First off, here's a little about me: I'm a Marriott Platinum Elite and a Diamond VIP member. All of my stays are leisure. It's a stress relief method to get-a-way!
Here are my tips:
1) Always go on line and see if a particular suite is available right before checking in. That way, you can see if the room is available at check in.
2) If you are told there are no upgrades available, beeline to the business center and see for yourself. DO NOT HESITATE TO NOTIFY THE FRONT DESK AGENT OF THE AVAILABILITY! Do this without alerting the front desk staff of your intentions! Then, drop it on them!
3) If none are available, and the concierge lounge is closed, ask for a breakfast, dinner, and/or appetizer coupon(sometimes this might need approval of the supervisor on duty)...That might make you feel a little better since you can't get that upgrade.
4) Tell the GM, Sales Director, or front desk agent you will post a guest review of your stay.
5) The front desk agents always check the computer to see if you have stayed there before and which room you were assigned to, along with your profile request information. They will try to reassign you to the same room or room type if you do not request otherwise.
6) If you are a returning guest, hotel staff are more likely to upgrade based on your stay history with them.
7) Oftentimes, the best rooms are not advertised online, or shown as available, DO ASK FOR THEM!
I have stayed in Presidential suites, Ambassador, Executive suites, and bi-level suites, JUST FOR THE ASKING! And, I always pay the lowest standard/basic room rate!!
P.S. If you use these tips, please let me hear from you!
BGD - try doing this using points for a vacation - FAIL.
I have several posts complaining about the inability to get a suite upgrade despite 175-200+ PAID nights annually for 9 years in a row. I have booked family vacations and did steps 1 (always), 2 (always), 3 (tied-failed), 4 (threatened and did make post), 5 (requesting the desk to see my activity for the year), 6 (n/a), 7 (ALWAYS). I have a few additional steps -
8) Call the GM at time of reservation explaining 200 nights in hotels, so would love "special treatment" for my family to "reunite"
9) Send e-mail to GM just before arrival to confirm/repeat my request
10) Call PP desk to advise hotel of my arrival and request
The only step I have not taken is, um, can't think of any.
Success rate on points upgrades? - HILTON paid nights in 2013: 115, does that answer the question?
I do not understand why this did not work for you. I do have a few questions that may help me understanding:
1) Which hotel and city?
2) How many people were to stay in desired suite?
3) What were the reasons given for not upgrading you?
4) What were the reasons given for not giving you dining coupons?
5) Any other reasons given?
BGD - To answer your questions: (and I am focusing on SUITE upgrades when I confirmed availability for my stay logging in to Marriott reservations as "guest")
1) Which hotel and city? 2003 - Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa (wife and I - 10th anniversary request); 2005 - Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort (wife and 2 kids); 2007 - Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa - (family); 2009 - Courtyard Isla Verde Beach Resort - (family)
2) How many people were to stay in desired suite? 2, 4, 4, 4 respectively
3) What were the reasons given for not upgrading you? 2003: we must reserve some suites for possible cash-paying customers; 2005: we are "chocked-full" of Gold & Platinum with no suites for your entire stay - implying GOLD members trumped my status; 2007: this is the high season and suites are restricted and using points are not guaranteed for suites; 2009 - you've been upgraded per the T&C from the 3rd floor to the 7th floor with better views (I ended up booking two regular rooms on the same floor - 1 for the teens, the other for the Mrs and me)
4) What were the reasons given for not giving you dining coupons? the one time I had asked: I forgot the reason
5) Any other reasons given? T&C almost always, the suites are available if you wish to pay cash, etc.
Sorry to hear you've been denied upgrades so many times. My experience is hit or miss. Take Waikiki Beach Marriott for example. I've been stuck into Paoakalani Tower Partial Ocean View, Kealohilani Tower Ocean View, and Paoakalani Tower Jr. Suite in my past 3 stays with status ranging from none to silver, to gold. Haven't tried staying as a Platinum, though I likely won't.
