You're absolutely right....the only benefit to a Platinum Elite is the water or points (which goes to all rewards members). Speaking of that, if they don't offer one or the other at check-in and you report it, they will send you a $50. check. I found this out when a counter clerk forgot to do so and when I came back and requested the water, she handed it to me and said "if you didn't already take the water, you could have gotten $50." (while laughing at my 'ignorance'). Guess what, I got the $50. and I think she went through some re-training on how not to treat a customer who pays for your job.
But on your topic, they could at least upgrade a Platinum Elite to one of their suites occasionally (most Courtyards have at least 2 or 3 suites - some with hot-tubs) or add at least one breakfast for each 2 or 3 night stay. We would feel a little more special for all of the nights we spend in Marriotts.
Consultant posted "Courtyard is the no frills brand. No fuss, No muss, just give me my key, and get out of my way. I find them to be very economical for their location... after all, you have to pay for the "freebies" you get at the full service places."
I could understand that if it were true. But I stayed in New York in December and the Courtyard rates were as high or higher than the Marquis. I used to stay at Courtyards, but not anymore. I can get a 2 room suite with more ammenities at a Residence Inn for the same price and I get free breakfast and wireless internet.
I think Courtyard's provide the poorest value of all the Marriott brands.
I would think it is comparable to the Embassy Suites brand within the Hilton chain (comparable prices), but Embassy Suites offers a pretty nice free breakfast as well as free cocktails during their evening "manager's reception."
Like another poster, I only stay at Courtyards if it is the only Marriott brand in a town, though sometimes I'll choose a Hilton brand over it.
Middle Child...that's funny but true!
I always try and stay at everything but Courtyard for the reasons listed below. It's funny - I go to Marriott or Renaissance, I get club level. Courtyard doesn't give me that - but the tradeoff is the free internet. But I get that at Residence Inn, Springhill or Fairfield with breakfast.
I recently looked into switching out of Marriott into Hilton, as there is a Hilton Garden Inn and Hamptons close to where I usually stay. In addition to the "Double Dip" deal with freq. flyer pts you get with HHonors, the HGI and Hamptons are a bit nicer for someone travelling on business a few times a week. Like Fairfields, however, Hamptons are hit-or-miss.
At HGI, you get an in-room fridge and micro - and a SelectComfort bed. Also, you get free breakfast as a Silver member.
However, I'm finding it hard to abandon the Platinum bonuses, and the travel pkgs you can get with Rewards pts.
If Courtyard were to step up with free breakfast or other niceties for business folks, I would close the door on the possibilites of jumping ship, and stick with Marriott. The benefits to my happiness while traveling would make it worth it.