New wrinkle in the competitive world of elite membership: matching one for the other. This has been possible on a case by case basis in the past but difficult to keep for longer than a year.
I was able to get top tier at three other chains by asking and providing documentation.
Let's see who else does this?
Compared to Marriott, Best Western's Elite Levels and Benefits offer a "fast track." BW Diamond barely matches up with MR Gold. It's a smart approach sure to attract the leisure traveler. With a 2-week vacation at Best Western, you can be Gold. It's good marketing for the entry level road warrior and really sets Marriott apart as the upscale program preferred by 33 million members worldwide.
Definitely interesting, I have found other groups will match as well, though Hilton requires some nights to get the diamond status rather than a pure match.
I might actually do this, we are planning a family vacation to the UK soon and there are some just AMAZING BW properties out in the countryside areas. In the cities, I'm no doubt in a Marriott but where there are no Marriotts, in the UK anyway, they can be unreal. :)
Thanks for posting the link!
Best Western is the largest brand in the business but each is independently owned. so there is that footnote to consider. While there are folks for whom the BW is the preferred choice, above all others, it's not for everyone. In some small towns (Winnemucca NV for example) it may be the only game in town.
Thanks for the information...in investigating this further it seems Hyatt, Hilton and Starwood all offer highest elite status for Marriott Platinum Members. Hyatt gives 4 certificates for suite upgrades per year, Hilton gives free internet access to Diamond Elite members and Starwood gives suite upgrades on availability. Why is Marriott so far behind on giving these kind of benefits. If Marriott does not start matching their competitor elite benefits, they will lose their most loyal customers to the competitors.
Hyatt's Diamond Level perks fyi.
After 25 eligible stays or 50 eligible nights, you will experience the highest level of membership and have access to our most generous benefits and awards.
I think its a perception problem with the BW hotels. In the US they were just like any other red roof or super 8 for a long time. Honestly back then I would rather sleep in my car and even today I wouldnt let a stray dog sleep in a super 8 or red roof ;).
In the past 5-6yrs they seem to have turned around and are actually destinations for some folks. They are privately owned and so that does present some challenges for the brand but also it allows for some to be real jewels. There are some, particularly in remote areas that, as mentioned, are the only game in town. There are some that offer a more "resort" experience around the rockies.
Outside of the US, particularly in the UK, the BW properties are often centuries old castles, manor homes or farms. I put about 90nights in with them a couple of years ago and found them to be on par or far above for other local properties. Granted, there were no Marriotts in these places, I was in the countryside while there for work. Most of these properties are realtively untouched from a look/feel point of view. They have modern ammenities in rooms, including wifi, but walking through the buildings and grounds can really give you a sense of the true old world charm and feelings. There is just something about walking up a 18-20' wide stone staircase to get to your room only to look out on a 500 yr old structure with acres of perfectly manicured gardens. (some pix from one of the places I was at attached)
So it all really boils down to what is available vs what provides services/features for your expectations. For me, I have a vested interest in maintaining my relationship with Marriott and as such I stay in their properties 100% for my work travel. For personal travel, well I try to use my points as much as possible (ie stay with a MR property) but if I'm going to shell out cash for a night, I would certainly consider a BW property, perhaps over other big name brands.
"Outside of the US, particularly in the UK, the BW properties are often centuries old castles, manor homes or farms. "
I'm a huge fan of restoring historic structures, tranforming them for new uses and was not aware that BW engaged in that type of development. Great photos, thanks for posting them.
Check out the properties around the country side of the UK with BW. Some places are simply amazing, while others are just standard hotels.
For example, check this place out, not the cheapest but considering the status match + the fairly decent conversion of various point program points into BW points, you could pull a weekend or longer for little cash :)
autside the u.s.a
only one country is imbattable
100 times withaut probleme you can
spent your points withaut probleme
1 exemple only jakarta 80000 points
the 10 nights
this yaer 120000 points
with a free upgrate to a governeur suite
and now la cerise sur gateux
exuse my fautes in englisch and french
"I was able to do this at Hilton and actually was given a 3 year Diamond status. "
Vacation ownership is very attractive to me and my wife. When Hilton launched Grand Vacation Club, we explored their timeshare ownership opportunities and the 'culture' of the company. In the USA, deeded ownership is subject to local and state statutes. On our first pre-construction tour in Orlando, we grew very impatient for several reasons, but primarily the gaps in knowledge - especially the credibility of Hilton's mission and role in governance for their lodging and timeshare properties.
Given your Diamond status, the HHonors involvement in corporate espionage, the thought of brand-hopping or elite matching comes across as a lack-luster. Out of curiosity, what's your thinking on Hilton's ability to manage HHonors member expectations? Haven't they seriously undermined their credibility ~and~ value?
TJC - I cannot comment on time share, it's not my thing. It would be interesting to know how many of us "Insiders" are time share owners. As far as my opinion on Hilton's alleged wrong-doings, I really don't know and don't care. I am a business traveler and base my hotel choice decisions on 1. Location. 2. Amenties. 3. relative value. 4. Loyalty program. While I prefer the Marriott brand, I do not blindly choose a Marriott property. Just as I must earn my customers business with every transaction, so must my hotel do the same for me. I don't think that is asking too much, but that's just me. I guess blind loyalty has it's good points.....
"As far as my opinion on Hilton's alleged wrong-doings, I really don't know and don't care. Just as I must earn my customers business with every transaction, so must my hotel do the same for me. I don't think that is asking too much, but that's just me. I guess blind loyalty has it's good points....."
In August 2009, national headlines about defense attorneys alleging that a rape victim at the Stamford Marriott was negligent in the attack fueled widespread criticism and Insiders' concern. Marriott took swift action to disown the hotel's defense.
In the same way that Tiger Woods has failed to disown his infidelities, Hilton has failed to disown involvement in corporate espionage. "Blind loyalty" may have good points for some, but it's an unexpected surprise to hear, "I really don't know and don't care."
so Shoeman, how did you get the 3yr diamond status match? I spoke with Hilton at one point and was told diamong after 20nights. To which I responded, so I'm a normal no status traveller for 20 nights then I'm diamond. They said, yep, I said shove it why the hell would I leave perk central for that LOL
That being said there's a Hilton property on the Outer Banks of NC that I like to stay at, Diamond status would certainly get me a nicer room (one can assume). FWIW there are NO Marriott properties on the Outer Banks (which sucks!) :)
"there are NO Marriott properties on the Outer Banks"
The fate of development in the Outer Banks was sealed about 2 years ago. The state commissioner negotiated higher rates with the insurers w/o coastal residents' knowledge. Homeowner premiums soared 30 percent. They tried to appeal this past January. The fate is uncertain. To limit exposure, insurance companies threatened to quit doing business in the state.
Pulling out of the Outer Banks, State Farm dropped 1600 policies effective May 1st. To my knowledge, financing future construction of any kind would be extremely challenging w/o property and casualty coverage. It's anyone's guess how long Hilton can maintain an operation there.
In the meantime, the closest Marriott is 43 miles inland, the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Elizabeth City. Before FIS, I took my family to the Marriott Vacation Club in Williamsburg. We drove 96 miles south to Cape Hatteras for day trips from Virginia Beach. Now, Virginia Beach has many Marriott properties several of which just slid up a notch in Hotel Category.