In Tripadvisor, I was checking out reviews on a Marriott we were considering vacationing at in California. I was very surprised to see a number of comments complaining about receiving bad service and below-par rooms for redeemed Marriott Points. There were several properties mentioned where this had occurred. People stated they were not allowed to upupgrade using more points and in some cases not even for cash.
I guess I am still very naive, but we honestly thought we could redeem our points for a standard room and then upgrade with more points. If this is not the way it works, then we will be leaving Marriott and ditching our Marriott Visa posthaste. Would really appreciate hearing from those experienced in this regard.
What part of CA are you planning to vacation in and which properties were you considering? Maybe some of the Insiders can offer advice on what properties they recommend from their personal experience. It is a toss up sometimes when you are redeeming points as to what type of room you can get.
nuhusker, vaboywnder, lone6star - thank you for your responses. I am talking about the Coronado Island Marriott in Coronado. We want an ocean-front double. Not a suite, not a villa, just a simple ocean-front double. Why would one travel to a resort on the oceanfront to get a room with a view over the parking lot, which is what one Tripadvisor poster was given. Complaints were to no avail.
When we stay at the Coronado Island Marriott, we always stay in an ocean-front double. If we just wanted a room, we would go to any motel or other hostelry on Coronado. Who needs Marriott then? When we "bought into" Marriott Rewards, we thought having enough points would get us the type of accommodation that we always buy ourselves. Why should we stay in accommodations that are not up to our standard. If we have to beg our way to what I thought was what we had "contracted" to get, then, frankly, we don't want it. We abided by our part of the bargain. We stayed at enough Marriott hotels to more than earn the points needed, but it seems Marriott is not responding in kind or holding up their end of the bargain. We would certainly make reservations way in advance.
Would appreciate any comments you all have.
Sometimes it's frustrating and down right aggravating trying to get the perfect reservation. But, honestly, I don't think there's anything in the "contract" with Marriott or Marriott Rewards that says you always get the exact type of room of your choice. But keep trying with the reservations and rewards agents and also with the hotel directly. Diligence usually pays off. Good luck.
Nuhusker has it right --- availability is the key. If you are looking for something this summer, San Diego Marriotts of all brands expect super-high occupancy. I live in north San diego County --- and the CofC and visitor association here are projecting a record tourist season.
Which means most all hotels here will have slimmer pickens and/or higher rates.
If you are coming this summer, you are indeed fortunate to get a reservation at an acceptable rate or with MR points in the frist place. If you are MARR Platinum or Premier Platinum, you will have best chances of a good view and/or and upgrade..
Side note: The Coronado Island Resort does not face the ocean. Rather, it faces San Diego Bay and promotes itself as "Bayfront".
Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate it.
Countryjim, we live an hr. from SD and I can see that SD will definitely be hard to get into this summer with the weather already so summerlike. We will try to make our reservations this weekend - or possibly we should wait til Monday? I know the Coronado hotel is on the bay rather than oceanfront - I was speaking generically. We especially like the bay as we are sailors and love to watch the boats tacking back & forth on the bay & under the Coronado Bridge. That's why we go to the Coronado Marriott. We love that viewof the bay! If we can't get what we want in the summer, will wait til school starts as we are flexible with our time.
Nuhusker we should have read that contract a lot closer. I see now that Marriott rewards is not for us. Too bad since we have accumulated so many points. Our fault. Will go to another credit card immediately starting now.
Wish us luck with Coronado. If that works out, it will not be all for naught.
I'm not sure what dates you are looking at for San Diego but you may want to keep in mind that Comic Con will be in progress from Wed July 11th through Sun July 15th. Most properties in San Diego are completely booked in that time frame. I'm going to Comic Con and was hoping to get into Coronado Marriott but waited to late to book the reservation so I'll be staying at the Courtyard in Mission Valley instead. Good Luck with your travel plans!
I think that in the case of obtaining upgrades one has to be diligent. Contact with the property and the GM can be helpful. Marriott customer service can provide the e-mail or phone contact numbers for you. The system does allow for upgrades to be done for cash or points usage, but that is where the hotel staff can be so helpful in accomodating your request.
I would suggest booking a room and contacting the hotel with an inquiry about using the upgrade system to get the room you want. Also make note of any other rooms and the price points for those rooms (in a higher priced category) when you book. Then, if you find the hotel is not agreeable to your request, use the information regarding other available rooms to ask if any of those 'other' rooms would be better for accomplishing the upgrade request.
In any case, here are the 'rules' for upgrading as per the Marriott T&C:
Hope this helps and good luck!
Let us know how you make out with the request and accomodations!
Thank you vaboywnder and tef6178!!!
Fortunately we were not planning on going during the convention, but I'm glad to know the exact dates.
tef6178 - the official rules were a big help. It really clarifies things.
We did call the hotel directly to find out their policy. We don't have a specific date yet, but sometime during the summer (not on holidays). Without knowing the exact date, of course, the hotel could not be totally specific, but they did say if a bayfront room was available, we would be able to upgrade. So it's a relief knowing that & hopefully that part will work out. I was totally mistaken in the way points can be used. I did not realize you had to buy certificates for food & drink. I thought (naively I know), there would be a certain amt. of points used for the room & we could charge food & extras to our account & pay with points as we have more than enuf to cover room & upgrades. It is totally our fault that we did not read the rules properly (so much small print!), but we now find Marriott Rewards is not worth it to us as it stands, so will be switching to another card/plan for the future.
I really appreciate the response from all of you. You have been terrific with giving me information and not making me feel like the fool I am for not looking into the details "before I bought." Thank you.
You do not have to buy certificates to pay for food and drink. You can use your points while on a hotel stay for food, drink and other purchases!
It is called 'Instant Redemption' and you do it while you are at the hotel. Here are the rules and the process:
Hope this helps!
Drink up and Chow Down!....and Happy Travels!
I totally agree. There is not a better use for the points than for rooms, especially with the Redeem 4, get 1 night free deal! But, for those with 'burning' power and a specific thought for point usage (as it sounded with the post I replied to), it's not a bad option.
How was the Madrid stay?
Wow tef6178 that is so interesting! I checked the redemption schedule and it is pretty hefty. Considering that, we will probably use the rest of the points for a Courtyard in Marina del Rey where we go every 6 weeks or so to see my family. That is a much better usage. Also, they have a few marvelous restaurants close by the hotel - would much rather go there anyhow.
You guys really know your stuff!
Depends on property and availability. I have been given many upgrades while staying on points as if it was a normal stay (no additional points needed). So far I can say in every case as a Platinum when there are rooms available I get an upgrade, without additional points and usually without asking. If you ever have issues would assume you are probably not in a corporate property but franchise.
Another option, if you are a platinum member, is to use 135,000 points for $1000 of 'Marriott Cheques'. Then just book the room under normal conditions, and pay for it with their own money. Not always the best value, but this option comes in handy when there are no point rooms or upgrades available. You can also pay for the meals, parking, etc that you charge to your room with the Marriott Cheques.
Thanks for the suggestions sdbroker. Unfortunately we are not platinum. If we were I think I'd know more about this Rewards business. We just joined about a yr. ago & have just under 200,000. The Program doesn't work as we expected. Our fault for not checking it out properly. Will do the best we can with what we have & basically switch to another card.