OK, I know it's the end of January, but I wanted to offer some comments about the state of things in Marriott Rewards (for me at least) in 2012:
Comments or complaints?
I did get a note back on my reservation at the Brisbane Marriott saying they have upgraded me to the conceirge level with a river view..Guess this is good since they only have four suites there. But I will still try for one of those suites once I arrive at the hotel early next week!!!
Here is what was placed on my reservation!!!
Here is my original reservation..you will note I was upgraded to the Executive Level!!!
|Summary of Room |
|Cost per night per room (AUD)|
|Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - Friday, |
February 3, 2012 ( 3 nights )
|ExxonMobil rate, .3 km to office, |
includes wireless internet
|Estimated government taxes and fees||Included|
|Total for stay (for all rooms)||759.00|
I have never been informed in advance of an upgrade. It certainly would be nice. In addition to everyone else's lists, especially as CLs are diminishing or extinct, I would like to see not only BOGOs but some deals for solo travelers. If the CL is not open on weekends, they're practically pushing poor helpless women like me out on the street looking for a glass of wine...
I think you know me well enough by now to say, let 'em try. I may be nearing 60, but I'm tall and strong. I just came back from two glasses of wine (it's getting late here) in the downstairs restaurant. I never would have done that in the olden days, even in places like France or Italy when I was traveling alone. Now I'm on to the whirlpool bath, which comes with my suite. (Actually free Turkish bath and sauna comes with it too, but I'm not into that.)
Still, on a more serious note, and I know NewHilton agrees with me, it's one of the days' few pleasures to come back to a CL and have a glass or two or three or more of wine without any hassles. That's why it could be a wee bit of gender discrimination to close those lounges. Just kidding, folks, but many women DO feel uncomfortable drinking alone, especially at a bar. (I apparently have an evil eye that wards off all would-be nasty types.) BUt just one more reason for Marriott to keep the CL's open all week.
SS, You have done a great job of summarizing most of my MR experiences and wishes for the new year. I have a few additions:
1.The 'no blackout' policy needs to be better enforced to ensure rooms are available at all properties without unreasonable 'upgrade' charges just to get the standard room. Any charges to confirm an upgrade should be no greater than the difference in the room rates.
2. Wine prices should be reasonable in the CL, not the same exhorbitant price as in the bars and restaurants. $8/glass for a wine that costs $6/bottle is not a 'reward' for your most loyal members.
3. Bring back the buffet breakfast option at Courtyards, provide free breakfast for Plat., and give points for food expenditures. (I will continue to stay at Hilton Garden Inns over Courtyards until this occurs.)
4. Provide at least 6 months notice when a benefit is being eliminated or devalued.
Nice list. I agree with all and I would like to see the "All-Inclusives" brought back for the resort properties that had them. They were a nice perk and very reasonably priced.
I have never received advance notice of an upgrade at a hotel property, but I have been called in advance (probably for about a year and a half) and asked if I had a particular building or room type I would like to have when staying at a Vacation Club property for an extended time.
TEF, there have been occasions (Renaissance Las Vegas twice) when the Suite was guaranteed at a regular room rate and over 72 hours in advance. Hope I am not getting them in dutch for mentioning this! It was much appreciated and combined with the free valet parking, the excellent fare at the CL, and the ambiance of the place, it reaffirmed my feeling about the hospitality industry's direction, which at times, seems only downward.
We had the center suite below the Lounge twice and I did not even ask, they did it on their own! Also the valet guy who was busy moving my car in and out refused (at first to take a tip!!!) I was certainly in an alternate universe when all this happened, but I have the gambling losses to prove I was there.
There is an award that I would like to see return that I had hoped to use one day but it was gone before I had an opportunity and that is the award which enabled one to use a set amount of points (100,00 or 120,000?) to book a seven day trip in Europe staying at 3 different properties on a given list. I am not exactly sure of the details because I never actually booked it and it has been gone for a year or two but I noticed it gone about 18 months ago when I decided the time was right. I would like to see more of that type of reward where you could book a week but stay at various properties and move around when exploring a new destination. I don't remember if that was an elite award or not.
