Bonvoy Devaluations

Old Sep 24, 19, 10:44 pm
  #1  
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Bonvoy Devaluations

When I learned that Marriott was taking over Starwood a few years ago, I was slightly concerned as a lifetime Platinum member. But I figured there was still more than enough competitive tension, and I was reassured repeatedly that Marriott would look after me. So I stuck with it. After several stays at large Marriott hotels this year, I am noticing some significant devaluations / downgrades to what I had previously experienced, even as a Titanium member. Namely:

1.) NO FREE ALCOHOL at the club lounges anymore during the nightly receptions;
2.) Fewer if any complimentary water bottles in the rooms;
3.) Upgrades are FAR fewer, even when attempting to use Suite Night awards;
4.) Very little elite recognition upon check-in. (Even the special elite key folders are less frequent!);
5.) Welcome notes from the management and little amenities like sweets or chocolates have all but completely vanished.

Beyond this, I can't believe the audacity of the assertion that the "express menu" at mainline Marriotts with "no carts and no fuss" is some sort of upgrade or improvement. If I wanted a cheap, nasty, badly overpriced meal served in f'ing plastic containers I'd just go to Starbucks.

Just as they did to the Ritz Carlton more than a decade ago, the bean counters at Marriott have RAPED all the class and value out of their Starwood acquisition in extremely short order. There is still loads of hotel competition out there, and it is only a matter of time before the next Starwood emerges. I'm actively looking out for it. Marriott senior management, I implore you: be more generous with your guests. You are never "too big to fail."

Last edited by AADFW; Sep 24, 19 at 10:45 pm Reason: Corrected typo
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Old Sep 24, 19, 11:18 pm
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Old Sep 24, 19, 11:24 pm
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I guess it's one of those YMMV things. I regularly receive recognition, handwritten (or at least signed) notes from the managers, haven't been in a lounge with no free alcohol in the evening, and every SNA I put in so far, cleared.
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Old Sep 25, 19, 2:02 am
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Originally Posted by AADFW View Post
1.) NO FREE ALCOHOL at the club lounges anymore during the nightly receptions;
I didn't think you got free alcohol in the US at all?

2.) Fewer if any complimentary water bottles in the rooms;
A lot of hotels are stopping bottled water (even in lounges) due to environmental concerns.

3.) Upgrades are FAR fewer, even when attempting to use Suite Night awards;
I think it all depends on the hotel - in one I go to every time I get a superior room despite booking a basic one. I don't look for upgrades, if I get it great, if I don't I am not bothered as long as at least I have got the room that I booked in the first place.

4.) Very little elite recognition upon check-in. (Even the special elite key folders are less frequent!);
In the UK at least, this has not changed as you rarely got elite recognition prior to the changes too!

5.) Welcome notes from the management and little amenities like sweets or chocolates have all but completely vanished.
I'll give you that one where the welcome gift in the room has diminished/been withdrawn. At another I regularly visit, you use to get free drink vouchers (since there is no lounge) now you don't get anything although when we were there at the weekend, we were told we could order a drink at the bar and it would be wiped from the bill!
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Old Sep 25, 19, 2:47 am
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Originally Posted by hdogan View Post
I guess it's one of those YMMV things. I regularly receive recognition, handwritten (or at least signed) notes from the managers, haven't been in a lounge with no free alcohol in the evening, and every SNA I put in so far, cleared.
JW Chicago makes you pay for alcohol. Nines in Portland does not. Could it be a legacy issue?

