Just called to see if there was a possibility for an upgrade to a suite for a La Jolla stay coming up(very soon). They transferred me to a very nice, well spoken woman who told me about all of the available suites...all suites were available, and they had 5 different kinds to choose from. Then she had to had to deliver the bad news. They no longer give away suite upgrades, even when suites are available. She told me that I could pay, in addition to full points, a "50%discount" of $245 PER NIGHT for a suite with a separate bedroom. She said she was really sorry, because the suites were available, and they used to give them to elite members, but now they don't, even if they are available.
I know we aren't supposed to expect it, but if they are available, why can't they treat their elite members to a great perk? We have stayed at other properties and most have always upgraded, if there is availability. Is this a new trend? We just stayed at the JW Houston, and they tried to have us pay, too, even after they told us we were already upgraded, but would have to wait for the room to be cleaned(I talked about this in a previous post). If so, we will avoid these properties. In fact, I just called another La Jolla property(a lower category Marriott than the previous one), and they told me that they had reserved a suite for us at no extra cost. We will be staying there.
It is just disappointing when some properties do this. I will always return to properties that treat their elite members right...JW San Antonio, JW Cairo, Grand Flora in Rome, Renaissance in Brussels, JW Las Vegas, just to name a few. And, we will spend our money there at their restaurants, gift shops, and parking. But these others, who try to sell you an upgrade leave me with a bad taste. I realize if there isn't availability, but if they are empty, why not?
I'm probably not as well traveled as many otherinsiders, but I do get upgraded in some form or fashion nearly everywhere I stay, and occasionally the upgrade is to a suite. Most recent was just last night at the West Des Moines Marriott. In the past I was staying there in excess of 50 nights a year, but this year have only stayed about 15 nights, but last Friday I got a call from them asking if a suite would be okay since there would be nothing available on the concierge level. Many of my stays are for a single night so it's probably much easier, and more likely, for me to be upgraded. An exception to this was a year or so ago, I was upgraded for a 5 night stay at the Renaissance in Dallas. At check in I asked about an upgrade to the concierge floor, was told how full they were with a convention or something, but then put in a suite a couple of floors below the CL. I'm convinced it all comes down to the clerk at the front desk or the person who assigns the rooms in advance. Luck of the draw has a bunch to do with it.
I guess we are just having a bad month!!! We have been upgraded many times, and I will never forget the wonderful ways we have been treated throughout the many years we have been Marriott reward members. We always give glowing recommendations for the hotels that go above and beyond, and thankfully there are still some around. It is just that in the month of July, this is the second time I have been told there is availability, but I would have to pay an extra fee per night. This one happens to be $245 extra per night. I guess I was just venting, as this paying for the suite upgrade, even when they have plenty of suites available, is new to us. I just wanted to know if anyone had had this extra fee proposed to them recently.
And, we are always polite, kind, and friendly. We love to travel! This month we have just had this happen twice, which seemed strange.
I am very happy to hear that you both have not had this happen lately...And I do agree that it has quite a bit to do with the person at the front desk, and the hotel. I am just not hoping that this is not the way things are headed.
I'm so sorry about your experience. I too have often been upgraded to suites (even though I don't really need one), but since you used Reward points, I think it goes back to the point of having to pay as well as use points to get a good room.
Let's hope next month is better!
I certainly hope that that Marriott has not changed their policy sub rosa on suite upgrades. It would seem that every top tier elite guest deserves somethin,g (such as an upgreade) whenever they stay, whether on points or paying something appoximating full rack rate.
When we stay on points we are paying Marriott in kind, in that the points are earned for the most part, through dollars spent at a hotel.
I know that the terms and conditions say that upgrades no not include suites (except for that note on Residence Inns), but in my experience, the upgrading is done most of the time when there is a suite available. As I mentioned elsewhere sometimes proximity to the Concierge Lounge trumps the suite when I am spending just a night or two, or alone.
Perhaps Marriott could interpret these rules and let us know if there is a change that has been made to upgrading?
This seems to be a trend and I have been sort of on a crusade to change this policy because loyalty is not being reciprocated.
I actually had the Admin Assistant for the Marriott CEO call me after I posted my concerns on Bill Marriott's Featured Blog (Use the "home" tab on this page to get to it.
Pick any category and respond with your concerns on this matter. You will get a call back personally.
Marriott corporate is concerned about the treatment of their loyal guests and the intent of the rewards program. It is inconsistent with our experiences and the company need to address these issues.
I am scheduled to be at the NY Marriott Marquis in September for a week. As a Lifetime Platinum, if I am not upgraded to a suite, I will stay one night and explore changing to a different NYC Marriott or Hyatt property that appreciates my business more. Its a shame that Platinum members are not getting decent treatment, whereas, at Hyatt Properties as a Diamond Elite, I get a guaranteed suite upgrade four times a year.
