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There was a posting by the Marriott Community Manager in Flyertalk that Marriott is changing the rewards categories of many hotels and resort. Fifteen percent of the total hotels are going up in category, and only 3 % are going down. The new categories will go into effect for reservations after 3/15/12. I am a lifetime platinum member, and this is the only communication of this change that I have received. I have not seen anything regarding this on the Marriott Insiders, although I have to admit that I still can't figure out how to navigate the new site.
After Bill Marriott stepped down, I think Marriott is following the same as Disney did when Eisner took over. Their balance sheets will look better in the short term, but they will lose the strong loyalty that took years to establish.
Found it ... from the home page look on the right hand side for "exclusive sneak peek"
Here is the link Marriott Rewards 2012 Hotel Category Changes
Thanks for sharing the link allyson!
You can "follow" most sections of the site, blogs, discussions or even people to automatically receive updates on that specific activity. So for automatic updates on all the latest news, leaks and promotions "follow" the Exclusive Sneak Peaks blog.
Thanks for the helpful information...
A little frustrating, indeed... but, to the extent that we've consistently burnt large sums of points to stay at the nicer hotels (heck, we blew 450,000 points last summer for a wonderful stay - two rooms - at the Ritz Carlton in Barcelona), I think I understand where they're coming from. I don't mean to be Pollyanna, but I'd rather they raise the number of points than take them off the list....
I agree but would hope that we all realize that Marriott International is the proverbial elephant in the room here and controls this all, including the categories of hotels. We as consumers and members of Marriott Rewards get that privilege for free, as it were, and use the points or stash them. As has been mentioned elsewhere the points are in effect a debt for Marriott hotels. Like interest rates the categories change and not always for the better. And I do not think it is fair to single out Ed French in this discussion even if we're frustrated.
Yes, just another dilution of Marriott Points. Lesson to be learned I guess is to use your points as soon as you can because you can be certain that point dilution will continue. What a Shame...Seems to me that it would be fairer for Marriott to equal out the category increases and category decreases rather than continually diluting their most loyal customer point accumulations!!!
Greetings blava007, there's more explanation in the announcement of category changes but they're not determined by service levels. Hotel categories determine the number of Marriott Rewards points necessary to redeem for a free night. For instance a category 4 hotel requires 20,000 points while a category 8 hotel requires 40,000 points (Here’s the full table). Marriott Rewards has 8 hotel categories which are determined by prior year redemption volume at each hotel and are not determined by brand, rate, amenities, location, or services offered.
announcement of category changes but they're not determined by service levels
If they had been determined by service levels, that would at least have given a reason for the overall increase in Category (and effectively cost)
As it is, I am still not hearing a reasonable justification for what is in reality another reduction in the value of Marriott Rewards Points.
I have only recently ordered a Marriott Rewards Travel Package with 2x Accommodation Certificates Category 1-5, based on the previous list.
Now I am faced with either
having to make my reservations with these Certificates at hotels (such as the Budapest Marriott hotel we had hoped to stay and where the category has been raised) by 15th March (at least you have made this option available), although as the Certificates are valid until February 2013 I had intended to plan my trips more at my own leisure
choosing alternative hotels from a more restricted range and accepting the reduced value you have imposed on these Certificates
This really is disappointing Customer Service.
I really do believe you should honour these Certificates for the Category level at the time the Certificate was ordered.
Surely you must agree with this?
The redemption volume can't be the only factor. It doesn't make sense that there are properties that many folks on here try to book with points and never get in. Many of us will start trying a year out and never see availability for points. That would seem to mean that these hotels, although high on the catagory ranking, rarely have point stays.
WOW!!! I am completely surprised that a hotel's category is based on number of point redemptions, not on service and amenity level!!! I would have never, ever guessed that.
Wonder what other people who are not MRI members think when they see a Cat 8 hotel? I'd think it was the top of the line.... apparently not! Just a highly used hotel that could be a total dump.
