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The dreaded "Sorry this hotel not taking reward redemptions at this time" error

The dreaded "Sorry this hotel not taking reward redemptions at this time" error

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Old Feb 20, 19, 5:39 pm
  #16  
 
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What is the difference Marriott allowing properties to set a maximum number of standard rooms available for award redemptions or SPG claiming all standard rooms must be made available for award redemptions and then letting properties create phony non-standard room categories (“standard premium”)? At the end of the day the result is exactly the same—few rooms available for redemption.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:05 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by boolean64 View Post
To be clear, there are two issues here. One is "no blackout dates" which means "no rooms available." There is little evidence that legacy Marriott hotels are making zero rooms available. The other issue is capacity controls. Legacy SPG had "if you can book a standard room with cash, you can book it with points" so no capacity controls on standard rooms. Marriott advertised that this would be the policy with legacy Marriott brands as well. But then had to pull back because the hotel owners pushed back and the agreement between Bonvoy and Marriott owners did not force this on hotels. So legacy Marriott is once again allowed to have capacity controls on standard rooms.

As an example, if there are 10 standard rooms in inventory to be booked with cash, then legacy SPG hotels have to offer all 10 for award redemption. Legacy Marriott brands just have to have 1 of those rooms available for award redemption to satisfy the "no blackout date" policy. And if that one room allocated for point redemption is taken, you will get the "this hotel is not taking award redemptions at this time" error even though there are standard rooms are available to book with cash.

The lack of capacity controls was a huge selling point for the SPG program and was highly touted as something that Marriott would roll out across the entire combined chain. Having to pull back on this is a big big devaluation vs what was promised.
Yup, but one would think they’d rather word it as something like “sorry, all of our award redemptions are currently reserved” instead of “this is Hotel is not taking award redemptions at this time” which makes it sound like they don’t take them at all.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:22 pm
  #18  
 
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I had this error on a property too and reached out to my ambassador. They were able to push a reservation through on points.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 9:05 am
  #19  
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It is ignorant to say that the Marriott approach = the Starwood approach - they are clearly different, and we are seeing the negative effects now of the Marriott approach
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Old Feb 21, 19, 9:27 am
  #20  
 
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Workaround?

Anecdotally, I tried to book an award stay for 1 night at the Moana Surfrider and received this message. Out of curiosity, I tried expanding the search to a 3 night stay.....and the message disappeared. To get the 1 night stay, I made the 3 night reservation and then called MR to change to the single desired night. The CSR warned me that doing this could result in the hotel cancelling the reservation. To address this, I emailed the hotel to verify that the reservation was ok. The response was positive.

I enjoyed that stay this past week with no issues.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 9:43 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
Yes, Marriott's No Blackout Dates has always meant they made at least one room available for redemption at one point in time. If they made it available and it was taken, there will be no more. Or if they make it available in the future, maybe you'll be the lucky one who gets it.

Not every property goes down the one room path, but the more popular the hotel, the more likely.
Aren't the properties compensated by corporate? Is that compensation not fair market value?

I ask because of a personal phenomenon I've noticed. When I book with points, I find that I'm more likely to spend on food & beverage, or a spa service for the girlfriend, etc. on property. I guess it's just the idea that I haven't spent money on the room, so why not get a couple $20 martinis at the bar rather than go down the street for $11 martinis.

So if the properties are fairly compensated, they may have an opportunity to make more money on points reservations, rather than not making them available. I'm guessing fair compensation is the issue though.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 9:44 am
  #22  
 
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Notwithstanding Marriott Bonvoy T&C, there're loopholes hotels can exploit. Check out this hotel in Taipei: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/trav...rtyard-taipei/

You won't be able to redeem beyond August because there's no "standard" room available, even for cash.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 10:25 am
  #23  
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Aren't the properties compensated by corporate? Is that compensation not fair market value?
We're not sure what the new Marriott's reimbursement formula is, but if the property is not at very high occupancy, the reimbursement rate is likely extremely low, and far, far less than the cheapest available cash booking.

Bottom line is that properties often have a strong economic incentive to minimize award bookings, particularly when you factor in the cost of elite benefits. Some properties' management also find the idea of giving "free" rooms to elites, and then piling on "free" elite benefits, intensely distasteful. So there is a constant tension in all hotel loyalty programs between elites who believe they've been promised something by the program sponsor in order to attract their business, and properties which don't want to bear the cost of providing those benefits.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 11:24 am
  #24  
 
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Try googling the hotel and going to the hotel website directly to search. Sounds odd, but I've gotten the error message via starting from Marriott.com search but then been able to successfully find availability for those same dates through the hotel's website. (Seems mainly to apply to former SPGs.) I suspect it is largely a lingering integration issue.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 11:39 am
  #25  
 
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It affects non-SPG properties too.

