I would like to start a thread to identify the hotels who do not 'comply' to the no blackout policy for Marriott Rewards. These would include hotels that never have award rooms available, or only have those with 'cash upgrade' fees. I suggest conducting multiple searches at different lead times prior to adding hotels to this 'Hall of Shame'.
This list should inclued Residence Inn in Treasure Island:Category 5 points for sudio room:$100/night upgrade fee for std. 1BR), Will not upgrade Platinum or Gold even if room is available
Marriott Frenchman's Reef (cash upgrades for everything:must read the fine print), and the Hollywood Beach Marriott (seems to never have MR award availability).
I suggest a 'Hall of Fame' thread for the hotels that appear to be honoring the rewards policies or offer exceptional services to MR members who are redeeming awards points for their stay. Hopefully, Marriott management will take notice.
Superchief, this is a great idea, and I do hope that you get a lot of responses. I am sure that Marriott requires something like this to make them sit up and take notice of their guests.
Unfortunately I will not be able to help you, as I only ever acquired points through Marriott timeshare, and I no longer view that exchange as having any value.
However, I can tell you the during 2009 I was 'burning' a lot of points to ensure that I received the 2008 value. One hotel that I made a points reservation with was San Diego Gas lamp Quarter. This reservation was made in December 2008 for October 2009. My silly fault I know, but in arranging a four week Marriott vacation itinerary I got the dates wrong. I booked one week instead of the next. When I tried to alter this Marriott said there was 'no space' (They also said that they had to charge the higher point cost for an alternative stay at San Diego Marriott Marina - No help here, I just had to accept the higher price. I am sure that in times not so long ago Marriott would have done the exchange without higher charges. Anyroad to get to the point I have to make...when in San Diego I called by the Gas Lamp on the first night in town, and their reception staff said that they could accept a reservation on points. I didn't take the matter any further with them, but it just shows that a Blackout is a Blackout when Marriott wants it to be, and not necessarily when the hotel is full!!
I agree - great thread - we BOTH AGREE WITH THE RESIDENCE INN TREASURE ISLAND - these people think they are a major resort - snubs...after tons of bickering - i did get a free upgrade at the RI Charlotte Uptown, but come on ...this is a category 3 Residence INN - get real--after all was said an done, they met my expecations and perhaps exceeded it, but not without a lot of effort on my part...
Another hotel that wants to charge for upgrades was the Melbourne Marriott in Australia - and depending who you ask - usually always the key - Sydney Harbour Marriott - seems like this is a new excuse to rip reward members off--convince them they have to pay for upgrades!
HALL OF FAME: RI Milwaukee downtown, San Diego Marriott MArina, Tampa MArriott Waterside MArina, Wardman Park MArriott in DC, MArriott Miami Biscayne Bay, Renaissance Newark, MArina Del Rey MArriott, San Francisco Marriott at The Convention CTR (market street), LAs Collinas Dallas MArriott, The Inn & Conference Center MArriott at Univ of MAryland.
I wonder if this thread should be expanded to include not only hotels that don't honor 'no blackouts', but also those that don't seem to understand/honor Marriott Rewards program requirements/guarantees...
A couple of months ago, two of us were staying at the Courtyard Regensberg (Germany). We both had a 3 night reservation for queen bed (there's not a king bed to be found in the hotel at all!), non-smoking rooms, and we are both Platinum Elites.
Upon check-in, we were both given single-bed rooms, and mine was actually a smoking room. When we went back down to see what was going on with the room reservations, we were told that there were no rooms available other than the ones that we were given. THey also stated several times that we could not have reserved queen beds, as they don't allow beds to be specified in their reservations. Apparently, there was a sporting event in town, and they were fully booked.
When we asked to speak to the manager to see about the Elite Benefits Guarantee, and to receive our approximately 70EUR each in payment, they suddenly offered us breakfast each morning for free. We pointed out that our rates already included breakfast, and they got a shocked look on their faces.
When the manager came over to talk to us, she looked at our reservations (I had a printed copy of mine from the Marriott site--complete with queen bed, non-smoking, refrigerator for medication), and then at her front desk people. After about 30 seconds, she moved them away from the computer and 'found' us two rooms that met our reservations.
