I've been a Gold Member for three years (I think), and have noticed a marked difference in what that means between hotels. In some hotels I am treated like roalty, receive room upgrades, etc., while in others there is no mention whatsoever of my gold status and certainly no perquisites. Other hotels are somewhere in between.
Have others on the forum experienced the same thing? I'm not looking for a red carpet to be rolled out for me, but it would be nice to have some sort of acknowledgement of my loyalty to Marriott. I don't travel a great deal, but when I do I make it a point to stay at Marriott. There needs to be a compelling reason for me to choose another brand. It would be nice to have that recognized.
Well, this is the crux of the matter for all elites of all levels, seems to me. I wish I could tell you that every hotel will roll out the best of the best but that's not the case. Associates (Marriott employees) are given some training, but that does not automatically guarantee the consistency of treatment that we all want and feel we deserve.
I make it a point to ask if my elite status and number are on file when I check in. Often the Associate will beat me to the punch and welcome me as an Elite Member before I say anything.
But never give up--the more that every guest makes it a point to have an Associate recognize their Elite Status the more "muscle memory" will be instilled in the mind of that Associate for you and the next guest.
Good luck and congratulations on making Gold Status.
I also provide the "hint" by asking if my Marriott Gold number is on file, but generally that gets a "yeah, I've got it" and nothing more. The hotels that do greet me with a "Welcome, thank you for your loyalty" or some such are the ones that go the extra distance.
Another interesting phenomenon - not suprising, but interesting - is that the hotels that treat you well send a survey of your stay and the ones that don't treat you well don't send a survey. In few cases I have sent in unsolicited comments on my stay, but that was only if it was very good or very poor.
Whether recognized for my loyalty or not, I still really like the Marriott family of hotels and have found them more consistent than any other chain. That's the root cause of the loyalty, and why I am continually using Marriott hotels.