Where on earth does Marriott come up with this stuff?????
So, I wonder why the Grand Flora is a Cat 8? Not enough people can redeem points to get in there to classify it as a Cat 8!
I'm using the rest of my points and getting out. So long, folks. And, I've been a MR member since the very beginning.
I think the Grand Flora has one of those grand Cat 8 exemptions, though from what I've heard if you call them directly it's possible to get rooms for rewards. But this policy (based on redemptions) suddenly makes things less incomprehensible (purposeful double negative). I have always wondered why one of the best Marriotts in the world (the Athens Ledra) has a low category. Now I'll have to check out some more of them since my second favorite is the Ghent Marriott.
This is effectively a 'price increase' of 20-25% for current category 4 and 5 hotels which I find to be unjustified, and is another bait and switch tactic to get you to earn points with the expectation of current values, and then raising the value as soon as you have enough points for your desired reward. A two week notice of the change is really an insult. The new management at Marriott is quickly eroding the loyalty that took over 15 yr. to build. It is much easier to keep a loyal customer than to get one back.
I think they are well into their action plan....
No more BOGO's; All-inclusive deals discontinued; Rewards values for redemptions continue to increase; no redemption of Marriott cheques for ID-required deals (like senior rates).........and on and on! And still...the 'no breakfast for you'! ..on weekends rolls on. I'll stop here.
The list for Marriott Vacationclub owners who invested thousands of dollars in Marriott is even worse than the MR list. Many of us have been impacted by both. I had hung in there thinking that management would eventually realize you can't continue to alienate your most loyal customers without long term financial implications, but they appear to be only focused on short-term bottom line (and probably their bonuses). Previous management recognized that loyal customers would pay a premium to stay in a Marriott property. Now, my hotel choice will be based only on price and convenience. This will likely directly cost them 300 nights per year for which I have direct influence on our lodging choice (in addition to situations where people ask me for travel recommendations..
Superchief1 is 1000% correct about the timeshare disaster. I didn't want to go there (I own multiple weeks) because I would have ranted for pages.... but, it is truly a disgrace as to what they have done to and against the timeshare owners who have been their customers from way back when timeshare was in its infancy for Marriott. I guess they've figured there is a new way to reward loyalty these days.....
I suspect he is doing a great job in 'enhancing' shareholder equity, which is every Marriott employees #1 priority. That said, this is just one more example why hoarding points for years, waiting for that Big Kahuna of a vacation, is in reality, a gift to Marriott. If you are not careful, Marriott may price you out of that dream vacation you are saving points to take.
OK, I cannot believe what I’m reading from some of the prolific Blog Writers (steppingstones, jasper100, profchiara, shoeman1000, jerrycoin, etc.). It should be clear to us by now the hotel Reward Levels are not based upon quality of the hotels but on numbers/demand and desire for Marriott Members to redeem and request stays at the hotels using Marriott Points.
Thus, why do you question the quality of the Reward Level 1, 2 hotels; since we know they could be the same or better as any other level 4 hotels; they just happen to be in less desirable tourist/travel locations, etc.
Now let’s see an example Marriott Rewards category 4 level: Bucharest JW Marriott Grand Hotel, grand in every way, surrounds you with elegance befitting the chosen hotel of European royalty and international dignitaries, prestigiously located next to the stunning Parliament Palace. I know in most/any other metropolitan cities this JW Hotel would be Level 8.
So all for all my prolific Marriott Bloggers, stop for a second before you write your comments, as I said before, we are not in middle school. Also, please stop asking where your PP card is, you do not need it the card, the hotel has/knows all of your information, status levels at/or before check-in.
At times I sympathize with the Communitymanager for having to read the comments. How do we expect the Communitymanager to be seriously addressing our real and priority issues?. On the other hand, many times I’m infuriated to read Communitymanager’s standard responses and direct links to the Marriott official website, that is not helpful all.
Please let's keep our focus on real and high priorities issues; it will benefit all of us.
