Have some general questions about the Gold membership.
1) I've not had an issue before with getting free Internet access, but for the first time this trip I have noticed that the hotel offers a "free" and "exclusive" plan for Internet. The exclusive plan was about $5 a day; though, I wasn't sure if that was for the room or per-device. I called and was told that Gold membership does not get you the exclusive speed for free. Just curious why Internet access being free is a "benefit" for gold members if there is no longer a benefit to it
2) Has anyone actually had their room upgraded as part of a stay as a Gold member? I have stayed now at three separate Marriotts a total of 5 times, including this weekend for a four night stay, and have always asked for an upgrade, only to be told none are available. Twice we have been at a Marriott where there was maybe two or three cars in the parking lot. Again, not sure what the point of this benefit is if you can never get it.
I always ask about the fee for internet when I check in. As a Gold (now Platinum), I found I could choose the higher priced plan without being charged. Best bet is to inquire before you accept the charge. A quick call to the front desk is better than discovering an extra fee on your bill when you check out. In all but a handful of cases, I was told that whatever speed internet I picked, I wouldn't be charged. In those few other cases, I picked the slower free internet rather than worry about it. It's been some time since that happened, so perhaps the policy has been more widely communicated.
As a Gold I once got upgraded to a Presidential Suite (CY Benton Harbor, MI if I remember correctly). Didn't happen all that much, but it did happen. Even as a Platinum, I find upgrades aren't automatic. Sometimes I've gotten them without asking. Most of the time I have to ask and even then it's not a slam dunk. Keep asking. You may not get a suite, but a corner room with a better view is an upgrade that can be nice to have.
Both of your questions will be answered in relation to just one of my recent stays mikevoxcap
I am currently Gold. At West India Quay, London in October, I was upgraded to a suite without asking, and also I chose the high speed internet option, which is more expensive if you have to pay for it, and wasn't charged anything at all.
Hi, I just have a question about Gold benefits. Do properties give upgrades, lounge access, free wifi on award or annual free night certificates? Could someone let me know as I am going to take the Taste of Gold challenge and after that use some of my points for stays. Thank you
Yes, you would get all the benefits of being a Gold elite member whether you use points or pay for a stay. You'll probably have to ask for an upgrade and it may not be granted, but you will be eligible to receive one.
It's a good idea to ask about the free wifi when you check in. Many properties now have different prices for different speeds. You should be allowed to choose the highest speed available at no charge but you're better off asking before you click to accept.
Also, keep in mind that for the Taste of Gold, you need to make 6 paid stays (if I remember correctly) during the challenge. That is stays, not nights so using points during the challenge could make it harder to achieve. Of course a stay using points + cash is still considered a paid stay since you would pay for at least one night.
Hope that helps.