Hi there! I currently have a 3 night reward stay reserved at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort in San Antonio for March. I'm also a Gold Elite. I've heard (read) different experiences about upgrades at this resort as well as other Marriott resorts. Anyone have any experience? I'm pretty sure there is no breakfast included, correct? What about room upgrades? Any possibility whatsoever? Thanks in advance!
Hey corrie1013, and welcome to Marriott Rewards Insiders! I'm beyond thrilled to have you join our community and that you're jumping in already! This forum is a great place to pose travel questions such as the one you've posted here. This site is also great for sharing travel photos, experiences, and tips, as well as anything Marriott Rewards related. The other Insiders are really great and very knowledgeable on both topics. you can also always reach out to myself, carat deannad, or AndrewT with any questions or concerns you have. We make up the moderation team for this site are happy help however we can!
In regards to your question, I'm sure there are some other members here who have first-hand knowledge with staying at this property. I can also do some digging and see if I can find any useful information around upgrades and breakfast benefits. I'll let you know what I learn!
Hey corrie1013! Here's what I found out. To answer your question around breakfast, it is not included at resorts. In terms of an upgrade, you can always ask for one upon arrival at the front desk, or, shoot me a private message with your confirmation number and we can call the hotel and request one for you!
That's a great question and I hope someone reading this, who has stayed at this resort will answer your question. What I've found is that there are Marriott hotels and Marriott Resort and Spa hotels, as is the same with the JW brand (hotels AND hotel resort and spa.) There is a definite distinction between just a plain hotel and a hotel resort and spa, but the distinction can vary from property to property. For instance, some properties will waive the resort fee, others will not. Most resorts (if not all) do not have CL's, but some will actually provide breakfast vouchers to elites, while others will not. Also too, some will provide room upgrades, again, while others will not. Even further, some will provide some of these benefits to platinums, but not to golds (I will be gold soon.) I have experienced numerous variances with respect to the resort and spa properties that I have visited. Some are simply more generous than others, and it could also have to do with occupancy levels (if the resort is full, and a lot of golds/plats are guests, maybe they'll decide they can't afford to give them all free breakfast in the restaurant, where as during a slow weekend, they might decide to provide the added benefit). If you don't get a specific answer here from someone with experience at this property, give the property a quick ring, which will put the matter at rest.
Oh, just checked, according to FlyerTalk, no lounge at this property, zero elite benefits or recognition of elite status (other than free internet), no room upgrades.
It's always good to know what to expect, for sure. We hope you'll remain in touch (climb aboard!) and let us know how your stay turns out. It's always nice to read of others experiences, even good or bad. Hopefully always good!
While I can't specifically speak to this hotel, I think the chances for upgrades are considerably higher when occupation is low at the really big hotels. So if there is one or more conferences in town, it isn't likely to happen. I try to book somewhat strategically. For example, I was pretty sure that a stay at the JW Marriott Grande Lake (huge hotel) wouldn't have any conferences going on the days around thanksgiving. I was right. Occupation seemed fairly low and we scored a great upgrade.
We are currently looking at a 5 night stay at the JW Grande Lakes in August, so this post and your reply specifically caught my attention. Would it be worth trying to get to Gold prior (currently on track to hit Gold during that stay) to try to get upgraded? Are the upgrades worth it there? Any insight into how to know what chances are for upgrade?
I can't comment on the specific resorts mentioned, but I do tend to stay somewhat frequently at the JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Summerlin(Las Vegas). No lounge so I get extra points, and my elite status (the last time I was still gold) has either gotten me the resort fee (common in Vegas) either comped or discounted. I have been upgraded to a one BR suite and a two BR suite a couple of times (both when traveling by myself so somewhat wasted on me). As others have said on the forum the likelihood here seemed to be on the occupancy of the hotel and the number of nights I was staying. In all cases the hotel was rather empty and I was only there for one night (not tying up the suites for potential paying customers). At least at this property most of the regular rooms are very spacious and as nice as a suite, so plenty good when I am on business.
