A couple weeks ago, I posed the question In How Many States Have You Stayed at a Marriott Property? which generated a great discussion. As I was looking over my (relatively short) history with Marriott, I began thinking about which brands I visited most and which ones I like best. So here are my latest questions for everyone.
Which Marriott brand do you frequent the most?
Which Marriott brand to you like best?
Because of the nature of my travel, I usually find myself at Fairfield Inns and Courtyards (I've stayed at an equal number of these). They are often the only choices on my county collecting road trips. Lately I am choosing SpringHill Suites when I can, so I hope it replaces CY or FFI as my primary brand.
My favorite brand is Renaissance. (I should mention that of the full service brands, I've only stayed at Renaissance and Marriott, so my experience is limited). I do have two more Renaissance stays coming (both on promo certs from last spring's MegaBonus) one in Charlotte, the other in St. Louis.
I hope the long time MR members will have lots to say on this topic.
I agree with joshm, this is a great topic. The Brand I frequent the most is the full service Marriotts. My guess would be that over 80% of my stays are there. In a typical year, I usually stay at a few Ritz Carlton, perhaps 20-25 nights at Renaissance, and perhaps a few JW Marriott's. If I stay one night in a FF,CY, or RI, that's a lot.
My favorite property is a Ritz Carlton, but I believe my favorite brand is Renaissance.
First off, I like the topics/threads you start. They have relevance (and/or should be interesting) to most members unlike some topics/threads I've seen pop up lately.
Which brand do I frequent most?
Looking at my last several months of stays, I stayed at Marriotts 50% of the time and then Renaissance (13%), JW Marriott (13%), Courtyard (13%), Fairfield Inn (5%), and Autograph...basically The Cosmopolitan (5%)...rounding error of 1%.
Which brand do I like the best?
I haven't stayed at a Ritz-Carlton yet. I'm sure they are nice, but they are typically very pricey and it takes a lot of points to stay a night (I did once see reasonable rates at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix, but that might be a lesser one). I'm sure they are nice though. I spent a lot of time at the Ritz-Carlton Dana Point (on the grounds, in the meeting rooms and in the guest rooms) and it definitely had that luxurious feel that the JW Marriotts lack.
That being said, I really like the JW Marriotts because they have several new US properties--LA, Indianapolis, Denver, and Austin next year. There are not many around though. Renaissance and Marriott typically have similar rates and I almost always take the Renaissance over the Marriott. The Renaissance properties tend to have more modern decor/lobbies and nicer rooms--like the Renaissance properties in Boulder Flatiron, Boston Foxborough and Las Vegas.
I know a lot of members are against Courtyard, but I prefer Courtyard to Fairfield Inn. While I enjoyed the Fairfield Inn Baltimore Inner Harbor, most I've been to have been kind of dumpy and the A/C did not work that well (even worse than Courtyard). I really try to avoid Fairfield Inn. SpringHill Suites...I've been to nice ones like the properties in Napa and Waco...but Courtyards tend to be around the same price and I typically find Courtyard rooms slightly nicer and with more comfortable beds.
I do not stay at the Residence Inn or long term stay properties because I don't really have a need for them.
My choice is situational.
Business travel (in order of choice) - JW, Renaissance, Marriott, Residence, Spring Hill.
Pleasure: Marriott Resort (JW or standard), Residence, Spring Hill.
The above is adjusted if I have excess points for pleasure travel and will occasionally enjoy Ritz Carltons.
Right on, foxglove.
Sometimes FF is the only choice. I have been researching a possible trip to ND and found 8 properties (5 FF, 2 RI, and 1 SHS). If I end up in Minot, I'll have to stay at FF if I want to earn points.
Last summer, I stayed at a FF in Sault Ste. Marie, ON because there were no Marriott brands on the U.S. side (basically crossed the border just so I could earn points that night).
I still use CY quite a bit, but am shifting more to SHS where possible. I tend to avoid the long-stay places (RI and TPS) because of the points structure (5 instead of 10) unless I'm booking a free stay. That said, the ones I have visited are nice.
What I'd really like is to spend more time at the full service properties. I'm doing so a little more, but clearly not enough.
Thank for your opening comment, marriottmemberfromla. Just thoughts that pop into my head.
Great comments on your favorite brands. I understand your feelings toward FF. I use them out of necessity. I'm going to have to try a JW Marriott some day. Everything I've heard about them has been great.
A little different response from me based on my travels and experiences. I mean:
I stay where I get the best value for my stay. When I am booking a reservation I look at the price points, amenities and past experience for all available properties. Sometimes (hard to believe) the full service property rates are better than the RI, FFI or SHS rates. So, I'll obviously opt in that instance for the full service. Example: Marriott Marquis in SF had a rate of $110 better than any other property including Courtyards and Residence Inn. Can't get a better bang for your buck than that!
Exceptions to that ideal are when I have had a bad experience at a property they can have the best rate of all and I'll not stay there. You don't get a second shot with me. In addition, if I find an exceptional property that I have stayed at I'll pay more to stay there because of the value quality I get in the stay. Example of that is the JW in Indianapolis. I'll stay there every time I'm in Indy because that is one classy operation. Probably the best run Marriott I've ever stayed at.
All told, my stays are pretty much split among Marriott full service, Renaissance, RI, FFI. SHS is not generally a choice unless circumstances make it a necessity. I don't stay at any CY anymore. I haven't seen the 'exceptional' service mantra one would expect at Ritz properties, so they don't get my bucks.
Lately, I have been frequenting FS Marriott more than other brands. I also will pay a little more for most Renaissance properties when the option is available. SHS is my choice when I am in similar situations that others have referenced in areas with limited choice. I will also occasionally choose a FFI, when it comes highly regarded. Once example of this is the FFI in Elkin, NC which comes highly regarded by MRI members bpelican and tef6178 where I have a stay booked in April.
Which Marriott Brand do you frequent the most?
For me it mostly depends on the location and "value" as tef6178 pointed out. Some areas I travel to don't offer full service hotels and I would then most likely choose a Courtyard or Residence Inn. I do stay away from the lower quality brands like Fairfield and Springhill Suites. Overall its probably a tie between the Courtyard and Marriott Brand for me.
Which Marriott Brand do you like the best?
My first choice would be Marriott Vacation Club. It's the closest thing to having a home like space when your away. My second choice would be JW Marriott Brand. The lounges and amenities are usually a bit nicer at JW Marriott in comparison to Marriott and Renaissance.
In general, I agree with you vaboywnder.
Where I differ is my opinion of SpringHill Suites. I wouldn't categorize it as a lower quality brand. The ones where I have stayed are often much nicer than Courtyards, and include a decent "free" breakfast (which I sometime skip for an early morning on the road).
I think SHS now occupies the business traveler niche that CY used to handle well. These days, I personally feel CY offers just a bit more than the nicer FFIs. That said, I still stay at CY frequently, but when staying at non-full service brand, I will choose a SHS if I can.