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Kimpton Fitzroy upgrades – processed in advance?

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  • BH

    Can anyone tell me when the Fitzroy processes Diamond upgrades? I’ve got a booking this weekend that’s not showing any upgrade in the app, whereas another booking at IC Park Lane for December upgraded almost as soon as I made it a few months ago.

    It’s a cash booking, but I am using an Ambassador Complimentary Weekend Night which might account for it.

    Any thoughts?

    NorthernLass

    It might be that the hotel is so busy this weekend that there’s no upgrade available – you’re not guaranteed one either when you use the BOGOF at a Kimpton. There’s no harm in contacting them though as they definitely do upgrade when there’s availability – we were given a double upgrade to a beautiful junior suite last year when it was very quiet due to international travel still being very restricted.

    Re Park Lane – I snagged a Friday and Saturday night in July in the last points intern “sale” at 40k pn and my room is still stubbornly showing as “cosy double”, even though I am Diamond Ambassador. I am assuming that this may be a punishment as the current rate is 95k points or £660 pn! I’m not going to even bother pushing for an upgrade because the rate is so ridiculously low for a summer weekend in London, lol.

    Lady London

    You are right @NorthernLass. Up to when you booked the Kimpton for 40,000, a boring, adequate but cookie-cutter HIX in West London would have cost you the same (or more).

    This was since IHG’s interest-killing foray into dynamic pricing and other mischiefs, that seemed to change a price that would have been fair to the value of their many London HIXes of this type, say around 18,000-25,000 (the one I’m thinking of was 15,000-18,000 when it had opened not that long before)….IHG suddenly put all those boring hotels, good and bad, up to 40,000-45,000 points per night based seemingly on being London area. Even where dynamic pricing on the rates a lot of these hotels were actually selling for, would have got a lower points figure.

    It’s hard to know if it’s going to be worth making a point of booking IHG hotels in future. As they seem to have tweaked the program so that on a day to day basis the points rates they are pricing hotels at don’t make sense any more. Not many of us can accrue points randomly in hotel programs hoping one day for a one-off opportunity or a promotion, we’re just too husy.

    Which is of course where paying attention to HfP can help. But I’m currently running down my small IHG stash while I think about it.

    Froggee

    No thoughts whatsoever other then best of luck to you. I’m checking in today – the hotel is rammed and the app offered to sell me an upgrade to a less sh1tty Queen room for £17 instead of £20 or a King for £34 instead of £40.

    I think chances of an upgrade are low – I considered booking a single in the expectation of an upgrade (would have saved ~£100) and I’ll never know how that might have played out but I don’t regret that decision!

    Swings and roundabouts. I’m missing the secret password by a week but then Amex gave me £75 off.

    Also using Ambassador cert and diamond.

    BH

    Thanks all. I can certainly see better rooms available for sale for my dates, so it might be the voucher that’s stymied it.

    I’ll drop them an email in hope rather than expectation.

    gtellez

    Few weeks ago I stayed at Kimpton de Witt and they upgraded me to a very nice room, however it never showed it in the app before arrival. I’m staying at Kimpton Clocktower tomorrow and it is not showing any upgrade neither, although in this case the hotel seems very full and they are not selling any rooms better than mine.

    AndyUK101

    You are right @NorthernLass. Up to when you booked the Kimpton for 40,000, a boring, adequate but cookie-cutter HIX in West London would have cost you the same (or more).

    This was since IHG’s interest-killing foray into dynamic pricing and other mischiefs, that seemed to change a price that would have been fair to the value of their many London HIXes of this type, say around 18,000-25,000 (the one I’m thinking of was 15,000-18,000 when it had opened not that long before)….IHG suddenly put all those boring hotels, good and bad, up to 40,000-45,000 points per night based seemingly on being London area. Even where dynamic pricing on the rates a lot of these hotels were actually selling for, would have got a lower points figure.

    It’s hard to know if it’s going to be worth making a point of booking IHG hotels in future. As they seem to have tweaked the program so that on a day to day basis the points rates they are pricing hotels at don’t make sense any more. Not many of us can accrue points randomly in hotel programs hoping one day for a one-off opportunity or a promotion, we’re just too husy.

    Which is of course where paying attention to HfP can help. But I’m currently running down my small IHG stash while I think about it.

    I’ve just completed my second 3 night stay at the IC PL (and have 3 more to go) – also booked on the 40k per night ‘offer’

    From a chat with a few people there i think your chances of an upgrade are pretty slim but each time i’ve asked about a paid upgrade they offered a premium room with park view for £60/65 per night

    Was worth it for us, the view over the park from the 8th floor was pretty good compared to the inner courtyard for the cosy rooms

    40k per night + £65 with lounge access via the 40n rewards makes for a good value stay

    jj

    Re Park Lane – I snagged a Friday and Saturday night in July in the last points intern “sale” at 40k pn and my room is still stubbornly showing as “cosy double”, even though I am Diamond Ambassador. I am assuming that this may be a punishment as the current rate is 95k points or £660 pn! I’m not going to even bother pushing for an upgrade because the rate is so ridiculously low for a summer weekend in London, lol.

