The Marriott "no blackout dates" is a joke. I tried booking the Residence Inn in Tallahassee, Florida for the 25-27 of September using points with no availability, even though many revenue rooms available for purchase. Maybe I just do not understand what "no blackout dates" means????
Good example of the confusion that arises when a hotel within a participating brand does not make rooms available for redemption using points.
Marriott has two Residence Inns in Tallahassee, it is not clear if both are part of the same franchise or owned and managed separately. Residence Inn Tallahassee Universities at the Capitol is 'blacked out' for your desired dates, but Residence Inn Tallahassee North/I-10 Capital Circle is not. Try calling the Residence Inn Universities directly or writing Customer.Care@Marriott.com to report this.
Post back what you learn. What's really important is that Marriott realize how much time and effort goes into making a reservation even though the policy of No Blackout Dates is supposed to make it easier. Your example makes just the opposite more evident.
Try calling the hotel directly and speaking with the on-site revenue manager/reservations or even the Front Desk. In addition to graduations, proms and weddings normal for that time of year, Seattle hosts several events in May 2009:
No blackout dates is the new policy. If you don't get anywhere, try writing Customer.Care@Marriott.com