I requested a 4 day stay at the Sydney Harbour Marriott using points about two weeks ago for a stay the later part of October. The reservation was requested through the Marriott web site. The stay for points was not available, however, I was able to book the room on several internet hotel sites, incidentally, the rates indicated on those sites were considerably lower than the rate quoted on the Marriott site. We save our Marriott Points for our anniversary celebration each year and will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary on this stay so we were planning to have a special vacation. This will complete our stays at all of the Continents which in itself is a celebration.
I subsquently booked a paid stay at the at the Sydney Marriott for the lowest rate indicated on the Marriott web site. At this point, it was clear to me that the no black out policy was not accurate. I called the platinum elite number to inquire about the same and was told that the rate quoted was because of my Marriott status and was a Marriott overide as the hotel was sold out. In previous experiences the override was given at the highest rate and the rooms were booked through the hotel reservations as they were not available through the Marriott website. Also, rooms were available through the hotel internet sites as stated previously. I have cancelled the paid stay rate at this hotel, as I can get a lower rate at this hotel through the internet hotel sites.
I subsequently emailed the mrw.redemption.questions website that was suggested on this board to other reward members expeciting at least an honest answer. Their response was that I had received a Marriott override for this stay. The rate I received was not the highest rate, even though it was high enough. My opinion is that the hotel does not wish to honor the Marriott rewards point program and the Marriott Corp. supports this missuse of the no black out rewards policy.
My experience earlier in the year at the Marriott in Rio Brazil and Santiago, Chile was superb. We were given excellent accomodations especially in Chile and the service couldn't have been better. We stayed on points on both occasions. We will be staying on points in Auckland New Zealand with another hotel brand and did not have any difficulty booking that stay and we were not preferred guests with that hotel brand. It looks like we need to reconsider our loyalty in view of this experience.
agree with Pingman and sorry to hear of your troubles. Re:Pingman's comments, perhaps this course of action, should MR take it, would bring them back to the top loyalty brand. I have found the only way to make sure you can use points is to book WAY in advance for more popular spots.
Good luck and have a blast :)
I, too had a bad experience at this property. Communicated with Marriott Customer Service who punted it back to the hotel. Had to do with a misunderstanding of a revenue stay followed with a stay using points. Was treated in a curt and rude fashion by the Manager and I will never stay at that property again. Too many other choices in Sydney.
There is no feeling worse than entering a room with a smile and getting it wiped off with rude behavior. It sounds like you were spending your hard earned cash (which you can spend anywhere you choose) and then wanted to prolong the good time with your hard earned points. I'm sure you were happily looking forward to a great time. THEN, the third degree from the GM. That type of treatment ripples through an entire organization that works hard to earn a high reputation. All the marketing in the world can never make up for rude behavior.