I am so diappointed!
I obtained a Chase Premier Credit Card and began to use at great lengths to accumulate 80K points for a stay in Rome..... I went out of our way to dine at Marriott Hotels to get the extra points... At every opportunity I stayed at a Marriott even if out of my way.
Finally I reach the points I need and 3 months away from travel date. I was so disappointed that neither of the category 8 hotels in Rome are available.
I have never run into this with my AMEX Starwoods points CC... Generally how long in advance does one have to book a stay to get a reservation? Is ths common to not be able to use points 3 months out?
I am now rethinking what good are the points if all I can use them for is a level 3 or 4.
There is nothing more frustrating that what you're going through. Save, save, save, get excited, book... No rooms available!! This happened to us a couple of years back for a Holiday stay in the Caribbean.
The time frame for getting these rooms on points can vary. Sometimes, as far out as 12 months may score you the room. Sometimes, if you're flexible, one may come open right before you travel. I'm not an expert on Rome. I do believe there are a few Cat 8 hotels around the world that are exempt from offering point stays, ever. pluto77 jerrycoin , klaus29 , and ProfChiara are four very good, helpful resources for international travel. I'm sure one of these fine folks has a few good ideas.
A few thoughts.
1)Call the hotel directly. Plead your case. You never know if you hit the right person on the right day to shake one of those points rooms loose.
2)Call Marriott Rewards.. the reps there may be able to find dates that can work for you. They are very helpful and are good with the search tools at hand.
3)Consider, if available, booking a different Marriott property. Keep checking, daily if you can, the cat 8s that you're hoping for... sometimes rooms come available as you get close. If you see one, snag it and cancel your other reservation.
I Know how frustrating this can be. I had to join the group to reply to this. I hope this helps. I have not had the requisite points on several occasions and I just book anyway. In fact, I hav a room booked in Rome for2 nights in August and need 4000 more points to be able to use my rewards. I'll have the points in another several weeks and will order my certificate at that time. Don't ever wait to book. As you know you can always cancel if things don't work out!
Thanks, those are kind words!
One thing that is often overlooked at a good hotel are The Concierge's! They are really underestimated as far as their ability to help people. I think some think they have their hand out to often, but I feel just the opposite. They have helped my in many travel ways and many of them will NOT even take a gratuity.
Lastly, on my recent trip to Paris (Staying at Ren AdT), I walked down to the Marriott C-E, introduced myself to the head Concierge and told him my friend was coming to his hotel, picked up the Concierges card. I then gave my friend the Concierges business card. Upon arrival my friend was greeted like a Platinum should be, and got an upgraded room using points! Sometimes is is both "What you know as well as who you know"!
These are the "Pro's" who make things happen, so take a minute to introduce yourself, you will be glad you did!
I think and really hope you will get your room, try this:
First of all check at least daily for an opening. I have been in that same spot as you and have got my room every time.
Secondly, try to book something, you can always cancel and if you would have to pay, you still can request to use points, possibly even at check in;
Lastly, why not call, or at least email the hotel, plead you case, and maybe another good hearted human will help you. You have everything to gain, and nothing to lose! Good luck and just be persistent.
Thank you all for the replies.. That was quick and great suggestions.
This trip has been in the planning stages for a good year now!, 3 days Rome, 3 days Venice, 4 days Florence then back to Rome for a day.
I have everything booked except these 2 days so I have zero flexability. As I was buiding the points I kept on checking the 2 days category 8
hotels and even just last week there was points availiability, now of course I have the points are there is none!
We are staying at the Westin on one day on Starwood points, then planned to move to the Marriott.
It was going to be a bit inconvenient changing hotels but felt it was worth it..... So now I am going to book all days at the Westin
and then keep checking as suggested.
Initially quite disappointed, but I am over it now!
My biggest concern was not just this booking but going forward will I have this problem again, making the points not something I will use.
Unlike other points credit cards I found with Marriott, not being a frequent traveler, I still had the ability to accumulate points quickly. I was thrilled
with the program and CC until I ran up against this.I dont mind being persistant, checking daily if it gets me the results I am after.
And as long as points dont expire (have to research this) I can just keep on accumulating points and book another vacation
more months out where I can be flexible.
Thanks again all for the suggestions.
Thanks again for the comments..... Very helpful for a first time user of Marriott points.
Everything mentioned here is spot on. Always book your cat 8 hotels out as far as possible, even one year out if you can. My last 4 stays in Rome and Paris were booked one year out with no issues. Booking one year out for these special trips is just something that I've come to accept. Painedplatinum and Jerrycoin are both correct in that 1) keep checking daily; many have obtained positive results this way, as cancellations happen all the time, and 2) the Concierge is indeed your best friend, and will really help you (squeeze one more room in on points) if they can. Call Marriott Rewards Customer Support and ask them for the email address for the Grand Flora. They speak and read English very well, and you will receive a response from them. Best wishes for success with getting that booking on points. And I hate to say this on a Marriott website, but since it's fresh in my mind having just been there, the Westin is lovely (so you can't go wrong in case you end up there, but I hope you get the Marriott, especially with points. The Grand Flora is really superb.)
