36 Replies Latest reply: Sep 20, 2015 10:59 AM by clebert RSS

What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?

fistuk Platinum
Currently Being Moderated

Lots of times we travel to a city\place which suffers a lack of a Marriott hotels (any brand). It may not happen in the US, as there's at least one Marriott hotel brand almost everywhere, but it may happen in other parts of the world - in some popular destinations which do not offer a Marriott hotel around. For example: In Europe - Oslo, Norway or Geneva, Switzerland (a 'Moxy' hotel is about to be opened in Oslo in summer 2016).


I was wondering what should I do in such a case... I hate the idea that I'll have to spend my money without getting any perks\benefits along the way, since I'm about to go to Oslo (Norway) soon. After all this time with Marriott, when I've been a platinum member, it does seem to me a waste of money...

So I came into the conclusion that I'd be better having a secondary membership with another hotel chain - a one that is considered to be popular enough and exists in destinations that lack Marriott hotels. My plan is to use this membership as a secondary only, when I don't have any other choice.


My choice as a secondary membership was 'Club Carlson' which includes in its chain the 'Radisson' hotels and a few more.

It was important for me that the secondary club will be able to offer me at least the major benefits which save me money and are offered to me by the Marriott Rewards program:

The first thing I was looking for was a best rate guarantee policy, which I'm personally using for all my bookings. Fortunately, Club Carlson does offer that as well, and with the same conditions as Marriott does (a rate match + 25% reduction). Their advantage regarding this issue is that, comparing to Marriott, they're much less strict with the terms & conditions of how to submit a valid claim form, and using this policy is much easier with them.

The second thing I was looking for was benefits - more or less the same as in my platinum status with Marriott. Fortunately, 'Club Carlson' offer a status match (they will match your Marriott status to their equivalent one). As a Marriott Rewards platinum member I was matched to their gold status. This is not an exact match as their highest status is named 'Concierge', but they never grant it unless you earn it the proper\common way. Luckily, the only significant difference between their gold status and their concierge status is the free breakfast (only concierge status gets breakfast). Gold members are entitled to get complimentary upgrades, bonus points for every stay and even a discount on food & beverages (for a complete list of the benefits see their page).

 

So now I'm a gold member in their program and used it to book the most central hotel in Oslo they can offer (the Radisson Blu Plaza). Fortunately, all rates in this hotel include breakfast, and I've also managed to reduce my rate by almost 50% using their best rate guarantee policy 

 

In conclusion, I may be upgraded when I check in and will get points for this stay. I don't know if and when I'll use them but who knows what the future holds? In these cases it's always better to get something than nothing! Obviously, my preference will always be for staying in a Marriott hotel.

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    carat Community Manager Marriott Associate Silver
    Currently Being Moderated

    Great thread, fistuk!!

    It's been a while since I've been in a destination where there wasn't a Marriott. But have had to bite the bullet and stay elsewhere a time or two.  Glad to hear they were able to match your status, I'm sure that made you feel better about staying there. Let us know how your trip goes!! Happy travels!!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
      ndn Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      There are a few places where Marriott has only a small presence. I have to go to Ireland sometimes, and there are only two properties there near Dublin. One is too far away and more of a resort, and the other is often too expensive. I find myself maintaining SPG Gold status just for the Westin there in Ireland.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
        drpepper Platinum
        Currently Being Moderated

        A few years ago, I took the family to Dublin on a family vacation.  We stayed at the Shelbourne Dublin Renaissance Hotel and although the price was a little high, it was well worth the price.  The staff was absolutely brilliant and they did a great job making our stay special.  In hindsight, I'm glad I chose to stay here and pay a little more than use another, less expensive hotel brand.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    YYes, a secondary chain is always a good idea. As a proportion of my travel is to smaller UK towns and cities  IHG is my secondary chain of choice, and although I prefer my Marriotts, I do like IHGs Crowne Plazas and Holiday Inn Express. My travel varies considerably year to year. Last year I did 80 Marriott nights and only 10 IHG, in other words a year of work that was overwhelmingly in bigger cities. This year I'm likely to do about 40 Marriott nights and the same number of IHG, a fairly even split, which is more typical.

