This is not the standard hotel review, only about the benefits I was denied. The hotel review will be a separate post.
Customer Service Hilarity: SLS Las Vegas Casino, Luxury Boutique Hotel
I received a mailer from my last stay at the SLS Las Vegas, for a $10 free bet, $10 dining credit, and one complimentary room night from Sunday to Thursday. Cool, I thought, and I made plans for a quick weekend jaunt, especially as there was no resort fee! However, upon my arrival, I was disappointed to find that Starwood benefits (my damn Platinum status lasts two more months and you better believe I will milk it) did not apply to casino reservations. Their rationale, was that the casino counts as a “third party” and thus did not qualify for Platinum benefits such as a complimentary room upgrade or free breakfast. This would be “double-dipping” between SLS Las Vegas’s loyalty program, Club 52, and Starwood Preferred Guest.
Furious, I asked to speak to a manager, where I was flatly denied and encouraged to speak with the casino marketing team. I spoke with a host (equally unhelpful, same as last time), and retired to my room after some good eats & play. Next came a call to SPG Platinum concierge, as, I rationalized, had I known about this lack of benefit from the marketing person with whom I made my reservation, I would not have bothered coming to Las Vegas for only a day. This is especially true with week-long trips coming up.
Let’s take stock of what I was denied, for better or for worse, to craft my argument for Starwood and management. SLS and Platinum benefits include the below:
- Welcome Gift – either points, breakfast, or local amenity
- Breakfast here is a whopping $30 value, valid at the Northside Café, good on anything on the menu!
- Not sure if they have a local amenity
- Upgrade to best room at check in
- Last time I got an amazingly large suite
- By comparison, this time was a shoebox. Might be the smallest room I have ever been in
- The Resort fee of $32 + tax that I did not pay (on a complimentary room) includes two free drinks, complimentary coupons, internet, and access to the fitness center
Of these, I was most upset about the breakfast, especially as my last experience’s breakfast was average at best. I spent nearly a half hour on hold or talking with my Starwood Platinum Concierge, who swiftly made my case to management, telling me they would grant me a breakfast voucher for my trouble.
Witness the spoils of victory. Some were bad (gai lan, which doesn’t have any actual leaf), some were average (Perq & dim sum), and some were great (eggplant tofu). I was very grateful to my SPG concierge, as well as the front desk agents for rectifying the situation. I also heard from management, who would be adding a nice 4,000 Starpoints to my account for my troubles (both this and last stay). These are worth about $80-120, making this stay net positive. On top of that, when I asked about a welcome amenity, they offered $50 F&B credit, which I made sure would not be tied to a stay. I was very pleased with this result. Also, the food here is a redeeming quality.
Could I have let it slide? Sure. I was unable to find where in the Starwood terms and conditions it said I wasn’t privy to the platinum benefits at a comp room at SLS Las Vegas. I considered this a complimentary night, similar to what Starwood gives as awards for various promotions. Also, I don’t consider the SLS casino and the SLS hotel separate entities. Lastly, I have also received mailers for the remainder of January, and the helpful marketing associate said I would be getting some for February as well – but a free room without benefits for one night is not sufficient motivation to go.
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