasing the product.

    1. UA-NYC Guest

      Or - it’s just Marriott being Marriott, lacking ethics and crapping on their loyals guests

  36. Luke Guest

    Will be amusing to see if this hotel joins programs like FHR, Virtuoso, Marriott Stars, etc how they will provide breakfast which is required in those programs with a "third party" restaurant! Smells like scam city!

  37. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    I would note that the CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST benefit you described is NOT accurate. At legacy Starwood properties, including St Regis, the choice is actually breakfast in the restaurant -- not continental. The continental breakfast benefit is actually completely different and applies only to legacy Marriott properties that are required to provide a lounge. At properties without a lounge, the replacement is a continental breakfast in the restaurant or points.

  38. Ezb Guest

    This isn’t a loophole. The terms and condtions have no out for hotels that have no restaurant. There is no carve out or exception for them to the policy. They owe you the benefit guarantee fee for failure to provide breakfast if that is the option you choose.

  39. Jake Guest

    Don't stay at this wanker hotel if it affects you.

  40. Anthony - The Bulkhead Seat Guest

    The guy who left the "fake" review, left this one on Google: Spectacular building in family friendly Lakeshore East. Large park with families, kids, and dogs. Building is 5 star luxury in all aspects, from the moment you pull your car in. Purchased a unit on the 22nd floor and could not be more excited to live in this beautiful tower.

  41. Lukas Guest

    I just wanted to chip-in that I, for one, don’t consider hospitality in the US to be dead. Far from it. While I agree that hotels have generally gotten a bit worse since covid, and that many US hotels are overpriced, I’ve personally had 100+ good to excellent hotel stays in the US since the summer of -21. And I’ve had a lot of lousy stays — and truly terrible service — in Europe. (Written as a European.)

    1. UA GS @ SFO Guest

      The matchup is not US vs Europe. It's Western vs Eastern cultures.

      Western cultures are in general less hospitable in terms of how people treat one another. I'm reminded of the US Senator who grilled the TikTok CEO a question like, "How come we get content like brawls and fistfights in the US, whereas the Chinese version of TikTok does not have such content?"

      The Senator thought TikTok had different rules by country. In fact,...

      The matchup is not US vs Europe. It's Western vs Eastern cultures.

      Western cultures are in general less hospitable in terms of how people treat one another. I'm reminded of the US Senator who grilled the TikTok CEO a question like, "How come we get content like brawls and fistfights in the US, whereas the Chinese version of TikTok does not have such content?"

      The Senator thought TikTok had different rules by country. In fact, the difference is culture. Brawls and fistfights are far less prevalent in China and Asia due to the cultural emphasis for everybody to be polite. That obviously translates into better hospitality.

    2. Azamaraal Diamond

      I don't think so. Having lived in Asia there are still brawls. They never get reported because "the cultural emphasis of for everyone to be polite" so the press is censored. Like recently in Hong Kong.

    3. Jack M Guest

      Actually tik tok does have different rules for Chinese users , especially children, than it has for users in other countries. A lil fact check goes a long way.

  42. Don Guest

    Will never stay at this property as long as they pull these shenanigans. St Regis is my most favorite brand, one for the way they treat their elites.

    Never, ever stay here

  43. BBK Diamond

    If they tried to play this BS on me I would demand them to cancel my reservation penalty free on the spot. Even with the complications of finding alternative lodging at last minute and lost transportation costs.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      LOL, penalty free. You're joking right?
      This is a nickel and dime St. Regis, penalties are the first to get enforced.

    2. UA GS @ SFO Guest

      Actually, many hotels (including downmarket) have an unwritten "return policy" where if you show up and find your room unacceptable for some reason that they cannot address, they will refund you.

      This is, or at least used to be, a written policy of Hampton Inns.

    3. digital_notmad Diamond

      @Eskimo sure, then I'd stay, of course. And promptly dispute the entire charge immediately once it posts. I've done this countless times and Amex has never failed to have my back.

  44. UA-NYC Diamond

    Let’s call a spade a spade. This is Marriott through and through. CEO Tony Capuano has made clear he doesn’t give an F about the guests - it’s all about the owners/developers.

    But Marriott loyals are lemmings so I’m sure it will be full nonstop this summer.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Someone should sue in small claims court.

    2. Jason Guest

      Already did it for being walked. That’s another painful experience ready for getting your money in like a year with four visits and being forced to sign “settlement” agreement even if you won.

  45. Bob Guest

    Don't forget to tip everyone!

    USA is such a joke.

    1. UA GS @ SFO Guest

      USA is a bad joke except one thing. It's the only country in the world where anybody with half a brain, and a modicum of motivation, can strike it big in the right sectors of the economy (law, banking, and even some specialties of medicine).