And here's a dining recommend for you:
Girarrosto Fiorentino, two streets down on Via Sicilia. Food was outstanding, as you see below.
Also, if you can find it, try the bakery below. It was also very special. It had some amazing offerings. Located at Via della Scrofa & Via del Portoghese, not far from Piazza Navona. Here's a map.
Also, have you considered staying at Marriott's Autograph Collection Hotel the Boscolo, just a few doors down from the Grand Flora? Might try there for a stay on points too.
Thank you for the pictures and suggestions!
Sure, I would of considered the AC hotel in a second, but there was no points availability at that hotel either.
It is helpful to know that a category 8 needs some planning, I could in the future book out a year in advance if that is what it takes.
And now that I understand points do not expire, not a problem.
I can also add to the Concierge comments. We first came about Marriott rewards staying at the La Conche....
We had no points or status and used the concierge on a few occasions. Honestly, it did not matter our level, they were extremely helpful to us.
Prior to leaving for vacation I tried to book a tour and was completely sold out. When I mentioned to the concierge my disappointment we could not
do this tour he said let me see what I can do and sure enough he was able to book it for us..... Yes do take advantage of thier services.
Wow, this looks great!
I have a room booked in Rome in December, but I am trying to make the flight price work. Delta Business Class is $5639 PP, and I really don't think it is worth it. Not going to cancel now and give up my reservation on points, but London is $1000 PP less.
Thanks again for the pictures and information!
What about your American Express card privileges getting you an upgrade to business? I can only imagine that when one is accustomed to flying business or first, it would be unthinkable to consider economy, but as I've previously mentioned on Insiders, I was very comfortable in my seat flying home from CDG on the A380. I could easily cross my legs at the knee, and there was plenty of room to stretch the legs and do exercises in my seat. Since there is a lovely self serve galley on the A380's that Qantas flies, I asked the flight attendant if there was one on my Air France flight and he just responded, "let me know what you would like and I'll be happy to get it for you at any time." It really was quite a pleasant flight, even being 11 hours.
I just looked it up. No U.S. carriers have made purchase orders yet for these aircrafts. The speculation is that if Delta does take the plunge, they will probably fly them from JFK to AMS and CDS, and possibly LHR. Down the road, possibly from ATL. It sounds like your AE card privileges are still your best bet. Don't you fly often enough to be able to upgrade with FF miles?
Thanks for the information. I really don't mind Coach especially if I can get an emergency exit. The AMEX card will get you a free business class seat, if you buy one at full price. Usually, the price of one seat is higher than the cost of two normal tickets. They also like to sell you "Exotic" airline tickets.
I prefer to fly Delta/Air France, so I will just have to wait and see how the fares go! Again thanks!
Hope it works out for you, Jerry. I feel your pain. This past trip wiped out my entire travel budget for the year (that and the fact that I purchased a hefty Marriott Gift Card which I ended up not using.) We were lucky enough to get (through the resort lottery process) our Christmas reservations at the Edelweiss Military Lodge and Resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen that we were hoping for, but will have to come up with some "creative" financing to cover the expense!
Here's who's eligible to stay:
Edelweiss Lodge and Resort authorized patrons include active-duty Service members, military retirees, reservists, guardsmen, current Department of Defense and Coast Guard civilian employees stationed in USAREUR, foreign military and DOD civilians stations in the U.S, ON ORDERS assigned at a U.S. military installation overseas, the family members of authorized patrons. Room rates are determined by pay grade and apply to both active and retired military and DoD/Coast Guard civilians. Edelweiss Lodge patronage is governed by Department of Defense Instruction 1015.10 (Programs for Military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation). To be eligible, all NATO personnel must present a AE Form 600-700 (USAREUR Privilege & Identification Card) upon check-in. Eligible NATO guests of Edelweiss Lodge and Resort can make reservations on a space available basis up to 90 days prior to arrival and must call the Vacation Planning Center.
While I am a "family member," I think family member refers to qualified dependents. I'm more of a "hanger on-er."
I just visited the website, and I could not find any information regarding reservations during the Christmas season. Prior to May, there was a link to information. They must've removed it. Apparently due to the fact that staying in the area during the Christmas holiday season is so popular, they've instituted a lottery system, where during the month of May (1st - 31st) folks can submit a reservation request during the Christmas season. The requests are then put into a lottery, and requests are picked at random. I don't know if there is any status pecking order that may apply (active, active serving in Europe, retired, etc.). If I can find more detailed info on the process, I'll certainly let you know.
