Hi... turning to the community with this question as I can't seem to find an answer using the Marriott website...
I've been trying to reserve a two bedroom room when making a rewards reservation at Residence Inn, but this room type never shows up as being available to reserve with points. Has anybody found a way to make this happen (I would be ok to use more points of course, but there seems no special reward type available)
When calling the hotel after making a "normal" one bedroom Residence Inn reservation, I was offered to pay a fee per night for an upgrade to a 2 bedroom (and a quite hefty fee I'll point out) - any experience with this expensive way to use points + cash to get a two bedroom suite ?
And final... if I pay a hefty fee per night to upgrade on top of using points, I assume but would like to confirm that I will at least be getting Marriott points for the cash upgrade fees ?
Looking forward to your opinions...
Hi... thank you for the response.
A little surprised why an upgrade fee per night would not yield points... it should appear on the checkout bill... and as such, I don't know on which basis this part of the room charges would be excluded ? Any pointers to something in the policy ? [and recently as of this year, Marriott Rewards also counts the rewards nights as part of the nights stayed which is a very nice gesture !]
The hotel indicated indeed that there was no available "status based" upgrade which could be confirmed...
As pointed out before on this board by other contributors, the "upgrade price per night" in Residence Inn hotels seems to be out of wack versus the actual points award and the cash room rates for the different room types. In this particular case, I used a 120,000 points 5 nights Category 6 award... and was proposed an upgrade at $150 / night - i.e. $750 for the stay...
You should get points for any $ spent at Marriott that end up on your folio - the exception can be valet parking or food items if those are not run by the hotel directly. If you have Gold or Plat status, my experience is that if you call the hotel and tell them your issue, if they have space available they'll upgrade you for no fee in the end even if they tell you there's a charge. You may have a different experience since all RI's are run as a franchise (from what I know - anyone that knows otherwise, please jump in and correct me).
I found out the hard way that the answer is indeed "no".
I stayed at the JW Marquis in Dubai on points and also payed for an upgrade. I did not get any points for this.
IIRC, I actually asked the same question here - and was told that cash upgrades are not eligible for rewards points.
Hi Christian... scroll down a bit for the research done by pluto77... diving into the MR T&C and finding that there is no easy yes/no on the question if cash upgrades (on reward stays) count towards collecting rewards points... So don't give up... and perhaps ask them for a reference to the actual T&C they base their "not eligible" statement on :-)
Why oh why are there so many "non policies" or policies that require a lawyer to decipher? We are loyal guests, spending hard earned $ with a corporation that has a loyalty policy designed to keep us coming back. These types of policies keep us scratching our collective heads or eventually voting with our feet and wallets to take our business to greener pastures. I really really like the Marriott experience based on the 4+ years of my life I've spent working and relaxing in them around the world. I really really don't like to argue my way past these policies, or keeping quiet when I know there's a workaround, but also know it won't be applied uniformly to all that are of a certain status in this program. No need to get upset that I'm kicking a dead horse - we are the ones who's voices should be heard on these issues. Why would any corporate marketing department want to create so much bad will when a simple fix of these policies would clear it up and set expectations accordingly?
I totally agree. I've been a loyal MR member/ Marriott customer since the inception of the original Marquis program. I've enjoyed superior customer service and great travel experiences for many years. However, I've seen a real change since the Marriott family has become less involved in corporate leadership. Loyalty seems to be a much lower priority, which has resulted in diminished 'brand standards' and rewards. As a result, Marriott now represents about 50% of my business rather than 95%+.
Hi carat :
Thank you for the swift response (and ks77 thank you for looping in the right folks!).
This RI Rewards stay I was referring to happened early this month - and my reason for asking the question was to avoid the same trouble next time around (as I have a little 5 year old, I'm sure to have the same request again in the future). For this past reservation, I did look for a 2BR RI rewards option during the reservation, couldn't find one, so I made the 1BR reservation, then called Marriott Rewards, who connected me to the local hotel, who then quoted me the upgrade $ on top of the 120K points reservation. So I think I did take all the right steps. You can find the details in my MR account - or else I'll be happy to share the reference numbers .
