I've been a very loyal Marriott customer for well over a decade and was hoping to actually use my Platinum status for a reservation NEXT YEAR. Apparently the hotel we're trying to book (Augusta Marriott) is completely sold out and there is a city wide blackout due to the Ironman 70.3 race that weekend (which is why I am there as well). The race is end of September 2015, so it's not like this is a last minute travel arrangement either. The main benefits guide lists nothing about any blackout dates or anything, so after doing some further digging I did see an exclusion for "certain special events" in the rules (although this is not immediately apparent when looking at the general benefits description). It does not appear that any rooms are even set aside for Platinum members during this time. The events coordinator was very nice and helpful, but apparently I am on the waiting list without any kind of guarantee at all that I will have a room during that weekend and it could be weeks before I would even hear back (depending on cancellations). I have to admit that this is extremely disappointing - the one time that I actually need the Marriott Rewards to be worth something I feel very much let down.
As a PP, I had desired to book rooms under the 48-hour guarantee and never had a problem honoring the 48-hours with one caveat - - - every time I tried at a sold-out hotel, I was quoted the "rack rate" which is almost always double the "normal" rate. In the end, I never leveraged the guarantee as the rates were ridiculous.
You can rest assured the 48 hour guarantee is only as good as what is available. You are correct in saying there is the elusive clause of possible exceptions. I noticed you were going to Augusta, try and book during Masters Week...rates are at least triple or more, accept no certificates. The "guarantees" of Marriott are lame at best and always subject to availablity. I am a 15 yr Platium Member and it means very little at the end of the day. I have begun moving most of my stays to Hilton and the Hilton Honors program...
Well you can add to that list both the Oakville and Mississauga FFIs, who have no availability, Plat or otherwise, from 9th to 28 July 2015. I did do a shout to The specified item was not found. and NathalieF but alas without any response. Luckily the Holiday Inn is accepting bookings so I'm staying with IHG instead.
Interesting. I've honestly only run into this once and it was truly like 50hrs ahead of when I wanted the room. I knew it was a toss up for that and I lost the property I wanted but they got me pretty dang close. I was even able to get a room in Augusta during the golf event with 4 days notice....it cost a small fortune but I got it.
Did you call and speak with the hotel management directly? I did that the day the Nike 1/2 was announced in DC for the JW Marriott and was able to get them to set up a stay on points even where the site listed it as sold out. Sometimes they can do wonders if you just engage then directly and bypass the 800#s
Totally understand your disappointment. If there's a "citywide black-out" for this event, then the property probably applied to HQ for an exemption (my guess is the Masters is the other time there's an exemption). Other hotel chains are probably doing the same thing, so for example Hilton's Diamond override probably wouldn't work either.
Since you're there for the Ironman odds are they've booked a block of rooms at the various hotels & you could book through them, or is it that their blocks had already been booked by the time you tried to do your booking?
This may be a bit out of the box, but have you checked Airbnb? There might be a listing for a private residence where you could stay.