Why I’m Walking Away from the Marriott Platinum Challenge

I’ve never been a big fan of the Marriott Rewards program. It’s huge, and it’s popular, it’s been the biggest hotel program winner the past two years at the Frequent Traveler awards. They certainly have loyal members.

But from the perspective of someone that values hotel elite benefits most in choice of program, it’s never especially appealed — largely because the terms and conditions of their program specifically excludes suites from the upgrade benefit, despite the program having the highest bar (75 nights) for earning top tier of any of the major hotel loyalty programs.

Still, you can’t always control where you’re going to stay, and I was looking at a bunch of upcoming Marriott bookings. So I decided to go for an elite challenge with them. In fact, with a few incremental nights I could satisfy a Platinum challenge, that seemed intriguing enough so I decided to give that a try.

With a phone call to Marriott Rewards (shocked by the hold times for a general member), I got myself signed up — I had the remainder of the current month and then 3 additional months to stay 18 nights and earn Platinum status through the end of the membership year, and I was given Platinum status for he duration of the challenge (which updated in Marriott’s system overnight).

I’m just coming off my first Marriott stay during this period, and I’m underwhelmed. But this isn’t really the story of one particular stay, every chain has some properties that don’t treat elites well. It’s really the story of how my experiences at one property highlight how the Marriott program works, and how it led me to finally dig into the nitty gritty details of the program (beyond knowing that suites weren’t a published benefit of the program) and discover that it comes up even more lacking than I had thought.

I was booked into the JW Marriott Desert Ridge resort for a conference I was speaking at. The hotel looked nice enough, though huge, it’s a 950 room conference facility. The place certainly gets great reviews on TripAdvisor (currently “Ranked #11 of 176 hotels in Phoenix”) though I don’t ever put much stock in that.

Reading up on the property in advance, I noted that the health facility was accessible with a charge (not included in the resort fee!). That’s ok, I figured, I’m a Platinum Guest! But reading over Marriott Rewards Platinum benefits I realized that complimentary health club access is not a benefit of Marriott’s elite program, top tier members do not receive it even when the hotel gym is owned and operated by the hotel. Most properties don’t charge for access, of course, but I’ve never paid to access those that do at a chain where I had status.

And late checkout? Fortunately I wouldn’t be needing it. Hyatt guarantees 4pm late checkout for their Diamond members. Starwood guarantees 4pm for both Platinums and Golds. Both make it ‘subject to availability’ at resorts, and this is property I’d be staying at first is considered a resort.

But even at non-resorts, Marriott’s Platinum late checkout benefit is subject to availability, on request on the day of departure, and it’s not even offered at resorts.

Priority Late Checkout
Call the front desk the morning of your check out, and let us know your planned departure time. Late checkout is based on availability and offered at all participating Marriott hotels, except resorts and Marriott Vacation Club.

Fortunately I wouldn’t be needing a late checkout on this trip, and my additional locked-in Marriott stays wouldn’t be at resorts!

I didn’t arrive at the property until a bit after 11pm on a Thursday evening. I was tired and looking forward to sleep in a comfortable bed. But I was hit with a bit of a surprise.

Clerk: I see that you’ve requested a King bed, but we don’t have any available this evening, we’re completely full, so I’ve assigned you to a room with two doubles.

Ummm.. excuse me?

  • If there’s one thing I do know about the Marriott Rewards program is that Golds and Platinums are guaranteed their bed type preference.

    Guaranteed Room TypeWhen making a reservation, be sure to note both your Marriott Rewards membership number and room/bed preferences. At locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, we’ll always honor your bed type request.

  • And in any case, they’re seriously not honoring the bed type request for a Platinum member?

Ok, maybe I’m not a ‘real’ platinum in some sense, but for the purposes of this stay and the next few months I certainly am. But I’m really just interested here in learning the ins and outs of the program.

The desk clerk went to get a manager, who looked at my reservation and for available rooms and said there was just nothing that could be done.

I then asked about the Marriott Rewards guarantee — aren’t they supposed to provide cash compensation when they fail to honor a Platinum member’s room type?

The manager explained that I had requested a King bed, but that because my room was part of a conference block it wasn’t technically a reservation for a King bed. And so no guarantee applied.

Again, guarantee aside, they really don’t work to honor room type preferences for Platinums? I asked whether any benefits accrued here?

I would have figured I’d at least get lounge access, but I had done the research in advance, this property has a club that doesn’t count as a lounge for elite access.

I’d have figured I would get free breakfast, but I did the research on that in advance, too:

  • Free breakfast when there’s no lounge access applies only Monday through Friday
  • And it doesn’t apply at resorts, in any case.

That gives Marriott a weaker breakfast benefit than Starwood, Hyatt, or Hilton. Starwood gives a checkin amenity choice of Continental breakfast on every stay. At Hyatt it’s full breakfast. Hilton even gives breakfast to Gold members.