I feel your frustration, but don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. The marriott marquis Times Square is an awesome hotel, in an awesome location, and it has the most awesome concierge lounge you will ever find.I wouln't recommend it, but you could eat dinner in the lounge and feel fulfilled. It's that good. There are just too many great places outside your door it would be a shame not to explore. Either way, enjoy your trip.
It is my understanding that we are to be given room upgrades when available, but that this does not apply to suites.
I was upgraded to a suite - once - and it was nice, but according to the documentation that I've read, upgrades to not apply to suites.
It would be nice if they did, of course..
The point here is why would they not give their Platinum Members upgrade to suites on availabilty and adjust their procedure accordingly like other programs such as Hyatt. In reality, based on feedback on Marriott Rewards Insiders, now it seems to be the discretion of the Front Desk Personnel to give a suite upgrade depending on how the Front Desk personnel feels that day and how nice and pleasant you are to them. That should not be the basis for giving suite upgrades but should be based on customer loyalty and not at the whim of who ever is on duty that day. We as loyal Marriott warriors deserve better treatment and should not be complacent about pointing out Marriotts shortcomings including their inconsistent treatment on suite upgrades. Any comments?
I must admit, I am very impressed and must complement you that you are reading some of our posts. It's nice to know that Marriott is interested in what the insiders are saying. Thanks for that.
I'm a platinum member traveling to JW San Antonio soon. You mentioned they know how to take care of their elites. Any thoughts on the resort, or your upgrade experience will be greatly appreciated.
My wife has received outstanding updrades in more urban locations during the workweek.
I agree with you Jasper that the decision to upgrade or not shouldn't be an arbitrary one left to the notion or mood of a front desk clerk. And there have been times when I've told them so (but only after being told no upgrade). But I really don't want anything special from Marriott. Just give me what the T&C calls for. I ain't going to be beholden to anybody. When I'm not treated right, I cancel on the spot and go somewhere else. I don't think that it matters at all to Marriott or the local hotel if I don't come back or even if the very few of us on Insiders who feel reamed don't come back. They're gonna stay open and continue treating somewhere else without courtesy and respect...some people will complain about it, but take it. Others will whine, put their tail between their legs and mope off to their room, but they'll always come back.
Thanks for all the feedback on the subject.
Seems like many of you have received upgrades to suites in the past, some even repeatedly. But these upgrades were not part of the room upgrade benefit for Gold and Platinum Elites (at participating brands) or a change in Marriott Rewards policy. They were instead a generous acknowledgement of your Elite status and patronage by the individual property. We don't want to discourage them from continuing to do this (if they are able) because although it may set unrealistic expectations, it certainly is appreciated and enjoyed by members. We figure you'd probably rather have a suite sometimes then never have one at all.
Andy, I would suggest that the Marriott look at other hotel chains, such as Hilton, SPG, and Hyatt which I have highest elite status with and all of them almost always gives suite upgrades when available to their highest elite status customers. I find it hard to understand if there is a suite available, why Marriott would not upgrade their most loyal customers on availability. Does not make a lot of sense to me. Rather than quoting the Company Line, why not be proactive in letting Marriott Management that Platinum Marriott Reward Insiders deserve this special treatment, which does not appear to be that costly to implement. It is particularly nice for your most loyal customers when they are traveling with family. When I am on business it is not that important, but when I am traveling with my spouse after many business trips, it is the highest recognition that Marriott can give. I would like to hear from other insiders, their view on this topic. I thought Marriott wanted to hear issues that Marriott Reward Insiders thought were important to them for Marriotts consideration. I believe implementing a policy like this would help ensure that their most loyal customers were appreciated and not have them look at alternative hotels to stay at because of better treatment of their most valued customers.
I would like to hear from other insiders on this to see whether or not they agree with me, or am I way off base?
I must admit, I am impressed and must complement you for looking at some of our posts and have taken time to comment on some of them. It is nice to know that Marriott takes the time to acknowledge their insiders in this way..Thanks.
-- Edited by Jasper100 at Jul 26, 2011 5:47 PM PDT-- Edited by Jasper100 at Jul 26, 2011 5:52 PM PDT
I think this line from lakeshore's original post pretty much sums it up for me:
"She said she was really sorry, because the suites were available, and they used to give them to elite members, but now they don't, even if they are available."
I used to get suite upgrades fairly frequently but it has become more and more infrequent of late. I've often wondered if it was because of the economic landscape and properties' desire to get the maximum possible revenue.
