I have never been able to use my points for one reason or another, but most often it is because "dates are unavailable". To test that, I would list dates way into the future, only to get the same message. This program is just a scam and should be reported as such. If anyone else has been haveing this problem, please post it. In the meantime, I may have to try other avenues for satisfaction.
I've had the same experience with the Maui Ocean Club. Just tried it again using the Alternate Date finder, which is supposed to check 4 weeks at a time and could not find anything from Oct 2010 to April 2011 (the end of the inventory period).
I previously had the same issue with the Marbella resort (in Spain), but just tried again and was able to find some availability in November (but not October) 2010.
I assume some hotels have a very small number of rooms available for rewards booking (perhaps just one - to comply with the no-blackout policy), which makes it nearly impossible to book them.
Regrets, Maui Ocean Club is a Marriott Vacation Club/timeshare resort. The Marriott Vacation Club brand does not participate in the No Blackout Dates policy. This is clearly spelled out online, here.
Very good point. Like the Ritz-Carlton, the inclusion of Marriott Vacation Club in cross-brand integration is wide open to debate.
If complimentary Internet access for Gold & Platinum Elite is the apex of cross-brand integration with Marriott Rewards, Marriott Vacation Club participation is the nadir. This may reflect MVC management more than corporate, btw.
It was only July 2009 that Marriott Vacation Club became integrated into Marriott Rewards Hotel Category framework. If "View All Posts" actually worked, it would be possible to refer you to earlier posts.
Who has the luxury of spending upwards of an hour to chase after messages that would benefit the Insiders community? With the lack of prioritization, we may have to wait until July 2010 for "View All Posts" capability to be restored.
MaryOtt and Innebandy
With 'View All My Posts' capability fully restored, it's now possible to find earlier posts easily and point you to them. For recent discussion about Marriott's No Blackout Dates policy and the internal audit team dedicated to outting non-complying hotels, see: No Blackout Dates is a Lie! and LESS CONFUSION PLEASE
As recently as last Thursday, a friend called asking what to do about the San Jose Marriott. He would like to stay there using points and nothing was available. While hotels can be legitimately booked months in advance due to trade shows, conferences and the like, there are some hotels who masquerade room availability by packaging standard rooms normally availalbe for redemption in breakfast for two or other promotions. The impact of creating special rates blocks these standard rooms from the redemption inventory rendering it difficult if not impossible to secure a room using points.
Recognizing that some hotels are doing this, Marriott has commissioned an internal audit team (which I call the Blackout Police) to monitor and out these non-complicit hotels. Taking the liberty of quoting the reply by Marriott Concierge here at Insiders, here's an extract from an earlier post:
"One contributor states that Marriott has a team of internal auditors monitoring hotel compliance with the No Blackout Dates policy. The response by Marriott Concierge on Flyertalk provides recourse:
"Redemption room availability is controlled through our global reservations system to ensure hotels comply with the No Blackout Date policy. If you think a hotel is in violation , you can email MRW.Redemption.Questions@Marriott.com with the specific hotel and dates in question. If the hotel is not in compliance, we will ensure they come back into compliance, book your reservation, and award you 5,000 points for the inconvenience. "