Ahhhhh, twisting the words are we??? What I said is that I get a "GUARANTEED" (at booking) 4 SUITE upgrades a year. In addition to those Guaranteed Suite upgrades (at booking), I have been upgraded more often that I am upgraded presently at Marriott. How many guaranteed suite upgrades (at booking) are you receiving at Marriott??? Just asking.................
Premier Plat status does make a difference here.
In full-service Marriotts, Renn, JWs, and Ritzs that I know have sufficient numbers of suites, I cannot remember since becoming Premier when I have not been assigned a suite as a matter of routine and without requesting it. And, elsewhere I am always given other types of upgrades.
Keep in mind that the promise to assign the "best available room" at checkin does not necessarily mean a suite, although that often happens. Rather, the promise is for the "best available room". So, an upgrade can alternatively mean a corner room, a room with a better view, a larger room, a room with a jacuzzi tub, a room on the concierge floor, a room with better amenities, etc, etc, or a combination thereof.
I am frequently blocked into a suite, but on checkin offered a concierge floor room as an alternative. On those occasions, I usually opt for the concierge floor. However, I cannot take much advantage of suite amenities when I am travelling alone on business. On the other hand, when my wife is with me on a business trip, a suite is a nice amenity.
I am attending a conference in Los Angeles, staying at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live as I write this message. I figured the place would be packed as this group normally sells out, so I didn't even request an upgrade. The hotel upgraded me to a "Junior Suite" without asking. As far as suites go, it's very big and all that I need. If I wasn't so technologically challenged, I'd post a picture of it.
My experience with upgrades is that if you're nice to the people at the front desk and, this has really happened a couple of times with me, especially if they look across the lobby and see my wife and kids and space is available, they'll give you an upgrade. The other thing I do is call the platinum line and ask about hotel occupancy. Low occupancy = increased chances for upgrades. I probably get one about 2/3 of the time and probably half of those are without asking. If I only need a place to sleep for one night, I could care less.
Last year, I was in Orlando at the Renaissance SeaWorld with the wife and kids - they upgraded me to a full suite and, honestly, it was one of the most memorable parts of the trip. The wife and kids loved it. So, if you want the upgrades, know the math going in and be positive at the front desk.
Shoeman, Guaranteed suite upgrades happen almost always at the five or so full service Marriotts or Renaissance Hotels where I stay most frequently. Though you did not ask this can happen a few days before or at times of booking, depending on occupancy loads.
It has happened only once in ten years at the NYC Marriott Merquis where I stay at least twice a year.
And as Countryjim said there is an advantage to taking the C level room as opposed to the suite on some shorter adventures.
Shoeman -- the way I find out that I've been upgraded in advance is by checking my account under change./cancel reservations. If I am blocked for an upgrade the reservation will show "1 bedroom suite" or "concierge level guest room" as opposed to "guest room" if that's what I booked originally. No follow up email, just bird doggin' it so I'll have a better idea of what to expect and what to ask for when I arrive.
"getting ready" Man, we are never not ready!
Went to the Red and White Spring game in April in Lincoln...me and about 75,000 other fanatics! Can you believe that, 75,000 people travel to lincoln to watch a scrimmage? By the way, no Marriott , etc, rooms available that weekend in Lincoln or Omaha, so we stayed in a great, and big, 1 bedroom suite at Offutt AFB. No points, but the price was right compared to the "special event" pricing for hotels.