I am so frustrated! We have almost 100,000 points + one free night redemption in a 1-5 category hotel. We have been saving forever to take a nice honeymoon. We are getting married December 26th and of course, there are no rooms available with points until January 2nd. What happened to the no black-out dates????
Your frustration is understandable ----- However ----- finding a MR room is all about popularity of the property and demand for MR rooms.
My rule of thumb: I ALWAYS book my MR rooms and Marriott timeshare weeks as far in advance as possible. Around holidays and popular vacation times, this mean at least 6 months for hotels and up to one year for timeshares. With this strategy, I have never had problems.
Any less advance booking and its hit or miss ---- meaning you may be lucky or you may not. Important to realize-- - with Marriott or Hilton---that "no blackaout dates" does not mean unlimited inventory. Rather, it means that an inventory of MR rooms is available any day of the year (except - as disclosed in terms and conditions - during local special events).
I have been through this many times, but it usually worked out, and I got the room when I wanted. Here is something that you may try:
Everyday, when you have time, go online and attempt to book the room using points. You may find things change, they always do for me. Also, book something, even if you have to pay, something for a special event is better than nothing. I have had the hotels let me use points even at check in, after everyone told me it was NOT available.
R-, I must have tried 100+ times at my favorite Marriott in Paris to get in and one week before my trip it came available.
Good luck and Congratulations!
Rhianonz, Where are you wanting to stay? Is there an alternate property that might suit you? As Jerry said, try not to let this frustration get in the way of celebrating your special occasion. In addition to checking the reservation site every day, several times a day, you might consider calling reservations or the hotel directly. They may be willing to make an exception for you for your honeymoon. All the best, and please let us know how it works out for you.
Are you considering a specific location? If you are flexible, I think you can find something although the week you are interested in is probably one of the most difficult to book with points. Also, are you looking for a category 1-5 so that you can combine points and your e-certificate or are you looking for a full service Marriott? Don't give up but I would try to work through it as soon as possible.