On the other hand, I have a honeymoon coming up in November. After making my points reservations, I e-mailed the properties and got in-tcouh with the GMs or their assistants. I explained to them the situation and told them how excited I was to be visiting their wonderful countries, as well as their amazing properties. I also mentioned my status and standard MR policy on upgrades (no pre-confirmed), and kindly asked for a complimentary confirmed upgrade due to the extraordinary circumstance. All responded with a yes and I have an upgrade confirmed for a junior suite at the Renaissance La Defense (Paris) and an Executive Room at the Rome Marriott Grand Flora Hotel. The one place I haven't been successful thus far with this is the JW Marriott Ihilani, despite the fact that the upgrade would have been for the actual nuptials.
My take; it's really hit or miss. Foreign properties seems to be more open to doing such upgrades, though the fact that Marriott does not own the properties seems to mean that consistency between all the properties is not so great.
No pre-confirmed upgrade at the JW yet is a complete crime. I'd move the entire event somewhere else, sort of late now I guess being some 30 days or less out. Total BS.
I've done some of the b.g.dixon suggestions well before they were posted on MI. My findings are this:
1. A hotel you have numerous stays ask for the favorite room which you enjoy the most about 20 days out, call the hotel and talk to them directly so they know you're inbound again.
2. Some properties select a few rooms that are special and must be booked through the Sales and Catering Dept., talk with them directly to reserve your special room, most times it is going to work just fine.
3. When you check-in make sure you have a printed copy of your reservation in hand just in case some bone head has fouled it all up.
Enjoy your next stay.
Thanks for the tips. Good to know. I am sure they work on certain properties and have a great pay-off, but I personally do not like requesting special treatment. It is nice to get the upgrade though. I got one on points at the San Mateo Marriott, but I think half of the rooms in that hotel are suites.
I also got upgraded at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, but I think the guy at the front desk was expecting something in return because he kind of gave me a check your room out and let me know what you think. Even if I wanted to tip him though, I couldn't. I didn't see him at the front desk the rest of my stay.
Some interesting points. I've had good success with properties but only since becoming a plat prem. member, rarely was I upgraded as a standard plat member, never as gold or silver many many years ago. The exception to this was overseas, platinum actually netted some good upgrades in the UK and around Europe but nothing in comparision with the ones since becoming plat prem.
Here's my tip to add to the pile, this works more than it doesn't when rooms are available. Ask for the room you want by room number. I've even been told by properties to simply put that request in the reservation or to call and ask if room XXXX is available. There are certainly posts in here that show/share room numbers or sections of the properties that have nicer rooms (floors, buildings, etc) that you can reference. The other thing you can do is look at the property map/floor plan before checking in. This is especially easy at TPS, CY, RI, etc where you are often driving around to different entrances or buildings and they have the map right on the counters. You can see the room sizes and pretty easily spot the suites or larger rooms, even corner rooms. By asking for an upgrade or a suite, the employee is trained on how to respond so based on what they see on the screen for status, you could likely be turned down simply by "none available". By asking for a specific room number, perhaps adding "I've stayed in this room once before" they often simply look at the room and if its open will give you your choice. This is not a 100% success by any means but approaches the better room discussion from a way the associates are less likely to be "trained" to look for and if you show that you have more specific knowledge of the property it adds to your "I've been here before" statement.
You are absolutely right on point regarding your comments. You appear to have a good knowledge as to what to do to get your room of choice.....keep it up. It certainly helps to know your way around the property first. Sometimes I will visit the property first before booking so, that I can see what to expect and have a strategy in mind before booking.
I am only a year late here to respond but I will anyway.....
I am/was a Standard rewards member , the only thing I have going for me is I have been staying only at Marriott for the last 20 years. I was upgraded a few times just for asking without any status at all. Sometimes it matters how you ask , who you know, and who you are! Not saying that I am anyone but I do have a way with spoken words and often get way better than what I pay for at other places as well like Cruises , Casinos , Concerts , Ball games etc..
Be polite but at the same time act as if you deserve it and that you are somebody and you will get it!
Thats my 2 cents. In fact I have a reservation coming up on the 30th .... I will try then and let you know my results.
Sometimes it is the approach that awards an upgrade versus status. I have heard the tired "we can't upgrade your room due to the dates of your reservation" nonsense. Also consider your Marriott rewards room preferences. If you prefer a king size bed versus a queen, then you might not get that upgrade because the available suite is equipped with a queen bed and does not align with your room preferences. I just edited my room preferences to a more generic profile to help eliminate the "we didn't upgrade you because" excuse.