Upgrades are supposed to be granted at check-in upon availability. However, implementation of this policy isn't consistent and is largely up to the property to do. Remember, nearly all of Marriott's properties are independently owned, so the final decision to honor Marriott's police is at the discretion of the property owner. As a result, you'll see very mixed results.
For example, at the Waikiki Beach Marriott, I've always received upgrades, even when I wasn't an elite (though I'm guessing being a kama'aina [Hawaii resident] helped). These ranged from a partial ocean, to city view jr suite, to a large ocean front corner room.
At the Ren. LHR, I wasn't upgraded or given a room with a "view." However, at the Ren LAX, they upgraded me to a fantastic jr suite with a view of LAX's runway. Likewise, the Berlin Marriott upgraded me to the largest size standard room.
You could also request a room upgrade in advanced by e-mailing or calling the property manager, especially if it's a special occasion. I did this for my honeymoon as a Plat Elite and received a larger room at the Ren La Defense Paris and the Marriott Grand Hotel Flora in Rome I received a wonderful jr suite. Both also threw in a bottle of bubbly. It's worth noting, both of those stays were for 5 nights too! Just remember to be gracious and/or flattering (but don't over do it) and don't abuse it.
When you call the Elite line to make a reservation, they'll usually ask you if you'd like to have a request for upgrade attached to your reservation as well.
staff will do their best to upgrade Elite members whenever possible, although sometimes, because of the number of guests in the hotel, there are simply no rooms available to use as upgrades. Your special Elite status should always be recognized when you check-in, and free stuff allocated to you as and when it is available :-).
I realize that our status SHOULD be recognized at check in and upgrades SHOULD be provided if available.
My reality is that it's rare either of these happen.
Last Friday night I checked into a CY I've stayed at many times. Evidently new ownership/ management since early this year (?). Absolutely NO mention of being Gold Elite. Instead of an upgrade, they wouldn't give me a king couryard view on 2nd floor (only 2 floors). My sense is there was NO consideration of an upgrade. In fact, I had to take a downgrade to get a courtyard view. The check in was handled by the front desk mgr.... very sterile and unwelcoming.
There is a very major disconnect from what Marriott is trying to do and the implementation (or lack there of).
Rule #1 in customer satisfaction, promise and OVER deliver. Seems like there is some confusion as what I've experienced is promise and inconsistently deliver or Under deliver. Not good for building/ maintaining loyalty.
I always ask for an upgrade! If there is one available I have been given one - which is often. It may not be to a suite but a better view. This week I got a corner room at Marriott Brooklyn Bridge with AWESOME views of lower Manhattan with a view of the Statue of Liberty - Just by asking.
My experiences have been as you described, and continue to be even though I stay much less. As LTP for over 2 years now I don't need to worry about how much I stay anymore, and I'm still greeted by the vast majority of check in attendents with a "thank you for being a valued platinum" rewards member.
I almost always receive an upgrade if I politely request it; on a recent Hawaii trip, I was upgraded at the Waikiki Beach Marriott and the Wailea Marriott; we used the lowest possible amount of points to book rooms at both properties, and were upgraded to gorgeous Ocean Views in both properties. My husband, who is also Gold, never asks...he just wants room keys as quickly as possible. I don't think he has ever been upgraded. I assume that when requested, they honor it if they can. Without a request, it rarely, if ever, seems to happen.
Have never asked for or requested an upgrade but I'd say about 80% of the time an upgrade is given and am always delighted by the variety....spectacular views, wonderful suites etc. Have always been acknowledged by the front line workers, 'Thank you for being a loyal Marriott platinum member, bonus gift either points or at times a wonderful offering of wine and apps as well as the great concierge lounges."
Have been upgraded on both payment and point stays. Have no complaints on how they do this and it is always a welcome surprise at the variety that is available for upgrade purposes.
My experience mirrors yours, Guidedog613. I always find it amazing that so many just don't get upgrades, when in my experience I get them most of the time. Just returned from a great night at the Southampton Meon Valley hotel, where I was, again, upgraded to a suite. I've stated there 3 times in last 3 years, and they've upgraded me to a suite each time...
Marriott delivers on all on all the promised aspects of the scheme, so I keep returning...