It was just an interesting situation... I haven't had a chance to stay at that property again, but when I do, we'll see if they've changed!
I agree that your experiences justify a 'Hall of Shame' classification. I hope that this thread attracts the attention of Marriot management regarding how many of their hotels are not following the Marriott Rewards policies, and are therefore alienating their key loyal customers. Thank you for your input.
Hmmm. Being a new member of this forum, and reading about no leeway on the Gaslight Marriott when a quick call to the hotel revealed points rooms available, it occurs to me that Marriott Corporate may be practicing "yield management" just like the airlines do. It is sad when customer service agents are not empowered to help the very people (like Platinum Members) who have obviously been loyal in the past. As most companies in the travel business know, it IS the Platinum, Diamond, Elite, etc., members who are generally the difference between red and black ink at the end of the fiscal year. To devalue the points structure and make it painful on the most loyal member who makes an honest mistake is not the correct decision during trying economic times. Those of us who are Frequent Travelers want to know that amid all the craziness, we can at least rely upon the brands we trusted for years. Bill, Jr. --- IS ANYONE LISTENING?
I was also aggravated when the Marriott Vancouver Harbourside did not accept MR points when I tried (Marriott website) online.
HOWEVER, when I called Marriott help line, they did honor it. They did not know why it is not available online.
I remember when they changed over their rewards we were told it would be better with no blackout dates. Just sayin', doesn't hurt to call first before you give up. Cheers!
Ditto on Frenchman's Reef. We've been there multiple times, both before and after the renovation, and it made no difference. They play by their own rules, which is whatever they make up on the spot. Charges for everything imaginable and never an upgrade on the first pass for a platinum customer like me. If you go to this property you must be prepared to trade-off a million-dollar view for 50-cent service. We just pledge to do nothing more on property than sleep and go to the pool bar, spending all the rest of our time and money off-property. I've run this up to the highest levels of management onsite (or what passes for management) but it's like punching a feather pillow! If/when we go back to St. Thomas we'll be staying elsewhere.
Residence Inn Tampa Downtown is the only Marriott hotel I have to add to the Hall of Shame.
I booked the 1 bedroom suite at this property to have the bedroom, and the sofa couch in the front room that folded out into a bed.
Arrived late as there was a medical emergency in the air that prevented us from landing, and when we finally landed we had to wait for the EMTs to assist the person before we could get off the plane. When I contacted the hotel they said the shuttle bus stopped running. Fair enough it was late, but then I needed to find transporation to the hotel.
After I finally got there and checkedin, the person I was meeting was already there but the sofa bed was not made up, so I called the front desk and asked for this to be done, and was told by the person at the other end of the line that they could not leave the front desk, and there was no one else available, and I would need to talk to the manager in the morning.
Next morning after breakfast, went to see the front desk manager, and he basically was giving me the philadelphia lawyer routine about how everything that happened was my fault. Yes, he actually came out and blamed me. On top of that he told me that Residence Inn does not make up beds. Imagine my surprise of so many years in Marriotts, many in Residence Inns when I take my sisters kids with me, and always having the hotel make up the bed. Just before Christmas in NYC, at the Residence Inn there, my nephew showed up very late around 2 a.m. I called down to the front desk, someone came up and made the bed. No mention was made of the time.
This manager persisted in trying to blame me. Finally he asked me what I wanted. After thinking about it a few minutes, I realized I just didn't want to ruin my vacation by working at 'managing' the situation. After all it wasn't work. So I told him I was leaving. He wanted to find me another hotel, but I didn't want him calling ahead and telling them how difficult I was, so I told him I would find my own hotel. He didn't charge me for the nite, but I suspect he wanted to get rid of all the evidence that I was even there in hopes of not having this incident reported that a platinum member actually walked out cause of bad service and hostile manager.
Packed up and went over to the Tampa Waterside Hotel & Marina which is a spectacular place!
I had friends over, we enjoyed the lobby bar, the restaurants.
The staff was great!