I have been at least a gold MR member for the last four or five years. However, I do not think that I have ever received an upgraded room in all of my stays. I realize that the T&C specify that this is subject to availability, but I doubt that every single place I've stayed in has been that full. Is this something that I have to specifically ask for? For some reason I was under the impression that this would simply be given to me without my asking. I think part of my problem may be because I usually stay in Courtyards and Residence Inns (I have to stick to government rates). Do these places have nicer rooms, or are all rooms the same?
I recently was upgraded to a Jr. Suite in Ghent, Belgium at the full service Marriott. I was also upgraded to a Jr. Suite at the Grand Flora in Rome last year but that was after much back and forth with Customer Service and upper personnel about the new points redemption policy and availability issues more than just being upgraded because of my status (Plat Premier at the time, Plat Lifetime now).
While traveling to my last client site (project ended 12/31/2009, working from home for my current client), I stayed at one particular Courtyard for over 2 years... I can count on one hand the number of times that they upgraded me to a suite or jacuzzi room, neither which mattered to me at that Courtyard. The bedrooms in the suites were small and I didn't use the living room so I'd just prefer a larger bedroom. And, I just don't use jacuzzis in hotels... grosses me out the amount of germs in those things since they aren't cleaned very well.
My advice is to also ask for an upgrade if you want it.
If staying somewhere long-term, I usually find a room that is very clean, on the backside of the hotel (less noise) and about half-way down the hall from the elevator and ice machine (again, less noise)... then make sure they book me in that room every week.
I usually receive room upgrades as a Platinum and even when I was a gold, but I travel almost exclusively in Europe. In Brussels, Rome and London I've even been upgraded to multi-room suites.
I don't know if there's a geographical component to the upgrade or whether it's the size and demand at different hotels.
Well from the standpoint of someone who has been a platinum premier for at least 3 years, automatic upgrades are NEVER given. I have been in hotels when they had only 40-50% occupancy and it hasn't happened. Forget what it says in the pamplets.
In the past 4 years I've only been given an upgrade at the Mariott East Side (NYC) because I was only staying one night. Most times the rooms are nice but I have recently noticed (Marriott Memphis Downtown) that your status doesn't mean much.
I tend to try to maintain my status, then switch to a different chain.
"You can add the note in your reservation"
Regrets, the capability to add a short note/comment to an online reservation was eliminated about 8 months ago. While Insiders lamented the loss of this feature and several of us did contact Marriott requesting that the feature be reactivated, adding comments has yet to be restored.
Consider calling Elite Reservations. The terrific folks there retain the capability to add comments and can even check availability to determine whether or not a complimentary upgrade is feasible.
During the check-in process, I make a point of asking, "Do you know if there are any room upgrades available due to my status?" They seem to verify my status on their computer (which is Platinum), before deciding whether to give me an upgrade, or not. By just asking that one question, I get upgraded more than half the time. Try it - it's worth a shot. Good Luck!!!
I have found that I get upgraded to a bigger room without requesting. Last week at the Atlanta Airport Renaissance I got a corner unit that was 900 sq. ft (for $79.00) without having to ask. I have been also been upgraded to Ocean Views or Concierge Floors without asking. Be sure to have your profile show that you prefer upper floors, foam pillows, a refrigerator, and other amenities. I think the hotel will realize that you really care about the type of room you want and give you more.
Getting upgrades is hit or miss but you have to remember that there are a few factors involved here.
The first is room availability. Most properties have very few suites (unless a Marriott Suites). It most likely averages less that 1% of the rooms. Example: one particular full service property I stayed for five months at has 512 rooms and only 5 suites. As a “PP” I was upgrades to a suite 60% of the time. They did a lot of conventions so the suites would generate revenue during those and none were available for upgrade. Another property I stayed at for eight weeks has 344 rooms and only 3 suites. I never did get a “suite” upgrade at this property. They did however have 6 corner king rooms that were much larger than regular rooms. I was upgraded to one for these for 7 of the 8 weeks.
Some properties gets about 40-50 Platinum’s a week. That is another factor by the way. When you are competing for upgrades with people of the same status the tie breaker is usually your frequency of stay at the individual property. If the staff knows you as a frequent guest you are more likely to get an upgrade over a first timer staying at the property. I do project work so I often stay at the same hotel week after week. Get to know the front desk staff and the concierge. Being on a first name basis with these folks will get you the upgrades and other amenities a lot easier.
I think another big factor is the individual property management style. I rarely ever ask for an upgrade. The only time it matters to me is when I am staying with my wife and that is usually on points. The rest of my stays are for work and I am only in the room to sleep so the upgrades really don’t matter that much then. Here is another example… I stayed in a Courtyard for three months in southern California last year. I was upgraded to a one bedroom suite every week based on my status. They only have 6 of these rooms. I never had to ask for these upgrades either.
I would be curious to know if more upgrades are given away without asking at Marriott owned properties or franchise properties. That could be one of the factors. Some franchises have several different hotel brands in their portfolio. If they shuffle employees around between brands they may not always be in tune with a particular brand culture. The “spirit to serve” may be more ingrained in the Marriott owned property employees. I could be wrong on this. It is merely speculation on my part.
I hope this helps put things into perspective for those that don’t seem to get upgraded as often as they like. I currently have over 1,500 nights with Marriott. They majority of these have been in a regular room. But then again that is what I paid for.
Just found this site today and this is my first post. I can tell I'll become addicted (at least from a reading/lurking standpoint).
I'll definitely make sure to politely ask if my status affords me an upgrade at my next stay, as a poster above mentioned. On the flip side of this, I recently made a spur-of-the-moment stay at the Philly Marriott and was just going to cash in some rewards points for the stay. However, the database was temporarily down when they were trying to verify my points and I ended up getting upgraded to a suite for merely having to wait 5-10 minutes while the gentleman tried to get thru to the database. He couldn't, and had to put in an authorization on my credit card, but it was nice to receive the unexpected upgrade, and it all was worked out in the morning (to charge my points).