Having logged enough nights in the past few years to earn lifetime Plat status (by the old rules even ) I've come to expect a certain room as the "standard" for various brands. For example, at a Tampa FL Courtyard, I'm told that the "deluxe room" is actually an upgrade at this property vs a standard room. The problem is this "deluxe room" is *exactly* the same as any other courtyard room I've ever had across the US. To me an "upgrade" would be one with a whirlpool or suite or the "larger" corner room. I say "larger" in quotes because what I've found is that sometimes it's only larger by like 3' wider at some properties, which technically is more square footage but yeah....not really a bigger room. Some corner rooms are actually larger so that is somewhat of a hit/miss thing but to me would actually rate as an "upgrade". At full service properties the concierge or executive floor rooms have become a standard for me, as I'm sure for most platinum or plat prem members. Again some properties when asked if there is an upgrade available say "you are already upgraded".
I'm curious if I'm just getting too picky or if others find this frustrating. I admit as a general population person with no status these room differences probably do rate as upgrades but should there be this double standard? Should there be a "elite standard" that is not considered an upgrade, thus qualifying top tier folks for actual worthwhile upgrades or are these rooms we get week after week really upgrades that we should be thankful for receiving? I get properties should monetize room differences and if they are truly sold out of a room type then we are only really guaranteed the room we booked but really how often are they really sold out vs just not giving out upgrades for whatever reasons.
For those of you who have broadened your horizons into other brands, I'm curious how those brands treat upgrades vs standard room vs elite standard rooms.
In my opinion (not that it's worth more than 1/2 a cent) you are not being too picky at all. From reading these threads it is clear quite a few FS properties hoard their rooms that are considered "upgrade" rooms and that really is again in my opinion a completely wrong attitude to the most loyal guests. Yet again, we've all seen how much loyalty means to corporations these days.
When I get to a Marriott I expect some type of upgraded room, if I've stayed there previously and have a special room number I want I will always call the hotel a week or more out and request that room number, that seems to work at some places that I won't reveal! I am starting to get annoyed with some "upgrades" as the room isn't on the concierge level and you have to pay the silly $3.99 for an 8 oz bottle of water which is free on the concierge level at just about every hotel I've stayed on those floors. It's not too bad when the CL is open as I can got grab a few bottles from the refrigerator, but it it's closed you're out of luck. I would like to see Marriott institute a policy change much like the free internet to Gold/Platinum members and NEVER have to pay for bottled water regardless.......okay my rant is over for that topic for a minute or two.
Like yourself I'm going to find it interesting to read what others have to say particularly those among us with broadened horizons!!!
Perhaps the folks that have expanded their horizons have already left the nest. Maybe its just the two of us IAHFLYR
I think Marriott still has a compelling story for its members and you are right, looks the best as you walk into the program. The story changes as you reach the top tiers though. Some other chains do a better job of rewarding loyalty than Marriott does and provide various options that are not necessarily the same or even possible with Marriott Rewards. One thing in mind, how they treat their folks using points and getting perks. Another, specific upgrade guarantees allocated/earned during a period. While Marriott properties do a great job of doling out upgrades in some places, others, often places we cash in points to take the family to, do not. If I could earn a "suite upgrade" certificate good at any reservation, based on availability at booking that I could use with cash or points, well that could be an entirely different thing. The issue in my mind is how would that change my chances of being given the same upgrade based on my status. Its not a perfect world by any means and I dont think we'll ever figure out the final solution but it sure would be nice if we could put more wins on the board. And more specifically, I'd love to see some manner of policy shift domestically in the US. I do a majority of my travel here so maybe its skewed slightly but I've never been turned down from an upgrade of some level traveling abroad. In fact some of the best rooms I've been upgraded into have been outside of the US. There are exceptions of course, Brooklyn Bridge Marriott, Renaissance Arboretum Austin and the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale all have managed to exceed expectations with phenomenal upgrades on each and every stay. When compared to the one upgrade at the Tampa Westshore Courtyard to a suite out of 7wks and counting at their property, the percentages just don't align.
