I wondering how a Gold Elite member is to go about requesting an upgrade. I've been Gold Elite for the past couple of years and can say that I've never been automatically upgraded to anything. I don't know why; but it is what it is. The reason why I'm posting this is because due to all of my travel for work I've finally accumulated enough points from airlines, rental car, to Marriot points to give my wife the first vacation we've had since we've been married (5 years). We're staying at the Marriot Timber Lodge at Lake Tahoe. I only had enough points to book the standard room; since it was a cat 5 hotel it costs 40000 points a night. How do I go about seeing if my status will provide any upgrade, or what are you experiences that yielded you an upgrade. Anything to help this vacation be truly awesome would be greatly appreciated!
First, search around on this site. You will find a plethora of threads talking about the lack of upgrades even for PP members.
Re: SHOULD A LIFETIME PLATINUM MEMBER HAVE TO ASK FOR AN UPGRADE is a great read to show you how hard it is for even the Platinum members to get an upgrade.
The best advice I can give you is to call and ask that it is placed in your reservation that you are there for a special trip and that an upgrade would be wonderful. Second, when you arrive just ask. You never know ... you may get one.
I'll be honest though, they seem to be hard to come by. I did exactly what I suggest for my 26th anniversary and got nothing.
I hope you have better luck!!!! Enjoy your trip! Sounds like a wonderful place!
I've been upgraded to a larger room on my last 4 stays at courtyard and FS Marriots. last 3 stays i only lesft a comment on the comments section "Upgrade would be greatly appreciated if available " i chitchatted with the receptionist and commented on how great the hotel looked, noticed their name. When i got to the room, i found a larger room and upper floor than what i had booked for. On my latest stay, since i couldnt find the comments section for some reason, i called the hotel directly the night before and asked kindly if i could get the same room as i did last time i stayed and it was granted. But yeah, i suggest calling the hotel and asking for it and not sounding too demanding
There's another thread about global upgrades that if we all contribute to may start to cast some light on how upgrades work, but I've always been confused both on here and at FlyerTalk how many Marriott Elites just don't seem to get upgraded, when my experience is completely the opposite. Indeed it was only when I went through my memory banks and started going through my experiences, along with my FT/TA postings that I really realised how common upgrades really are, I almost never ask (see below). All upgrades are given at FD on arrival, and I'm currently upgraded on about 80% of my stays. I must add however that almost all my Marriott experiences have been in Europe, and so far I've not stayed in a single Marriott in the USA. You guys have a lot of competition for upgrades with Gold/Plat being available to high level UA, big credit card spenders, and of course simply your far greater travel habits. Here in Europe Gold/Plats are still relatively rare, 50 nights is a big commitment here, few manage it. The overcrowding in exec lounges that is a frequent complaint in the US just doesn't feature here. I personally find Plat a really great level and do feel that most hotels really respect the status.
Returning to the subject of upgrades, I guess firstly you need to define what an upgrade is, I define it as a more expensive room than the one booked so if I'm booking the cheapest room, then any room classified as superior, larger, executive, concierge floor, sea/golf/garden view rooms would all be considered upgrades. Alas, Marriott desk staff have a poor record of pointing out that I'm in an upgraded room, but these days I'm used or recognising them.
If your only definition of an upgrade is a suite, then you're in for constant disappointment, Marriott hotels don't have many suites, so upgrades to them are, unsurprisingly, rarer than the inventory!
I've only requested upgrades twice in about 8 years of MR membership. Once to a suite for my sons 13th, and once to a feature bathroom for my anniversary. To make these I rang the day before and told the hotel about the circumstances and the receptionist agreed to "try her best". Both upgrades were granted as requested, I have never requested an upgrade on arrival.
So if I were you I'd ring up the day before you arrive and ask for an upgrade. Look on the hotel website beforehand to find out what you might like. Corner and view rooms are always way more common than suites and hence are more likely to be granted.
Thanks for all the replies. I'll see about calling them prior to my arrival. Since it's a Vacation Club I'm uncertain about how they operate with status members. When I chatted with them online they said they operate differently than normal Marriott's and that they don't upgrade due to status at their locations.
Does anyone know that to be true?
MVC does operate separately and your Gold status will not mean anything. I would not count on an upgrade but certainly does not hurt to ask and if they are not full or it is a slow time for the hotel, you have a good chance. I am Platinum and have stayed at many MVC and never been upgraded but I am occasionally upgraded at Marriott Resorts. Good luck !
No, Cat. 5s still require 25k and TimberLodge is a Cat. 8 (probably just a typo by OP).
Although, some MVC properties will list at a Category Level that isn't truly offered, often requiring one or two upgrades to secure a villa which is all they offer (which is fair, but a bit misleading - just list what is required for pete's sake).
You can ask, but reports on Insiders & Flyertalk is that MVC doesn't really do squat/honor Marriott elite bennies other than free i-net. So temper your expectations & enjoy the fact that you'll be with your better half in a lovely location if the upgrade doesn't come through. Happy wife, happy life
Regarding requesting upgrades in general (ie, when not at MVC), I normally put it in the comments section of the ressie (which I think is named something else now) and also ask (nicely) at check-in. Never do a DYKWIA.
Since you've already marked the answers, this may be a day late and a dollar short, but just in case. Like ski says above, MVC's are different animals, and the TimberLodge which is an excellent property is famous for sometimes being a challenge. It all comes down to at the point of impact at the front desk.
First, study the website and Trip Advisor (specifically tips) and know what you want (or at least what you would like to avoid). Then as ski says above, just be sincere at check in, engage in conversation. I was fortunate enough to get an associate who shared similar work and sports backgrounds as myself (although of course, decades later). Your story above about first vacation since married might carry some sway, see what you can end up with, going in with the proper attitude that you're not going to have the room location determine your enjoyment, however it ends up.
MVC can be tough, so don't worry, if it doesn't go perfectly, just enjoy - heck at the Marriott Beach Place Towers in Ft. Lauderdale (which has two, IMO, fine sides - the Intracoastal Waterway and the Ocean) I once wrote, "either side is fine by me" and I received an e-mail back saying that they couldn't guarantee views ! Have a great time.
brightlybob - without a doubt your home country is much more generous in upgrades than the ol U.S. of A. As you saw from your Philly experience, a move to Concierge level two floors below the CL, although technically an upgrade, ain't no bouquet of roses (was it really any nicer than the 20th floor?).