So two questions in one....I am traveling to Washington DC in early December to provide a bone marrow donation at Georgetown Medical Center. My trip is covered, but I am wanting to extend my stay one day (hotel at my expense), so I can at least do a little sight seeing while I am there. We are Gold, and we have two E-certs for cat. 1-4 that expire in March. As you can imagine, there are NO Cat. 1-4 hotels in DC. I called the Elite Cust. Service to see if I might be able to combine my two certs into one worthwhile one or upgrade the cert with points. I explained the situation to them, but no go. So I guess I am stuck using some of my points we were saving for Hawaii to get a good hotel in DC. Okay, finally to my questions:
Welcome to Marriott Rewards Insiders (MRI)! If you are willing to stay just outside DC in Virginia there are a few Cat 4 properties that you could access DC from using the Metro (Metro - Home page).
In regard to extending your Certs, there are other threads that talk about the extension of certs so yes it is possible. Those threads can be found here:
Good luck and please continue engaging with the Insiders community. Lots of great travel advice on here.
Thank you so much for the suggestions! I guess I should have also mentioned my husband is staying home with the kids, so my mom will be traveling with me. So if I were to use the Metro could I even use the Cat. 1-4 certs to stay just outside DC? Do the hotels really enforce this business of the account holder having to be present?
First bjones8162, welcome to the Insiders Forum (again if you've previously been welcomed.) Lots of good stuff here. I very recently stayed one night at the Arlington Capital View Renaissance on a cat. 5 cert. Right next door (actually attached) is the Arlington Capital View Residence Inn, which is a cat. 4. bejacob just recently stayed there on a cat. 4 cert. and can speak to the assets of the hotel. The hotel is about .9 miles from the nearest metro, however the hotel has a complimentary shuttle service (I think every 20 minutes) to/from the hotel and the Crystal City metro station, as well as an additional shuttle that takes guests to/from Reagan Airport. If the Marriott associates at the Res Inn are anything like the associates next door at the Renaissance, you will be well taken care of. These people are top shelf with regards to hospitality. I would not hesitate to use any cat. 4 certs for this property (with sightseeing in mind.) Also, Residence Inn Pentagon City is a cat. 4 property, and it is very close to the Pentagon City metro stop (easy, short walk), which is one metro stop closer to all of the sightseeing. I've never stayed there, but I think nuhusker may have, and perhaps he can speak to that property.
Save your points for Hawaii!! I have periodically called MR Cust. Service and requested to have a cert. extended and have never been turned down. I don't think you will have to worry about that (but if you use them in DC, you won't need to). One reason why they suggest that you wait until they are close to expiring is because when they extend the expiration date, it is extended for exactly 6 months from the date that they extend it. So by waiting until the "eleventh" hour, you are able to maximize your extension.
E-certs in hubby's name... My mom, a platinum member, and the sole traveler in that marriage has the same issue. The MR# is in my step-dad's name, but my mom is the one who is the traveler, ergo the one who racks up all of the nights, points, etc. She has been told the same thing, but has always been able to work it out with the certs. Book the hotel in your hubby's name, then have them add your name to the reservation. This should solve that problem.
Enjoy DC! And good, good, GOOD on you for donating your bone marrow. SO AWESOME, bjones8162.
jakeal set you up with some excellent info regarding extensions - shouldn't be any problem.
You can't go wrong staying at the Residence Inn Arlington Pentagon City - it usually goes for $250-290 a weeknight and is one of the best Category 4 properties in the system (even better if you're flying into Reagan National). Easy access to the Metro line for getting downtown, excellent views, and a fine breakfast and manager's reception.
Now, the tough part; that is the policy - member must be present. Many folks have had excellent success having the elite member book the reservation and add the family member's name to the reservation (as a matter of fact, no one has admitted to that not working). The problem, if you're the rare case - ouch, $$$ day of rate (this is one of the drawbacks of Marriott moving to a one day cancellation policy, in the past you could have had a backup reservation with points and cancelled if the other one went through).
Speaking of ouch, I think it's terrific that you are donating bone marrow, very impressive. I would like to think that if something came up at check in, the very talented front desk associates (I've stayed there at least seven times) would show some well deserved compassion - but, you never know. Best wishes for a superb stay.
additonal edit by erc - I just read the other threads, whereas the Renaissance is another fine property and can be booked with a Cert, it's a Cat. 5. (the Residence Inn is better for transportation anyway in my opinion). Good luck toward an outcome worthy of your thoughtfulness.
include me in the chorus with erc and pluto77 - try the Rez Inn in Pentagon City - it's an easy walk to the Blue Line METRO, which will take you to Foggy Bottom (known as the GW stop, but it's on the edge of Georgetown, but, frankly, a serious hike to the Georgetown Med Center) - frankly, I'd drive - if you don't have a rental car, I'd probably just take a cab ....
Pentagon City is hoppin'/happenin' these days! Obviously, you've got the Mall (which has everything - and is perfect if the weather is lousy), but you also have Pentagon Row, which has a nice collection of a dozen fun/ethnic/interesting restaurants - something for everyone - all within easy walking distance!
Also, check out the GUTS bus - Transportation - Georgetown University - you may find that a short Blue Line METRO ride to Rosslyn and a (free) shuttle bus is the best option....
Thank you all SO MUCH! I really appreciate all the recommendations & insight. I will definitely be checking out the Arlington Residence Inn (the reviews online all look great) and I would have never figured out the shuttle option to the Metro if not for Pluto77. I cannot thank you all enough - looks like maybe I can try and use an Certificate and save 35-40K points for another night in Hawaii!
I will have to get more active in this forum, although honestly our work Marriott travel is usually no where interesting. But it is refreshing to find an internet message board where people are so nice & helpful!