      The idea is to make money in the USA and spend it in foreign countries where the culture is not shit.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @UA GS @ SFO
      "The idea is to make money in the USA and spend it in foreign countries where the culture is not shit."

      You mean buying PATRIOT and soon F-16s then spend them in Eastern Europe?
      Definitely just half a brain required. Because then they'll need AWACS to cover the F-16, Tankers to refuel AWACS, then they need 4.5-5 gen fighters to defend AWACS. By the time whoever is in 2025...

      @UA GS @ SFO
      "The idea is to make money in the USA and spend it in foreign countries where the culture is not shit."

      You mean buying PATRIOT and soon F-16s then spend them in Eastern Europe?
      Definitely just half a brain required. Because then they'll need AWACS to cover the F-16, Tankers to refuel AWACS, then they need 4.5-5 gen fighters to defend AWACS. By the time whoever is in 2025 will inherit a country that is about to restart Cold War again.
      Maybe the problem is the public can't foresee that with just half a brain?

    3. Bob Guest

      I'll tell you the same thing I tell everyone who hates liberal California. You don't like it? Prove it. Put up or shut up. Show us how much we're a joke. Start by throwing away your cell phone. Can't do it? ..... I didn't think so. You NEED us more than we will ever need you whatever country you live in or bot from.

    4. rgeo Guest

      Your cell phone is most likely made in China, not in California. Nice try though.

    5. N1120A Guest

      It was designed and the technology developed in California, including the Korean and Chinese ones.

    6. Ed Guest

      Nonsense, a phone is a global product - the main processor, UK tech, cellular tech, list of that is from the nordics, screen probably Korean tech, software and design, sure a lot of that is from the US, but google maps, most of that team is in Sydney Australia. etc. etc.

      The US contributes a lot but can’t do a mobile phone alone. It’s a true product of globalisation and global competitiveness.

    7. Phillip Diamond

      Which phone? The one made in a China? Or India?

      PS: I love California!

  46. John Guest

    This is the same hotel that puts the bath tub on full display. Enough said.

  47. Kathy Sterling Guest

    The US hotels SUCK since covid. Hospitality has become an oxymoron especially compared to European hotels.
    They are ALL terrible and deserve every criticism they get. They no longer appreciate your business or loyalty and just give terrible service or, in most cases, no service at all.

  48. Alonzo Diamond

    Sounds like guests will be playing the Hunger Games.

  49. Terrence Guest

    Ben, calling a brand Pathetic be it luxury or your neighborhood market, is not the best choice of lexicon or approach. This feeling comes from not getting in your mind and heart a true breakfast experience offerings. Not only is this a bad choice of words, it’s unfair to the ladies and gentlemen that’s works really hard to make sure each guest has a memorable experience. Please be fair in your judgment and choice of...

    Ben, calling a brand Pathetic be it luxury or your neighborhood market, is not the best choice of lexicon or approach. This feeling comes from not getting in your mind and heart a true breakfast experience offerings. Not only is this a bad choice of words, it’s unfair to the ladies and gentlemen that’s works really hard to make sure each guest has a memorable experience. Please be fair in your judgment and choice of words. They are many platforms that can train or make one a wear of human empathy while getting your point across.

    All the best,

    Terrence - Concierge

    1. Jesper Guest

      Ben is not calling the St Regis brand pathetic, but the specific hotel pathetic. And while cheapskates, miserly, penny-pinching, greedy, parsimonious, might be better adjectives for the case, pathetic is not at all misplaced. Don't take on the brand reputation of St Regis if you are not willing to deliver on the brand qualities.

  50. Eskimo Guest

    The stupid "restaurant is third party / closed / understaffed. Here are your points" excuse is so 2020.

    Get more creative like all bacons got sent to aid Ukraine, juice pipelines got sabotaged, Biden overslept, Trump lied about breakfast hours etc.
    Heck even Hertz got creative with Puerto Rico not being US.
    Follow Hertz, try make up stupid things like fish from Puerto Rico got stuck in immigrations, or the chef from Guam's visa expired.

    1. ArthurSFO Diamond

      If the hotel prevented me from getting a free breakfast with an amazing excuse of "juice pipelines got sabotaged" or something equally off the wall, I would gladly leave them a five star review. The entertainment value would be more than the price of the breakfast xD

  51. bill Guest

    The Sheraton in Brooklyn does the same thing.

  52. 9A Guest

    Hotel at fault for finding a ‘loophole’ but bloggers and points junkies are never at fault for doing the same thing ‍♂️

    1. InigoMontoya Guest

      How dare you introduce logic to a bunch of commenters who already know it all.

