I have 4 free night vouchers from the last few promotions I completed but can not use them anywhere. How are the hotel categories decided?? It cant be decided by what is offered at the property. Why can I stay at a beautiful category 4 hotel in Orlando but I cant stay at a dumpy Fairfield in North Carolina because it is a category 5 or 6 ? Throughout the country Fairfield inn and courtyards are mostly lower end unless they received a remodel over the last few years. (The booking website should list the last remodel date) . The free night vouchers should not be decided by category but by brands. I like how Choice Hotels rewards you with free nights using points so if you do not want to use the free night you can cash in the points or you can let the points add up to stay at a high end property.
Why are some new Marriott hotels lower categories when older ones with less features are higher?? I live in Atlanta and every hotel I try to use a voucher on located within a 4 hour drive is to high of a category. I am limited to mostly lower end properties in this part of the country. Other parts of the country I can use the vouchers at really nice categories.
Does anyone agree that if the vouchers were limited by brands instead of category it would be more fair ??
Does anyone else see how categories at Marriott do not make sense??
A big, new, property with coffee franchise , restaurant & activities in prime location (category 4)
A small old property in the middle of knowwhere with no upgrade yet (category 6) ee nightg
I agree that the category assignments make no sense at times. I think it would be more fair to expand the current category 4 certificates to include all Fairfields, Springhill Suites, Residence Inn and other category 4 hotels. This would make it more attractive and fair to those who live in high category locations.
Categories are based on popularity for redemption. It has nothing to do with the hotel amenities, the hotel brand or the cost per night. The most popular hotels for redemptions are Category 9. The least popular are Category 1. I've stayed at a Category 1 and a couple Category 2 hotels this year. All were excellent properties and, in some ways, better than higher Category hotels I've been in this year. Nonetheless, since nobody wants to vacation at the Montgomery, AL, airport, the redemption category is one.
Categories can't be based on popularity because I can use my free night certificates around the country near some popular beach towns and near a few nationwide popular family attractions BUT cannot in the middle of Alabama and surrounding States where I find category 5 and 6 hotels which happen to be older and in undesirable towns.
In Alabama, Tennessee, and NC there are many Marriotts category 5 or above and what they all have in common is they are older and not popular. They only times they sell out or come close is during a holiday. Year round they are empty.
So I have to ask..............Are some hotels category 6 in season when they are "popular" and dropped to a category 1 "off season" when they are so empty it feel haunted?
I just think that they should let you use points to bump up the value of the vouchers and make it easier to use. For example, I am sitting on 4 Category 4 vouchers I would never be able to use in SD. Presumably these vouchers are wort 20,000 points each. If I have points available, I should be able to add points to the value of the vouchers to be able to redeem it to ANY property. This would make earning those vouchers more attractive and easier to use. I am a Platinum and I have been earning my nights not through work but only through stays and credit card spending.
The Rewards categories are based on redemption cost to Marriott Corp. You see Marriott Rewards, along with the booking facilities, website and advertising are Marriotts only businesses now. Almost all Marriotts hotels are franchised. The hotels buy the points they give us from Marriott Rewards and Marriott Rewards has to pay franchisees every time we redeem.
The base rates MR pays to franchisees on redemption is breathtakingly small, literally a few $ to a FFI, a few more, but not many to a RC, but if a hotel has a high occupancy rate that night MR has to pay a huge supplement, based on average room rates at that hotel for all rooms occupied that night by redeeming guests. Put simply, Marriott has to pay popular franchisees a lot of money for redemptions, unpopular ones very little, and since the supplement paid is based on room rates the inevitable maths are that popular, high cost hotels will be in cat 9, unpopular, cheap hotels will be in cat 1.
When a new hotel joins Marriott has to guess what it's redemption activity is likely to be like and the cost on high-occupation nights, and assign its category based on those guesses. I'm assuming Marriott has guessed that a brand new hotel is likely to see more redemption activity than an old one, and so will cost corporate more cash, hence the higher category, to make the older hotel more attractive (cheap) for redemptions in comparison to the newbie.
Remember the essential dichotomy here, every hotel owner wants you to stay at their hotels as often as possible. But when you spend points Marriott Corp doesn't want you to do that, it wants you to stay at hotels where the cost to corporate on redemption is the lowest possible per point redeemed.