I have found if I know my wife is going to be with me on travel, either a call or email to the hotel saying that I usually don't care if I get an upgrade, but in this case I would like to request one if one is available. I always refrain from sounding demanding and explain that I understand that sometimes upgrades aren't available. Maybe I have been lucky, but I have always gotten a nice upgrade when I do this. Never hurts to ask. Let us know.
@hassmh, we got free parking, $5 off daily resort fees and an upgraded room as platinum. They offered us a nice suite or a room with a great view that wasn't a suite. we took the suite with no real view, but it worked perfectly us.
I thought it was a great deal and we had fun. we spent a lot of time hanging by the pool/lazy river. the location seemed isolated but in a nice way.
let them know that your stay will get you up to gold, that might help. however, longer stays seem to make it harder to get upgrades because that means the suite is unsellable for longer. it's hard to know. be nice, that seems to go a long way.
Sounds like Elite paid off well. Free parking and $5 off resort fee is worth $25/day! We are actually booking 2 connecting rooms, so I'm not really expecting an upgrade, but will ask nicely and see what happens. We're all looking forward to hanging by the pool and lazy river; that's the main reason we're going there versus any other place in Orlando.
I really loved our Elite status and so did the family. I figured that if I didn't get an upgrade, I'd go ahead an get another room so we'd have more space.
We aren't really pool people, but with more marriott stays (and a kid), we are quickly adapting. Our goal was that the pool/lazy river and kids activities would keep us busy at least half of the day then go do something for the other half. That worked out really well. The food at the pool looked good, but overpriced for us. We'd just wait and have a late lunch. But if that is your thing, it's nice especially once you get the attention of a waiter and they realize you want regular service. More that once my mom was left waiting, waiting, waiting for somebody to take her order. Our daughter was right at the reading stage so with a bit of effort, she never really figured out she was in the same city that disneyland is. We had a fun time. Not awesome, it's no Hawaii or Carribean, but fun enough for what we were looking for.
Also, you can go use the pool next door at the Ritz. We did probably 2 of the 4 days. It seemed warmer and it was a pool, not just lazy river.
You can do a lot of the kid activities for free or just a few dollars. None were super awesome, but they were a nice break from the pool. Also, we never really felt is was a daycare kind of situation, but a hang out for 10-30 min kind of thing throughout the day. I tried to sell her on the 1/2 day program at the Ritz, but she resisted. wasn't her thing. When I saw some of the other kids who were in it, I could see why. They didn't look super thrilled.
It wasn't clear at first, but the kayaks are free but underwhelming. you had to stay in sight of the monitor. that lasted about 30 min. but we could have done it each day for free.
I'd return but probably won't. too many other places to go, but I'm glad we went. My daughter really wanted to go when she saw the pictures.
homoviator, I agree with your upgrade theory and would add that the converse is sometimes true. When hotels are almost full or completely full, the only rooms available sometimes are the more expensive suites that have not sold at their designated room rate. On those occasions, your chances of an upgrade are often quite good, especially if you check in somewhat later in the day and stay only 1 or 2 nights.
Just wanted to give an update on our trip to the JW Marriott San Antonio....let me just say, this is definitely my happy place. I'm usually a beach girl and am happiest when there, but living in San Antonio it's just harder to get to the beach nowadays...but this resort completely fills the bill. I may sound like an infomercial, but everything was fantastic. It was a spring break week but you really couldn't tell. With the new areas of the water experience opened, it didn't really feel crowded at all. It was busy, for sure, but one morning when we didn't get down to the pool until 11:00am, we were still able to find lounge chairs with an umbrella, no problem.
My children are 7 and almost 4 and this place ROCKS for kids that age. Shoot, this place rocks for kids of ALL ages. The pools are amazing. I love the new pool that just opened that has a sand beach next to it. My little one played in the sand all day and was as happy as a clam. My older swam in the pool all day and really loved the pool side server that brought her ice cream! I also was finally able to convince her to go down some of the slides...not the new ones, of course. She was still too scared to attempt those...maybe on our next stay! We didn't participate in a ton of extra kid activities this time- only did sand art and the sand castle competition (where my 7 year old and her daddy came in 3rd place!) but there were a ton of other things we could have joined in on. Just preferred to swim and sun and go down the slides.