  53. Christian Guest

    Marriott does pathetic quite well. It must be the practice they’ve had.

  54. RF Guest

    Shame shame shame. Hotels should be called out for crap like this.

  55. Santastico Diamond

    Hospitality and customer service is dead in the US. Other than business trips I don’t spend a single penny in travel in the country. Everything is overpriced and overrated, add stupid fees, loopholes like this one, extremely expensive restaurants, stupid tipping culture, etc…. I happily cross the pond and spend my money in Europe.

    1. STEFFL Gold

      agree 100% on that.
      NOTHING has changed in the last 8 years!
      1. the nonsense "Resort" fees
      2. Elite benefits takeaway
      3. rip off on all end in any possible way if you're a loyal member of any kind.

      US Travel s**cks in EVERY way!

    2. Donna Diamond

      @Santastico - Agree on your assessment of the situation in the US currently. Writing this from Rome, I wouldn’t necessarily live and die on the premise that things are great over here. The restaurants in particular in the larger tourist centers of Europe are not a good value since the pandemic, the breakfasts in the hotels mediocre and the crowds extreme, and this is Springtime, not Summer!

    3. Santastico Diamond

      @Donna: I have been going to Europe (including Italy in all trips) for the last 10 summers and I can tell you that the experience there is 10000 times better than anywhere in the US. You can eat at Michelin starred restaurants for the price you pay at an Olive Garden here. Yes, there are tourist traps everywhere but if you know where to go, Europe is a paradise in terms of tourism when compared...

      @Donna: I have been going to Europe (including Italy in all trips) for the last 10 summers and I can tell you that the experience there is 10000 times better than anywhere in the US. You can eat at Michelin starred restaurants for the price you pay at an Olive Garden here. Yes, there are tourist traps everywhere but if you know where to go, Europe is a paradise in terms of tourism when compared to the US. Get out of the crowded areas of Rome, Milan, Florence and you will experience tourism like you never did.

    4. Michael Karpiel Guest

      Unfortunately you don't understand our payscales in the US. Most wait staff are not even paid minimum wage in the US actually close to 1/2 of it. That is because they make their living from the tips. In most of the rest of the world restaurant staff are paid a living wage and also a service charge is ususally included in the quoted prices.

      The net result in cost is usually the same across major cities around the world for similar items.

    5. staradmiral Guest

      The point made is the deceptive nature of American pricing. In europe you order a 10Euro meal and you pay 10 euros , all taxes and wait staff fees are included. in america the menu says the meal is $8, but then its tax, and tips are added on top of that at the final bill. The total price may be the same, but europe is being alot more transparent and up front with you

  56. IrishAlan Diamond

    I think the problem is that senior management at these properties assume that clientele that will drop $800+ per night on a room will just see spending $30 per person on breakfast as a drop in the ocean. So they’re basically trying to get away with not providing a promised amenity on the idea of the wealthy wiping their asses with Benjamins! A hotel charging $150 a night is less likely to get away with...

    I think the problem is that senior management at these properties assume that clientele that will drop $800+ per night on a room will just see spending $30 per person on breakfast as a drop in the ocean. So they’re basically trying to get away with not providing a promised amenity on the idea of the wealthy wiping their asses with Benjamins! A hotel charging $150 a night is less likely to get away with screwing somebody out of a $20 breakfast, so they’re less likely to try.

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      In the USA, breakfast for one at top hotels in major cities can easily (usually?) exceed $50/day in price.

    2. evilpoodle Member

      @TravelinWilly You mean $65 right? You weren't thinking of not tipping were you!?

      The USA - where nickel and diming is the national religion.

    3. Bob Guest

      A big portion of fheir clientele is only there because they are on OPM and could never otherwise afford to stay there

  57. DC_nomad Guest

    What about if you book through the Marriott STARS program?

  58. Nomad_dc Guest

    What about if you book through the Marriott STARS program?

  59. Benjamin Guest

    The USA, once the bastion of customer service, has become a joke. It’s all about nickel and diming the customer. I book through Amex Platinum Fine Hotels & Resorts regularly and have never once had an upgrade declined - sometimes even received double upgrades if the next category up is full - until my first trip to the USA post-Covid when the Thompson Dallas claimed to be full and refused to upgrade. It transpired that...

    The USA, once the bastion of customer service, has become a joke. It’s all about nickel and diming the customer. I book through Amex Platinum Fine Hotels & Resorts regularly and have never once had an upgrade declined - sometimes even received double upgrades if the next category up is full - until my first trip to the USA post-Covid when the Thompson Dallas claimed to be full and refused to upgrade. It transpired that rooms were available if I paid. Service was generally awful and staff couldn’t have cared less at what is supposed to be a flagship Dallas hotel.

