I needed to fly out to Seattle earlier this week for a quick personal meeting. I decided I'd try and do this trip on the cheap - economy tickets hoping for upgrades (which all cleared), using mass transit from the airport (saved $80+ round trip versus cabs) and staying at a more modest property than I'm used to - the Seattle Sheraton. (I’ll post my review of the hotel and my use of mass transit in Seattle separately.) I made my booking on SPG.com, and used a corporate rate code that I have access to. My rate was $159 for a standard room. I'm a Gold member at SPG.
Before my trip began, I received a rather intriguing email from the hotel. This email included included a "say when...a 24 hour experience." Similar to the service that is offered at the Beverly Hills Peninsula, this email suggested that I could arrive any time I wanted (including outside of "normal hotel hours,") and stay for 24 hours from the time of arrival.
Email from Sheraton
The email made very clear that this offer was just for this visit and just for this property. My travel schedule for this trip wouldn't benefit from the program (on the ground for only 14 hours) so I didn't sign up...but this sort of program is something that seems pretty promising. I haven’t seen this program advertised or mentioned before by Starwood.
The Seattle Sheraton is a behemoth of a hotel - with 1,258 rooms spread across a number of towers. They must have so many guests coming through that this sort of program might actually help them manage the property more easily - customers probably arrive and leave throughout the day. Allowing the 24-hour-block room bookings probably allows the hotel to spread housekeeping further through the day, and also allows for a more even distribution of check outs (and, perhaps to a lesser extent, check‑ins). Importantly, it is a nice benefit to the customers as well.
I'm not sure if this is offered only to elites or only during periods of low of high occupancy, but it is a nice way to offer to structure things. The challenge, of course, like Westin workout rooms, if they're not consistent within the system, or more likely consistently available at specific hotels at least, they are of less value to the customer.
If I definitively knew that I could get this benefit that would influence my travel decision. If this program is going to only be applied haphazardly (which appears to be the case), it probably won’t influence my buying decision.
Update: Here is a link to the hotel's website which allows you to book this promotion. Not sure if it will work for all reservations, but those that are interested should try. This page says you need to request the service 2 days in advance. http://upg.starwoodpromos.com/?u=F573C6435709A47