I'm curious. How many people with Gold Status actually get their room upgrades? I've had Gold Status for years and almost never get them. I typically check in late at night (travel late) and am always told there are no upgrades available. If this is true, is there any benefit to using the Marriott app and checking in early? Does anyone have any hints?
Hi rscott, I have to first ask a few questions. Which brands are you staying in? The FS Marriotts and above usually do a decent job of giving Gold elites upgrades, (not usually a suite but a corner room, or a standard room but on the CL floor, etc,) If you are speaking of CY properties, FFI, or RI, they don't really in my mind even have "upgrades" as there in general are no suites and they don't have a CL. My next question would be, if you are staying at one or only a few properties in one area or is it in many different states across several brands? The problem lies in the fact that there are many variables that come into play. The brand, the property itself in how many suites or nice rooms in the floor plan, the mgmt company and their generosity or stinginess toward upgrades, the time you check in (in your case late which probably doesn't help), if there are many elites that stay at that property (Plats and PP will get rooms ahead of you in theory), and lastly the actual front desk staff. Some properties follow the elite rules, have rooms available, and they they will not even try to get you a nicer room. They will say none are available and not even look. Sometimes they are told by management of the property to do so and occasionally it is their own laziness to even look, but usually they are being told to say so if that is the case.
In my experience, I often receive nice rooms. When I stay at FS Marriott properties I am usually on the CL floor. If its a special occasion, and I really have a suite in mind, I will contact the property ahead of time (via email, which requires me contacting Marriott customer service to get the email address of the GM or front desk manager of the actual property) and I write them a very polite email indicating my status, reason for wanting a suite, and that I would really appreciate any help they can provide. Honestly, over the past 5 years I do this about twice a year and it hasn't failed me yet. When a property knows you are there for a specific/special reason, and you are Gold, in my experience, they try hard to make your stay great.
As far as the app, I generally don't use it. I have in the past, it basically means a different desk to check in at, that your keys are ready, and your room is predetermined. I bet upgrade levels using this method are low, and to then ask for upgrade at that point kind of defeats the purpose of it.
If you have any other questions let me know.
Thank you! This helps a lot. I'm not exactly sure what the abbreviations stand for. But the only hotels I'm expecting upgrades are the true "Marriott" hotels (not Springhill, Courtyard or others). I've got a trip next week to Louisville and I know I'm going to be doing a lot of late night work in my room and was hoping to get a room.
I appreciate your suggestion of the e-mail and I will try that! You mention Marriott Support, is that using the automated form on their website? Or have you fund a direct e-mail?
Thanks so much!
I use the contact us link on the Marriott website and fill out the info and submit it. I usually get a response the same day.
As far as the abbreviations which many users here on MRI use:
CL= Concierge Lounge
FFI= Fairfield Inn
RI= Residence Inn
SHS= SpringHill Suites
FS= Full Service (standard Marriott)
So far, I have found that at full-service (FS, aka regular) Marriott properties, I tend to get my preference: a high floor. I also have been getting better views (e.g., lake view instead of highway). These views have been an "upgrade" over the base room I paid for, so the hotel generally charges more for these. That said, I have not been getting concierge-level (CL) rooms. I am generally a floor or two below them. I suppose they may be putting paying customers into the CL rooms so they can sell access to the lounge, too. At select-service properties, such s Spring Hill Suites (SHS) and extended-stay properties, such as Residence Inn (RI), I have been getting my preference for a high floor--without any other upgrades; however, there are rarely any upgrades in these properties. I often pay for 1- or 2-bedroom suites at RI, so nothing to upgrade to there, and SHS generally all have the same rooms.
I have not been asking directly for upgrades though. I plan on it on some future trips where room location (high floor or corner room) are very important to me for noise considerations.
Do you request the upgrades when you make the reservation online? i usually type in "UPG appreciated if available please" in the request box. Ive always been granted upgrades each time even as a silver. Ive booked no view rooms and gotten larger rooms or concierge level room (CL at the property was the top 3 floors). I also see my room type change about a day before checking in meaning its almost guaranteed i got the upgrade. If you wait till check in with no previous request, it might be hard to get one.
Yeah, that makes sense. I get hosed as my company requires me to go through Orbitz so I don't get the option to request the upgrade like I would on the Marriott site.
I stay a lot at Springhill and I do always get the "Mountain View" in CO and higher rooms. But I always assumed that was because I stay at that hotel a lot.
Most of the time it's not a big deal...it's just this week I would really appreciate a nicer room!
I actually did redo my next reservation as I changed from splitting it 1 week each at 2 properties to staying the entire 2 weeks at one. So, when I did it I added a little note in the "Anything else we should know?" field like "Upgrade appreciated if available."
Anyway, today I got a notification on my iPhone asking if I want to go ahead and check in using the app. I did and then I went back into the room details and now it is Concierge Level Guest Room vs just Guest Room when I booked it.
I don't know that the note made a difference, but it certainly didn't hurt.
I recently completed a stay in a hotel that offers two types of rooms: Highway View and Lake View. Lake View goes for more. Last time I stayed here, they gave me my preference of a high floor and upgraded me to a Lake View room without me asking. This time, they gave me the high floor, but with a Highway View. I asked at the counter (I had checked in mobile, like before) whether any Lake View rooms were available. They politely looked through the system and found one on the concierge level for me. Thus, asking is sometimes necessary. I suppose they were trying to save that room to sell to somebody for the lounge access, but my 2-day stay included one day where the lounge would be closed anyway! The previous time, my only day was a day that the lounge was closed.
My conclusion is that the desk may at times upgrade your room, but it may be on accident or on purpose. Other times, the desk may give you your floor preference, but without an upgraded room. Asking about availability pays off--even if you checked in by the mobile app!
I have noticed no such correlation between early check in and upgrade likelihood. In fact, I would bet that check isn PRIOR to 4:00 (or 3:00) are far LESS likely to yield an upgrade, since the rooms that are most likely NOT done yet are the ones that are either (a) not booked for the coming night or (b) part of a late checkout from an elite guest (who possibly was even upgraded to the room)! Thus, the best time to check in would be as soon as the room is cleaned, which means the sweet spot is probably 3:00-5:00 pm.