Focus of the Marriott/Bonvoy forum

Old Nov 5, 22, 6:10 pm
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Focus of the Marriott/Bonvoy forum

Maybe it's just me, but is anyone else concerned how the focus of this forum has primarily turned to "aspirational" properties with most posts about everything from the Yacht Collection to fine hotels in Doha, Bali and many other places that the average Bonvoy member will never get to? Certainly all those have their place, however the more mundane posts about airport hotels, the Fairfield Inn in Boise (abstract example) or where to take the kids in Florida seem to have gone to the "back burner". Maybe the demographic has changed but this was previously a reliable source of current information on hotels that people frequently stay at - not those that they may get to when they've saved enough points. In many, many years of Marriott/Bonvoy membership (LTT) I've certainly benefited from stays at spectacular properties worldwide, but those were achieved by slogging away at too many Residence Inns, Sheratons and Fairfields to remember. My suggestion to the moderators is that perhaps it's time to sub-divide this forum by some method, whether by brand or aspirational vs. routine. Please don't misunderstand this - I read almost every post and travel vicariously with many of you. It's just that I worry that there are relevant posts that don't get made for fear they're not interesting enough.
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Old Nov 5, 22, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by yyzflyer View Post
Maybe it's just me, but is anyone else concerned how the focus of this forum has primarily turned to "aspirational" properties with most posts about everything from the Yacht Collection to fine hotels in Doha, Bali and many other places that the average Bonvoy member will never get to? Certainly all those have their place, however the more mundane posts about airport hotels, the Fairfield Inn in Boise (abstract example) or where to take the kids in Florida seem to have gone to the "back burner". Maybe the demographic has changed but this was previously a reliable source of current information on hotels that people frequently stay at - not those that they may get to when they've saved enough points. In many, many years of Marriott/Bonvoy membership (LTT) I've certainly benefited from stays at spectacular properties worldwide, but those were achieved by slogging away at too many Residence Inns, Sheratons and Fairfields to remember. My suggestion to the moderators is that perhaps it's time to sub-divide this forum by some method, whether by brand or aspirational vs. routine. Please don't misunderstand this - I read almost every post and travel vicariously with many of you. It's just that I worry that there are relevant posts that don't get made for fear they're not interesting enough.
while I do stay at your run of the mill aloft/four points/courtyard/Sheraton/etc, I rarely feel compelled to post because since Marriott aquired Starwood, those experiences arent special anymore (If they ever were) and happen because I need to be in a certain place. Bifurcating the forum wouldnt incentivize me to post about those experiences.
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Old Nov 5, 22, 8:03 pm
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I really enjoy reading trip reports for all types of properties, including those of the limited-service nature. It does seem like those properties rarely get talked about or are only talked about in the general sense of poor experiences without naming or discussing the actual individual property that provided the bad experience.

While I don't commonly stay in limited service, I have posted trip reports of them before - my last was AC Austin Hill Country. Frankly, it was a nice stay, and I'm glad to have been able to share that. Had it been a bad stay, I could have shared that, as well.

I find that discussing individual properties means a lot more than just general complaining as the real value of experiences in this program comes down to the service culture and offering that each property provides. Not everything is positive, but not everything is so negative either.
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Old Nov 5, 22, 8:28 pm
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Pre-SPG merger, I found the most useful threads were the trip reports in property threads from the run-of-the-mill full service Marriotts, with details about the executive lounge offerings. Whether it was a large city or small city or suburban property!

I think a few things changed. Obviously the hotel portfolio has changed since 2018, which probably shifts which properties get more discussion. Lots of people like to discuss upgrades (or lack thereof), which tends to focus more on aspirational properties. And after covid, a lot of experiences at ”run of the mill” properties don’t necessarily feel worthy of a trip report either.
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Old Nov 5, 22, 8:58 pm
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I've been to Bali and Doha numberous times in the past 10 years. I have only been to Florida once w the family...which is run of the mill and which is aspirational😛

Have you seen prices at Disney lately?
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Old Nov 5, 22, 9:12 pm
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Originally Posted by SHLTP View Post
I've been to Bali and Doha numberous times in the past 10 years. I have only been to Florida once w the family...which is run of the mill and which is aspirational😛

Have you seen prices at Disney lately?
I think the point is less about location and more about relative property perception within the brand hierarchy. There are far fewer property-specific posts about "average hotels" across the globe than there are about aspirational properties. "Average hotels" (the non-resort Marriott, Westin, Sheraton types as well as limited service properties) exist across the globe, including in Asia and the Middle East. Yet, except for a few exceptions, reporting on these properties is often muted and/or relegated to a location master thread.
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Old Nov 5, 22, 9:16 pm
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How aspirational are places when you go more than once a year? I havent had a work trip since before Covid, but Im still traveling for leisure. This means I usually dont stay in a business traveller oriented property.
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Old Nov 6, 22, 1:57 am
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I am guessing there are a few factors at play here.

With less business travel in general, I suspect there are less stays at run of the mill places by elites. I may be wrong.

I personally try and save up my points to use on more aspirational properties, and maybe others do too. Therefore its enjoyable and informative to talk about the places that we plan to burn a large tranche of points at.

Some of the more limited service properties wont have amazing upgrades or breakfasts to offer, so are perhaps less exciting to talk about from an elite perspective.

