I am a platinum premier that stays way too many nights away from home. But the upside is I get to treat my family to trips to cool places on my Marriott reward points. I am not one of those that hoards the points, I like to use them. However my big pet peeve, and I am seeing it more and more as Marriott adds autograph properties etc is "Basic room 40k, king size room 40K+ $50, ocean view 40k + $125". I am really struggling with this, I just wish that they would just take more points. @marriottintl I am not sure who can answer this but I would love to know
Travelers, what do you think?
Agree totally. Here in the UK, we don't usually even get the option of points + pounds. I have a reservation for later in the year, and could only book a basic room with points; no option for more. So I contacted the hotel for an upgrade price etc etc. I just wish, like you, that I could use my points for a better room if I want to.
I completely agree as well. It was one of a number of factors that for all intents and purposes ended my Marriott stays starting two years ago. A free night should be a free night! And my one horrible experience at the Paris Rive Gauche where I didn't pay the extra fee (it was optional), I was intentionally given a very bad room -- you can search back to that comment long ago. The reception agent even said so, "since I hadn't paid the fee." While I had always had large rooms with great views and usually stayed there when in Paris, that night (fortunately it was one night only) I was given a cubbyhole with a tiny view looking out on southern industrial suburbs. I did get an email apology (via tripadvisor) from the GM for France, but nothing from the hotel.
I can be quite stubborn, and when a company does things that seem patently unfair (paying for free rooms), my loyalty goes away. It happened with Marriott, and it's starting to go in the same direction with Delta.
I now stay where I want, get great rooms, great breakfasts, wifi and other perks and don't feel bound to stay in a certain location just because it's where the only Marriott is. Plus many of the sites like hotels.com and expedia now have their own rewards and upgrade programs. I got one of my five nights in Santorini free in June (worth $271) thanks to the average spending for every ten nights.
Marriott used to allow one to upgrade by using more points or paying an upgrade fee. That seems to have disappeared. It was a good feature that I used. I used points for my last stay at the Maui Sheraton and was allowed to pay for an upgrade to an ocean front room. To me, it was worth it because the room they would have given me was really bad. A friend wanted to use points for Marco Island and was not allowed to use points or pay for a better room. He didn't stay there since if he can't get ocean front, he will not stay there.
More than a pet peeve for me - it is an MR deal-breaker. When PPs like us spend 200+ nights in Marriott properties every year and then are asked to pay for an upgrade or worse, cannot guarantee an upgrade on points, then it is time to walk. I walked after 20+ years in the MR program. I now have top-tiered status in both HH and SPG as I continue to spend 200+ nights a year in hotels (just not Marriott).
See my last post at Re: Unusual email from Marriott Corporation for why this is so important to us uber-loyalists yet MR seems to do nothing about it.
Marriott Rewards still claims that upgrades can be on a points-added basis. From their website (underscores mine):
"Please note: You can use upgrade rewards when you are redeeming points for a hotel stay; you will need an upgrade reward for each night in an upgraded room, in addition to your regular hotel reward. Where available, you may use points to upgrade a cash room by using Instant Redemption at the time of check-in. Look for specific upgrade details under rate rules when booking your redemption reservation online.
Upgrade rewards are available for 5,000 points each. Most rooms require only one upgrade reward per night. However, some hotels require two or more upgrade rewards per night, depending on the view or room type. Availability varies by hotel. Some upgrades require payment in local currency and cannot be purchased with Marriott Rewards points. So be sure to check the room description when you book online."
Of course, with the disclaimers at the end of each paragraph above, they're covered if you hear, "No points-only upgrade for you!"
Well, I agree with you. I have tried in the UK to upgrade with points, to no avail whatsoever. The hotels I use clearly come under the "Availability varies by hotel". The only way I can be sure to get what I want is to book with points, then phone the hotel and arrange to upgrade at a cost per night. I don't mind doing that. I just wish the website wouldn't make out it is easy to upgrade with points when it isn't!