    Stayed there a few weeks ago on the same ‘offer’ as a Diamond Ambassador and received a double upgrade. Nothing showed on the app but the receptionist passed on the good news.

    Despite being generally a little snobby about chain hotels – I prefer boutiques as a rule – I was very impressed by the ICPL. Service was the stand-out feature, with intelligent staff capable of engaging in conversation who could remember my name and deal with my requests first time. A Good Experience all round.

    Angelamc11

    @Froggee the psssword is’the snuggle is real’. Worked for me at Fitzroy the weekend past.

    I asked at reception regards an upgrade (ambassador diamond)and they offered me a bottle of champagne as hotel was fully booked.

    Froggee

    Thanks @Angelamc11 – I knew the password but I could not find it in me to say it given that it is not meant to be live and also the indifference with which I was greeted by the receptionist saw me go back to basics. By this I mean I asked myself what I wanted to get out of the situation which was to check into the hotel. Who cares if people are nice to me? Not I!

    Maybe I just look ugly or mean but I was presented with an empty desk with three receptionists who didn’t make eye contact. One eventually looks up.

    Me: “Hello I’d like to check in please”
    Her: “Did you come this morning?”
    Me : “Erm, no”
    Her: “Can I have your name and I’ll need an ID please?”
    Me: “Froggee” {shows driving license}
    Her: “And I’ll need a credit card please”
    Me: {passes Amex over}
    Her: {beckons supervisor who gives her a teach in on how to bill the free night voucher}. After some time, “I see you are a diamond member, what would you like as your welcome amenity?”

    She then seems disappointed that I don’t know how breakfast works and grudgingly explains it to me. She passes me a letter welcoming me back (they must have incredible systems as the last time I stayed here it was the Hotel Russell and it was last millennium); asks how many key cards I’d like; and can’t send me off to the lifts quickly enough. Social? Doesn’t appear to be one. Maybe it’s only for the beautiful people who booked a suite at full rate.

    I do find it weird how experiences can vary so much but after that I think there is zero chance of me coming back here for at least another millennium. It’s particularly disappointing given that Kimpton prides itself on its friendly vibe or whatever.

    There is clearly a conference going on here so it is very busy but bleurgh.

    Oh room – definitely not upgraded. I measured it because that is what I do and it’s 200 sq ft including the shower room. I have an excellent view of some ventilation ducts which seem to serve a dual purpose as a white noise generator.

    I do have free popcorn and chocolate (at least I hope it was free) and five scatter cushions on the bed which is great because there isn’t anywhere to put them (okay, I managed to stuff them in the wardrobe)

    My gaster is absolutely flabbered that anyone would pay £469 a night for this. The world is just crazy nuts bonkers.

    Froggee

    And while I’m moaning, the room is far too hot and clearly the air con has been turned off given its November. Window open – welcome to white noise.

    And the remains of a previous guest’s popcorn is hidden at the bottom of the curtains. That’ll be handy if I get peckish in the middle of the night…

    NorthernLass

    @Froggee, that’s odd that they asked for ID, that’s never happened to me at any UK hotel.

    Froggee

    Indeed but if you look at the FAQ on their website they say “ A valid government issued photo ID is required at the time of check in.”

    I think it’s a nonsense given that there is no obligation to possess a photo ID in the U.K.

    But I did not quibble as I just wanted to escape. I’ll leave it to others to rage against the machine.

    Breakfast this morning was fine at least. Other than in the minute it took me to get a banana, a yogurt and some water they cleared my table! Service was good (very swift…) and the lady at the desk was positively charming.

    I went to the front desk this morning to ask if they might have a summer weight duvet but there was a queue of checkouting folks so I gave up. I’m out until I come back tonight so I’ve left the windows open and put the do not disturb on. At this point, changing room would just be a hassle.

    I think there is more chance of me flying out of MAN than coming back here.

    Michael C

    @Froggee, that’s odd that they asked for ID, that’s never happened to me at any UK hotel.

    When chatting with my OH in Portuguese in the reception of the Hilton Kensington, they asked me for ID, but when
    I answered “Sure”, they said “Oh, sorry – it doesn’t matter”!!

    Michael C

    @Froggee – maybe the popcorn will turn out to be your welcome amenity?!!

    Lady London

    Well Froggee either they were asking for ID from the conference attendees and they presumed you were one, or you look like a suspicious character… 🙂

    Thank you for telling it like it is. I think lots of others here will swerve elsewhere rather than book this particular Kimpton, there are just too many people reporting this lack of quality experience there.

    Your room rate is getting perilously close to what I’ve paid for some of my cars… Though that may say more about my cars, than the room

    NorthernLass

    It is a shame as it does looks as though the lovely time we had was more down to pandemic conditions than anything else! We aslo enjoyed wandering around a very quiet central London in the sunshine that weekend, followed by 2 nights at the Langley (no unexpected underwear!).
    But with prices currently as stupid as they are, I’m unlikely to be booking further trips to the capital any time soon, at least I have the IC stay hopefully safely in the bag!