I'm Lifetime Platinum. Right now I'm spending 150-200 nights per year at Marriott properties. I cannot recall the last that that I did *not* get an upgrade. Not sure why others are having a problem.
JW Marriott BKK Thailand
Marriott MEA BKK Thailand
Marriott Royal Garden Pattaya Thailand
Marriott Courtyard SLC Utah
I agree with the other posters, in that it is up to not only the property to adhere to the Marriott policies and sometimes they don't, but also the front desk staff themselves. Some are pleasant because they "have to be" and others really are happy to be at work and enjoy upgrading elites for their loyalty. I often ask for an upgrade if the situation warrants it. I won't if I am at a CY, RI, FFI, or in a place late at night just to sleep. If I am on vacation or in a city or place with ocean views then I do ask. When a truly special occasion, anniversary, wife's bday, etc...I will contact the property ahead of time as other posters have suggested and often times it works. I have been upgraded at the Baltimore Harborplace to a harbor view corner suite and it was fantastic. I received an ocean front 19th floor corner room at the San Juan Marriott which was also a great room. It doesn't always work, when I was at the JW Marriott Ko Olina last month I was denied but was given the deluxe ocean view I reserved but it was on the top floor which gave us the best view possible. So ask when you would like it, and request ahead of time when you have a special occasion. You will be pleasantly surprised what a kindly worded request can get you.
I too am a Platinum Elite, but have never once been provided a complimentary upgrade. I have logged 160 nights at a Marriott this year (it is my first year as MR member) and will finish the year with 175-180 nights. I have assumed that lounge access was assumed, and not considered an upgrade. I just cannot imagine why I would be forced to contact the hotels in advance to receive the complimentary upgrade that is stated on the MR benefits page. How does this work? Do the front desk attendants see the number of nights I have logged at a Marriott property? Does it matter that the bulk of my stays were at a full service Marriott or Renaissance? I also have never received a promotion offer on my promotions page. The only reason I was granted a promotion is I contacted Marriot customer service. Why is it that so many benefits of platinum elite status seem to never appear.
Thanks for your help.
Are these mostly US properties in big cities? Those tend to be loaded with Elites, so getting an upgrade is difficult. You're competing against literally dozens of Elites every day.
I travel internationally and I don't recall the last time I did *not* receive an upgrade.
Where you stayed doesn't really matter. The full service hotels give more points per stay, so you get more points to redeem. The desk can see your status. I think that's all.
I agree with John_Thai. It is much easier to get a room upgrade at overseas locations, especially in Asia. My experience has been 50% chance in getting a upgrade at overseas locations; but I travel to different countries.
The "only" upgrade I have received in the US was an upgrade to a suite once in a Fairfield Inn (I have been a Gold or Plat member since 2002.) But most other "upgrade" were to the executive floor (Marriott considers this as an upgrade.)
When I was platinum, I got upgraded most of the time, often to extravagant suites. I usually found out the day before arrival, because when I viewed my reservation, it showed the new room type I was holding. As a gold elite I seldom get upgraded anymore.
I Have noticed, however, that my elite status is recognized more, even at FI, RI, CY
This upgrade debate is i think largely fuelled by suite upgrades, which are few and far between at Marriots because few suites are built into the hotels. Nonetheless, I am almost always upgraded from the cheapest room I book, even on my few visits to North America, though it would be true to say that in 600 nights I've only stayed 8 nights at 3 North American properties, namely:
4 nights at Philadelphia Marriott. Upgraded to Concierge level.
3 nights at Ottawa Marriott. Upgraded to Executive balcony.
1 night at Toronto Airport Marriott. Upgraded to Corner king.
All were paid stays in cheapest room as Gold or Plat. I didn't request an upgrade, indeed saving for one special occasion at Grosvenor House, I never have.
I have been PPE for years but it all depends on when you check-in and what is available. The mobile check-in is supposed to help with this however I have witnessed someone's mobile check-in pulls out of the stash and changed to a much less desirable spot. when you arrive late and there are no more rooms you get what you get.whoever got there first and requested an upgrade likely got it.
A few hotels are loyal to regular guests some are oblivious.