I am Platinum Lifetime and have been in the program for 33 years. For years I used points for our family vacations to resorts such as Bermuda, Barbados, England, Cancun, Aruba, Maui, and more. For the past several years we have been going on cruises (first using Marriott points until they doubled the required points) and then just paying. I have been checking into us going to one of the resorts this time instead of a cruise. I am very disappointed, however, because in looking into this I notice that now you have to not only use a lot of points but also have to spend even MORE points to upgrade (whereas for all those years I would just book a standard room and get upgraded) PLUS in a lot of cases pay a high fee to park at the resort AND pay a resort fee of up to $50.00 per day for things we aren't even interested in. My question is, do any of you out there just book a standard or non-ocean view room and just take your chances on getting upgraded or do you feel the need to use extra points or cash (the cash part would be impractical for me due to the amount of points I have accumulated) and hope for the best?
Upgrades are pure luck. Sometimes it happens and I am appreciative, but I never count on them. I tend to book either 2 rooms or a suite if travelling with the family.
The resort fees are quite annoying and, unfortunately are getting more common. I like going to Vegas and see them all the time now. Getting very frustrated as well.
Hi. We usually book a standard room & then ask for an upgrade upon check in. My husband is a Platinum member. Sometimes if we can't get the upgrade, they will offer free parking, but don't count on it. I might add also that if we don't get the upgrade, I don't usually mind so if you really are wanting to guarantee an upgrade, you may need to spend the extra points or cash.
I always book a minimum room and get upgraded often. I take my chances and usually ask for an upgrade. If I have a special celebration, I mention it. I probably get a suite about 25-35% of the time. Of my last ten stays, 6 were upgrades and 4 of those were to a suite.
I don't think that the program has been reduced in value and I am rarely disappointed by Marriott.
I think a lot of it has to do with the resort. I always book the most basic room and ask for the upgrade when I arrive. If it is a special anniversary trip or something like that I usually email the concierge a couple days ahead to ask. Lately I have been 50-50% on the upgrades.
I wish Marriott Corporate Rewards would read this. One more member who is disappointed with the points policies on resorts with family vacations.
I have to ask my self again - - - why does Corporate "ignore" the road warriors who travel 40+ weeks away from home every year spending 150+ nights in MR properties when it comes to the ONE TIME A YEAR in which the warrior can "reward" their family with a premium vacation and a premium room for the family's sacrifice (not to mention the warrior)?
This still irks me to the bone. After surpassing 3K LT nights in just under 15 years you would think that would grant me (and others like saturdayman and I) some "special treatment" to use our points at resorts in the way we would like to do. It cannot be that difficult to update the reservation system to guarantee suites or premium rooms with special views based on "plutonium" status and/or forking over additional points to assure same. Hilton does it and has been doing so for at least the last 5 years. Which, (sorry to pound the drum) is why the last four years for me shows the score as: Hilton: 800+ nights vs MR: 3 nights.
Very sorry to hear about your disappointment. We appreciate your feedback and have shared this with the appropriate team for their consideration.
Thank you for reaching out; hope you have a great weekend.
Well put pingreeman, 95% of the time I'm unconcerned about the upgrade. But it would really be nice to, when you are travelling with a family, to get one confirmed ahead of time. Your travel schedule is similar to my own and I am fortunate enough to have enough points to get two rooms instead of 1 for a week or 10 days. Put's a *serious* dent in the balance, but that seems to be the only way to travel.
If you could do like on the airlines, reserve a room, and then use points to upgrade to a suite. confirmed, it would be a much better solution for the road warriors.
Agree with a lot you say here pingreeman, but with 33 years in the Marriott program under my belt it's too late to switch. I might add that I have accumulated all my points strictly through Marriott stays. I know a lot of travelers who actually take extra trips just to get a certain amount of points or use particular credit cards to get points. I do none of the above. Given the amount of time I am away from home for work I have more points (both air and hotel) than I have "time" to use (I am aware some would like to have this problem) but I would just like to get the best value possible when I cash them in.
saturdayman It is never to late to switch - especially if you have LT status. Since I had LT status, I made the switch if for no other reason, to make the "pounding of my drum" sound just a little louder so I could post my Hilton stays that MR has lost since they are too stupid to provide a program like SPG, Hilton, Hyatt, and I believe several others.
I must say this post is one of my all-time favorites as everyone is chiming in with support of my longtime "beating the drum" for this benefit.
A very old post (Unusual email from Marriott Corporation) I wrote up discussed this exact same request. It actually led to me speaking directly with the VP of MR as arranged via the MRI community manager. We talked for over 15 minutes wherein I kept asking "how hard can this be?" The best the VP could do in answering is "MR is looking into doing this; the biggest issue is the logistics - how to introduce the plan, updating our reservations/points system to allow this capabiity, etc. . . . . . " He capped the discussion with "this is something we would like to roll out within the next 18 months, but please keep this confidential."
Well, that 18 months passed us by over four years ago - hence HH: 800+, MR 3.
Golly gee whiz - if MR can offer a way for members to "burn more points" it would help their balance sheet by reducing the liabilities these points represent. Originally, I was hoping MR would simply issue a "Suite Upgrade Certificate" once a year which I could apply to my once-a-year family vacation. (Hyatt issues four a year with their top-tier status achievement). Now I have reduced my aspirations to BEG for using points to guarantee a suite.
