Marriott Rewards (including Ritz-Carlton) - LACK OF AWARD AVAILABILITY
Oct 15, 00, 8:35 pm
Since it has become practically impossible to redeem my Marriott points, is there a way to "launder them" into Starwood - where I don't have to put up with "Unfortunately, the Special Rate You Requested Is Not Available" messages for 3 months in a row???
Get real Marriott...
Oct 15, 00, 10:22 pm
I don't know if I'm lucky, but I was able to book the 2nd week of January at the Key Largo Marriott.
What property / dates are you trying to book?
The most popular rewards at the most popular times certainly take advance planning. I think that's true of Starwood and others, too. I found it impossible to get Marriott Rome next August, even starting 11 months ahead. But it's been far from true that it is impossible to use my reward points. I've been successful is every one of the alternatives I sought, and Marriott's rewards people have been more than helpful.
I have found that I almost never have problems getting awards if booked well in advance. The exception to this is Paris & Rome where even 11 months in advance won't get you a room.
On the other hand - sometimes it is luck of the draw. A friend of my just got back from Rome where she got rooms about 2 weeks before departure. She was in Rome around the middle of Sept.
Oct 16, 00, 7:05 pm
Phil - With all due respect you are not very familiar with the Starwood program - with Starwood, if there is a vacant room, you get it.
I have never had any problems getting rooms at Starwood.
Not to mention, having to book 11 months in advance is a bit much..
Oct 16, 00, 8:31 pm
I'm not going to suggest that this is always so easy, but I got five "free" nights at the Paris Renaissance last November, maybe 5 months in advance. It's mostly luck, but they do have rewards available.
Oct 17, 00, 7:19 am
The only times I have not been able to get a an award stay was in 1998 in Paris during the World Cup Soccer tournament and at the Marabella Spain location. The reservation agent told me that this is the most visited vacation club and the owners almost never give up their assigned week. I have booked numerous stay and usually get what I need on the first try.
Oct 17, 00, 8:56 am
Agree with Jamflyer. I have been Marriott for over 15 years. For the last few years (until yesterday, when I made Gold) I have been the lowest elite level (Silver fka Gold). But I can't recall an effort to book an award I couldn't get. Just stayed this summer for 7 days at London Grosvenor. Stayed 2 days in New York during October last year (conference season). Hong Kong, Vienna, lots of others.
I had to fudge dates just a little bit, but I was able to get into the Marriott Grovesnsor Square over Thanksgiving for a reward stay.. without too much difficulty three months in advance.