TO NARROW THE DISCUSSION OF AWARDS TO THE NEXT LEVEL I BELIEVE IT IS IMPORTANT TO IDENTIFY A FREQUENT TRAVELER'S NEEDS.
I BELIEVE IT WILL BE HELPFUL IN UNDERSTANDING EACH OTHER'S NEEDS. WE ALL WOULD LIKE FEED BACK ON WHAT CATEGORIES OUR FELLOW "ROAD WARRIORS" HAVE AVAILABLE DURING THEIR UNIQUE BUSINESS/LEISURE TRAVEL.
I WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO START:
PERSONALLY, MY TRAVELS TAKE ME TO MAJOR CITIES ( New York, Chicago, San Francisco) WHERE THE AVAILABILITY OF MARRIOTT ACCOMMODATIONS (That I am comfortable in and can afford) FALL INTO CATEGORIES 6 - 8. CONSEQUENTLY ANY CERTIFICATE FOR A CATEGORY BELOW THOSE IS IRRELEVANT TO ME.
WHAT CATEGORIES ARE AVAILABLE AND YOU STAY THE MOST OFTEN?
Same as you misterchk. When I was traveling for the government it was large cities except for ACY area, but being on the Jersey Shore the places were still at the higher end of category.
Travel now is pretty much larger cities and 6-8 for sure waiting on 10!
Same boat here pretty much usually 5-8 but on extended stays I do prefer the Residence Inn because I like to cook and if I am with colleagues I prefer my own bedroom. That said I do like the Category 9s when I feel like spending or If I am escaping for the weekend with my Wife.
I looked back over my stays for the last few years. Using 2014 categories, I mostly stayed at category 2 thru 5 (about 85% of my stays). My travels tend to be far from the big cities, so that's not surprising. About 5% of my stays were cateory 6, another 5% at category 7-9 combined, and amazingly also about 5% at category 1 properties. I should note that a couple of th locations that are now category 6+ were lower when I stayed there.
I guess I'm one of those people who find certificates easy to use (though I prefer 1-5 over 1-4). Traveling far and wide especially in the Midwest, I find myself frequenting FFI, SHS, and CY. In this part of the country, these properties are never above category 4. I even stayed at a fair number of Renaissance or FS Marriotts that are in the 5-6 range.
Location, location, location.
My stays are usually single night, arriving late and leaving early. I need a bed, shower and a quick breakfast option. Location is my driving factor: whatever is closest to where I need to be in the morning is where I stay. As a result, I'm all over the Cat map. In the past year, I've stayed in the Aberdeen SD TPS (Cat 2), the Paris CE FS 9 (Cat 9) and everything in between. I'm evenly split between lower brands (FI/SHS) and higher but not highest brands. (FS/Ren/Aut)
Wow, I don't run across many people who have been to Aberdeen, SD. It is a wonderful town! Used to fly there from Souix Falls, and have traveled throughout SD, and loved it! Saw my first, "Jack Rabbit" there as we were landing and didn't really know what it was, it was strange!
My experiences with hotels is the same as yours. Have been all "Over the board" this year. Everything from 2's to 9's!
Please keep the stories coming!
Let me add that the Aberdeen TPS is also a wonderful property. I didn't see any Jackrabbits there, though, other than those in college athletic wear. (Go SD State!)
With that said, I stand corrected. I assumed this was my lowest stay for the year, but just checked. Apparently the FI by the airport in Montgomery, AL, is lower, so I've been in Cat 1-9 this year. It, like the Aberdeen hotel, was a very nice hotel.
All the Category tells us is how popular the hotel is for redeeming Marriott Points. Both of these hotels are very nice, but neither are vacation destinations. Each is nicer than the Orlando International Drive SHS, but neither is located near Universal Florida. I've gotten <$100 rates at that SHS in the off season. (BTW, both FIs near Universal are much better properties than this SHS.)
I like the Springhill Suites. It's a CAT 4 but so what? The rooms are nice and roomy. Breakfast is one of the best to me. My company pays for pretty much any hotel but I always try to stay at Springhill Suites. I used to stay at the Residence Inn but SS gives me more points than RI.
On business travel I watch price; depending if I am in a large metro area or more suburban dictates the level. I would say it ranges from 3 to 7. I will say that based upon Courtyard's change towards coffee, food, price, etc I am staying at Marriott now and avoid Courtyard unless I have no other choice. Personally, I like the certificates, though I prefer the Level 5 certificate, I have been able to utilize them on my personal travels. I prefer the certificated over the bonus points now being offered.
Nice conversation, even if someone (IAH) brought up the infamous cat 10…… Oh right, that never happened did it?? Anyway, I will throw a curve into the conversation and allow the following: I always stay at a FS Marriott or above when traveling on Business. And while I have stayed in a Courtyard from time to time when traveling for leisure, I do to recall any time, whether business or leisure travel, that I checked to see the Category of the property. Since we know that the category reflects the popularity of property in free stay usage, what value does that category have when deciding on where to stay? Especially, when traveling on Business. I prefer tripAdvisor ratings to judge whether the property is worthy or not. I know, the conversation centers on category for the purpose of awards for specific categories, but either way, I just don't ever even look...
I totally forgot about our Cat 10, LOL thanks for the reminder Shoe guess I'll have to start some nonsense about that item again.
Good to know about the SpringHill in NYC, thanks marriottmemberfromla for the tip.
For work, I find myself in a lot of suburban hotels and hotels near airports. I am not sure what the category is, but I imagine they are category 3 to 6--mostly full service hotels (Marriott or Renaissance).
For personal, I tend to stay at Marriotts or Renaissance hotels just outside of the city. I may stay at a Courtyard if I can't get a good room rate at a Marriott or Renaissance (I will stay at a SpringHill Suite; a Fairfield Inn is a last resort, but I have stayed at a few good ones like the one in Baltimore Inner Harbor). I tend to avoid the downtown hotels (outside of Chicago and New York) because they are so expensive and parking is pricey and I often have a car to explore the areas outside of the city.