As a platinum member who has been traveling a lot I learned with time the right approach to take when staying in a hotel. My philosophy is: "Always pay minimum and get maximum". This is something I'd like to share with you:
Being a club member doesn't mean only accumulating points and enjoying the benefits as is, but it also means taking advantage (in a positive way) of the importance referred to your membership by the hotels you choose to stay in.
If you're the type of customer who knows when to complain and how to speak, and a one who understands and realizes how important quality of customer service is - than just read on!
All Rewards members are guaranteed to get Marriott's best available rate thus allowed to take advantage of the 'Look No Further' rate. This is something I widely elaborated on in my other article: "Using the 'Look No Further' rate - All you need to know+Tips". As indicated in its headline, all you need to know is right in there, so if you haven't read it yet - just do so.
Marriott's 'dry' rules indicate that gold & platinum members are entitled to be complimentary upgraded upon check in, if an upgrade is available. I guess most of us are just following that procedure without pushing ourselves a little bit further in order to secure\guarantee the upgrade. If you'd like to maximize your chances of being upgraded than follow the below tips which have worked for me many times:
1. When making a booking in advance the hotels are also assigning the rooms for the guests in advance (usually the night before the check in time or the same morning, the latest). You can know if you've been upgraded by just accessing your online account and checking your booking: The room type will be changed if the upgrade has been applied to you.
2. Some hotels agree to pre-upgrade you upon a special request, meaning that if you call the hotel a few days before your arrival and ask for your upgrade than they may do so instantly. If you're having a special occasion it's even better to call the hotel in advance and ask to speak with the reservations manager or the front desk manager since they are able to assist you better with that request. This method has worked for me several times in the past - worth trying!
3. If you couldn't be upgraded prior to check in than make sure you ASK FOR IT when checking in! I've read here lots of complaints of members about not upgraded when they checked in only because they expected to be automatically offered the upgrade and didn't want to ask for it. That may be true in a perfect world, but not in ours unfortunately... You'll be surprised how many front desk workers aren't familiar with all the rules & benefits of elite members, or sometimes they even forget. Furthermore, Sometimes there's a last minute change which may allow them to upgrade you eventually.
So if you're the shy type of a person who doesn't like to speak - you'll find out it's not for your best interest, gently speaking (just keep on reading and you'll see why)...
We're already considered to be very appreciated in Marriott's hotels by having our elite status, so aren't we deserve to get the perfect stay for our money\points? Yes we are!
As I mentioned above, we don't live in a perfect world, and as much as we'd like our stay to be perfect, most of the hotels in our world tend to 'screw up'. That simple fact surely doesn't mean we have to take it as obvious and to keep quiet .
While reading the above line some of you may think I'm a rude guest, but I can assure you I'm quite the opposite. Think about your stay as a whole: If you accept the 'misfortunate screw ups' of the hotel than that means you're willing to pay for a bad quality of service. This is your money paid, not anyone's else!! I personally think we deserve the maximum for our money, don't you agree with me?
Actually, not only you are the one who agrees with me but Marriott does too! They inspire to provide us the best experience during a stay in their hotels and this is exactly why any manager in the hotel who has a good orientation of customer service will do his\her outmost to satisfy you for the bad experience you had. You just need to find that manager and speak with him\her about everything that has happened during your stay. Here's an example:
A few times I got a room that contained broken items (I.E. toilet, closet, air conditioning etc'). Also, a few times, sending a maintenance guy to fix them still didn't help. I spoke to a manager in the hotel, made him\her understand how annoying it was for me, and I was compensated accordingly.
The compensation is considered to be an appropriate solution for such cases, and is definitely something we'd love to accept. My personal experience indicate compensation types like: bonus points to my rewards account, a complimentary dinner, an upgrade to best suite and sometimes even a few of those at the same time - depends on the case.
NOTE: Don't complain if there's nothing to complain about! Complain only about a true incident, be polite but at the same time assertive enough to express yourself correctly, and make the appropriate impression.
REMEMBER: Complaining impacts well only while staying in the hotel! Post stay complaints mean almost nothing and have a very minor efficiency.
Again: "Always pay minimum and get maximum" - this is my philosophy!
Being too shy to speak up is something that you'll have to work on, otherwise you won't be able to get what you expect!
Lots of reviews in TripAdvisor complaining about 'screw ups' of hotels - what did you gain from it?? Nothing!
Hit the iron while it's hot! Don't wait or hesitate, and bring any incident to the attention of the hotel's guest relations manager\front desk manager\duty manager - ASAP. If they're aware of the importance of your satisfaction from your stay they will offer the compensation themselves!!
Did you get a 'NO'? Don't give up, just try again with another member of staff: I had many cases when I requested something and initially was declined, but when I asked again I got what I wanted! Example:
As a platinum member I'm entitled to get a late check out (usually at 4pm). Sometimes I needed more time so I went to the front desk and requested them to extend my late check out but they refused. When I waited and spoke again about it with someone else at the front desk than he\she approved it (!!!). You'll be surprised to realize that the hotel's staff members are not synchronized regarding issues like that one.
By the way, this is also true for Marriott's customer service call centre: If one person declined your request you may call again and speak with someone else about your issue.
And last but not least: Enjoy your stay!