Have any other Platinum's noticed how skimpy the welcome gift foods have become??/ I don't expect them to be a meal, but to serve me (a professional chef by the way) half of a cut brie that is not bigger than a silver dollar pancake is embarrassing. I have noticed this "trend" as many of the brands across the marriott family including JW Resorts!
The 2 times I've asked for the welcome gift in full-service Marriotts, it's been pretty good (cheese & crackers once, then 2 tubs of Haagen Dazs), but it took way too long to be sent to the room. My recommendation would be to get the points instead of the gift. That's what I always do now. I recall getting the gift once at a Residence Inn, and they just told me to grab any drink or snack from their little food shop.
In November the "welcome gift" at the Denver Marriott City Center 1701 California Street was delivered while we were out to dinner. Yes, the front desk staff knew we were going out to dinner, they gave us directions. The cheese and crackers appeared to have been thrown on the plate - no attempt to make the plate look attractive, the worst was that there was no cover and by the time we returned from dinner everything was drying out. I called the front desk to ask for something to cover the plate and was told "the kitchen does not have any plastic wrap to share." This was just the beginning of the worst Marriott stay I have ever endured. On the third of a 5 day stay, I left a LONG detailed letter for the General Manager and complained to Customer Service. I head nothing from the general manager until a week after leaving the hotel I received a voice mail message which said, "I understand you wanted to talk to me." I returned the call within 10 minutes of her call to me and I am STILL waiting to her from her again. I don't suppose she'll call after 3 months. I am still waiting to hear that someone in the corporation is concerned that the response I received to my complaint that the room was too hot was "prop the door open and leave it open." I'm sorry, I don't think propping the door open and leaving it open at 2:30 AM in downtown Denver is a good idea. I must wonder if the person who made the suggestion would still be employed if I'd been robbed or worse. I would NOT recommend this hotel, the general manager, or staff to my worst enemy, NO one deserves this treatment, and certainly not Platinum members.
I took a picture with my cell phone one time and the piece of cheese was the size of my thumb! The manager sent up a plate of fruit and cheese along with another bottle of wine after I showed it to him. Maybe you could try that.. The wine is always a welcome relief after a stressful trip.
My experiences have varied greatly between hotel and visit. To me, the bottle of wine alone is worth more than points especially when concierge lounges are charging $8/glass. I usually order the fruit and pretzels. Sometimes I receive a wonderful fruit plate and other times get two apples and a bowl of stale pretzels. I actually don't mind the apples because they make a great portable snack for traveling.
I haven't noticed a decline in the welcome gift foods, but when I stay at a full-serv Marriott, I take the points. It's not because the gift isn't nice - it is - but when we arrive, we just want to unwind and not wait for a knock on the door. At Courtyards, we'll look at the market items first. If thers's something substantial, like a small frozen pizza, we'll take the gift. Otherwise, it's points. In making points decisions - for stays as well as Platinum gifts - I tend to think in terms of 100 points = $1. If my return on points is better than $1 per 100 points, I'll take/use points. Otherwise I pay.