Thanks to both SteppingStone and TJCNewYork for your replies. It's the first time I've found myself in this situation since we're going into our first rollover year. I have a sabbatical next year, which means at least some of my travel in Europe will be long-term and on a budget, meaning fewer Marriott stays (in favor of local apartment rentals) than in past years.
So my current thinking is that even if Marriott does not reward me with honorary Platinum for my 73 stays that I'm better off getting 23 nights toward Gold.
Also thanks to both of you for your always informative and helpful posts!
Have a wonderful sabbatical! I think the loyaty program is good at any level, but certainly better at the Platinum and even Gold levels. You will enjoy both equally.
One thing that I have learned in my time as a Marriott Rewards member is that the level of service given by any Marriott associate is directly proportional to the amount of time they spend with you at check-in and the way in which you approach them.
Most times,t the person checking in is in a hurry, just wants a key, or is insisting on some perk. I would imagine that most associates see plenty of harassed travelers in their shifts and steel themselves for the task.
I take the time to ensure that I tell them that I know they are doing a good job, that I appreciate their being there for me, I mention something about their work (many times there are improvements to the lobby or the reception areas that seem fresh and I comment on them), and wait for a response to my comments.
It normally puts my stay in a better light with that associate and those around him or her. It does not guarantee better rooms, suite upgrades, or the like, but it makes my stay and their service to me a better experience.
I do it because I appreciate good service and want the person providing it to know that I do.
Happy Thanksgiving and have a wonderful year in Sabattical.
Whether Gold or Platinum, Stepping Stones comment is very true:
"the level of service given by any Marriott associate is directly proportional to the amount of time they spend with you at check-in and the way in which you approach them."
Duration and depth of engagement with an associate makes all the difference. This is one of the reasons why calling in advance of arrival can be so effective. Someone at the Front Desk takes ownership for handling requests with the objective of exceeding expectations - because that's how they are trained. Also, you have the name or names of several people to refer to and possibly meet in-person.
Engaging in conversation at check-in is not recommended especially if there are long ques behind you, so all the more reason at larger full service hotels to call in-advance. The person you speak with should place a note in your reservation so that the person checking you in will have a heads up.
For Insiders in the US observing the holiday, best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving. Prof Chiara - Congratulations on your sabbatical - may every moment be extraordinary!
Why not speak with every associate in the hotel? I make it a habit of doing so. Everyone has a life narrative and seems willing to engage, even in short conversation. We cannot become immune to those with whom we come in contact, in my opinion.
Doing something without regard to getting something is return is the hallmark of what we celebrate today in the United States, Thanksgiving. George Washington's proclamation setting aside a day for thanks is instructive even today, over 220 years later.
Hi SteppingStones and others,
I couldn't agree more! Most of my research and fun travel is in Europe, so if I don't know the language of a particular country I at least learn a few phrases -- it makes all the difference. Plus I usually write to the hotel ahead of time (since invariably I seem to arrive at 5-6am!) in at least part of that language. I've found especially in countries where few English speakers know the language, you are treated like royalty if you make the effort. I also make a special point of exchanging greetings with staff at all levels during every interaction. At places like the Flora the staff quickly come to know you by name.
I'm still trying to decide what to do about staying two nights locally to make Platinum again or using the leftover nights toward Gold. It's more difficult to decide because I have two unused certificates that expire before Jan. 1.
I will indeed enjoy sabbatical! Rome and Paris here I come...