So I knew I’d get no lounge, no breakfast.

The manager explained that I would receive free internet, free health club access (not required by the program’s terms and conditions!), and a check-in amenity. That was what I could expect as a Platinum at this property.

Except… they never returned to the issue of check-in amenity, never offered it or provided it. And that’s guaranteed, too, supposedly backed by cash!

The Marriott Insiders forum recently offered an explanation of how the guarantee works:

As you know, our hotels aim for 100% delivery of the Platinum Arrival Gift – whether for a food/beverage amenity or bonus points — however there are some rare cases where the hotel is unable to deliver the gift or there is a delay in the bonus points posting process. If a hotel does not offer a Platinum member a choice of arrival gift, or if the hotel fails to deliver a food/beverage amenity (if selected) during the member’s stay then the hotel will compensate that guest $100 for the inconvenience. As for the bonus points option — since bonus points can always be “delivered” to a member’s account, there is no monetary compensation for “not delivering” Arrival Gift bonus points. If for some reason members do not see Arrival Gift bonus points in their accounts, we ask that they contact the Platinum Elite Guest Services desk at 800-321-7396, and they will gladly post the Platinum Arrival Gift points for that stay. Arrival Gift bonus points should be posted within several days of the member’s check-out, along with other earned points for that stay

So if you aren’t offered the amenity, or if you opt for food and beverage and it isn’t delivered, you’re supposed to get $100.

That’s what happened to me, it was never offered.

If you opt for points, they can always deliver points, even late — so no payment applies.

I’m posting this before the points for the stay posts, so if someone at the hotel has a Google Alert set for their property name, they could presumably post the points to my account and I would have a hard time arguing that I didn’t select points since they were never offered. I have no idea whether I’d have chosen the 500 points or the food and beverage amenity, not having been offered the choice I never asked what the food and beverage option consisted of.

So I figure I’ll follow up on this in a week, after I’ve seen whether they post the points without having given me that option. But most reports I’ve seen of the $100 guarantee are that it’s not easy to get.

On the second day of the stay I went downstairs at 1pm to see about changing rooms. They were supposed to call me when a new room was ready, I didn’t figure that would happen at all (those calls don’t usually come quickly on their own) and since it was before check-in time and I was less tired I figured I was in better shape to specify what I hoped to get in a new room.

The clerk at the desk found a room with a king bed that didn’t overlook the hotel’s entrance. Good enough, he promised I’d get a call when the room was ready, he though that would be in an hour or so but certainly by check-in time.

At 6pm, when hadn’t heard anything I went down to the desk and spoke to the same clerk. He seemed shocked no one had called me. Really? I wasn’t shocked at all! They gave me keys to the new room and I switched.

The hotel was fine, large, good for upscale but not luxury conferences. I wouldn’t stay here on my own, I certainly don’t think it was worth the $330++ per night he conference was paying let alone the $500++ that rooms were going for on the Marriott website shortly before the stay.

But it was a great education in Marriott Rewards, in the Platinum program, and independently of the specific treatment here I think what I’ve internalized about the Marriott Rewards program is:

  • The highest threshold to earn top tier status
  • Suites specifically excluded from the upgrade benefit
    A weaker breakfast benefit than Hyatt, Hilton, and Starwood
  • A weaker late checkout benefit than Hyatt and Starwood

  • No complimentary fitness club benefit

And in too limited an experience to generalize from, not a ton of effort to accommodate either.

So I’ve decided that Marriott Platinum just isn’t worth it, and I’m not going to stretch and direct incremental stays over to Marriott to retain the status. I’ve decided to abandon the Platinum challenge. Although hopefully with the remaining Marriott nights I can’t weasel out of I’ll receive some benefit.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] Gary really railed on Marriott for not having a king when he booked a hotel at a conference rate.  I have faced similar issues with group rates at other properties, and it is usually because you are receiving a room from a specific blocked of rooms.  And no matter the chain or property, I would never expect to have another person dislodged from their room just so I can get my bed preference.  Preference or not, I understand it is dependent on availability, just like suites are. Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged Marriott. Bookmark the permalink. ← 500 FREE MILES from Le Club Accorhotels! […]

Comments

  1. Wow. Is this a joke? Get a life. This is sad and disgusting that this experience riled you up enough to post this. You poor thing.

  2. @John I wasn’t looking for sympathy! I share my experiences, I post regularly whether I’m riled up or not. 🙂 What does it say, that this post riled you enough to comment? 😛

  3. I was gold with Hilton for years but then grew tired of staying at Hilton when my colleagues were at Marriott. I gave up and moved to Marriott. I’ve been gold for a couple of years and will be platinum after this year. But I travel with platinum members so I can compare. And I don’t think gold and platinum are worth much, certainly not for going out of your way to stay at Marriott properties.