I've always known that the suites were a bonus that the hotels provided because they wanted to, not because they were obligated to. However, the danger in going above and beyond (in any industry really) is that you run the risk of your customers perceiving it as the new norm. I think what the collective mood of MR members is showing is that there has been a noticeable reduction of service. The fact that it was not service that Marriott was actually obligated to provide doesn't make it any less of a reduction.
hey jasper--a weekis a long-time to give away a suite for a property such as the MArquis in the summer--i've been upgraded every time to a suite, but only a few nights...NY hotels are always maex out, especially the summer...and people WILL PAY TOP DOLLAR IN NYC, LIKE NO OTHER CITY FOR A BIGGER ROOM
Don't give up here--perhaps a corner room--great lounge, awesome gym, lots of inhouse places to eat--great views/location!
Thus a igh demand category 8 property!!
Jasper, I wholeheartedly agree with you. And, I am sad to say, that I just got off of the phone with another San Diego property(Category 6), that told me the same thing...yes, there are lots of suites available, but no, we will not upgrade, only for hundreds and hundreds of dollars more per night. It is very disappointing, as these rooms will most likely remain open, when they could be giving a Platinum member an extra special thank you for his service over the past 16 years. Instead, we will go elsewhere. Now, if there weren't any available, I completely understand, but when they tell you that there is inventory available, then tell you that they can give it to you after paying another large fee added on TOP of what you are already spending, well, it doesn't make you feel too appreciated. Another vent from sunny CA...sorry.
Jasper100, better not unpack your bags as your expectations will most probably not be met. I have stayed at the Marquis many times and considered myself lucky if I got upgraded to a corner room. A suite always seems pretty much an impossibility.
During my last trip there I pleaded with the woman checking me in because I was traveling with my teen daughter. Needless to say we were squashed into a two bed room.
Like others here have said, the Marquis has a super lounge, but it can get incredibly crowded at times, and I don't mean a few people waiting in line - I've seen lines 30 to 40 people deep.
Thanks..I stayed there previously and in fact did get upgraded to a nice suite. The lounge is ok but nothing spectacular in my view. The first two nights I am paying for and the next 5 nights using points. If I do not get upgraded, after my first two nights I will check with other hotels including Marriott properties to see if those properties will upgrade me and if they will, I will move to that property. If not, then I will probably just stay at the Marriott Marquis. As a lifetime Platinum member, I would expect that Marriott would reward me for being a loyal customer. Marriott has lost a bunch of my business over the last year as Hyatt, Hilton and SPG have been especially good to me as a top tier elite member, particularly when travelling with my spouse and almost everytime have upgraded me to a suite. Marriotts loss and other hotel gains.-- Edited by Jasper100 at Jul 27, 2011 6:40 PM PDT
Just a thought, it may depend if it is a Marriott owned property or not. I have even used points for basic rooms with a garden view(mostly in Hawaii) and been upgraded suites and even ocean front or ocean view. I would call other Marritotts in the area you are going before hand. I wish you well
I give up complaining about this..seems like very little interest in platinum members getting suite upgrades. Response to this has been very minimal suggesting that there are more important issues that insiders have. So this will be my last post on this subject. Thanks to those that did comment on this subject.
We have stayed at the JW San Antonio twice and the resort was empty. They have not yet upgraded us to a suite, they say they have none available. They will upgrade your location of room with a larger balcony. The resort is beautiful inspite of no special treatment for Platinums.
some topics resonate, others don't. nothing personal. By the way, I used points twice this past week and got upgraded to a suite both times! go figure. I can't catch a cold when paying, but get back-to-back upgrades using points..this was at a full service Marriott and a Renaissance. Pretty sweet! Thank you Marriott!
Hotels and airlines and other businesses often have multiple levels of service or amenities and charge extra for those comforts. Regular consumers attain 'elite' status and expect all kinds of perks without paying for them. There are two distinct mindsets of consumers: those who will pay for higher levels of service and those who will not. While companies like Marriott want to retain their regular customers, they also need to make a profit on their services. When 'elite' customers feel entitled to room upgrages they never will pay for them; it becomes a game of booking the basic, then expecting a higher level of comfort without paying. Later, a customer comes along who is willing to pay a premium for a more spacious comfortable room (or airplane seat) and none are available because they were given away. Who loses? The company... the customer willing to pay... and even the majority of the company's customers who pay for those amenities indirectly when company revenue is spent on amenities that are given away rather than charged for. If you want an upgraded room, pay for it at the time of booking, or take a chance that you MIGHT be given one when you check-in. Upgrades are bonuses not guarantees.
According to the elite benefits terms and conditions here, upgrades are a guarantee:
Free Room Upgrade: Suites not included; based on room availability at check-in and limited to a Member's personal guestroom. For Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites, upgrades from studio rooms to 1- or 2-bedrooms are not guaranteed. Not available at Marriott Vacation Club.