If you're not set on the Christmas season (which may be rainy, snowy or foggy - certainly cold!), I would think that late Spring or Summer would be a great time to go: lots of sunshine, great views, etc. although Mother Nature never provides guarantees.
There are no Marriott properties in the area, so I feel comfortable posting about this property. Besides, it's something very special for our wonderful service members and their dependents, who really do serve along side them.
I just had a thought. Wouldn't it be neat if we had a Marriott Military Discussion Group, where we could all list any great specials for military on it? NathalieF What do you think about that idea, Andy?
Have you considered purchasing the certificates of $1000 for 135,000 points? Then you're booking on a cash basis rather than points and also earning points. I looked at one hotel in Rome that was 289 EU per night. I don't know how this translates to dollars, but my thinking is maybe $1.33 to 1 EU? You're aware of that better than I, but to me, the certificates are great for the most part.
I just realized that they are 190,000 points usually. That may or may not be a good deal, but you can figure the points per EU.
I was looking for the place to post that I had recently had trouble using one, but it was only very temporary after raising a ruckus for a mere $50 certificate to use as partial payment. The clerk said that had to be cleared when checking in, contrary to instructions and his instructions from his manager when he talked to her.
I think it all depends how each of us decides to use points....
I will work a points credit card all year so that I can stay a few days at a 6 or 7 star.. you know my treat for all the hard work!!
While I probably would not pay for a 7 star I would for sure use a year of points for the pleasure...
So I learned a few things being new to Chase.... I cannot wait until 2 months before a stay and expect to use my points at a
high star hotel, prime location.. am OK with that as long as I know how to do it, you know what the rules are
and that in the end I can use my points where I want.
So I used Starwoods points, had to purchase some points plus one day of a paid stay for our Rome trip and just held onto my 90K
of Chase points. I plan to use the points next year at La Conche in PR, and will book way in advance.
Oh, so we are doing Rome, Florence, Venice then back to Rome to fly home. The last day I did book the Marriott Central Park right near the airport.
could not see using 20K in points when I could buy the room for 109 Euros.... Will take the train back to central Rome, if we are not dead by then!
One very important note: Rome Courtyard Central Park is NOT near the airport. There is a Courtyard AT the airport, but I had a very bad experience when it first changed to Marriott (but things might have changed). Also there is a Marriott Park Hotel that I've never been to that's out in the middle of (real) nowhere. The Central Park Courtyard is not far from the Vatican.
I knew I did not have this right when I posted!
One day prior to coming home we are staying at the Rome Courtyard, not Central Park.
Has anyone else recently stayed at this hotel? I know it is a Courtyard and dont expect much. The idea was just a clean room close to the
airport, not looking for anything special or more than normal services from staff. If however not clean, that would make me change my plans....
I am going to go a bit off topic here... When someone suggested I purchase certificates I felt like I was not really understanding how
points work. My own fault for not even going to the FAQ where I would of learned I could of made the reservation early
without yet having the points. Being a prior Starwoods points ***** it never entered my mind. I feel so much more informed now.
Thank you all for particiaption to this thread. For sure will come back with great pictures to share with you all.
I guess I got unlucky. I stayed at the Rome Airport courtyard shortly after it joined Marriott. (I forget when but I doubt it was much after Lori's stay since it could not have been later [and probably earlier] than 2006.) I was treated horribly at check-in (like I was a nuisance, not to mention no recognition). From memory, the room was okay. But getting to the airport was a huge hassle. The hotel advertises shuttles -- mine included unsuccessful stops at various pharmacies for a staff member. This cost a lot of time, especially when they went looking for open pharmacies, all the while having people on the shuttle.
There was also no place at which to eat anywhere nearby, so I decided in my Rome trips to stay at the hotel in Rome then get a cab or other transport.
The worst part (maybe fixed) is that I had to fight a long time to get points for this stay. Not only did it not show up as Marriott points, but apparently the hotel did not confirm it upon my request both to MR and Chase.
Short story, it may have changed, but I won't stay there again.
You know, I think this is all worth mentioning, because we never know what a members plans revolving around a given hotel might be, and varying circumstances can truly have an effect on the outcome of one's stay. I can really see how your circumstance (getting to and from) the hotel can have a direct impact on your experience, especially if you are relying on public transportation (including shuttle), and you need a meal. Those needs not being met are big. And I agree, the worst part would've been fighting for the points. In my case, we had a car (we drove up from vacationing in the south), so we drove around the countryside and got very lucky in finding a beautiful restaurant on this property in the countryside (it looked like a place that could host a wedding and reception - really lovely - couldn't find it again to save my life.) We were early, 7:30, drove around a while and came back a little after 8, still too early, but they were so kind, they invited us in and began to service us and the food was awesome; kind of hard to find fault with much of anything after that. Then we drove back to the airport, turned in our car, and by that time it was pretty late, and we had an early flight, so not much time spent in the hotel. I honestly have no recollection of how we got from the car rental to the hotel or how we got from the hotel to the terminal the next morning, but I have no negative memories, which doesn't necessarily mean much . I'll ask my mom and see what she remembers about the property.