    I find the promotions lacking. I have multiple free nights expire because there are few decent Cat 1-4 hotels in places I want to go for fun (and the company is paying when I’m not traveling for fun). I earn them and they disappear. I have 4 sitting in my account right now. So they are useless to me.

    I avoid Courtyards, particularly when I am traveling with family. The fact that they don’t offer their mediocre breakfast to people who stay in Marriotts more than a month annually really irritates me.

    The fact that there is no breakfast on weekends or lounge access also irritates me (but does encourage me to stay at Residence Inns if I am traveling on weekends).

    The only real perk that I enjoy is the points. Just returned from a Ritz Carlton stay. It was free with points and the Ritz kept delivering nice food items to my room (even though I’m only gold… never happens at Marriott). At least I had free internet as a Marriott gold.

  4. Gary: Just reread this post. I agree that marriott is the worst program – but the trump card is the free night after 2 stays. It has saved me a bundle, and even though I’m still shocked that with 40 nights/year I am not top tier, it is a huge benefit to MR.

  5. As a Gold Member of Marriott (by accident) I am not impressed with their program either other than I am grateful I no longer have to pay for internet. I will say my most recent stay in California was better than any other Marriott stay I’ve had previously.

    I am a lifetime Gold with SPG (I own a vacation property with them), but their hotels are not everywhere I travel and I’m not always impressed with some of their properties either. I am Platinum with Priority Club and while it is easier to earn status with them, it isn’t any better in terms of upgrades or amenities. I pay the $100 a year to be an Ambassador with IHG (Makes you automatic Gold member for Priority Club) as it is the only program that I’ve experienced true spoiling as a guest. All reward programs could learn a thing or two from them. Maybe its the $100 you pay to join, but for the free weekend you receive every year that you can use at any property; the free upgrades; the tray of fruit and cheeses they leave in your room upon check in and the treatment the staff provides by far its the best.

    I personally think the reward programs know we will continue to stay; earn our points and they don’t have to cater to us because we will continue to try to earn the elite levels and stay at their properties…

    I appreciated your blog about your experience. Thank you

  6. John and spg fu deserve gold medals in “How to Miss the Point”. None of the people on this blog are people who are asking to be greeted with red carpets simply for having the audacity to book a stay at the hotel.

    They’re merely saying that hotels offer loyalty programs as a means of encouraging repeat business (otherwise, someone might not go out of their way to find that particular brand of hotel on their next trip, and might just pick the most convenient option). And they are saying when it comes to Reward programs, that Marriott’s lacks.

    I’ve only ever been a part of Marriott’s, so I have no point of comparison, but Gary illustrated his point wonderfully. He also outlined where basic customer service promises made in the Agreement for Gold/Platinum members are not honored. I don’t believe non-Elite members should be treated ‘worse’ than Elites, however, the idea of a loyalty program is a ‘thank you’ for using their service frequently for a specified period of time, and for your business.

    If you treat someone who has spent a staggering 50+ nights in a year on your property no better than someone who is staying for the first time, despite promising a Rewards program with significant upgrades, you basically tell that customer that they shouldn’t waste their time going out of the way to stay there and maintain their status.

    Perhaps if you actually READ the article and quit trying to funnel it through a “white people problems” narrative that doesn’t scan, you would realize that.

  7. I did read the whole thing. I am white. I am also Platinum. Sometimes I don’t get my little extras. I don’t complain. Marriott has the best “exchange rate” to real dollars with points. Marriott has the best bonuses and promotions. They are also everywhere. I don’t think they should treat people like spoiled children when they choose to spend what is often someone else’s money there. The end.

    And btw hopefully everyone knows by now that if you are spending your own money you should use Priceline, unless your travel schedule is subject to change.

  8. And I hope i get that Gold Medal you say I deserve. Otherwise I’m going to bother a bunch of people at their workplace and call toll free numbers demanding money. Then I’m going to write a blog and hopefully start an argument on the comments section.

  9. I’ve stayed at many Marriott properties over the years and have never been disappointed by not getting a room upgrade or guaranteed bed type. I am disappointed with the “arrival gift”. A chicken salad sandwich, bag of chips and can of soda hardly qualify as a “gift”. Quite cheesy if you ask me. If theny really want to reward platinum members a real gift should be something from a catalogue from which the member should be able choose would make me feel more “rewarded”.

  10. I have been a platinum Marriott fot many years and am life time platinum. I receive treatment as described by their rules. Usually upgraded, able to override sold out, lounge access, polite service, etc. You guys that are golg and trying to get platinum complaining about the lack of benefits?? This is how a Marriott associatte explained things to me one night at the bar, Silver means nothing. Gold we pay a little attention. Platinum we care and try. Lifetime platinum come in and sheet on the floor and we say thank you.