Ok........you got me again................thinking at 6 a.m. (even before my first cup of coffee is down).
Even though I don't have a chance to post a lot, I do from time to time when something good happens (not as frequently as I would like), or when I can no longer stand sitting by without adding my 2 cents.
I guess if you got me to respond, that is a good thing for the group, so here's my 2 cents.
Add to the list (somewhere near the top)
FREE PARKING FOR P's or at least PP's
I realize that most or maybe even all of the the arrangements are with contractors, but in the AP world, there are ways that this can happen with a press of a button.
No reason why this should not be a perk for their best customers !
I am truly not so happy at the RenCen Marriot stay in Detroit last week. Of course, no survey e-mailed to voice my displeasure.
1st as an Elite Meber with 65 nights last year (??) I had to pay fpor internet access. c'mon what a joke. Plus check in couldn't use valet,
and front Bell hops were "in the weeds", because of some circus exiting of a party of women. My friends room 3 doors down was next to an all night
"PARTAY" that the hotel security could not seem to get to quiet down (all night, and into the morn). Stayed there before but not again, will choose the Courtyards acroos the street, and try my luck.
Granted the N. Amrican Auto Show was in town, plus a Red Wings game but man was that party ridiculous and the Security must've known them as he didn't even try to quiet them down.
All else fails go to a blog and whine I guess. Still love Marrriot and always worry about bed bugs when I can not enjoy the clean Marriot standards.
How many nights needed for Platinum status?
75 nights in a calendar year is what you'll need to Platinum. Did you speak to the hotel when you left to tell them about what happened? Or write to email@example.com? Try both
SS I think you have nailed it for the most part, certainly the lack of recognition when checking in urks me a lot. This past year was fewer nights than normal for me but I often joke with the staff and tell them my PP status should matter, heck I put more nights in a Marriott than they do LOL I am curious if anyone is actually making any effort to train these front desk folks. Managers usually have a clue but they all too often seem to be the only ones in a property that do when it comes to status/loyalty.
I saw someone mention parking. I have at times been comped my parking fee, usually without any notice so its been a nice surprise. Other properties I've been to have reserved elite parking. X spots for silver, gold, platinum. I've never seen a parking place for a plat. prem. but I have been told at a few properties to just park behind the van at the entrance and leave it there as long as I want.
I think if Marriott can take some of this "low hanging fruit" (parking, CL issues, acknowledgment, etc) as it were and make some changes across the brands, they might see a good bit of change in the members. How many times have you gone to dinner and the lot was almost empty only to return 3-4hrs later and have to search for a space? I know for a fact that, regardless of paying for the parking or not, if I had a spot near a door when I got back to the hotel I would be happy. I've actually had to park in a different parking lot a few times because of space issues at my hotel. Its just little stuff that can make such a huge difference in my experience.
Hi SS and Zukracer,
Except for the Chicago Marriott, it's been a while since I stayed at a Marriott since they didn't have properties where I needed/wanted to stay. But at the Chicago Marriott, AT the Elite Desk, I had to point out I was an elite member -- not a PP, Platinum or anything like that, just plain elite. Then I was told as I said before 'we don't do breakfast', given a room that is completely at odds with my preferences on file (two double beds as opposed to a king or queen), a tiny room, and a CL when it was open that charged as much or more for drinks than the restaurants downstairs. The appetizers were unappetizing. But then I only got two nights and one morning of that since most history conferences go over weekends by necessity.
So I agree with SS on almost all points. I'm booked at the Renaissance 57 in NYC for late March to be a discussant for an off-Broadway play in my subject area, and I'll have to see how that goes.
While I have no doubt Andy and Michelle are correct in saying these policies have been on the books forever, it feels like the enforcement is new.