Sounds good pingreeman, but given the fact your conversation was over four years ago with no responses I wouldn't hold my breath. In my case it is too late to switch because I will be retiring very soon. I am more fortunate than others because I have been in the program SO long I actually can remember the days when the reward benefits were much better. My family and I traveled to many beautiful places cashing in points (only) with no extra cash or points required for upgrades. Sadly, there isn't a presence of Marriott in many of those places like Bermuda, Barbados, etc. Sometimes when I check in (for business) I will get a comment like "Wow, you have really been in the program a long time". Maybe this is another way of saying I am a VERY experienced traveler. All this talk of "trying" to get to this level or that is foreign to me. I became Platinum Lifetime many years ago simply because I was gone for work more than I was at home -- period. I still feel lucky to have had a job where I could stay anywhere I wanted. There are lots of travelers out there that have a restricted or low nightly rate they have to adhere to or their companies "choose" where they stay according to discounts they receive from booking huge amounts of rooms for their employees that travel, or even worse they aren't "allowed" to keep their points as they are deposited into a pool for use by company travelers.
I could not agree any more with the comments from saturdayman and pingreeman. While I have experienced, and continue to experience, wonderful unexpected upgrades both in my business travel and in my leisure travel with my wife, the lack of a 'guaranteed' upgrade is a bummer. Whether it would be limited to a few times a year, or allowed only with additional points being used, the added value associated with this would be huge.
Thousands of Marriott loyalists are disappointed. It apparently makes too much sense to include this long sought benefit. I sleep well at night though knowing the Appropriate Team (demoted from the Greater Team) has been made aware for the 500th time.
Once again with feeling, here's a photo of their reaction each time a well meaning moderator sends in the info
pingreeman who we lost three years ago (800 to 3) to dejamo's team, continues to fight the good fight. Apparently, what we really need is for some of those golden haired SPG'ers to want it and then perhaps Arne will throw us a bone (after all the Cubs did win the World Series last year ).
I think it's harder to accept for the really seasoned traveler who has been in the rewards program for years and years. It seems like now you not only have to cash in huge amount of points plus pay MORE either in cash or points, plus pay parking, resort fees, etc. I have been 100% loyal to Marriott for 33 years so surely they don't think I wouldn't "notice" these changes. We were taking cruises for several years using points UNTIL Marriott actually DOUBLED the amount of points necessary for cruise certificates. Retirement is not that far away for me and I was hoping to be able to vacation for several years on existing points, but this will not be realistic if they keep increasing the amount of points you have to cash in and also have all these add-ons.
YYou can add me to the list here. I'm not the type to chase up Suites but when I'm on a family vacation and I really want one, I just have to stump up the cash, No points option, no upgrade Certs for my loyalty... it's rare, the last time was 2015 at the Niagara Falls Marriott. The next one is next month at the Residence Inn in Orlando. Although rare, the lack of this facility is irksome
We're not asking for comped/free upgrades. We're saying we're willing to buy them with points (which is currency).
Since I want the peace of mind of knowing (mostly when traveling with family) that I have the upgrade, my only real option if I seek certainty, is to buy the room with cash. What this thread is about is buying the upgraded room with points (which is currency).
I just booked a Starwood with points and was able to do exactly that, upgrade to an ocean view by paying additional points; so it is possible in the world in which we live ( and as ping says, Hilton does it also). The thread is not about not getting guaranteed upgrades for our smiles, it's about not being able to purchase with points (which is currency) a guaranteed upgrade.
We all love Marriott and think they're a jim dandy, crackerjack organization (hear that Arne, please don't have the Appropriate Team put any marks on my permanent record). We'd just like to be able to use our points like other travelers do at Hilton and Starwood.
That's why I hope Starwood loyalists, raise a stink while they're still in the honeymoon stage, because once they become perceived as Marriott loyalists the smoochin' ends .
YYes, if bloomin' Hilton can do it, then it really can't be beyond the wit of Marriott. This is not about asking for 'owt for nowt, it's about using our loyalty currency to buy the room we need... C'mon, this can be incorporated into the new scheme, surely! If for no other reason than we might get pingreeman back... and that's gotta be worth it!
I really like the Starwood plan for suite night upgrade certs for 50 night platinum members. I'm sure Marriott would make that more like 75 or 100 nights but a way to get those kind of certs would be a great addition. I believe they are good 5 days in advance as I understand them if a suite is available 5 days before your stay you can apply cert to guarantee room. I really think something like this will need to be part of the actual merger of the programs, If it isn't a lot of what marriott just bought (starwood loyalists) will react badly I'd guess
I'm really hoping that this is part of the program we see emerge in 2018. Starwood is currently showing the Suite Night Awards as a benefit of staying 50 nights with them in 2017, based on the below T/C if earned this year they are usable thru 2018. So lets hope this becomes part of the "new "Greater Program"
Suite Night Awards — Terms and Conditions:
Please see the SPG Terms and Conditions for full details regarding Platinum 50 Eligible Nights Benefits. To the extent that terms are capitalized in these Suite Night Awards terms and conditions, the terms have the meanings specified in the SPG Terms and Conditions.
Suite Night Awards earned during the 2017 Qualifying Period must be redeemed for Stays that occur no later than December 31, 2018.
If you are looking for a pretty good deal and great resort with free parking, let me recommend
Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino. The island is very nice and resort is gorgeous.
The staff was friendly and helpful and had genuine smiles on their faces when helping you.
In my case, I spent 160,000 points on 7 days and was upgraded the a king ocean view with a balcony.
I used Budget Rental car from the Hato airport and was also pleased with that.