Why is Ritz Carlton a separate loyalty program? Is that an insult to those that only stay at JW's etc?
Why are our benefits, that have been acquired by blind loyalty to Marriott not recognized at Ritz properties?
Are members of Marriott Rewards second class citizens.
Last week I visited a close friend that was staying at the new Ritz property next to the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. He was on a business trip and was in downtown on what must have been a slow period as the Ritz was running room rates that were a few dollars less (really) than the JW located on the same piece of real estate.
At breakfast the morning after he arrived he described how embarrassed he was when checking in. There evidently is a special check in desk or queue for Ritz Elite Members - he went to that desk and was told, loudly enough for others to here. "You're not really supposed to use this desk, it's for Rtiz Elite members, not MR. BUT, we will let you this time.
THIS SHOULDN'T HAPPEN - A budget member staying frequently at Fairfield or Town Suites doesn't receive this type of treatment when checking into a JW! I don't understand why our loyalties are not recognized by what is basically a Marriott Property.
If I'm "off base" let me know - If you have a different opinion pro or con please comment.
I'm new to the Ritz experiences but it's my understanding the only differences between Marriott Rewards and Ritz Rewards is the type of MegaBonus promotions one would receive. I'm platinum with Marriott Rewards and have both a Marriott Premier Visa and Ritz Visa. This past weekend when I checked into the Ritz at Tysons Corner the clerk thanked me for being a "Ritz Platinum Member" even though I'm a Marriott Rewards Platinum Member.
As a Marriott Rewards Member you can switch to the Ritz Rewards Program. In doing so you will have the same account number, same perks, same Lifetime Status. The difference is the type of MegaBonus promotions you would receive. Since I will frequent Marriott properties more than Ritz properties I chose not to switch for this reason.
vaboywnder The secret to your positive Ritz experience must be the credit card -
My recent stay at the Ritz in NY I was (pleasantly) advised that my PP status was at Marriott properties and an upgrade I requested was not available to my status with MR. The receptionist did advise that I should join Ritz reward program and my status would be transferred as you described. (which I haven't done for the same reason as yours)
That brings me back to the original question - why is there a difference. I don't really care what card a Marriott member is carrying - all (MR and RW) should receive the same benefits based on their status at both brands.
Once again I use the example of JW's - are those that stay there 2nd class citizens in the eyes of Marriott?
According to the MR Terms & Conditions, MR Platinum Elite and Ritz Elite members do receive the same benefits based on their status. (scroll to bottom of page)
I think perhaps the Ritz employee you encountered is not up to speed on the benefit terms. This past weekend at the Tyson's Ritz I encountered an employee who was not up to speed on the $100 Hotel Credit perk of the Ritz Credit Card and tried to give me a wrong explanation of the benefit. Fortunately he discovered he was wrong and then gave me the credit.
From what I read Complimentary Room upgrades are difficult to obtain for Platinum members of both MR and Ritz Rewards. If it was not for having the Ritz Card which gives me 3 upgrade certificates for Club Level then I would not bother to stay at Ritz properties.
I do agree with your assessment that Ritz properties should grant more upgrades to all Platinum elite members just like the JW Marriott properties.
vaboywnder the only information other than my own experience is that posted in this forum.
As far as I know, those that have attained platinum status in MR have been refused something as simple as lounge access at RC's.........
I would like to know if there is any of our members that contribute to this site that have been afforded lounge access or any other perks at a RC if they are only a member of MR.
As you may know the Club Lounges at Ritz are very different than those at any other Marriott properties. RC Rewards Members like MR Rewards Members do not get complimentary access to the Club Lounges. Check out this recent thread on Flyer Talk.
vaboywnder I admit I am ignorant of the facilities at RC's - I guess the bottom line is that it should be one program. The cost in dollars or points will separate those than can afford the higher category properties just as it does now from a category 1 thru 9.
As I stated before, this division within the Marriott brands is an insult to many of us.
Thanks for the info - it made me aware of much that I didn't know.
misterchk, I do an occasional RC stay but am not a RC Rewards Member. I've not had second class treatment by any RC, and most have gone out of their way to welcome me and recognize my MR status. But I agree that the perks are not quite the same, nor are the programs. No club access for MR members at the Ritz unless you pay extra or have the upgrades you'd get through the credit card.
Our recent stays:
RC Denver - no upgrade and no welcome gift, but only paying $199/night - discounted bar association rate.
RC Amelia Island - room was upgraded to an ocean view - was not a discounted rate - gave us a welcome bottle of champagne and some chocolates - $499/night.
RC Naples - room was upgraded to an ocean view and we got a welcome bottle of champagne and some chocolates upon our first stay - that stay was not discounted, and the other stay was at the bar association discounted rate which was still very expensive. Rates here were $599 and $899/night. Thankfully someone else was paying my bills for both of these stays.
RC Ft. Lauderdale - no upgrade because hotel was full due to Boat Show, but they gave us a welcome bottle of champagne and chocolates. Rate was $250/night which was pretty reasonable, especially during the Boat Show - I booked way in advance and used bar association negotiated rates.
Apparently the Florida RCs like to give their guests champagne and chocolates
To set the record straight I have never received but the kindest and courteous treatment when staying at an RC. I propbably stay at an RC four or five times a year.
The only MR member that I know received rude treatment was my friend that I mentioned earlier.
What you have described as your experience reinforces the position that there are two classes of Marriott customers, the members that frequent all Marriott brands with the exception of RC and those staying at RC's.
I forgot to mention that once you're a repeat RC guest, your profile gets flagged accordingly. And if you've stayed at the same RC property multiple times, they flag that as well. When we went to Naples the second time, the staff all knew our names and called us "Mr. and Mrs. Clebert" and we really could not figure out how they all knew us. Must have had something in there computers describing us or something like that. Big Brother is watching!
When I dined at Atera in NYC, I walked in the door and was greeted by name, despite having never met the people before. While reading some reviews for the restaurant though, it became evident that they stalk you online (facebook, twitter, whatever) to see you so they can greet you by name. Creepy, but efficient. I called the host out about it, and we had a good laugh.
Unless things have changed, I've never been admonished for using the Ritz Elite Members line. Brenda and I have stayed at the Ritz on Amelia Island and at the Boston Ritz. Both welcomed us and recognized my Platinum status. Florida's check in experience was slightly better because, as clebert mentioned, Florida's Ritz gave us a glass of champagne to make the check-in process even better!
Perhaps the new Ritz in LA didn't properly train the front-desk folks. If so, that's really bad business practice in that they are the ones from whom we get our first impression of the property.
As I mentioned previously I stay at a RC about 4 or 5 times a year.
My experience has always been positive with the exception of no special treatment or upgrades (I am a lifetime P and also Premier).
The experience of my friend (Marina del Rey, Los Angeles) was his not mine. That said, the opinion of my personal friends (about 6 OR 7) who are MR members is that there exists a definite "snobbery" of the staff at RC's when a member of MR requests a benefit or service.
This isn't imagined! I stay at many JW's - including a regular guest at the Essex House in NY and never have the feeling that I am being "tolerated" like I do at RC's.
BOTTOM LINE - SHOULD BE ONE REWARD CLUB