  11. This review has absolutely no reputation to stand on. It is obvious you know absolutely nothing on how a Marriott works.
    First, PLATINUM is NOT the highest rank when it comes to Marriott customers. There are two tiers above Platinum which are Platinum Elite and Platinum Premiere.
    Second, on the “guaranteeing bed type” issue you had you are a complete horse’s behind. You showed up at 11pm at night and expected your room type to be honored? Can you say you know for 100% that all the King rooms weren’t taken by Platinum members who got to the hotel before you? No, you can’t, because you obviously think you’re the only Platinum to go in that day.
    Third, your inability to see the reasons of one and two only show that this is not a real review but simply a review written by a child who was spoiled at a young age and can be lumped into the “entitlement generation.”
    You have no business writing reviews if you cannot even do all of your research.
    NOT TO MENTION the upgrade, breakfast and lounge policies are NOT the policies at ALL MARRIOTTS. Fairfield INNs, Comfort INNs, and other category 3’s and 4’s of the Marriott brand extend all these policies from Platinum to Platinum Premieres.
    Please do your CORRECT research before you open your ignorant mouth and smear the reputation of someone else’s business. I feel sorry for anyone who would believe your elitist attitude holds any grounds to review a company.

    Facts: You were not the highest tier, you showed up after other Platinum guests (did you expect them to kick someone out of their room for you? You probably did because you sound like a jerk) and assumed a front desk clerk monitoring 950 rooms would remember 1 person who cried the “entitle me” game.

  12. I love this comment! Of course Marriott redemption categories (“3’s and 4’s”) have nothing to do with brand, the economics of Marriott Rewards are that categories are determined largely by redemption popularity and thus cost to the program.

    And the bed guarantee issue has nothing to do with the number of elites on property with a similar guarantee, Platinums should be pre-blocked into the preferred room type and not moved out of that room type regardless of how late they are checking in per corporate policy.

    Your attitude about Platiinums just underscores my analysis of the value of that tier. So thanks!

  13. I stay at this Resort on New Year’s.

    You are right, No concierge Lounge and no breakfast at resorts. But, it’s like that at all Marriot Resorts. On the other hand, you could have paid the 35 dollars and got the Concierge access, got your Breakfast, happy hour, apps and wifi (in the lounge).

    The site was great, the only thing I didn’t like was that they closed down the lounge on New Year’s eve to have non-stays guests take it over on New Year’s Eve. Kicking it’s guests out and no underage guests. To me this is B.S. to boot your staying guests out of the hotel lounge to provide entertainment for non-staying guests and telling me that my kids cannot be in the celebration is wrong. But hey, that’s me and I understand that the hotel needs to protect itself from complications that can come from interactions between adults and underage guests.

    With that said, 13 yrs as a Platinum Marriot member. I will never consider leaving. Marriot does honor its obligations, you just have to know what they are. You also have to keep in mind that most sites are privately owned hotels with the Marriot name. These sites are not going to willingly give away profits. You have to force the issue by calling the Marriot customer call center. I have done this twice due to what I considered improper treatment and I have received the compensation required and at one stay more.

    I think at this site we had some concern in regards to service and they gave me back enough to cover the resort fee and $100 to boot. On top of that, it’s a beautiful hotel with many gardens and pools.

    This site is great, the only thing I didn’t like was that they closed down the lounge on New Years to have non-stays guests take it over on New Years Eve. Kicking it’s guests out and no underage guests. To me this is B.S. to boot your staying guests out of the hotel lounge to provide entertainment for non-staying guests and telling me that my kids can not be in the celibration is wrong. But hey, that’s me and I understand that the hotel needs to protect itself from complications that can come from interactions between adults and underage guests.
    With that said, 13 yrs as a Platinum Marriot member. I will never consider leavig. Marriot does honor it’s obligations, you just have to know what they are. You also have to keep in mind that most sites are privately owned hotels with the Marriot name. These sites are not going to willingly give away profits. You have to force the issue by calling the Marriot customer call center. I have done this twice due to what I considered improper treatment and I have recieved the compensation required and at one stay more.

  14. @Front Desk

    Comfort Inn ?!?!…
    When did the Comfort Inn join Marriot family of hotels ?!?

    I thought the Comfort Inn was part of that crappy Choice Hotels family of hotels, that I would never choose to stay at.

    If you are going to blast the O.P. for not doing his research, you should at least do yours.
    (BTW I would troll people for a living, if I could)

    If you are going to state that the O.P. has to prove one thing or another to make his claims valid, you have to assume the same burden to make your claims valid. 950 rooms and not one King is open?.. Come on, be real. They may not be clean or of had the staff to make room ready but this is a HUGE facility and the chance of 100% occupancy of all the King rooms is slim to none.
    Another thing you cannot do is cry like a little girl, saying that the O.P. is crying like a little girl. Do you see how ironic that is?
    I am not running to the O.P. defense, championing his cause. I just do not like posts like yours. You are trying to start a flame war. The O.P. is the customer. If he feels that he has been shorted in anyway, he has a right to express that feeling.
    You do Marriot a disservice by making comments with a name of “Front Desk” as if you are a representative of the franchise. Now everyone thinks everyone in Marriot has the same distaste of Marriott’s customers that you have.

