Please count reward nights and coupon nights towards the nights stayed tally. This is a great benefit of starwood and could see it being very attractive with MR. I often have to let the coupons expire (I currently have 4 nights 1-4) because I want to earn the nightly stay credit, plus I often don't go places where there are nice 1-4 hotels...
That would be a great benefit for sure.
However, I wouldn't let the coupons expire without using them. Not sure if you are platinum or not, but if you are, you could at least check-in with them, get your Arrival bonus points, and then check out. Kind of a bed run scenario but with a coupon. And don't forget, if one of your coupons happen to be a Marriott Visa certificate night, Marriott will extend those as long as you call prior to expiration for another 6 months from the date of the phone call.
According to a recent news article IHG (Holiday Inn) has just added this benefit. Maybe there is a tipping point that will cause everybody to do it. I have always believed that points are just another form of currency. So, if I pay in $, Euros or points, I should get credit for the night.
While we may see it a a "free" night, the fact is it is being purchased with currency, in this case Marriott Reward Points. I can choose to pay for a night with points, or I can purchase a flat screen TV. Marriott does not give me "free" flat screen TVs. The fact is that Marriott Reward Points are a form of currency. If I pay for the night with any other form of currency ($, Yen, Euro) I get credit for the night. I should get credit for the night that I pay for with points. Now, when it comes to the free cat 1 - 4 night I get with my credit card, I will agree that that is a "free" night and would not expect credit towards elite status.