     

    It is certainly important to ensure your secondary chain where you'll hopefully be collecting points does cover where your primary chain doesn't, so for me as a UK Marriott man, SPG is out as its UK coverage is virtually nil, the same applies to Hilton, whose hotels are very typically in the same big-city destinations as Marriott. Like you I looked at Carlson, but it's UK footprint was to small for my work, hence IHG with its huge UK inventory of Holiday Inns and Expresses.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    curiousone Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    My primary back-up is Hilton. With the Hilton Hhonors Reserve card you get automatic Gold status, as long as you have the card. My secondary back-up is Starwood just because I have the SPG Amex card to capture all my Costco expenses (Oops, that will go away in 2016). But, you can't beat the value of the SPG reward points.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    702rugbyref Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I first check Hotels.com and then see what is in the vicinity (if I am not familiar with the city). I chose based on my criteria such as airport shuttle, purpose, cost, value etc. Then I will will check with their website for cost comparison/specials and decide.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    Jsucool76 Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    I recently got the amex platinum for the 100k offer, so starwood is my new backup because of that (at least while I hold the plat card - automatic SPG gold status)

     

    Also, while I don't have any real hilton status (I have silver) I've stayed at a few in the past year and found them to be great. I may be picking up one of the hilton cards.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    beaug Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    As someone who has to experience cities frequently without any Marriott properties, I have found that the IHG and SPG programs work well for me.

     

    Last time I stayed at an IHG property was about 9 weeks ago, in Vietnam, there was no Marriott in the city I was in. Having been an IHG member for about 2/3 years, but not progressing past their base level, I enquired about a status match, and was surprised when they offered to match my MR Platinum with their respective level.

     

    I am sure that this was likely a one off, and a result of friendly banter with the check-in staff, however I've found them to be of consistent quality and reliable when needed.

     

    Beau

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    SPG is my new preferred backup chain since their points are worth more than any of the other hotel chains.   However the problem with SPG is their hotel directory is very limited.  So then I'll look at Hyatt or Hilton hotels when both Marriott and SPG properties are not available. Another option for capturing points/miles for non Marriott hotel stays is to use "Rocket Miles".  Hotel Reservations made through their website will allow you to pickup some extra miles for your preferred airline.

     

    https://www.rocketmiles.com/

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    fistuk, it's great to have a backup chain, as many others have said, but what you could also do is get a Chase Sapphire Preferred!  Double points on travel including hotels, and remember, Chase UR points transfer 1:1 to Marriott Rewards!  Not quite the same, but better than nothing. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    fistuk Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    It seems many of you guys are mostly recommending two things:

    1. Use the Chase\Amex credit card.

    2. Use the SPG program as your secondary one.

     

    Referring to the above two recommendations I'd like to contribute a bit of more info:

    1. Not all of us are US residents thus not having the option of enjoying the very big advantage of such a credit card.

    2. The SPG program doesn't seem to be that attractive... Here's is why:

         A. It's ranked by 'US News Travel' only in the 8th place, while most of the other major programs are ranked much higher (see this link to understand why).

         B. Its points don't worth that much comparing to the other major programs and it's ranked in the last place. Read this analysis to understand why.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
      ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      That may be the case for SPG, but I happen to like Westin, W, and most Sheraton hotels. Since they are my backup and I use Marriott first, that means I want the best room/experience for my dollar that I can get. For my money, I find those three SPG brands great as my backup.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
      stelzer001 Platinum 2 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I have noted this in other posts on this forum, I don't patronize any Starwood property voluntarily. I have had too many really bad experiences with them over too many years and about 20 years ago, I walked out of a Sheraton lobby and never looked back. There are reasons why its ranked so low by FF programs and frankly, they deserve it. My backup is generally Hilton, as they seem to have properties in many locations when Marriott doesn't. In major cities, my backup is Hyatt, usually when Marriott is sold out. I avoid IHC due to issues I had with the Intercontinental chain back in the 1980's (yes, I am old, but still young at heart). As a final matter, with the platinum card you do get access to the fine hotels of the world and I have used that on occasion as they tend to be boutique properties and very nice. No points, but hey, when you want a clean bed and good sleep, points may not be the first priority (heresy, I know).

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    My wife has SPG Gold so that is our first backup. There has never been a destination we have been to or wanted to go to that didn't have a Marriott or SPG property a reasonable distance away. If those two don't look appealing or if there is a much better deal to be had I will go with a local hotel. The one that comes to mind is the KBH Maui. That hotel works perfectly for my trips to Maui.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    Platinum 28 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I assume this is a theoretical question ?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    californian Platinum 37 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Interesting comments!  Hilton is my backup and becoming more than a backup since I find at a gold level I am treated better than at a Marriott where I am platinum.  SPG is next and I have been gold with them but will loose it soon.  They don't seem to have hotels where I am going.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    gory Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'll still have to stay somewhere..Often looking for a hotel with goof wifi connection, like what Marriot offers

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    clebert Platinum 21 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'm platinum at Hyatt (sort of like gold at Marriott) and stay there a bit.  I also have rewards accounts with Hilton, Fairmont, IHG, and Starwood and get discounts at Starwood through the ABA.  A lot of times if you are really out in the boonies, none of these chains will be present so you have to stay at a local hotel.  Examples where we couldn't find Marriotts would be:  UP Michigan, Wisconsin Dells, near many of the National Parks, and various airports where the onsite hotel is another brand and we just stay there for convenience (i.e., DFW, ORD).  I also have benefits (through Chase Bank) at a thing called The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection which is a conglomeration of various hotels of different brands.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    nacho Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    It's frustrating in the US too - Marriott hotels are mostly in the civilized area. I normally go to the US to the NPs, and there is very little/no Marriott hotels nearby.