  15. I have been a member of the Marriott rewards program since 1985 and a Platinum member since the status was started. I have a lifetime Platinum and was a Plat Premier for the last 3 years. With that said I have seen Marriott roll out the red carpet during bad economy times and barely give you the time of day when the economy is doing well. I have stayed at over 400 hotels around the world and the consistency of what you get is all over the place. I only wish I had spent all of my time instead of Marriotts but either the Hiltons or Starwood hotels since the Marriott has really been disappointing in the last few years. Its too bad because I had been as loyal to Marriott as anyone could. There were times I would drive 40 miles out of my way just to stay there. Also, there selection of resort hotels outside of the US is severely lagging behind.

  16. My daughter is a part-time Hostess at a beautiful Hotel in Tennessee. She is a brilliant, cheerful, full-time student at a local University. Overall, she loves working with the public and really enjoys her co-workers and management staff. She is dilligent and constantly strives to do a great job. Occasionally, through no fault of her own, a customer may not get the room(s)requested or desired. Unfortunately, the customer feels it appropriate to “Vent” by screaming or being rude.

    Please keep in mind that Host/Hostess does not make the rules and that he/she is often entry-level and doing the best job possible – keep in mind too that someday your son/daughter or maybe even YOU may be on the receiving end of such a negative interaction.

  17. For someone who works at the front desk of a JW Marriott I can honestly say that I am glad you all are leaving the program because every single person at that front desk would be happy to never see any of you Platinum members ever walk through the doors of their hotel again. Do you think you are in some way special because of how many nights you are punished to stay in hotels because of your careers? Almost all who have posted on here are platinum members, this is no way means that you are special or you truly deserve any of the benefits you receive. In our hotel we sometimes have 40% of our nearly 1000 room hotel full of elite members; Gold, silver, and Platinum. So why should it make any difference whether you receive your suite, or your breakfast, or your gym pass, or your concierge access? If you really want those things so badly, pay for them yourselves like the rest of the working world. I’ve had platinum members curse at me for not offering them free breakfast and all I can think of is how there are starving children in other countries and I’m being yelled at by a man in a thousand dollar suit whinging like a small child because they didn’t get what they wanted.

    The Marriott Company offers great hotels with great service, just because we do not lick your shoes when you came in does not mean you have to stop staying at their properties. If you really want someone to take you to the gym and give you all of the free access and privileges then go home to your mothers, I’m sure they’re give you free breakfast and hold your hand and take care of you like you really want.

    I’ve only worked in my position for 6 months but I’m actually leaving the company and only for one reason. Platinum Members. So next time you check in to your hotels I want you to really think about how you are not special, that you do not “deserve” anything you are promised as a Platinum member, and that when you yell and complain at the front desk the people who work there only stare at you with hatred and loathing and see you as the egotistical, rude, selfish, and stuck-up people you really are. So thank you for staying as Platinum members, but don’t let it go to your heads and make you feel any more special than you actually aren’t.

    Sincerely,
    A Pissed off Front Desk Agent.

  18. First, the special offer you received isn’t called a Platinum Challenge. It’s called the Taste of Platinum Elite offer. I know a hundred web sites say something else, but they’re wrong, and so are you.

    Second, this illustrates everything that is a disaster about the Taste of Elite offers. People who have never stayed call in and demand the top-tier level, and then if they get it, expect to receive a whole series of benefits it doesn’t offer, and then are bitterly disappointed when they don’t receive what isn’t offered.

    The benefits meant to be reserved for real Platinum Elite members are constantly being degraded by a mass of individuals with the fake Platinum Elite status levels provided through these offers.

    It’s too bad we can’t actually see your reservation at the Desert Ridge hotel as it was originally booked, as I speculate that being a part of a group reservation, your Marriott Rewards account number was almost certainly not on file (no, I don’t know, but if I could bet on it, I would).

    You personally find certain things valuable for high status membership, and don’t like Marriott’s Platinum Elite status as a result and have walked away from your Taste of Elite offer as a result.

    All status programs don’t offer the same things, after all if they did, they would be the same program. Nor can every program offer every benefit that any hotel guest could conceive of.

    If some other program’s benefits are what you find best, then that is what is best for you. Even stating that you do not like Marriott Rewards is also your right. But you should take a step back and realize that your expectations were to receive things that weren’t offered, so is it really that big a surprise that you didn’t like them?

    What a shocker.