Originally Posted by nequine View Post
A lot of hotels are stopping bottled water (even in lounges) due to environmental concerns.
Id be ok with this if the tap tasted decent in many places I go. But I find it disingenuous when they give me free tap using plastic cups to save the planet from bottles that I can easily put in a recycling bin... oh yeah, and they save 50 cents by not giving it away.
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Old Sep 25, 19, 3:58 am
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Originally Posted by AADFW View Post
When I learned that Marriott was taking over Starwood a few years ago, I was slightly concerned as a lifetime Platinum member. But I figured there was still more than enough competitive tension, and I was reassured repeatedly that Marriott would look after me. So I stuck with it. After several stays at large Marriott hotels this year, I am noticing some significant devaluations / downgrades to what I had previously experienced, even as a Titanium member. SNIP
Just out of interest... you're used to former Starwood brand hotels but the way you've written your outpouring of grief makes it read that you're now staying at Marriott branded hotels which would not be affected by the hostile takeover because they were the victorious party: "After several stays at large Marriott hotels this year".

Can you be more specific about former Starwood brand hotels that have been pillaged in the way you describe. I can think of one: the closure of the lounge at the Sheraton Hua Hin has caused great dismay to many. But in general I'm experiencing at least as good service and benefits after the merger at both former Starwood and Marriott brand hotels so I don't recognize your list of crimes as endemic to the Marriott management style.
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Old Sep 25, 19, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by nequine View Post
A lot of hotels are stopping bottled water (even in lounges) due to environmental concerns.
News to me, are they donating the $5 per bottle they charge for the same water (once free) to environmental efforts or something?

Maybe if they put glass (not plastic) cups in the room with a water purifier, this would make more sense. Merely charging for what was once free does not eliminate the waste, especially if they still have plastic cups in the room...
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Old Sep 25, 19, 5:00 am
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Originally Posted by hdogan View Post
I guess it's one of those YMMV things. I regularly receive recognition, handwritten (or at least signed) notes from the managers, haven't been in a lounge with no free alcohol in the evening, and every SNA I put in so far, cleared.
Oh yeah, notes from managers. I had completely forgotten they used to exist. I don't think I have seen one this year. Seemingly not something I missed much though.
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Old Sep 25, 19, 5:14 am
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Originally Posted by AADFW View Post
Just as they did to the Ritz Carlton more than a decade ago, the bean counters at Marriott have RAPED all the class and value out of their Starwood acquisition in extremely short order.
You have an extremely poor grasp of the English Language. Although points to ya for not calling them Nazis, I guess.
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Old Sep 25, 19, 5:37 am
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Originally Posted by flying_geek View Post
Oh yeah, notes from managers. I had completely forgotten they used to exist. I don't think I have seen one this year.
I had a nice one at a Courtyard in Dubai last week. Not a global norm though.

I have say I could not care in the slightest whether I get a special elite paper keycard jacket. That really seems like pointless expense.
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Old Sep 25, 19, 6:38 am
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Old Sep 25, 19, 7:12 am
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It's difficult to see the point of continuing my loyalty to this brand. Is Hyatt really that much better?

Last edited by AADFW; Sep 25, 19 at 7:18 am
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Old Sep 25, 19, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by Out of my Element View Post
You have an extremely poor grasp of the English Language. Although points to ya for not calling them Nazis, I guess.
Ah, an incompetent grammar Nazi! Quite characteristically, I count no fewer than three errors in your ironic and rather pedestrian reply. You never went to college, did you?
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Old Sep 25, 19, 7:28 am
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As a legacy Marriotteer it’s been a story of more points - 17.5 per $ now, double welcome points, increased credit card points (here in U.K., from 2 Marriott to 6 Bonvoy) - and more benefits - 50-night SNAs, 75 night free cert, 4pm checkout, breakfasts at resorts, daily $10 at CY and Moxy. And in my experience this past year I’ve saved 97,000 points (of a total 445,000 spent) on Redemptions and seen a marked uptick in checkin Suite upgrades. So, odd devaluation, but do carry on!
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Old Sep 25, 19, 7:38 am
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Originally Posted by AADFW View Post
Ah, an incompetent grammar Nazi! Quite characteristically, I count no fewer than three errors in your ironic and rather pedestrian reply. You never went to college, did you?
Ah, nothing adds more substance to a discussion than good old argumentum ad hominem.
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