My question on the forum was to see if there is a better way to make a 2BR option RI Rewards reservation - but it sounds like I did do what I should have done...
That was indeed the main reason to post the discussion...
- Find out if I overlooked something, and there actually was an option to book a 2BR suite with points. From the several responses, it doesn't look like that is the case
- In case this option doesn't exist... I would definitely like to see that as an available points-upgrade option
That makes 2 votes :-)
I'd like to weigh in with my nickel, based on my own limited experience (I only have about 400 lifetime nights).
With regards to the first issue, generally in these present times, you will either see one of two offerings on a hotel reservation page (when using points), either only a standard room offered on points, or a variety of rooms offered on points, but with a cash supplement to upgrade. There are also sometimes options to use points to upgrade. I have even seen where there wasn't a standard room available on points, but upgraded rooms on points a plenty were available (think London), but with a cash supplement, and - really? You mean to tell me that you have no standard rooms available on points, and only have cash upgrade rooms available on points? Sounds pretty dubious to me. I may be wrong, but I don't think there used to be cash supplement upgrade offerings in the distant past (prior to maybe 7-8 years ago), but hotel properties have gotten wise to the idea of offering the cash supplement for folks who want an upgraded room to be "guaranteed" when using points, which the cash supplement basically does. Also, I think the Marriott market has become much more saturated with elites in recent years, who are entitled to complimentary upgrades ("when available.') In your case, with the RI and you wanting to book the 2 bdrm on points, it's simply not offered on the webpage, and as you found out by reaching out to the hotel, the possibility exists to have the 2 bdrm basically guaranteed when booking on points, as long as you agree to the cash supplement for upgrade.
The T&C's state that reward redemption stays include (only) a standard room (emphasis mine).
The T&C's state that there are 2 types of upgrade possibilities, points or paid (cash), but clearly states that availability varies by hotel; check the details for your selected hotel when making your reservation. You clearly did that, only to find that an upgrade could be done with a cash supplement at this property.
It's always a possibility that you might receive a complimentary upgrade (if available), but of course if it is imperative, you don't want to leave it to chance, and the hotels are wise to this. This has always been my conundrum, when booking on points and wanting/hoping for a specific (upgraded) room type. If an upgraded room type is imperative (ie. ocean view or in your specific case, a 2nd bedroom), then I book the paid upgrade option, or if upgraded room options are not shown on the reservation page, I reach out to the property via telephone and email to discuss points or paid upgrade possibilities. If no such upgrade option is offered at all, whether with points or cash, then I'm faced with a decision as to whether or not to just do a full paid stay vs. a points stay. I'm not saying I like to have to do it this way, but this is the reality that I have experienced.
Marriott marketing and Marriott loyalty can be a very tricky game. It's great that we have this forum to discuss and strategize with one another, but on the other hand, our consumer strategies and thought processes are being carefully observed and dissected under the Marriott marketing microscope. It seems to be a constant game of chess, or cat and mouse, in keeping up with the latest marketing strategies, so as to receive the greatest benefits of the program and reap a fair amount of return, based on reasonable expectations as a result of what is "promised" by the Marriott Rewards program.
As to your 2nd question regarding receiving 10 Marriott points per spend on your upgrade fees, The T&C's are nebulous at best, regarding cash upgrades as well as points + cash (and shame on Marriott for posting terms that are clear as mud). Nowhere does it implicitly state that rewards stays using paid (cash) upgrades will receive points on the cash upgrade portion of the payment, and nowhere does it state that a member won't receive points for said either.
Marriott Rewards Terms and Conditions Marriott, providing clear terms is important to your loyal customers.
Read through this member's frustration with this very issue.
Good luck. I vote for you to get a complimentary 2bdrm upgrade!