    Angelamc11

    I found the front desk service at the Fitzroy underwhelming given the cost. I had to ask about social hour, only to be told I had missed it. I then promoted them regards the times for the following day. Either way we didn’t attend the social hour as we were out the next evening.

    We received drinks vouchers for using the secret password and we did enjoy the cocktails. The following evening when passing the empty reception, I stopped to ask if the password was only for checking in or could it be used each night we were there (first time in a Kimpton). The receptionist was quite surly, but begrudgingly gave me a voucher for 2 drinks. She could have said it was only for checking in and I would happily have accepted that. Despite receiving the voucher I was sorry I had asked. In fairness we had spent a considerable sum working our way through most of the cocktail book.

    kai

    There are some discussions on Flyertalk and the general consensus is they don’t upgrade.
    I booked a single room and got a double room, which is probably as far as they’d go.

    NorthernLass

    Consider booking via Emyr then, if the price works. He got us a 3 for 2 deal last year on a Superior room and we got a double upgrade to a junior suite which at the time I put down to one cat for being (then) Spire and one for Emyr’s upgrade.

    Karl

    I was recently in possibly the stingiest Kimpton around. Room looked exactly the same as what was booked although they may argue that being on a high floor constitutes an upgrade. Bottled water in the room was £7 a bottle. No coffee/tea facilities in the room. Social “hour” constated of one 175ml glass of wine that lasted about 10 mins. Breakfast consisted of one item from the mains list and drip coffee, which was free to all guests. Any sides/machine coffees were chargeable. No acknowledgment of the Secret Password.

    NorthernLass

    Give us a clue so we can avoid it!
    At Blythswood Square last week we got upgrade, 1 drink voucher, buffet AND a la carte breakfast, crisps, Tunnocks caramel wafers, M & Ms, fridge with lager, soft drinks and gin, full size bottle of water on the dresser. Also free access to the amazing spa (take note, Hilton!). I’m glad I didn’t try a secret password on top of all that, I would have felt greedy 🤣

    Froggee

    So I’ve escaped. Yesterday I put the do not disturb sign on the door for the whole day and left both windows open. As a result the room temperature was acceptable at night albeit I slept with the windows open to maintain it. Happily the noise from the ventilation ducts was similar to that from a 747’s engines so I slept okay.

    I naively presented myself for breakfast at 6:45 to be told it didn’t open until 7. This would have been helpful information at check in. I wolfed down my breakfast and having taken care of my morning constitutional, joined the queue to check out because, you know, only idiots would want to check out at 7:30am. Therefore they had one receptionist at the desk.

    Frustratingly she asked how my stay was. I find it so difficult to do the British thing and say “fine, fine” so instead muttered “so so”. This prompted a follow-up to which I said “the fact you’ve got a queue of people wanted to leave kind of sums it up”. She asked if I’d like a manager to contact me. No thank you, there’s no point said I.

    With hindsight I should have gone for the strategy of the guy in front who, when faced with this very same question went for the “well the room was very small” approach.

    Anyway, I extracted myself from this customer service interaction unscathed.

    I had a vaguely pleasant walk to Bank Station guided by Citymapper. Citymapper said 37 minutes and I took 26 which made me happy as whenever I drive and the sat nav says 26 minutes it takes me 37.

    I then lost most of that 11 minutes at Bank trying to find the DLR platform. On finally finding it a woman caught my attention to tell me that my rucksack was open. It was very kind of her as I thought Londoners were trained not to engage with strangers for any reason whatsoever from a young age. Sure enough, someone had been in it as one zip was open fully down the side which does not happen on this bag without help.

    I’m not an idiot and wouldn’t have put the bag on my back if I was carrying valuables in it so the poor would-be-robber, whose hopes must have been high given the bag was branded with the name of an investment bank, was met by my liquids bag and stinky jim-jams rather than the hoped-for MacBook Air. You’ll be unsurprised to know that nothing was taken.

    I’ll stop now as this is becoming a trip report and I only do them for posterity if it is en famille.

    Having made it to City Airpot in 57 minutes, I actually have time to spare so I am going to go on a quest to find the mythical free water refill point.

    Wish me luck.

    BH

    After all that, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve made a terrible mistake booking there for this weekend!

    Anyway, I have a follow-up question for those who are still following this thread: I assume Galvin Bar & Grill can charge to the Kimpton bill and does anyone have any experience of splitting the final bill to two Amex cards on checkout (to take advantage of cash back on both)?

    Paul B

    Recently stayed here and was upgraded to a Queen bed from a single, booked 10 mins before arriving. Water was complimentary and in fact I called and asked for more which wasn’t charged for. Received 2 cocktail vouchers for the secret password, even though it was incorrect (didn’t even use them in the end), maybe the just took pity on me. Breakfast I thought could have been better, that aside, great stay.

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