Hey everyone. I'm a Gold Elite, and will be traveling most of the month of September throughout Florida. Some of you may have done this, but I reserved a different location everyday just for the heck of it. Over the years, I've only gotten one upgrade to a suite, and never really ask for upgrades. For those that do get upgrades consistently, do you all ask for it, or do they just offer to do so for you? I have reservations mainly in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville, but South and Central Florida mainly. I actually live in Miami, but since I'm traveling most of the month, I rented out my condo for the month (benefits of living in such a tourist welcoming city).
After my cruises we always stay at the Hollywood Beach Marriott. I ask for an upgrade and have always gotten one. I really like this hotel because they are so accommodating . We arrive very early to the hotel after the cruise and about 75% of the time they have my room ready with an upgrade. The rest of the time I wait for the upgrade to be cleaned and the hotel gives me breakfast in the restaurant for waiting. I have been staying there since they opened, before that it was the Harbor Beach. I have not been there in many years so I cannot comment if they give upgrades.
Your chances of an upgrade are also greatly improved when staying for only one night. Several GMs have told me that when using points and the stay overlaps a suite being paid with cash, the cash wins. So if I were vying for a suite on points and was to check in Sunday and out Friday while a cash customer has a check-in Thursday for one day only, I see no suite upgrade during my stay. I have also been told that Ps do not trump Gs for suites if the G has the suite for more days than the P's reservation. So if a G has the suite booked Sun-Fri and a P wants it for Mon-Fri, G wins solely on the number of nights being more than P's.
I posted this yesterday on a related subject, but it applies for your 20 for 20 quest;
Update on UPGRADES: I recently noticed in the Platinum benefits descriptions, new definitions (and then read a concise flyertalk write up on a similar theme about upgrades) - here's the revised/current language on what is considered an UPGRADE. You of course, can go after any room you want, but I didn't want any Insider to be on the wrong side of the definition;
Current (changed) wording: "For Platinum Elite members the best way is up! Based on room availability at check-in and limited to a Member's personal guestroom, we’ll do our best to upgrade your room. Upgrades may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites, subject to availability identified by each hotel. See terms and conditions for details."
Note--no language limiting upgrades to next best room, so shoot for the moon if you so desire - but know the parameters
Here are the terms and conditions:
"Complimentary Room Upgrade: Based on room availability at check-in and limited to a Member's personal guestroom. Upgrades may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites. All upgrades are granted on a space-available basis, as determined at the time of check-in. Upgrades are subject to availability and identified by each hotel. Not available at Marriott Vacation Club."
In summary, with terms this broad, it comes down to your charm and their interest - don't try any DYKWIA silliness (not that Insiders do) you'll not only reduce your chances, but you'll be on the wrong side of the discussion as well. I anticipate further refinement of elite benefits to remove 'gray' area latitude, with a no nonsense, no explanation strategy from Marriott - they have all the current leverage and they have learned that when they try to put a spin on their revisions, they just dig themselves into a deeper customer relations hole. Welcome to the world of "Travel Brilliantly".
captbigguy had an insightful response, adding another tip for getting upgrades - honey vs. vinegar
A few weeks ago, I was checking in the CY I have stayed in weekly since April and for some strange reason I decided to try for an upgrade. With a big smile and in a bit of a jokingly way, I said, "Hey... Does my Gold status get me a room upgrade?" and ended with a little chuckle. Next thing I know, she's changing the room number on my key card holder and I wind up in a very nice two room suite (According to the bartender, the second best room in the hotel, and she knows...) TOO much room for me, so I don't even ask since they have put me in the same room type/area every week 90% of the time. Any front desk person with just a few weeks under his belt will soon learn how to handle the DYKWIA types and "upgrade" them to a broom closet just over the dumpster... Just know that if you ask with a smile and don't take an attitude, you are more likely to get an upgrade during check-in. BUT... Don't expect the presidential suite just because you asked.
Best of luck ajohnson - your research will prove useful in Insiders fine tuning our check in style. Thanks
I've noticed that since I became Platinum Premier the upgrades have come even without overtly asking - this includes upgrades to suites on a frequent basis. When I stay at a property on a regular basis I make it a point to meet the GM and also the Associate that supervises the front desk. The latter is especially key for future upgrades. It doesn't hurt to reward this person to help things along if you get my drift. Even in the MVC properties I've been upgraded to Ocean View from Garden View with no increase in MVC points! DYKWIA can work if your subtle about it. In my experience though there's nothing better for an upgrade than a little grease for the Front Desk Super!
Sounds like I'm too late for this time, but next time you do the Marriott-per-day tour call up the Marriott Rewards line beforehand and tell them you want to take the Platinum Challenge or whatever they're calling it nowadays. If you do 9 stays in different hotels within 2 months, they will bump you to Platinum even if you haven't reached 75 total nights for the year.
I always ask for an upgrade. In fact I just stayed last weekend at Peoria Pere Marriott and I booked 2 standard rooms and ask for an upgrade during check-in. She gave me a King Suite & adjoining rooms for my other guest (sister) so we both got to enjoy the living room that the suite had. Awesome benefit!!!!