Wow... impressive research digging through the T&C's - thank you pluto77. And yes... it's both good and bad news to be under watch on this forum - sometimes loopholes do get plugged - other times things actually get fixed (i.e. these days we do get night credits for reward stays - yeah!). As my RI stay happened earlier this month, I am definitely on the lookout to better understand the process (and yes, get an easier 2BR upgrade deal) next time around - and contributions like yours are tremendously helpful to get me to understand the way things work much better... [I would click the "correct answer" button but I am holding out for someone with a silver bullet )
If it helps at all, i booked a regular 1B suite for 3 nights with rewards and called the property to upgrade at a fee $50/night to secure the room type. At check out i saw that they did not charge me for the upgrade, possibly it was a complimentary because of status. Ive had that happen twice but may just depend on how nice the people at the property are and your status. Of course i did not expect that from the beginning and was willing to pay the upgrade if it had not happened.
when they upgraded the reservations instead of showing the amount of points needed, it showed as "Marriott Rewards In-House" with nothing showing as to how many points were used or the cash needed. And that was for both times, it was processed as a normal check in and nothing to sign.
Aha same here... Thank you for sharing. I wonder how they keep track of what they quote us, as it doesn't show up in the online reservation (indeed just "Marriott-Rewards In-House") and neither when using the check-in option in the App or at the check-in at the hotel... so there must be a parallel record somewhere...
Thanks for the shoutout ks77, though I'm not sure I like the reference to veteran, but I am aware in the US it has more honorable connotations than in the UK where it simply means "old" and is frequently used as a polite way to say "wizzened old whinger"
Now to the business at hand... Aha my cupboard is bare... Alas I have no experience of RI/TPS long stay suite only type hotels as they are very recent arrivals in the UK. In fact we only have 1 RI in the UK, and it's in Edinburgh, so a long distance from me, in an area I seldom work (English and Scottish law are different and require different qualifications). In fact in the UK we have about 50 Marriott FS, 5 Autographs, 3 Rens, 1 JW and have only recently opened 2 CYs, 2 ACs and an RI. We have no FFI/TPS/SHS at all and I dont think there are any examples of those brands in Europe either.
So, I don't know how this works for RI, but pluto77 does seem to have done her homework here and that seems the best answer, but if anyone knows please do tell me as I would like to upgrade my upcoming 2xQueen redemption at RI Hamilton, NJ to a 2-bed suite but can't find any way to do so online...
Well... brightlybob I hope you did get your 2 bedroom upgrade in Hamilton...
I guess the conclusion of this thread is clear... there is no way to reserve/get a 2 bedroom suite confirmed at a Residence Inn hotel using a Marriott Rewards Points reservation (You can elect to pay a significant amount of $cash per night on top of your MR points, in which case the local property seems to be happy to confirm your upgrade). Unclear and unsure if the money you pay for a cash upgrade on a MR reservation generates MR points... as pluto77 pointed out (and with different experiences listed by dansplan and cmeyer)
Thank you carat to for offering to assist with this reservation. This thread was spurred by my reservation and rewards stay early July, and my desire to have a better defined and understood process for my next stay/trip at RI using rewards points.
Thank you also to all other contributors to this thread Jsucool76 ks77 jm1991 (who had exactly the same "upgrade" experience I had) - I guess we can only hope that this rewards option becomes available in the future, either as a reward type or an upgrade award with points (as zman concluded earlier).
Well I havent had my stay yet, that'll be in mid September, but I could add that redemption rooms are usually standard ones, in other words the cheapest in the house. Sometimes hotels post upgraded rooms as available with either a cash or 5,000 upgrade points cost per night. But that's not being offered in Hamilton so I'll just sit it out, I can slum it with the 2 Queen studio, but a 2-room suite would be nicer, and maybe Plat status will swing it for me on arrival... Heres hoping
For what it's worth, here is how I've successfully reserved two bedroom suite at Residence Inn (Columbia and Charleston, (Isle of Palms), SC - shown below)
First, I check the particular R.I. where I'm planning to stay to see if they have 2BR suites even at this site. Then, I call the Inn to see if they have any of these rooms available. If so, I call Marriott Reservations and request a 2BR suite at the particular Inn, advising them I've called the Inn to verify they have room available.