This complaint about upgrades (which I have made on numerous occasions) might be the most popular topic discussed within these pages.
The solution to our complaints is quite simple: Marriott must train front desk staff to recognize and reward (if possible) elite members.
It is unconscionable that a Life Platinum (or any platinum for that sake) is not afforded every courtesy the hotel has to offer.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING - the only solution!!!!!
misterchk I do not disagree with you. Having been a member here since the beginning I agree this topic is not a new one. The problem, as I see it, is that we are provided "upgrades" at properties that satisfies their requirement to offer us an upgrade but those rooms becomes a de facto standard to someone that logs 100+ nights a year rather than what we might really consider an upgrade (corner room, suite, etc).
For me personally I expect as a platinum premier that I will be blocked into a concierge level room at full service properties. I expect to get a "deluxe" room at courtyards for example. So the question is really, are these really upgrades or do top tier folks really deserve to have these types of "de facto standards" applied and then upgraded above that?
In my opinion we grow accustomed to these rooms and expect them at check-in. There is nothing more frustrating to check into a property to be told you have already been provided an upgrade into a room that satisfies your bare minimum expectation. In these instances, its education and training but I also believe will require a policy shift if we are really to see any substantive changes.
Spot on zukracer with the phrase "blocked int a concierge level room"! That is so well put and should be what happens.
Lord knows I am not a huge UA fan however; as a IK I am able to book a lower class of fare and get the instant upgrade to First Class as soon as I book the ticket, so in other words I am blocked into First Class if I decide to book an "M" fare. That is a huge perk as most of the time that fare is less than the "B or Y" fare even thought it's non-refundable. Regardless, I feel rewarded for my loyalty at that point with my upgrade.
Hope that makes sense, if not sorry as it does to my tiny mind!
At times I used to get room on a floor close to the concierge level but looks like the experience is different all the time. My recent experience ranks amongst the top 3 worse experiences I have had at Marriott chain and I would say that it all boils down to training and education. I did mention to several managers that having a rug marked "Elite" does not really convey that you "appreciate the business". The whole experience needs to be improved right from the check-in time to the check-out time... during my recent stay I was standing at the front desk with two ladies working and they pretended that I was non-existent so I had to draw their attention by saying "excuse me" and even then their treatment was that they were doing me a favor. I wonder how some folks can work in a customer focused role without paying any attention to customer needs...
Having said that, there are still marriott employees that are gems and will do their best to make sure you get top priority and experience. I mentioned in my reviews about Nathan at PHL Marriott concierge level... excellent person and always used to keep the food, water, etc. stocked up.
Maybe the execs at marriott need to call up the "Undercover Boss" and have a visit done at marriott to get firsthand experience.
Nathan is the absolute best......not only does he keep the lounge well stocked with everything anyone could ask for he is a wonderful personable fun guy to just sit and talk with. Over the last 10 years or so I had the pleasure of staying at the PHL Airport Marriott and each time he did not fail to be anything but a class act who loves his work and meeting people. I've written reviews of the property as well and mentioned Nathan, also put him up for a Spirit to Serve Award, he truly deserves it all.
All of the above comments are definitely correct, there is no standard practice with upgrades. I have found sometimes that when I view my reservation online a few days prior to a stay I see that I have already been upgraded to a Concierge level floor, while others, nothing.
I really find that a polite call a few days in advance to request my Platinum upgrade is the best trick to "guarantee" an upgrade. I have been quite pleased the last 3 stays at full service Marriotts that I have been upgraded to a 2 room suite, and at the Winston-Salem, NC property to the "Owner's Suite". I was amazed with a walk in partial kitchen, an entertainment area with a a big screen and 3 smaller screens above for viewing sports, 3 theater seats, a dining room, 2 bathrooms (1 with a 2 person Jacuzzi tub), and some really cool signed sports memorabilia. These 3 of course aren't common, but I'm amazed how just a simple phone call, and a polite conversation requesting the upgraded goes a lot farther.
But like what has been eluded to in the other comments, there should be a standard in upgrading, and training associates to "automatically" do this for Platinum and above, and if space available, to golds.