Marriott has devalued the points significantly. I used to get 1000 Marriott dollars for 135,000 points. Now it takes 255,000 points. The service person told me that the new point requirements come out next week and all the points are being devalued. I have stayed over 2,000 nights, own a marriott time share and their credit card but they have just lost my business. SPG and Hilton are now much better values and I will instruct all my project teams to select those brands as project hotels going forward.
I too have been a very loyal Marriott member but also see that SPG is a better value. What used to be 120,000 to 150,000 points for a week's stay is now 250,000. Everyone should be aware that you can ask for your same level of membership, i.e., platinum for platinum when considering transferring from Marriott to SPG or other programs. I currently have a wait and see attitude but if Marriott continues to take, take, take I will go to SPG.
I have been rather annoyed by the 2013 'adjustments' to hotel categories. I 'joined in' with the two promotions over the winter - the way I guess they were intended to work, encouraging more stays by the defined dates. However, having been promised a Cat 1-3 in one promotion and a Cat 1-4 in the second, I suddenly find that the choice for making stays in the UK has been drastically reduced since the number of Cat 3 and 4 hotels has shrunk to almost nothing - certainly screening out places where I might have ventured for a weekend to spend on food and drink at these hotels. Yes, I know you could have booked a year in advance but who plans a weekend away that early. In many ways the promotions were a con.