And as for my spy status, I arrived at Logan last night slightly early from JFK after Istanbul (who would believe???) and raced downstairs only to see my Portland bus depart as I arrived. With my Company status, I commissioned the nearest available cab (true story) and told him he'd get $20 if he got me from Terminal A to Terminal E before the bus departed. (Had I missed it I would have gotten home at 3:30-4am rather than 1:30.) Apparently it mattered (service, once again!) as the cab driver found a circuitous route not taken by bus drivers to get me quickly to Terminal E. Just as the last bags were being put on the bus, the cab driver told me to get out and make sure it was the right bus. I ran screaming "Portland?" and a kind man yelled back yes. Money was exchanged, I got my suitcase, and I was en route home. Happy story.
I know this is not a Delta forum, but my experiences in the past three years with Delta have been so at odds with what is happening with Marriott that I feel it worthwhile to mention. I flew using an award ticket in business/first to Istanbul and back and was treated amazingly. I am not at the highest elite level (Diamond), but above Platinum (Plat Elite Plus). At the end of the 11 hour flight back from Istanbul in business, every single flight attendant in that class came and thanked each passenger individually (and by name) for their business. Now that's recognition.
I have to teach the rest of the week, but will post my spy and other photos (if I can figure out the albums section) on the weekend.
That is so funny. I can see you spilling out of the Taxi as it slides in front of the screeching tires of the bus, as it tries to run you down. Welcome back, and sorry to hear about the all-too-normal-lately Marriott blues in Chicago. I do hope your Renaissance 57 stay goes a LOT better!
What a story! This makes me look forward to my Delta flight in April to London, and May to Paris. Likewise, US Air was great this past week from Phoenix. I checked into another Marriott (Full Blown), and if I had not handed the front desk clerk my black Marriott card, with my Marriott visa, they would not have known, who/what I was. Even after that there was no acknowledgement of the PP status.
I am at the Maryville Marriott this week!
Make sure if you get to St. Louis you contact me! Am traveling each week, but am flexible. They gave me a great rate, and my actual meetings are at another hotel chain, but this is close to where I need to be.
Happy travels to you!
Hey Prof, et al
You mentioned Hotel 57. Well, I checked in to this hotel a few hours ago. #1. I was greeted as a Platinum Elite, not once but twice, and was thanked for my Loyalty. #2. I was told that, in appreciation of my status, I was upgraded to a larger room (same class) and a coveted corner location. In case it would help anyone, my room # is 1316. High floor, off the street side. Perfect. I stopped at the cl to pick up a few waters and lo and behold, there was a huge display of chocolate truffles. This property continues to impress me stay after stay. I hope that others that try this property based on my recommendations find it as nice as I do.
safe travels to all
Thanks for the report, Shoeman -- the Ren 57 sounds like a hotel to look forward to. Do you recall if the CL was open on the weekend? I will be there from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning.
And yes, SS, I've checked my account. I sincerely hope that after teaching all week that I can figure a way to upload the photos so you'll see me with Evit and Mustafa in front of the power area. It's probably rather unwise of me to post it, but then the mission is concluded and both of them have now traveled to Brazil.
Well Professor, well done, and mission accomplished. The driver (one of ours) was able to convey all the information stored on your Mac to our data bases, and your account in the Caymans has been credited already--it was twelve million Pesos right?) Seriously welcome back and thanks for putting a smile on lots of faces!!
I second, third and however many else requests to make the "no blackout" rule more transparent. It is a no blackout rule or it isn't. When you can find that the occupancy rate at a property is not anywhere near full, more rooms should be opened up for point redemption.
I would also like to add last minute deals to your list, Stoney. The theory is to help both the hotel and the valued elite program consumer. Have a location on the reservation site that will allow elites to find super nice rates or point saver type redemptions. These would be for the last minute, spontaneous traveler. The room gets used, the elite is happy, the hotel get's revenue. Win, win.
Even the high and mighty Marriott Marquis in Manhattan has from time to time in the past used Priceline to fill rooms. It does not happen often and of course elite status is out the window so the room might be next to the HVAC system in the basement (not really) and C Lounge access is problematic at best (unless you tailgate in like everyone else).
We'll soon have some information on a process to consolidate suggestions from Insiders - stay tuned.