    You personally were really trying out the status to see if you liked it, but I have overheard plenty of members discussing how they demanded to get Platinum Elite status through these offers just to have it for one or two quick stays, and then demand it again the next year, and the next year, and the next year, all while never really staying more than once or twice. I am telling you, real road warriors who show real loyalty to Marriott know all about these little issues of fake Platinum Elite members and it frustrates us to no end. As far as I can tell, the hotels know this too and are equally frustrated by it, as they are bombarded with these issues every day.

  19. I did not say that MARRIOTT’s term for this was Platinum Challenge. That’s a generic term (“challenge’) referring to accelerated status offers from airlines and from hotels.

    The challenge caused me to look more closely at the details of the program, and I explain in this post why I found the elite benefits lacking.

    You say that each program is different, but in what meaningful way is this program better than average to compensate for its deficiencies?

  20. People are dying daily due to hunger, water quality and murder. You just spent 20 minutes whining about a bed. America.

  21. I’ve definitely gotten a kick out of this post and its comments. It seems there are some naive people on here and some things need to be cleared up.

    Honoring room type requests: It is indeed possible and in fact a common occurrence that convention properties run out of single king bedded rooms. As most convention properties house primarily double bedded queen or full size rooms. When making the selection the following items are taken into consideration for who gets their dream bed:
    •Years of membership
    •Current number of stays for said year
    •Number of stays in region or area
    •Consumer Affairs comment history (this is how a fd agent knows you’re a cunt before you try to shit on their entire day)
    •Last but not least what time you arrive

    Though I recognize the importance of loyalty programs there is something to take into consideration. This resonated in my mind when another person commented that hotels should treat customers who travel regularly better than others whom travel less.

    While yes, your forty nights at an average of $189 per night is equivalent to a third of most front desk agents yearly income after taxes. It does not make you better nor generous in your decision to stay there. You are a whore with a loving partner at home. You have a hotel chain that you genuinely enjoy and you select another because they give you more presents. Stay at the brand that is most convenient or suits your moral compass. The once or twice a year guest deserves something special and is the primary hotel market. Some people save money all year to stay at a nice property and those people deserve for hotel staff to put in the extra effort. You’re a whore, remember that. Take your special present and here is you champagne glass to sniff your farts up in your room.

    Three things you should know about hotels and life as a consumer.

    1. People in the customer service industry want to say yes. When they say no its either because that’s the only answer available for them to give or you’re a complete arrogant douche.
    2. If you speak with a front desk agent that’s been in the hotel industry over a year they’ll tell you how most people in this world are lying, manipulative people always whining to have something for free.
    3. Suicides commonly happen in hotels (nicer the hotel the more common since they’re not paying the bill) Does it make you nervous that the more arrogant you are at check-in the more likely you’re going to sleep on a mattress where someone died?

  22. I LUV MARRIOTT! I am a statuses member & a corporate travel agent. There are some markets that Marriott is lacking but for the most part they have done well by my travelers & me and I wouldn’t think of sending my travelers anywhere else.

  23. I closed my Marriott Rewards Acct. several years ago as 1) they are terrible when it comes to posting stays. In 2006 I was at the Renaissance Esmerelda in Indian Wells, CA for over a month and realized that it had not appeared on my statement. I then looked back and began to see that about half of my stays were not posting. This required that I do all of the leg work such as rounding up all dates and documents. Finally, after spending hours on the phone with a supervisor I just said close the account. I had avoided Marriott like the plague until last July when I stayed at the JW Desert Springs in Palm Desert, CA. I stayed in 50 hotels in 60 days in the Desert and reviewed each, primarily focusing on what made each unique. I used the same lines at each hotel and generally received similar (positive) responses. Not at Desert Springs..I tipped the valet parking attendant $40.00 and asked if he could leave the car up front. When I checked in I asked if there was an upgrade available. For $50.00 I could be upgraded to the next room category. (occupancy was obviously low and let’s face it, a Sunday night in July in the Desert) Then I asked if the resort fee could be waived. I waited 10 minutes while they located the person who could approve such a request. The charming woman that they presented me to proceeded to explain to me what a resort fee was in the most insufferable manner possible. Then after treating me as though I was a child, she then agreed to waive the charge. I used to live in that area and had a good idea as to what I was in for when I made the reservation. (Ex. I reserved a table at the Japanese Restaurant to entertain visitors that were in town We arrive to find the establishment was always closed that day of the week) In any event, I was very annoyed at this point and looked at the supervisor and said, ‘It is 7pm and I don’t think I will be swimming tonight. Your checkout time is so inflexible that I will be lucky to get out before I’m forceably removed from the room. A morning dip in the pool is definitely out of the question. As for the business center…here is my business center (I held up my phone) and finally, your fitness facility…do you honestly think I would tip someone $20 to take one suitcase to my room if I liked to work out?’ That was the best part of my stay. I am happy to report that they did leave my car up front…under a sprinkler. I have a black car and the water is hard as a rock. They wiped the windshield off for me. Very thoughtful.
    I stayed at the Renaissance in Malmo, Sweden in November. Great property, great staff, it’s a shame they are under the Marriott umbrella. Knowing I would be staying at this property in Sweden and seeing that if I signed up for a Rewards card again that after two stays I would earn a free night…..I did. After numerous calls and faxes etc. the miles posted last week (only took them a month and a half. Also, the free stay was only if an associate signed me up……some things never change. Right now I am in a challenge for a status upgrade with Hilton. They can’t be any worse….???