I am not being a snob in any way -- but there are no Category 1 or 2 hotels that I know of outside of the US. There may be some Cat 3's but if so they've been recently downgraded. My work and research takes me entirely to Europe and the Middle East, so that's the only point I was trying to make.
I needed to use my card just the other day when we checked in. They said that someone else had checked in under our name at 10:41 a.m. and I told them that was impossible since we were there then at abt. 7 p.m. They never did respond as to whether or not our card had also been accessed by the other party so I guess we'll have to ck. on every card we have used with Marriott for a while. (Even though internationals do seem to have a better grasp on hospitality than a lot of U.S. Americans, there is sometimes a lack of business acumen and understanding on their part and sometimes there is too much greed with foreign owned or franchised hotels here in our country. I usually will not stay at those and many are Best Western, Quality Inn, and one that reminds me of "motel".) Anyway, the GM was saying that if someone else wanted to pay for my room, he'd let them. I couldn't seem to get him to understand that if it was my card, I'd be paying for someone else.
Wait a minute. Are you trying to say that someone checked in under your name and possibly used your card? At the same property on the same day, within hours of your arrival?
Sounds to me like the desk clerk checking in another guest inadvertently used your reservation when selecting it from the screen.
Seems to me this is easy to verify by simply knocking on the door of the room assigned and asking some questions.
mikiegfla and tryt53,
That is what happened. I just couldn't get a straight answer from them. I called CS a bit ago and after a lot of transferals and holds while they looked into it, they had a mgr. from the location call me to tell me they had immediately been checked out. I don't know why the night time people couldn't have told me that and not asked for proof of my ID and why they couldn't have told me right off that nothing had been charged to my name. And then when the daytime mgr. called a while ago, he asked me if I was traveling in a group and I told him no. He turned right around and told me that he thought the group I was traveling with had someone with the same name. I told him "No! No! No! I wasn't traveling with a group. My son and I were just going from Montgomery, AL to Myrtle Beach and stopped there en route." I couldn't listen to any more assumptions that contradicted what I'd just said, so I hung up and called CS after a while. But at least he did tell me that they had been checked right out immediately, which wasn't what I was getting Sat. night.
It sounds like someone used your name only (could they possibly have the same name), is that correct? I know I was at a facility where someone had the same name as I do, and it's not that common of a name either. I would not be as concerned if they have a different Marriott Rewards number, but I definitely would still check my bill and credit card charges for a while. You never know if someone just checks the name when they add a charge, and not the room number, like they should.
Well, that's a good question but my experience is that the category is sometimes defined by location and proximity to other attractions and so on. I imagine that since Austin is full of nightlife and other stuff to do it's easy to justify a higher rating. And I've also heard that everything is more expensive in Austin so maybe, just maybe, they're a lot prouder of their stuff than, say, I would be. I've stayed at the TPS in Dayton near I-75 and I-70 intersection several times and it's cat 1. Nice property, a block or two from several chain restaurants like Ruby Tuesday for instance, and the staff couldn't be more accomodating. A FFI in Galesburg, IL and Muscatine, Iowa are cat 1, and aside from the fact that there's very little to do or see in those areas, the hotel meets my needs for a night Therre are many others, and some may be as steppingstones described as Econolodge conversion in a bad neighborhood but I would never stay at one like that or take my family to such a place. I realize though that there are a lot of folks who find this perfectly acceptable and in fact a treat in some cases. Speaking of weddings...our daughter is getting married next month in Raleigh. There is a great FFI, cat 3 as you described, near the airport. But we chose the downtown Marriott which is a lot nicer and much closer to the activities, and is a Cat 4. But they treat us good, comp breakfast for wife and I on weekends and an occasional suite upgrade, so we decided to give them the opporitunigyt for some business. I'm using a ton of points to put up other children and their families and a couple of other family members, but all others are paying a very good rate for a Friday and Saturday night stay.