Now, it specifically says suites are not included, but the problem is that many hotels do upgrade elite members to suites anyway. Once people come to expect this perk, it's only natural to feel somewhat slighted when it does not happen. Add to this the fact that many hotels don't really have anything in between a standard room and a suite and the "upgrade" doesn't feel like an upgrade most of the time. Is a room on the concierge floor really an upgrade when a platinum member is already guaranteed concierge lounge access?
Versel - We're reading something different. Room upgrades are not guaranteed...they are given only when available. Is it possible you're confusing room upgrade to the guaranteed room type? I, for one, do think that a room on the concierge level is an upgrade, unless of course that's what you paid for. But in my case, I stay at a government rate that doesn't include that floor, even though I've had access to the lounge for over 10 years, so when I am put on the conceirge level, it's a room upgrade no matter how you look at. You did correctly identify the root of the problem, though, and that is that some MR members, once they're upgraded a few times complimentary, they come to expect it. In fact, they act as though it's an entitlement. I'm guilty of that sometimes, and that's why when I check into a full service Marriott or Renaissance and don't get an upgrade, I check out immediately if it's before the time I'll get penalized, otherwise, I check out the following morning and move to another hotel. No talking about it, no whining, no demanding...I walk. And I suspect that for what I was paying for the room, the hotel bookkeeper doesn't miss my business at all.
totally agree. It's part of our "Entitlement" society. Give someone a perk, it them becomes expected. I was checking into my flight yesterday and I asked if I had been upgraded to 1st class. When I was told yes, I simply said "good". the counter agent said, "boy, have we spoiled you". the point was well taken. We take these upgrades for granted way too often.
You're right. It's more of a promise that they'll give you a better room if they have one (as long as it's not a suite).
It's not a guarantee in the same sense that the room type and reservation guarantees are where there is monetary compensation if the guarantee is not fulfilled.
Most of the time when I travel alone for business, I could care less what type of room I get. It is nice to get upgraded on family vacations, though. However, if I'm not going to be happy with the base room type, I'll do as Pitt says and reserve what I want rather than go in cheap and hope for an upgrade.
I read that the Marriott Marquis Times Square does not upgrade to suites for elites. Having said that, I was upgraded to a suite last year. Probably does depend on the desk clerk. I also checked in at the elite desk on the ground level but don't know if that made any difference. Seems like they would certainly know the upgrade rules.
I have stayed at the Marriott East side before and while it was nice, I much prefer the Marquis.
Versel -- I like that interpretation -- a promise -- which to me carries a lot more weight ethically than a guarantee does legally. Like I said, I'm guilty of high expectations, maybe even sometimes unreasonable expectations. But we've got to be willing to back up our words with action.
Reminds me of a study done at some college years ago where the researchers went to a dorm and gave out $5 bills every Friday at 10PM with no explanation. Soon, the dorm was full of students every Friday evening waiting for 'their' five dollars. When the gifts suddenly stopped, the students were angry, bitter and complaining. As you point out, Marriott excludes suites from upgrades, but instead of people being delighted to get that perk on occasion, they become bitter and angry when they don't get 'their' expected upgrade to a suite.
I think the loyalty programs kind of got away from them all.
The value of points keeps going down...to the extent that they are almost worthless.
The executive lounge is a nice perk. I am starting to quetion the value of loyalty programs at all though. What does it cost me per year to get to go in the executive lounge once in awhile?
Does a Courtyard Hotel that charges $4 for 500 ml of bottled water really want my business? Give me something free on one hand, and rip me off on the other hand. There's no logic or standards in a lot of things.
You're not alone, especially when you said you're questioning the value of loyalty programs. I will never give up my Delta loyalty status because comfort in the air, priority lines, free club membership and other aspects of airline loyalty are very important to me. But having stayed at many non-Marriotts (because there were no Marriotts in the places I went) recently, along with some bad experiences, it has occurred to me that for hotels at least loyalty programs may no longer be worth it if we don't get breakfast, don't get upgrades, and the Exec Lounge is not open on weekends (or is too crowded to bother with).
So while I flirted with the idea of a different hotel loyalty program, it has occurred to me that I could stay at really nice hotels in the places I go to and get many similar benefits. My recent stays in Saint-Malo and Cordoba are good examples.
I will stay a Marriott member, because on some occasions it will be the best choice, but I am asking the same questions as you are.
Again, Marriott has made it so easy to attain the Platinum and Gold Elite Level that having that distinction does not mean anything more. When I achieved Platinum Level it was very difficult without all the gimmicks they have now to allow this status to be achieved. Thus the deterioration of service because you are looked at just like any traveler staying at a Marriott.