  24. After reading some of the comments complaining that people who stay with some company loyally should not expect to be rewarded in one way certainly are nasty. I am assuming that none of you have a frequent flyer account (if you do, you are selfish and self serving…don’t even think of cashing in miles and flying for free when others on that same flight are having to pay) I don’t expect special treatment, but it is nice when after a month at the same place and having the same breakfast every day that servers at least recognize you. Kind of like we expect teachers to learn our kids’ names. I was with someone who worked for the Anaheim Marriott and the Hilton across the street for 18 years in the Banquet Department. Then I was with someone for three who worked at the Newport Beach Marriott. My cousin worked at Desert Springs and her husband was the golf pro. Hotel guests are just like hotel employees. Some are wonderfully cheerful and pleasant and others do nothing but whine and complain. If people don’t react well to someone, there usually is a reason. For the most part, I think the front line staff is pretty good at most hotels. It’s the behind the scenes people who need a swift kick. If I ever have to call any type of company to voice a complaint I always ask for a supervisor. The person that answers the phone always asks if they can help me with something. My typical response is, ‘you sound like a very nice person and I am sure that they are not paying you enough to make excuses and apologize for things that you had nothing to do with. I am guessing your supervisor is getting paid more and unfortunately, although they are not responsible either, they are getting paid more and so they can listen to what I have to say.’ I almost always receive a giggle, a thank you, and a transfer!

  25. I am a Platinum Member also but be advised that any upgrade for ANY elite members are subject for the availability and no guaranty.and even you are Platinum member and you prefer king bed but if your confirmed reservation was double , still subject for availability.

  26. Wow,
    The ones who talk about how they are not taken in as Kings or Queens is pretty sad and pathetic. I travel with Marriott and have good nights and bad. My company pays for all my expenses so, I am happy that I can keep the points to spoil my family on crazy worldwide trips without the worry of hotel stays. Don’t act like you are all high and mighty hotel clients that pay for your rooms. Give me a break if they don’t welcome you with a pot of gold at every stay. Grow up!

  27. I am Platinum member, so decided to continue to stay at Marriott. In this area (Wiesbaden, Germany) only a Courtyard was availble, so lets give it a try, but:
    – No free breakfast
    – No room upgrade
    – No lounge available
    – I said, can I have some discount if I stay in this hotel for 100 nights this year: answer = no
    – You only get 250 points extra at arrival, wow.
    Really a bad experience with my membership card, worth nothing!

  28. AS a 7 year vertern wirking the front desk of marriott overall this looks like a person who has never really travels much in hotels. Its is far more reminiscent of a leisure travelers. Group bookings for conventions almost never guarantee a room type (again 7years at a convention hotel). Also you do not have a platinum membership. You got the short end because the hotel had guests that stay 75+ nights a year in the front of the line.

  29. Wow! I work at a Marriott and this is NOT how we treat our platinum guest! I am so sorry this happened to you.

  30. This is the most unreliable program. They change category hotels at the drop of a hat or when too many platinum card members ask to use their fee night which I did for the Brooklyn Bridge NY Marriott which is now a seven—no go for your free night anniversary benefit—told the Fairfield in Brooklyn would be the five category necessary as the top tier for the free night—tried that today and was told that the Fairfield is now a category six—so not available. My take on this is that this is a complete and utter shell game—or three card monte— you really are being had while they make tons on your Platinum Status and Black Card–They promise plenty and send pretty mailings with beautiful photos of upscale hotels and rooms and deliver NADA.—Marriott should be taught a lesson–We should quite being victims enriching the brand.

  31. This is the most unreliable program. They change category hotels at the drop of a hat or when too many platinum card members ask to use their fee night, which I did for the Brooklyn Bridge NY Marriott— which is now a seven—no go for your free night anniversary benefit. i was told the Fairfield Inn In Brooklyn would be a five category as the top tier for the free night—tried that today and was told that the Fairfield is now a category six—so not available. My take on this is that this is a complete and utter shell game—or three card monte— We are really are being had while they make tons on our Platinum Card Status and Black Card Visa–They promise plenty and send pretty mailings with beautiful photos of upscale hotels and rooms and deliver NADA.—Marriott should be taught a lesson–We should quit being victims enriching the brand.