I also have to say THANK YOU to Lindseyh who helped get our room upgraded...it wasn't a suite or anything, but an upgraded balcony and view...which was wonderful! I really appreciate her help with that as it really helped to have that extra balcony space. My husband and I sat out there while the girls fell asleep at night. I also got some quiet time in the morning to watch the sun come up and drink coffee before anyone else woke up. Our view overlooked the water park and the activity lawn and it was nice to do some early morning people watching.
I know some people have had some issues with this property, but all I can say are good things. I'm looking at trying to book a couple of nights over Memorial Day too! The sooner I can get back there, the better!!
Thank you so much for the update! I am glad you enjoyed it. When I was there in March I had a good time. It's beautiful. And congrats on the upgrade (lindseyh -want to help me get on this week in NY??? ;D kidding!) I didn't get one, but I did at least get a high floor as requested. The rooms are spacious and it was just fine!
My parents got an upgrade with a balcony. Their view was amazing.
I hope your next stay is just as pleasant. Good news like this makes me happy.
Did you try any of the restaurants?
YES we did! We ate at Cibolo Moon for breakfast each morning and most evenings...we ate once at Velocity and enjoyed all of our meals. We mostly skipped lunch (just some snacks at the pool) and never got to 18 Oaks...our little one was still a little too young for the kids club and I FOR SURE was not going to take them there. We would probably be escorted out of there asap! HA!!
We actually only left the property once in the 3 nights we were there...and that was just to run to Target to pick up aloe!
This is a beautiful resort and on my last stay three years ago, I was upgraded to a huge two room suite with a fire place! One of the best upgrades I have ever had, so I was looking forward to my conference there two weeks ago, but that soon turned to disappointment...
I was by myself attending a conference with approximately 400 attendees. The Saturday night before my Sunday check-in, I reviewed my reservation on-line and noted that the king guaranteed room was removed and a note was added saying, "King beds are not available at this location, please select an available bed type through room preferences." I checked on-line and all room and bed types were available for the duration of my stay. I called the Platinum reservation line and they were unable to help, saying the hotel made the change and the reservation is locked.
I arrived at the hotel at approximately 4:30pm and was put into a room with two double beds. I inquired about a king bed and was denied by the Front Desk Clerk. I showed her my previously printed reservation that showed a King Bed was guaranteed and she went and got a supervisor, who again denied me a king bed or any type of upgrade! (Note that the reservation was made through Marriott.com using the group code provided by the hotel! The rate was about $50 per night less the rates available on Marriott.com that morning, so it was not a deeply discounted rate. The hotel was not fully booked as all room types were available including several different types of suites for the duration of my stay.) When I inquired about compensation for the guaranteed bed type not being met, the supervisor stated that it did not apply because I was attending a conference! (I called the MR platinum desk and of course they were closed because it was Sunday. When I called them Monday morning they stated that the hotel was correct, upgrades are at the discretion of the hotel and because two double was stated in the latest version my reservation and that is what I received, there was no guarantee to enforce, regardless of who changed the reservation!)
To make matters worse, I spoke with several others attending the conference who have no status with Marriott and travel infrequently. They all stated they were offered some type of upgrade for cash and in some cases received a complimentary upgrade to a view room with a king bed. Some of them checked in before I did and some after, so I don't think its an issue of room availability. Not sure why I was denied an upgrade or even a king bed room (maybe there is something in my file that the front desk sees that black lists me!), but this left a really bad taste in my mouth. I understand upgrades are subject to availability and if the hotel is close to being sold out, I am not going to receive one. But I certainly hope Marriott Resorts are not going to the airline model (yes you, United) of offering upgrades for cash first, before giving them to elites.
Sorry for the rant.