9 Replies Latest reply: Jun 29, 2011 2:25 PM by profchiara RSS

Rewards Are no longer "Rewards"

profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with Marriott, especially in Europe (but not Athens).  Apparently, it is fine to book a stay at a 6, 7 or 8 hotel as long as you use the required points THEN pay a large amount in addition just to get the room.  I booked (though I may change it) at the Paris Vendôme for July using points -- and am being charged not only 40,000 pts per night but 90 euros (= $139).

 

This does not amount to free stays and I think we need to make a stand on this.  I even checked my favorite (and easiest to and from the airport), the Rive Gauche. The points would have been less and the extra euros would have been less, but they're doing it too.

 

If this goes on regularly in Europe in the future, I, like some others, will switch brand hotels.

 

BTW, unlike some others, there was no choice about paying the extra. Sometimes it used to be done with the idea that you'd get a seaside room or some such thing.  All it said was that I would get a bigger room. I don't need a bigger room. I wanted a free room.

ProfChiara

  • Re: Rewards Are no longer "Rewards"
    newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Totally agree with you, Professor.  This points plus cash for Reward members is completely ridiculous!  Overrides the complete purpose of the "REWARDS" program!

     

    Keep it up, Marriott, and you are going to lose a lot of your most loyal customers.  Other Reward programs are much better.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Rewards Are no longer "Rewards"
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    What's even worse is that after you pay a substantial amount of money for your 'free' room it doesn't even count as a stay.

    ProfChiara

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Rewards Are no longer "Rewards"
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I got increasingly annoyed with myself at the idea of paying 40,000 points (the equivalent of $400 spending at a Marriott) AND 90 euros for a room at the Renaissance Vendôme Paris.  So I cancelled and spent 30,000 points at my usual, the Rive Gauche. While they offered upgrades for money (which I almost always get anyway), they at least had the option of a free room. So I went for it, mostly on principle.

    ProfChiara

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Rewards Are no longer "Rewards"
    tef6178 Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Professor, I'm with you. This 'charging' for a room booked on Reward Points is ridiculous!

     

    When you changed the reservation, did you get the room without having to pay the extra euros mentioned in your first post, or are you still having to pay the extra?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Rewards Are no longer "Rewards"
    versel Alumni Steward Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    That's dissapointing. I've never run into the points + cash scenario (except as an option to upgrade a room). Never as the only option. I stayed at the Vendome for a week in February and they didn't charge extra then.

     

    Count me in on the no to +cash movement.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Rewards Are no longer "Rewards"
    davidinla Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I agree with your principle Professor! I would have done the same.

    The points & pay option had better change or I too will be looking for alternatives.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Rewards Are no longer "Rewards"
    lakeshore Platinum 11 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I fully agree, Prof.  This almost always happens to us in Paris, so now we have started renting a flat when we go, because we can get more bang and room for our buck(and traveling with children, it is important). It is frustrating, as a Platinum member, to have such limited options. Yes, booking at a Marriott in Paris, especially during the summer, or even over Christmas, can be costly, both with points, and with Euros.  It always leaves me with a feeling of being taken advantage of, when paying with both points and Euros is the only option.  Why do the properties in Paris seem to be this way more often than not?  We never had this problem staying at Marriotts in other countries.  In fact, the opposite is usually true.  If only all Marriotts could treat their guests like the Grand Flora in Rome does!

    I am glad to see, though, that something opened up for you at Rive Gauche for points alone.  If I recall from a previous trip you had there, you were upgraded to a suite with a sweet view!  Enjoy!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Rewards Are no longer "Rewards"
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi TEF6178 and others,

    First I cancelled the reservation at the Vendôme (and will never stay there as a result of this policy), then checked the other hotels that allowed reward redemption.  The Rive Gauche did, though they clearly try to point you in the direction of upgrading with money. But still, I ended simply checking the rewards room category, 30,000 pts, and no money. (I was there in March and got upgraded to a suite anyway.) And since I love the hotel , it was not a huge disappointment -- but I'm glad it brought up this subject.

     

    I was first faced with it over a year ago at the Riviera's Porte de Monaco, where unless you almost guarantee yourself a view facing away from the Riviera and over a stadium loudly being rebuilt, you have to pay euros or points in addition to base pts.  I didn't take a chance in that case, but when I got there, I found they tried to charge me money as well as all the extra points I had used. It took some time at the desk to get it all straightened out.

     

    Anyway, I simply will not stay on points where I have to pay as well. I think we need to send Marriott a message on this one.

     

    ProfChiara

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Rewards Are no longer "Rewards"
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Dear Lakeshore,

    Yes, indeed -- and I shared the photos from my suite (and its phenomenal view) on that previous trip. Since I was in Paris for a whole week, I didn't use rewards, but it's not especially expensive in late winter/early spring, especially if you use AAA.  Besides the upgrade, I got the kind of service I always have had at the Rive Gauche.

    It's funny the cool feeling you get when you decide to JUST SAY NO to something that is just plain wrong, as I did after cancelling the Vendôme reservation.

    ProfChiara

    PS -- I don't know if they still do it as well, but the London County Hall did this to me a few years ago when I tried to use points only and was more naive.  At the time it was so novel that I called Marriott and said I'm paying with Rewards and I'm a platinum member.  They promptly noted that I wanted just rewards. It might have worked at the Vendôme, but I didn't even feel like trying.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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