  32. Nothing I haven’t heard before…I have worked for Marriott for 2 years; my first year was a front desk agent and my second was for management. My last year was basically getting ABUSED verbally and emotionally by ‘PLATINUMS’ or some ‘GOLDS’ and even just standard Marriott rewards guests. I have had a Platinum guest REFUSE to give me his I.D. to check him in because he thought that everyone at the front desk should know who he is. I told him that I could not check him in without verifying his I.D. with his credit card (this is Marriott’s policy) He ARGUED with me in front of other guests, and still I would not check him in. Finally the guest THREW his I.D. at me to the point where I had to reach down and pick it up off the ground after it had bounced off of my chest because he THREW IT AT ME! (by the way I did not disrespect him or ARGUE with him) he just thought he was SO MUCH BETTER THAN ME that he could treat me like that, I’m sorry but I AM HUMAN. The guest was a complete JERK after this. His entire stay he complained about one thing after the other…This could go on. The Platinum guest that tipped off my reason for no longer working in hospitality and getting a job in Real Estate was this gentleman that called down YELLING because we were so swamped at the front desk and had to put him on hold for a few minutes. When I returned to the call he said HE HAS NEVER BEEN PUT ON HOLD IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE and that he cannot believe we put him on hold. I apologized to the guest, like I always seem to do because it’s always MY fault or any other front desk agents fault. The guest continued yelling and saying that housekeeping didn’t service his room today and that “I better get my ass up to his room” (and yes he did use ass) and clean his room for him. I told him that unfortunately housekeeping has gone home and that I am not trained to clean a room for him. He then began to tell me that I better get him a new room or else there would be consequences. And even though we were almost sold out I told him that I would be HAPPY to move him rooms because housekeeping hadn’t serviced it (umm you are here for 2 nights. Why do you need the room completely serviced again????????? Almost 2 minutes later the guests wife calls and asks why we haven’t given her keys to their new room. I politely apologized and said that we were swamped at the desk but would deliver them shortly. The wife says I need to deliver them up myself and that I better get there soon!!……well okay…….. When I went up to the room the husband answers the door and he is talking on the phone. He says “I AM CALLING CORPORATE MARRIOTT ON YOU AND GETTING YOU FIRED.” I look at him with a blank stare SHOCKED that he is yelling at me TO MY FACE and calling to ‘get me fired’ because HIS ROOM DIDNT GET CLEANED TODAY!! I apologized again (BECAUSE ITS MY FAULT ONCE AGAIN). The guest shook his head at me and said that he would be taking both rooms tonight and that I wouldn’t charge him for two because I am the worst customer service representative he’s ever encountered.” (by the way I am a five foot 2 very petite girl that would not hurt a fly or disrespect anyone) the guest then SLAMMED the door on my face. These are just two experiences that come to mind but there are MANNNNYYYYY stories that I could ramble on about. But just because someone is “Platinum, or Gold or Silver’ because they travel so much does not give ANYONE the right to treat someone the way that some people do. And just a tip if you want an upgrade or a view of the lake or city treat the front desk agents POLITELY and we would be HAPPY to give you that. We always do our best to accommodate that if it’s available and if you give us your respect. But treating us like dirt on the bottom of your shoe that reflects the person they are! And you may get what you want but that’s the person you are!.

  33. Hotels and reward programs reward guests for bad behavior more than half the time. The elite members become spoiled brats. Hotels give these “dogs” bones or doggy treats for any complaint which in turn reinforces their bad behavior. Some platinum, diamond, members can be the most ruthless animals on this earth!

  34. Just wanted to clarify an item. Per the Marriott Rewards T&C in print and at Marriott’s website:

    “7.Guaranteed Room Type: Guaranteed priority for your requested type of room. Subject to availability at participating locations worldwide when your qualifying Elite level and specific preference are noted on the reservation for your stay. (Pillow, room location, extra bed, crib requests, etc. are not included in Guarantee.) Outside U.S. and Canada: smoking/non-smoking preferences may also be given priority, based on availability; exact bed sizes may vary and only Platinum members will have guaranteed priority for your requested type of bed and room. Not available at Marriott Vacation Club.”

    Beds are NOT guaranteed, even for Plats, except for hotels OUTSIDE the U.S. and Canada. Room type is not “King” or “Double Queen.” It’s “Standard,” “Suite,” etc. Just want to clarify that one issue.

  35. Also, you mentioned that upgrades explicitly exclude suites. This is also not correct. Perhaps you should consider re-evaluating your review in light of current Marriott Rewards T&C, as this entry contains some very inaccurate information.

    Again, directly from the Marriott Rewards T&C:

    5.Complimentary Room Upgrade: Based on room availability at check-in and limited to a Member’s personal guestroom. Upgrades may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites. All upgrades are granted on a space-available basis, as determined at the time of check-in. Upgrades are subject to availability and identified by each hotel. Not available at Marriott Vacation Club

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