It depends where you're going and when. The Athens Ledra, one of my favorite hotels in the world, is a Cat 5, and last time (a month ago) I got upgraded to the best suite in the hotel. Rome is different, but you might consider the Central Park Courtyard. I've stayed there twice, and it's worth paying for (for more than 4 days) rather than using points. I'm there late August at 85 euros a night for a five night stay. It's NOT downtown, but they have a shuttle to Vatican City and a 4 minute walk will take you right around the corner to the train station (1 euro per ride). Across from it is a supermarket and an ATM, so if you want to save further you can do that.
I love the Grand Flora, but can rarely afford it. I'm disinclined to stay at the Rome AC Boscolo not only because of Arkwright's comments but my own experience at the Venezia Boscolo, where the staff was great but the room was not. It was clearly, as Arkwright has said, meant for business travelers, but doesn't even do really well at that (the A/C was horrible during a heat wave; the downstairs desk area light did not work; I had to keep the bathroom door shut most of the time to keep the rest of the room cooler, etc.; there were NO shelves. Everything that didn't go on a hanger had to go in a lump on top of the shelf.
By contrast, even if it is out of the way, the Rome Central Park (not to be compared with the Marriott Park Hotel way outside the city) is a fabulous deal, and you are also assured breakfast.
You were all so helpful to me in my planning, I wanted to post my Marriott experiences.
We are back from our Italy vacation and had a wonderful time, My husband claims it was one of the best vacations he ever went on!
We stayed at the Westin in Rome and I saw the AC hotel was kitty korner to the Westin so I popped in.
Looks quite nice.
We stayed at the Courtyard Rome Airport hotel our last day. I am glad to report back that our stay at this hotel was quite nice.
Yes, the check in gals were not the wamest people, but that was where any disappointment ended. The room was clean, bed comfy!
This is absolutely a hotel of convenience as there is nothing around short of the airport but the large bar/sitting area and resturant was so nice
that I was left wanting nothing... The service staff was friendly and very good, the meal impressive.
They also offered a good happy hour deal, and yup a shuttle service to the airport leaving on the hour, prompt.
Breakfast was included, this also good.The hotel was full, all doing the same as us, using the hotel to come or go.
If I was to make the decision again I would absolutely book this hotel
So anyone ever stay at the Renissance Naples Italy? Might book this one for next year. LOL, now that I know how.
Hope this helps someone!
Actually I have found that when I look far out, nothing is ever available (especially premium international properties).
I generally hold something at the best rate I can get, and keep checking.
If rates go down, I book under the new rate, and cancel the old reservation at the higher rate.
Usually I have either managed to get the property at a very attractive rate, or using points, by watching it.
It is painful and a lot of work, and often I do not get my points reservation till close to departure.
I too book far out, pretty much as soon as I've made my airline reservation, and check frequently, so I haven't had any problems.
Janet - I booked at the Renaissance Naples, but cancelled. It seemed like a very nice property but after a day trip to Naples from Rome I decided I did not want to stay in the city, so I stayed at the Rome Grand Flora (amazing as always) instead.
I realize this is an old thread, but I came across it while I was reading everything on Rome that I could find on the Insiders site. Several weeks ago, a friend asked me about our summer plans. She was quite surprised when I told her we didn't have any plans yet because I usually start planning our summer vacation about a year in advance. I told her we really wanted to go to Italy, but there were no points stays at the Grand Flora when we wanted to go. It wasn't long before I was back online looking for rooms at the Grand Flora. Almost the entire month of June was available! I couldn't believe my eyes! I booked 3 5-night stays, knowing that I could cancel the ones I didn't need. Needless to say, most of my waking hours were spent trying to put the pieces in the puzzle (as jerrycoin says). Everything finally worked out, I cancelled the nights I didn't need. I checked today and there are still a few nights available. The moral of the story....never give up, keep checking (several times a day if possible), and you may just get what you need.
Thanks for mentioning my recommendation, "Be persistent"!
I had to call multiple times a day one to get into The C-E Marriott. Exactly one week before I was to arrive, the computer got me a room on points.
It was wonderful!
Good luck for your Rome trip!
And to be the heretic in this line, although I love the Grand Flora, my stay in June (I changed it because I wanted a pool for less money with more benefits at the Aldrovandi Villa Borghese -- it's the other side from the Grand Flora, but since I've stayed at least 6-7 times at the Grand Flora, I decided a cheaper price, breakfast, freewifi and a POOL for after a day in the Vatican Archives would be fabulous. Like GemPrincess, I've gone rogue.