     

    So I have to use the smaller chains like BW if there is no HIX or Hampton available.

     

    Not my favourite but it's the only way to be close to the parks.

     

    For Europe - it's hopeless too. There are very few Marriotts in Scandinavia, there is no CY in Copenhagen (can easily use one), could use a FS in Stockholm and as I recalled there is no Marriott in Finland.

     

    I live in Scandinavia so I mostly use it for mattress run when Marriott had the cert during Megabonus.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
      clebert Platinum 21 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      nacho, I'm with ya on the lack of Marriotts near US National Parks.  Nothing near Glacier, Yellowstone, or Yosemite.  We stay on site at the parks sometime, but those accommodations can be really rustic and quite expensive for what you get. 

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
        brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        You could say the same in England too, no Marriotts in the Lake District or Peak District, or Yorkshire, other than in nearby-ish cities. But that's the same with the other brands too, IHG, and Hilton (too few Starwood/Hyatt to count as a chain here in UK). Mind you, look carefully and do your TripAdvisor research and some lovely old hotels come up, I've stayed in Castles, stately homes and hunting lodges in these areas, and since my stays around there are all leisure it works for me.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    boomer Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    LAst year I had to go to Jacksonville, FL for a conference at the Hyatt.  I figured that, being a large city, that there would be a Marriott and Hilton nearby.  Nope!  There was a SHS off the highway about 10 miles away that was it!  Says a lot about Jacksonville!   What I did was stay at the Hyatt and request to earn miles for my Southwest Airlines account.  That worked better for me so that I got someting out of my 5 nights with the most wonderful view of the mechanocal units on the roof of the next building.

     

    I do maintain Silver status with Hilton as I find that they have similar tiers of hotels to Marriott and are also just about everywhere.  I abandoned SPG many years ago as I always see Sheratons converting to something else.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    boomer Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    LAst year I had to go to Jacksonville, FL for a conference at the Hyatt.  I figured that, being a large city, that there would be a Marriott and Hilton nearby.  Nope!  There was a SHS off the highway about 10 miles away that was it!  Says a lot about Jacksonville!   What I did was stay at the Hyatt and request to earn miles for my Southwest Airlines account.  That worked better for me so that I got someting out of my 5 nights with the most wonderful view of the mechanocal units on the roof of the next building.

     

    I do maintain Silver status with Hilton as I find that they have similar tiers of hotels to Marriott and are also just about everywhere.  I abandoned SPG many years ago as I always see Sheratons converting to something else.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    boomer Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    LAst year I had to go to Jacksonville, FL for a conference at the Hyatt.  I figured that, being a large city, that there would be a Marriott and Hilton nearby.  Nope!  There was a SHS off the highway about 10 miles away that was it!  Says a lot about Jacksonville!   What I did was stay at the Hyatt and request to earn miles for my Southwest Airlines account.  That worked better for me so that I got someting out of my 5 nights with the most wonderful view of the mechanocal units on the roof of the next building.

     

    I do maintain Silver status with Hilton as I find that they have similar tiers of hotels to Marriott and are also just about everywhere.  I abandoned SPG many years ago as I always see Sheratons converting to something else.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
    boomer Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    LAst year I had to go to Jacksonville, FL for a conference at the Hyatt.  I figured that, being a large city, that there would be a Marriott and Hilton nearby.  Nope!  There was a SHS off the highway about 10 miles away that was it!  Says a lot about Jacksonville!   What I did was stay at the Hyatt and request to earn miles for my Southwest Airlines account.  That worked better for me so that I got someting out of my 5 nights with the most wonderful view of the mechanocal units on the roof of the next building.

     

    I do maintain Silver status with Hilton as I find that they have similar tiers of hotels to Marriott and are also just about everywhere.  I abandoned SPG many years ago as I always see Sheratons converting to something else.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: What should you do in case there's no Marriott hotel in your destination?
      clebert Platinum 21 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Don't write off Jacksonville as it is very close to the fabulous Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island which is one of the best Marriott-properties on the planet.  It is worth a special trip just to stay there.  The Marriott Sawgrass golf property is also great.  So if you do have to go back to JAX it's worth tacking on a few days and/or bringing the spouse out and trying one of these wonderful properties.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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