  60. Anthony Diamond

    1) Several luxury hotels in Chicago have gone bankrupt / changed hands over the years as the market is very expensive to operate in, and demand is scant during the colder months. Properties like this one are going to try to hold the line on costs the best they can.

    2) The play in Chicago continues to be to stay at the Langham, or maybe the Peninsula. Chain hotels like Park Hyatt, Waldorf Astoria, Ritz...

    1) Several luxury hotels in Chicago have gone bankrupt / changed hands over the years as the market is very expensive to operate in, and demand is scant during the colder months. Properties like this one are going to try to hold the line on costs the best they can.

    2) The play in Chicago continues to be to stay at the Langham, or maybe the Peninsula. Chain hotels like Park Hyatt, Waldorf Astoria, Ritz Carlton, and likely this St Regis aren't offering anything better than you can get at the Langham.

    1. Jamal Guest

      My wife and I visited Chicago last December and we stayed at both the Langham and Waldorf Astoria; using a Hilton free night cert for the Waldorf and AMX Fine Hotels & Resorts credit for the Langham. The Waldorf was a very nice hotel with great customer service. However, our experience at the Langham was even better. From the in-room breakfast to the complementary room upgrade, EVERYTHING was better at the Langham.

    2. Darin Member

      It's more YMMV than related to individual chains, although some chains are better about enforcing elite benefits and Marriott lets their properties get away with anything. I just stayed at the Thompson in Chicago as a Hyatt Globalist, booking 2 rooms. You're only supposed to be entitled to Globalist benefits on one of the rooms and I asked at check-in to make sure I put the right charges on the right room. Instead, they assured...

      It's more YMMV than related to individual chains, although some chains are better about enforcing elite benefits and Marriott lets their properties get away with anything. I just stayed at the Thompson in Chicago as a Hyatt Globalist, booking 2 rooms. You're only supposed to be entitled to Globalist benefits on one of the rooms and I asked at check-in to make sure I put the right charges on the right room. Instead, they assured me they were happy to extend the benefits across both rooms: breakfast, late check-out, upgrades (one was a jr suite and one was a large corner room). This was for rooms booked with Free Night Awards where they were going for $400+ base cash rate. As with the Langham, you just need to find the individual properties where they honor benefits and provide real hospitality. Pretty sad that a St Regis does not.

    3. Dadbod Guest

      So, since you had 2 rooms. For each night stayed does that count for 2 nights?. I booked 2 nights x 2 rooms with Marriott one time and only got credit for 2 night stay instead of 4. No points for the 2nd room either.

    4. digital_notmad Diamond

      @Darin I agree, and imho Thompson Chicago deserves commendation as probably the only property to have transitioned from (in my experience) miserable service during the pandemic to solid, reliable service after. Clearly there has been a staff change which doubtless plays a major role in this transformation, but nevertheless the fact that they were able to do it while countless other properties focused on worsening themselves means a lot.

    5. Miles Ahead Guest

      Nope. I doubt anyone put a gun to the investors head and told them they had to open a luxury hotel in Chicago now and brand it as a St. Regis. This was all their free choice.
      As Ben pointed out, the benefit from the brand relationship, made the decision to be part of it and then don't honor their side of the bargain. Shady!
      Are all the other Chicago luxury branded properties doing the same???

    6. PH Guest

      Langham in Chicago is classy and well run, and the club lounge is hospitable with generous food/drink offerings.

      Langham in NYC on the other hand…DIY sign at the front saying ‘toilets are for hotel guests only’ and plastic flowers by the elevators tell you everything

    7. Azamaraal Diamond

      Possibly more about the location and the local "residents"?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Santastico Diamond

Hospitality and customer service is dead in the US. Other than business trips I don’t spend a single penny in travel in the country. Everything is overpriced and overrated, add stupid fees, loopholes like this one, extremely expensive restaurants, stupid tipping culture, etc…. I happily cross the pond and spend my money in Europe.

8
Eskimo Guest

The stupid "restaurant is third party / closed / understaffed. Here are your points" excuse is so 2020. Get more creative like all bacons got sent to aid Ukraine, juice pipelines got sabotaged, Biden overslept, Trump lied about breakfast hours etc. Heck even Hertz got creative with Puerto Rico not being US. Follow Hertz, try make up stupid things like fish from Puerto Rico got stuck in immigrations, or the chef from Guam's visa expired.

6
Bob Guest

Don't forget to tip everyone! USA is such a joke.

5
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