Marriott not a "FedRooms" provider

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Old Sep 28, 18, 5:40 pm
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Question Marriott not a "FedRooms" provider

I'm a US Gov't employee, and the Government is now getting much more insistent in us staying only in FedRooms. For some reason, Marriott isn't included in their hotels (IHG, Hilton, etc all are). Anyone know why this is?
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Old Sep 28, 18, 6:21 pm
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Their cancellation policy. Few if any Marriotts allow same day before 4pm cancellation which is a requirement to be in Fedrooms.
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Old Sep 28, 18, 6:34 pm
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OP - Just look on the FedRooms website and you will see why there are multiple reasons for Marriott not to want to participate. Not the least of this is the cancellation policy which is incompatible with the current competetive landscape, but also effectively lets GSA set the rates because GSA sets the per diem. If Marriott wanted to be a government agency, it would sell to GSA. But, it doesn't.

In order to be considered into the FedRooms program, your property must meet our program requirements:
  • FEMA certified and ADA compliant
  • Competitive rate at or below per diem
  • Cancellation policy of 4 p.m. day or arrival or later (domestic) and no more than 24 hours (international)
  • At least 2 crowns
  • No deposit or early departure fees
  • Monthly production reporting and payment
  • Book FedRooms rate when requested
  • Compliance with all terms and conditions
  • Complimentary guest room internet
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Old Sep 28, 18, 7:30 pm
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Thanks to both of you for your replies.

I wonder if it is a good business decision for Marriott. My agency has well over 50,000 employees. Many of whom travel. I put in about 75 to 100 nights a year. Too bad. Looks like I'll have to switch to Hilton.
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Old Sep 28, 18, 8:03 pm
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Welcome to FT, govflyer!

Originally Posted by govflyer View Post
I wonder if it is a good business decision for Marriott.
Yes, it is. Why sell rooms for half what you can get on the open market? They still fill their rooms.
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Old Sep 28, 18, 8:11 pm
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Were that the case, I would agree with you. My experience is that government per diem rates are only marginally less than the regular rates. About 10% of the time, they are actually higher than advertised rates. Of course the cancellation policy, free wifi, etc are perks that cost some money.
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Old Sep 28, 18, 8:35 pm
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I have a friend who works for a limited-service property. I'm not sure what FedRooms is, but I know his property offers gov't rates of $111/night, when rack rates are much higher. One of the things he & I were talking about recently is that often they get someone who books the gov't rate on the weekends for 2-3 rooms (and they know it's really for a softball tournament or something). The property asks for gov't ID & usually the person can provide it & assumes it will cover all rooms, but it does raise the question of how many rooms by a single gov't employee can be booked & if the gov't is ok w/ its rate being used for softball tourneys, especially when rack rates are so much more.

Cheers.
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Old Sep 28, 18, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
I have a friend who works for a limited-service property. I'm not sure what FedRooms is, but I know his property offers gov't rates of $111/night, when rack rates are much higher. One of the things he & I were talking about recently is that often they get someone who books the gov't rate on the weekends for 2-3 rooms (and they know it's really for a softball tournament or something). The property asks for gov't ID & usually the person can provide it & assumes it will cover all rooms, but it does raise the question of how many rooms by a single gov't employee can be booked & if the gov't is ok w/ its rate being used for softball tourneys, especially when rack rates are so much more.

Cheers.
You can also expand the same argument to all corporate customers. For example, if a person works for google and then use the google room rate for a weekend softball tourneys while regular rates are so much more, then what? Property ask for ID and the person shows their google employee ID and everyone is cool.

Wasn't it also true if you belong to say CPA, and you use the association's corporate rate. The more member use it, the stronger the next round of negotiation the representative of CPA can be in getting even more advantageous rates?
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Old Sep 28, 18, 9:02 pm
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
I know his property offers gov't rates of $111/night, when rack rates are much higher.
Comparing to rack rates is specious. Nobody pays those.
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Old Sep 29, 18, 4:44 am
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Thank you for your replies.

I should have mentioned that Marriott/SPG have always offered Gov't rates. I've booked my stays at M/SPG properties for years. They still offer those rates at Gov't per diem prices.

It's just that now my agency is clamping down on only using FedRooms whereas before they only cared about getting the Gov't rate--FedRoom or not. Thus after years of staying at M/SPG, I now have to switch
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Old Sep 29, 18, 6:45 am
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"at least 2 crowns"?
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Old Sep 29, 18, 7:15 am
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Originally Posted by Out of my Element View Post
"at least 2 crowns"?
I have the same reaction. I wonder if that was a typo, and was supposed to be "2 stars".

"Day or arrival"? Need to talk with that intern.

Last edited by EdofFX; Sep 29, 18 at 7:36 am Reason: To reflect better guess
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Old Sep 29, 18, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by govflyer View Post
Thank you for your replies.

I should have mentioned that Marriott/SPG have always offered Gov't rates. I've booked my stays at M/SPG properties for years. They still offer those rates at Gov't per diem prices.

It's just that now my agency is clamping down on only using FedRooms whereas before they only cared about getting the Gov't rate--FedRoom or not. Thus after years of staying at M/SPG, I now have to switch
I'm curious about how your agency will be enforcing this new edict. Especially since my agency hasn't implemented the same.

If you have the option of booking a Marriott hotel at the same per-diem price as a FedRooms hotel what can your agency do about it? IMO it would be difficult to justify denying reimbursement when the cost is the same.

P.S. I'd like the last two thirds of my FT handle back please...
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Old Sep 29, 18, 8:57 am
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Our software now flags when a Fedroom is not used and requires an explanation. In addition a memo just went out saying that leadership will be now approving travel in addition to our immediate supervisor. In that memo it said we had to use a FedRoom and listed the advantages in doing so.
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Old Sep 29, 18, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer View Post
I'm curious about how your agency will be enforcing this new edict. Especially since my agency hasn't implemented the same.

If you have the option of booking a Marriott hotel at the same per-diem price as a FedRooms hotel what can your agency do about it? IMO it would be difficult to justify denying reimbursement when the cost is the same.

P.S. I'd like the last two thirds of my FT handle back please...
It is baked into the booking software now - it will display the FedRooms as the default. And when forced to use travel bookers and the official travel agency it is a lot of hassle to produce a memo justifying another booking channel even if it in the per-diem.

The enforcement of using those tools is several years old in my agency.
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