So, my recent trip to Huntsville AL found me looking to SPG for a good rate. I haven't used SPG in a long time, but when I tried to book a room in Huntsville, every Marriott Property was over the Joint Travel Regulation (JTR) rates by 20% or more over. I checked out SPG and found The Element was only $16 over JTR (15%), so I booked an extended stay. I look forward to receiving all those perks that verysuiteboy posts about. I'm not familiar with The Element, as I prefer Westin when I stay SPG, but it sounds like a nice option for the extended stay traveler (In room Kitchen, laundry, and large work area). I signed up for the Bonus Programs that starguy posted about. nationwide mentioned he had 3 great SPG stays this past year, so I sure hope I get hooked up. Since I'm PP with Marriott, I will be platinum elite with SPG, so that should hopefully secure an upgrade for me. The only problem as I understand it, is I'll be staying for a very long time and the upgrade may not be available for my entire stay. I will hope for the best, but prepared for something less for that reason. I will test what brianandlin says about SPGers getting treated better as elites than Marriotters. I am also looking forward to seeing if the being green service will get me some extra points for my stay.
If anyone has more SPG advice for me, please let me know. I'm entering novice waters. I only have 30 lifetime nights with SPG, but 11 years in their Elite status. Fortunately Marriott platinum carries over.