I am confused. I am wading my way through the pages of posts to determine what is going on with the new program. I recently tried to get a rewards stay in Myrtle Beach for anytime in June and July, NOTHING. I saw a post that seemed to indicated no reward stays at category 6 or higher. Is this true? I have strayed from Marriott recently because the franchises seem to be slipping. There are two classes of hotels, business and resort. Business, full during the Mon-Thurs timeframe. Resorts? This meltdown is coming. Prices have not eased and I suspect that they will realize the downturn in business much too late to save this coming season. Those of us who do not have mortgage troubles, credit scores in the 800 range, money in cash in the bank, and a desire to travel, want a deal. We are not the same clientele as the people who have swarmed these resorts in the past few years, spending equity in a house which was ficticious, living beyond their means. The time is coming when building back a loyal and consistent business will be required, yet it seems Marriott is pretending "everything will be OK in time"....by then, people will have discovered another chain who treated them right this season. Bye bye loyal customer.
OceanWatch is a great beach resort in Marriott's timeshare family. I have a friend who purchased a week there in 2007 and called her yesterday. You lucked out getting in there on points which is definitely possible off-season. It's less than 5 years old, so owners from other locations will exchange in during peak season.
Memorial Day through Columbus Day is peak season for beach properties. The lack of availability at Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has nothing to do with the new Rewards program. At present, there is a significant amount of construction and renovation going on, so that blocks of villas are shut down and first priority will go to owners with multiple consecutive weeks on what's available.* I remember when construction was going on at Beachplace Towers, Fort Lauderdale. Owners and guests were in an uproar about the lack of availability and most of all the noise. Beachplace is surrounded by towers so the noise would reverberate between the buildings. Do you really want to take your family to OceanWatch and step through mud, construction debris and worst of all see construction going on when you are at the pool or wake up to the noise - while on vacation? A similar condition happened at Sabal Palms adjacent to the Orlando World Center in Orlando. The hotel expanded with a new wing restricting road access to the villas. The road was lined with tractor trailers and forklifts. Many owners requested to be transferred to Royal, Imperial or Cypress Harbor. Marriott's lesson learned is to restrict occupancy until construction is complete. There is no business advantage for Marriott to allow loyal owners and guests access to villas paid or points and then walk them to another property and have to pay compensation because they are dissatisfied or inconvenienced due to the construction. This has nothing to do with the new Rewards program, it has to do with Marriott's responsiblity and integrity to ensure that their owners and guests experience a memorable vacation, get it?
If anyone really insists on putting yourself and your family through that type of ordeal, knock yourself out - call the Rental Reservations 800-845-5279 and/or ask about a Preview Package.
Good luck and best wishes
* Please note the following construction efforts are scheduled for Marriott’s OceanWatch: From February 9, 2009 to March 21, 2009 the Scallop Building will undergo significant renovation. Construction on the final phase is scheduled from February 9, 2009 through May 2010. While we strive to minimize the effect, guests may experience related construction noise, Monday through Sunday during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We thank you for your understanding and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
One thing that I am unhappy about with the rewards program, is that in the Elite membership terms & conditions which I received with the card, there was no requirement mentioned that Marriott nights cannot be booked through travel agency or for instance Expedia.com. When I called the customer service the lady was able to find this rule somewhere online, but it took her 10 minutes also. This is a major issue and therefore should be clearly indicated everywhere to avoid disappointments!
Another surprise was that when I booked and paid for 3 rooms for me and my family and friends, the points and nights were only credited for two. However, when I booked these they did convince me that all would be awarded as long as I paid for them......
Re: I've even booked the Marriott in Rome using points -- that's almost impossible, but doable if you plan early.
Well, I guess 11 months isn't early enough. I'm going to Rome in mid-October and have been trying to get into the Grand Flora since November!!!!! No rooms available for points, but plenty for $$$.