Perhaps we have more or an international audience than you appreciate? Certainly I cant recall visiting many places in Europe and the Middle East that have RIs or Fairfields or whatever. There is a world outside the USA and some of us find it a more exciting and agreeable place to visit (I say this in a very tongue in cheek manner).

Also, its worth bearing in mind that you have to be the change you wish to see in the world, and web forums for nerds . Feel feel to post more about these places and I think we will all benefit.

Lastly, I am an Ambassador member who is based in the UK and does a lot of travelling in Europe (and the USA this year), but Im current in South Africa and finding that the mid and lower tier properties are excellent value for points. So I agree that its worth talking about the less aspirational properties sometimes.
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Old Nov 6, 22, 1:08 am
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I'm going to go write a review of my recent stay at an Element...
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Old Nov 6, 22, 3:36 am
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At least FT is not like FB, people are talking about Maldives, Hawaii etc. Places that I will never go - learned from FT that I shouldn't go to Hawaii as all the hotels are packed with Elites. Maldives is not on my to go list either especially after seeing all those insane prices for F&B.
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Old Nov 6, 22, 5:10 am
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Originally Posted by yyzflyer View Post
Maybe it's just me, but is anyone else concerned how the focus of this forum has primarily turned to "aspirational" properties with most posts about everything from the Yacht Collection to fine hotels in Doha, Bali and many other places that the average Bonvoy member will never get to? Certainly all those have their place, however the more mundane posts about airport hotels, the Fairfield Inn in Boise (abstract example) or where to take the kids in Florida seem to have gone to the "back burner". Maybe the demographic has changed but this was previously a reliable source of current information on hotels that people frequently stay at - not those that they may get to when they've saved enough points. In many, many years of Marriott/Bonvoy membership (LTT) I've certainly benefited from stays at spectacular properties worldwide, but those were achieved by slogging away at too many Residence Inns, Sheratons and Fairfields to remember. My suggestion to the moderators is that perhaps it's time to sub-divide this forum by some method, whether by brand or aspirational vs. routine. Please don't misunderstand this - I read almost every post and travel vicariously with many of you. It's just that I worry that there are relevant posts that don't get made for fear they're not interesting enough.
I travel for leisure only (81 nights so far this year) and the posts about the aspirational hotels are the only ones that interest me.

Im interested in Maldives, Turkey, Thailand rather than USA. Most often the USA hotels are the worst example of each brand as standards and expectations are so low in US.
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Old Nov 6, 22, 5:16 am
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- With the Starwood merger, there is a higher percentage of aspirational properties in the overall portfolio, so they seem like they dominate the conversation

- Service, upgrades, offerings at Courtyard, Fairfield, Residence Inn are pretty standardized across the US at least - less to add in terms of posting

- In terms of full service Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, etc, many lounges and such are permanently closed. Aside from reporting on whats going on, there isnt a lot to discuss.

With all of the hotels, types of hotels, etc the number of types of travelers have diversified a bit, so you may have to dig to find stuff you care about.

It seems like a lot of the posts on both SPG and Marriott forums pre-merger, and on a forum like the Hyatt forum, are endless threads what What were specific elite benefits at this specific hotel. Honestly I think the Marriott program is a bit too big and diverse to really have threads like that for most hotels across the portfolio. It also seems like some of the more prolific posters have left Marriott to Hyatt, and presumably have been replaced with other travelers given Marriott hotels are all full
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Old Nov 6, 22, 6:18 am
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IMO the focus of the forum is not misplaced. The forum is doing exactly what its members want it to do. The thing that drives what the forum focuses on is whether a property is noteworthy.

IMO there are three things that typically make a property noteworthy: Something outstanding, something bad, or something aspirational. The vast majority of the times a property is mentioned on FT it is for one of those three reasons. If there's nothing outstanding, bad, or aspirational about a property it's just unlikely to be written up here.

The hotel where I've spent more nights than at any other Marriott property has never once been written about or reviewed on FT. I've spent hundreds of nights there and there's nothing outstanding, bad, or aspirational about it. It's a good hotel, but not a noteworthy hotel, so it's likely to remain unmentioned (except maybe by me mentioning it here... ).
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Old Nov 6, 22, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer View Post
IMO the focus of the forum is not misplaced. The forum is doing exactly what its members want it to do. The thing that drives what the forum focuses on is whether a property is noteworthy.

IMO there are three things that typically make a property noteworthy: Something outstanding, something bad, or something aspirational. The vast majority of the times a property is mentioned on FT it is for one of those three reasons. If there's nothing outstanding, bad, or aspirational about a property it's just unlikely to be written up here.

The hotel where I've spent more nights than at any other Marriott property has never once been written about or reviewed on FT. I've spent hundreds of nights there and there's nothing outstanding, bad, or aspirational about it. It's a good hotel, but not a noteworthy hotel, so it's likely to remain unmentioned (except maybe by me mentioning it here... ).
Don't leave us hanging - what property is it? I'll write a trip report about anything :-)
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Old Nov 6, 22, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by ElevatorEnthusiast View Post
Don't leave us hanging - what property is it? I'll write a trip report about anything :-)
I prefer it remained unmentioned -- Wouldn't want it to suddenly become unavailable due to masses of FT'ers booking out out. Besides, I've got a point to make...
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