I see people complaining on sites like tripadvisor about using points. People link using points to getting bad service at the hotel. I know not to believe the reviews because people mostly complain about little things like not having a fridge in the room or in the coffee but do hotels view you differently when you use points versus paying?
I've seen some comments here on Insiders where folks seem to think so however; I've never experienced different treatment using points for a stay. In fact probably the other way around at times.
Guess it's just how you act when you are at the property, If you act as if they owe you something then you get what you get, but being thankful and gracious seems to work plenty well for us whether using points or paying.
I have never been treated differently when using points. In fact I find the whole check-in/check-out process simple when on points. Once you are checked in, I doubt that any employee other than the front desk attendant knows that you are on points.
I always get a kick out of reading the trip advisor reviews and wonder how they could have been at the same hotel as I was.
I used to wonder about this, but not any more. My last points stay was at the JW Desert Ridge for 1 night for my wife's B-day. We arrive by noon so I could get a full 24 hour benefit from the Griffin Club ($65/person/night). When we checked in they gave us coupons for a free glass of wine and desert out on the patio ($10). When I checked out the next day (after 1 PM) I discovered they had comped the Griffin Club!
I must have redeemed over 100 Nights at both IHG and Marriott (mainly Marriott), and have never felt treated any worse by either hotel group, indeed of my relatively few suite upgrades, more have occurred percentage-wise when redeeming.
Tripadvisor is a bit of a haven for complainers, they post "I am a Plat at Marriott/IHG and this was my worst stay ever", yet find they've only reviewed a very few hotels, mostly to vent. Luckily theres a lot of committed members there, though many are overly impressed or dismally disappointed by stuff you might not be bothered about, so with TA it's a case of reading plenty, and understanding who you're reading. One of the reasons I became involved in this site was the reviews, written mostly by regular staying elites who knew what to expect, 5 mins spent here could replace half an hour on Tripadvisor.
So no, if you're staying on points and have a bad stay, it's just a bad stay, it'll not be because you're redeeming.
IVe stayed over 10 stays all 5 nights or more one in burbank Marriott for 21 nights using points and the service has always been great parking charges were waived in Burbank at $ 15 a night and free breakfast vouchers for the whole family when the lounge was closed mind you they did love the Scottish accent
Have redeemed points for stays for both myself and extended family and never has there been a complaint. We have always been treated wonderfully, received upgrades and welcome gifts. There have even been a couple of stays for extended family and they were treated royally. I believe that you reap what you sow and if you treat people with respect that it will come back to grace you in return.
I never have been treated badly when staying on points and have often been upgraded while staying on points. Several of the few times I've been treated poorly have been while paying full freight. I can honestly say that I see no connection between how I pay for a room and how I'm treated by Marriott hotels.