As Lifetime Platinum member I was upgraded automatically and did not have to pay extra costs for 2BR.
If you just try to reserve 2BR via internet, it probably won't work, and the local Marriott hotels (R.I.) don't usually make reservations for you - you have to book via the internet site, or by calling Marriott reservations.
Hope this is helpful.
@fshumpert - Thanks for sharing this approach. Recently paid for two nights for a 2 bdrm suite at the RI in Durango, Colorado. As I normally make exclusive use of the website to book rooms, I didn't think there was a way to use points for the room, which was perfect for us and our guests. Will try your helpful guidance in the future.
In the past, I was regularly upgraded to 2BR at Residence Inns when traveling with my family and using points or weekend rates. However, a few years ago there appeared to be a change in 'brand standards' operating policies. I found only a few RI properties would confirm the upgrade in advance (when I called the hotel directly), many said I might be upgraded if available at check-in, and some outright stated they would never upgrade (including platinum) to a 2BR. One particularly stingy property (Residence Inn Treasure Island, FL) even stated that they would not even upgrade from a studio (2 people max) to 1BR, and this property only offered the studios for MR redemption. Needless to say, this property is on my 'no stay' list.
I have read several posts regarding upgrade charges not receiving MR points, and have yet to hear that anyone actually received points for upgrade charges. Therefore, I would assume these do not earn points. It may be more cost effective to pay cash for the 2BR rather than pay $150 per night upgrade fees, especially if they earn no points. As you get closer to your stay dates, I suggest calling the property or emailing the GM directly to see whether they may provide a confirmed complimentary upgrade. It never hurts to try, and I have succeeded twice with this approach.
superchief1 ... you summarized it quite nicely...
- There seems to have been a change in upgrade policy at RI... unless you call there is no way to secure a 2BR RI Award stay - and when you call you most typically will be quoted a cash upgrade price (which then shows on the reservation as "Marriott Rewards In-House"
- When you pay the upgrade charges, they do not count towards new MR points - as pointed out above the membership agreement is unclear, but nobody in this discussion has been able to confirm that they were awarded points on upgrade fees
- No way to get this done online - which is the main reason for this thread : encourage Marriott to include a way to use MR points for a 2 BR rewards reservation at Residence Inn
Thank you fschumpert for sharing your experience... the social networking over the phone continues the best way to get what we would like to get...
Understand your situation. I don't know if this is a secret and it may be obvious, but it works for me. Since I frequent the same Marriott properties multiple times during the year, I have developed relationships with the Associates "in charge" at each of these locations. In some cases it's the GM, but it can be the Assistant GM, the Front Desk Supervisor, even a front desk Associate with no title, although most everyone has one. So Step One is to identify the Associate at the property that has the power to provide you with any room setup you would want during your stay. For example, I frequently travel with one to three Grandkids so at a Residence Inn or Full Service Marriott I would certainly like a two bedroom suite. Step Two: "Grease" (NY term) this person in the form of favorable comments, cash, gifts, etc. (you get the idea). They have the power to accommodate your every need at their particular property and are willing to do it for you with a smile. I can now call this person and actually schedule the room(s) upgrade months in advance with points or credit card. Works particularly well with properties you visit often obviously, but can work on the one off also. For example, recently I casually asked a Front Desk Associate at a Marriott Vacation Club, which are tougher to crack by the way, if I provided her with a $20 bill, would that help me get the bigger on-ocean balcony. She smiled, didn't say yes or no, but I got the big balcony and delivered the $20 bill two days later and mentioned her name in my hotel eval. Now who do you think is going to check me in the next time I stay at this property? Good luck and good traveling.
bpelican - Thanks for the primer on the techniques and benefits of relationship building. Not that obvious to those of us less experienced and will certainly be helpful to all.