The devil here is in the detail.
The senior rate offers savings of 15%, but against what rate, the blurb doesn't say. If it's against rack rate then it's not worth much. In reality, the few times I've seen it it's been about the same price as advance purchase but without the cancellation restrictions. I think it's based on a 15% reduction against the regular rate offered on the day of booking. Some hotels offer a 20/25% discount on advance purchase so that can be cheaper than senior, but when the advance purchases sell out I'd imagine senior would be the cheapest.
As for the disappearing room, that's simple, senior rate rooms are numbers limited, so once the hotel has sold that number of rooms, or achieved a certain occupancy level on a night it no longer offers the rate. This is common across all chains and most reduced-rate offers as hotels try to maximise revenue from their last few rooms...
I have tried more than once to book Senior Rate in the UK. I gave up a while ago. I could often get a better rate without the senior discount. Also, they only offer standard rooms. We rarely book a standard room now we are retired, so, although you would think it should be a market for us specifically, it is certainly no incentive to us.
We have discussed this for years now on Insiders, yet Marriott persists in maintaining misleading "implied discounts".
As Marriott often does with their Marriott Rewards Exclusive Offers, the 'discount' is often off an unknown, moving, or inflated base rate. Whereas brightlybob correctly highlights the legal aspect of a 15% discount off a 40% (my #) marked up rack rate as being technically still a discount (also Exclusive Offers are just that - Offers, not necessarily deals making it a legally true statement), elites or any traveler with a smidgen of due diligence recognize that antic as a disingenuous at best, deceitful at worse, marketing tactic - yet Marriott persists in often proudly labeling them as Great Rates (see painedplatinum's most recent example Where's the Deal?), Deals, Offers, etc.
Now, the above is irritating enough - but as brightlybob my younger, brighter, better looking British doppleganger when it comes to holding Marriott's feet to the fire, writes above: the rooms are limited - fair enough. The rooms are understandably limited, I agree that Marriott shouldn't have to offer a discounted rate (real or not) ad infinitum and they don't, demonstrating they have the technical capability to manage inventory. But as has been written here several times before, Marriott acts as if it does not have the software ability to limit implied discount rates like AAA or Senior when they exceed the Standard Rate on an apples to apples same room basis. No one belongs to any membership that receives loyalty points for booking AAA or Senior Rates, (so no one would deliberately book a higher rate just to earn points as some might in airfares); AAA and Senior Rates are not offered at every property every night, therefore, THERE IS NO REASON FOR MARRIOTT TO HAVE AAA OR SENIOR RATES HIGHER THAN THE STANDARD RATE UNLESS IT IS TO INTENTIONALLY LEAD CONSUMERS INTO UNINTENTIONALLY PAYING AN UNNECESSARILY HIGHER RATE.
Marriott touts their Look No Further, Best Rate Guarantee (of course, with enough rules to match a prescription drug's side effects) yet loyal customers can very easily, accidentally book an exact same room many dollars higher on the Marriott.com pricing grid. Any Marriott apologist among you that may think I'm making this up - check the Brussels Marriott May 16 2015 - Standard Rate (not advance paid) 159 Euros - Special Rate (AAA) 227 Euros. This is not an one off or outlier, these unnecessary insults are all throughout the Marriott.com pricing grid.
scarberiaboy That, is what gives
Okay boys, breathe!!
Here's my angle......Marriott wants to be the 22nd century hotel chain. They are consciously stating that they are all in for millenniums. The bad news is this millennium crowd is more techno savvy than the older crowd being swept out the door. At some point, these tech savvy buyers will run into these type of glitches (if we want to believe they are glitches and not mean spirited bait and switch schemes). For a company that can't seem to do the basic tech type things, ie. post points automatically vs manually, this haphazard attention to detail with pricing will catch up to them. This young group loves social media, nothing spreads faster on social media than examples of the 1% (that's Marriott in the hotel world) sticking it to the 99% and laughing all the way to the bank. Blunders that almost always produce extra income from unknowing clients soon seem to be more than blunders. When the issues happen on many fronts, the throwing your hands in the air claiming the IT snafus excuse rings hollow. So, if we hear:
"The reason the AAA or Senior rate is higher than the regular rate is because someone forgot to make a physical entry into their pricing grid....OR... there was a software screwup...OR the AAA rate is a discount off of a rate that is never charged but we use as a benchmark to pretend we have discount rates...OR phooey!...enough already. Marriott, with the profit dollars wafting through their nostrils may want to wake up and think of what a bad reputation may cause..
The illegal jamming of internet hotspots for the so called "benefit of the client" that just happened to add massive excessive charges creating greedy profit and the public lambasting that followed should be the wake up call. We shall see.
Feelin' the lurve, erc feelin' the lurve
OK, thats enough now, mind you, quite liked the younger, and brighter bits too
I think the only thing I might add to this is that its worth remembering that the rates matrix is priced up by each individual franchised hotel. I would think each hotel is obliged to offer some senior pricing, some advance purchase pricing, AAA and staff rates plus some Marriott-wide offer participation, and can choose from the myriad of other offers, packages and pricing codes available, right down to LPR, which means Local Promotion, a code where the hotel can just make up its own promo bunging the rate under that code. Marriott's problem is that the rates themselves are set by each hotel, making it difficult for corporate to police the supposedly routinely reduced AAA and seniors rates. Nonetheless this issue of not-really-that-cheap-cheap-rates reflects badly on the company. At least ensuring AAA/seniors always beat the best available and advance purchase rates has to be a simple IT task, surely at least that could be done...