I'm willing to bet it will be magically fixed on March 5th.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 12:06 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by tth6133 View Post
Notwithstanding Marriott Bonvoy T&C, there're loopholes hotels can exploit. Check out this hotel in Taipei: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/trav...rtyard-taipei/

You won't be able to redeem beyond August because there's no "standard" room available, even for cash.
Same thing happens to JWM in Macao - from July 1st onward, even with cash there is NO standard room available - all of them right now can be booked with cash are Deluxe and Suites. St. Regis at Macao is same way.
I am surprised by not even cash booking is not available for Standard Room from July 1st thru end of the booking window. I understand Summer is extremely busy months for JWM due to the extensive pools the Galaxy complex has, almost like a waterpark. But no standard room even for cash booking?
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Old Feb 21, 19, 12:17 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
Same thing happens to JWM in Macao - from July 1st onward, even with cash there is NO standard room available - all of them right now can be booked with cash are Deluxe and Suites. St. Regis at Macao is same way.
I am surprised by not even cash booking is not available for Standard Room from July 1st thru end of the booking window. I understand Summer is extremely busy months for JWM due to the extensive pools the Galaxy complex has, almost like a waterpark. But no standard room even for cash booking?
In these types of situations, hotels typically continue to market their "standard" rooms on third party websites in local languages, just not on official Marriott website.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 2:08 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by tth6133 View Post
In these types of situations, hotels typically continue to market their "standard" rooms on third party websites in local languages, just not on official Marriott website.
The standard room of this hotel is called Deluxe. The property has a total of 1,015 rooms. Pretty sure the "Deluxe Room" i.e. the Standard Room should account for at least 1/3 or even 1/2 of the total rooms.

On Weekdays, the cash rates can be as low as USD150 prepaid. (still at 35K pts of course). Executive room with lounge access at USD200 is not uncommon in slow periods. It is just like Las Vegas.
Hotel generally does not release Fri and Sat, but I have never seen a full 6 months have no availability. Something is just not right.

Just talked to a Marriott CS rep. She checked the system and saw between July 1st thru Dec 31st, there is not a single reward night available. The calendar on her screen, same as online, simply not move at all after June. She agreed that did not look like correct and filed a request for investigation.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
The standard room of this hotel is called Deluxe. The property has a total of 1,015 rooms. Pretty sure the "Deluxe Room" i.e. the Standard Room should account for at least 1/3 or even 1/2 of the total rooms.

On Weekdays, the cash rates can be as low as USD150 prepaid. (still at 35K pts of course). Executive room with lounge access at USD200 is not uncommon in slow periods. It is just like Las Vegas.
Hotel generally does not release Fri and Sat, but I have never seen a full 6 months have no availability. Something is just not right.

Just talked to a Marriott CS rep. She checked the system and saw between July 1st thru Dec 31st, there is not a single reward night available. The calendar on her screen, same as online, simply not move at all after June. She agreed that did not look like correct and filed a request for investigation.
The hotel is obviously gaming the rules. However, don't hold your breath for any solution from Marriott's investigation. I had been promised similar investigations and Marriott's "property managers" (responsible for specific properties in question) were supposed to get back to me, and none of them ever did.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 4:27 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by tth6133 View Post
The hotel is obviously gaming the rules. However, don't hold your breath for any solution from Marriott's investigation. I had been promised similar investigations and Marriott's "property managers" (responsible for specific properties in question) were supposed to get back to me, and none of them ever did.
I dont much care because the Sheraton while is a much older property, has cash rate 50% of what the JWM asks.

The selling point for the JWM is the pools - it is a waterpark like feature that the guests stay at the Galaxy Complex all can use. In Summer months it is a hot property in Macau, attracting gazillions of China mainlanders to come for weekend vacations. But nothing released in Sept thru Dec? Even the brand new Ocean Park property does not do this. I still think there is some system error or the hotel loads their rates incorrectly.

A few years ago an AC at Madrid had all flexible rates as Nonrefundable. Yet their sister property no more than 10 min walk away had flexible rates cancellable just as they should be. I called the Marriott CS and the rep at first said there might be some convention in town but I pointed out the correct rates at the other AC in the same area, may be 1 street away. She agreed something was right and filed an investigation. The next week when I checked again, all flexible rates were now cancellable. That got to be a rate loading error by the property but if nobody pointed that out, the mistake might never be found / known.
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