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Got it - thanks. For convenience, click Summer Promotion Stay 3 Get One Free for the Offer Details. While stays at all Marriott brands* are eligible for qualifying for the Free Night, as you point out, Gshock, the award may only be redeemed at category 1-4 hotels. Essentially, the value of the Free Night is maxed at 20,000 points. Be open-minded about the brands and categories. There are several category 3 and 4 properties that are quite good and merit a stay. (The ones to avoid have already been noted.)
* Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance® Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn by Marriott®, SpringHill Suites by Marriott®, Residence Inn by Marriott®, TownePlace Suites by Marriott®, Marriott Vacation Club® International.
While making a reservation at the Marriott site I noticed that they are now promoting this as a fabulous offer. Here's the text:
If you ever needed a vacation from the ups and downs of every day life, this is the time and here’s the way: Stay at Marriott
June 1 through August 31, 2009 and earn extra Marriott Rewards toward your own dream getaway.
Thing is, "extra Marriott Rewards" are not being offered. Also, the picture used for the promotion depicts a luxury resort, certainly not a CAT 4 property. Hardly a dream getaway.
Mikieg (See Postscript 5/27)
"the picture used for the promotion depicts a luxury resort, certainly not a CAT 4 property. Hardly a dream getaway."
The juxtaposition of "Category 4" and an image* that looks like a luxury resort seems potentially misleading. Getting under the hood, however, searching by Category 1, 2, 3 and 4 with a filter set to "Beach" yields some surprises. There are beachfront properties including a range of brands: Fairfield Inn, Courtyard, Marriott Resort and JW Marriott:
CATEGORY 1 or 2
Now, is it worth 1 free night to "Escape and Renew in Our World" by travelling to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Japan or Thailand? NOT. So, why set unrealistic expectations? If Marriott's purpose was to showcase these properties, why not just list them? I don't get it, either.
* Postscript 5/27: Confirming your hunch, Mikieg, the image is "not a CAT 4 property" it's the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa, Costa Rica, a Category 6 hotel. The Summer Promotion has several variations, see New Summer Promotion has Variations. Email Marriott.Concierge@marriott.com if you want to switch to a different Summer Promotion offering.
When I click on this, I get a different promotion. Mine is
Leave your cares, your work and your world behind. Sign up now to earn 25,000 bonus points after you stay 20 paid nights at Marriott hotels worldwide. It’s a free and easy way to earn the extra points you need to enjoy the getaway you want.
Register: By selecting the red “Register” button to the right, or by calling 1-888-MARRIOTT (627-7468).
Stay: At any of more than 3,000 participating Marriott hotels June 1 to August 31, 2009.
Earn: 25,000 bonus points after you stay 20 paid nights at Marriott hotels.
"As a resident of Florida, one thing I do know about the state is that Sebring is landlocked and nowhere near the coast. I guess Marriott considers properties on a small lake as "Beachfront".
I KNEW if Sebring were included that you would be very quick to point it out! Surprisingly, Sebring is one of two properties that are landlocked yet Marriott classifies as beachfront. The other Category 4 that showed up in the 'beachfront' filter, but I left out of the listing is The Depot Minneapolis, A Renaissance Hotel. This property has an indoor water park and is clearly, mis-categorized as beachfront.
According to a message from Marriott Concierge on Flyertalk, there are several Summer Promotions:
The 2009 Summer Promotion has been announced, as many of you are aware of by looking at your on-line account.
Different offers have been offered to members, but all members are eligible to participate in the promotion. Register for the promotion May 8 through June 30. The earning timeframe for the promotion is June 1 through August 31.
If there is no promotional announcement on your account, or you have questions about your individual offer call Guest Services or send me a personal message for assistace.
Marriott Concierge Team
Based upon the posts on Flyertalk, there are different variations under the Summer Promotion umbrella:
Platinumstar is in good company, there are also reports on FlyerTalk about ineligibility: "You are not eligible for this promotion and could not be registered at this time. If you feel you are receiving this message in error, please contact your local Marriott Rewards Guest Services office for assistance."
To add to the fun/confusion, Flyertalk posters asked about concurrent promotions. Here's the reply from Marriott Concierge:
If you are registered for the Acquisition Promotion, (new members) May 1-July 31, and the Summer Promotion June 1-August 31, then yes, you will earn free night certificates when the requirements are met for both promotions.
If you have one stay that is within both promotional earning dates, that stay will count towards the requirement for the Acquisition Promotion as well as counting towards the requirement for the Summer Promotion.
One stay will be counting towards two different promotions.
Marriott Concierge Team