For the first time in many years it's looking like I won't be able to achieve Platinum level this year thanks to a corporate policy that I have to go with hotels where we have corporate rates or get another hotel at the same rate or lower (Of course the corporate rates are never at Marriott)
What' really frustrating is that I know from first hand information that the corporate rate I'm forced to pay the other guys is higher than the corporate rates Marriott offers to other companies in the same market.
Of course it would be great if Marriott would match the corporate rates from the other guys for a good customer like me....
Does anyone have any ideas how to turn this situation around?
Are you "forced" by corporate policy to save money? I would think that the company that employs you would have the sense to save money, even if it say 15-20 dollars a night over the other brands.
With your status, I would inquire wtih Marriott and see if you can work a deal yourself that would conform to corporate policy-basically, ask if Marriott can match your policy rate.
I am pretty sure Marriott can match that price, especially with your status. Check with your Platinum line and inform them of this change within your company and let Marriott win your business.
Here is to you saving money for your company!
I have often contacted the Sales department of a hotel that I prefer and ask them to match the price. Usually, I'm staying for an extended period so they are happy to get the business.
And if I know that company XYZ gets a certain rate at that particular hotel, then I ask for that rate (even if I'm not affilliated with that company).
I have had overall successful experiences after having intentional conversations about rate competition with marketing folks at Marriott-branded properties. So far, I have had discussions with a number of marketing people but have focused on the four Marriott-brand properties I tend to frequent most often, including two Courtyards, a full-service Marriott and a Springhill suites. All discussions resulted in what I and my company consider to be acceptable year-round rates.
I suggest a friendly but firm approach ---- and ---- here is a tip that has worked for me each time: Before talking with anyone at each location, develop a reasonable estimate of annual paid room nights you are likely to spend at each property. Nothing impresses marketing folks more that an assurance of prospective paid room nights.
For the last five years, all of my "extended stays" hotel managers have written me a "Letter of Recommendation" that I use to negotiate my next long-term stay with the property sales manager (as a consultant, I will be at the same hotel 6+ months, and usually longer than originally anticipated - never less). As such, the hotel manager writes, "TWIMC - I would like to recommend Mr. Pingreeman as a guest at your hotel. la de da but let me assure you that when Mr. Pingreeman suggests a stay of six months at a discounted rate, he keeps his word as he has been at my property for ## months. Please do your best to accomodate him."
Works like a charm - in fact, my current stay is 2 miles from Milwaukee airport and I negotiated a rate better than TransAir and Southwest employees - I know as I've been near the front desk when I see them check out.
Corporate rates are negotiated individually with each property, so there is no way to see what hotels offer rates to each corporation without contacting the hotel directly. It would defeat the purpose of offering a special negotiated rate if the rate were made public. Rates that are negotiated across all hotels have special corporate rate codes that are entered when making the reservation online or are given to the reservations agent when making a reservation.
I hope this helps clear things up - thanks!
All the replies to this question seem to focus on "bringing a bucket of business to a particular property".
My problem is that I get around a lot and I don't really stay at a single property for more than 2-3 nights at a time. So I can't really go in and promise lots of nights - especially when talking about me alone.
Additionally, I'm not empowered to negociate for my company. WHile I know that a bunch of employees visit Folsom CA each year I certainly don't know how many.
What I do know is that the Hamton Inn gives charges my company a $99 per night rate and the best I can get from Marriott is $129. So I'm forced to stay at Hamton.
I would still love someone at Marriott to respond to my original suggest of "Platinum Rates for Platinum Members". My idea wsa that I could bring my last Hamton bill to the Courtyard in Folsom and they could consider matching their rate for me at that property. This would make more Platinum members your regulars and it would maybe let you know what rate the Hamton is charging to (for example) Intel employees.
You don't need to "negotiate" a contract on behalf of the company, nor do you need to commit a huge number of nights. I simply call the hotel I want to stay at (even if for 1-2 nights) and explain that I have a per diem cap. As long as the cap is reasonable, they typically accommodate me.
I have even done this when on personal travel and it's worked quite well. I let them know I was traveling for my anniversary and they even threw in a free in-room movie and $25 in-room dining.
It sounds like your company is focused only on the rate, so if you stay at your preferred hotel at the same rate or lower you should be okay. I hope that helps you.