For several years the Marriott Rewards program specifically excluded suites from the upgrade benefit offered to elites.
They added the exclusion to avoid confusion, for absence of doubt a suite upgrade was simply not a benefit of the Marriott Rewards program. Some individual hotels might do it from time to time, either because the regular rooms were full and someone had to be upgraded or because of sheer generosity. But no elite was entitled to an upgrade to an empty suite.
Then last month they restricted the upgrade benefit even more, specifying that an upgrade was to “the next room category level” only, “[s]uites are excluded.”
Marriott’s Gold level requires as many room nights as top tier status with Hyatt, Starwood, and Hilton. Marriott’s Platinum status requires a whopping 75 nights. And per the terms and conditions change last month, the best that a Platinum was entitled to was a one room category upgrade.
Today the suite exclusion was removed from the website.
So every time you check in, we’ll do our best to upgrade you to a premium room – at no additional charge – for your entire stay. Upgrades may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites, subject to availability identified by each hotel. See terms and conditions for details.
There’s still no confirmed at booking suite upgrade like Hyatt Gold Passport offers to top tier elites.
There’s still no upgrade priority for suites like Starwood Preferred Guest offers its top tier elites who stay 50 nights per year.
Nor is there an upgrade to best available room at check-in like Starwood offers to all its Platinums.
But the exclusion, the promise that suites are simply not a part of the program, is now gone.
What does this mean in practice? We’ll have to see how each hotel implements this. There’s clearly no enforceable benefit, if a standard suite is available at check-in and the hotel doesn’t assign it to a Platinum member they have done nothing wrong under this benefit description. Upgrades “may include” suites, with availability determined by the hotel.
It’s curious that this change was made just a month after the last one, and moves in the opposite direction even. Hotels have been notified. Good luck to all you Marriott Platinums out there!
Sadly, breakfast is still only promised as continental, and not on the weekends in the U.S. and Canada, and not at resorts. So you may still be hungry even if you get that suite. But it’s a start.