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escapefromphl Dec 9, 12 12:53 pm

Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR (Post 19824388)
Marriott is not to blame, the OP and the poster you linked to are to blame for not reading the rules. Suite upgrades were never a definite perk and they are still not, even in Asia with the new language -- it is, as it always has been, at the discretion of the property.

What's more, to expect a suite upgrade at a resort property is to me a fool's errand, for Marriott explicitly states that breakfasts are not required to be given to elite status holders at such properties, so it seems a wild stretch to me that anyone could possibly think that suite upgrades at resorts are likely, much less a given at such properties!

I'm fine with suite upgrades being at discretion of the property, I just think this "suite upgrades explicitly excluded" language is somewhat disingenuous and would be irritated if I requested an upgrade and was told this. I have never requested an upgrade, but I don't think it's out of line to do so.

Perhaps we should start a blacklist of properties who enforce it. I understand some don't have many suites, but a lot do.

Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR (Post 19824388)
It also seems to me that the average joe who posts on the Insiders forum seems to be quite ill informed as opposed to many who post here! :cool:

Agreed but they are probably more representative of Marriott's average customer.

VA1379 Dec 9, 12 1:02 pm

My viewpoint is the complete opposite of the OP. I cannot stand SPG simply because too many of their Sheraton properties seem like they need a serious service upgrade, even after the big $2 billion investment in Sheraton in the recent few years by SPG and its hotel property owners.

I have had 4 stays with Sheraton over the years. Two of them were paid by United/Continental, and two were out of my own pocket (one paid and one award). None of them impressed me. The first one was in November 2000 when I was in college. I got stuck at EWR while flying CO due to ATC. After wearing out the CO employee [I was a clueless traveler but decided that it was either a hotel room or going to jail, and I wasn't going to jail without putting in a struggle], I ended up getting a room and meal voucher. I went to the Sheraton EWR and checked in after midnight. I got a smoking room, and the hotel looked like it was still set up for the '80s. The place was a dump, and it made a bad impression on me. The cheeseburger at the bar was overcooked, but I was tired and had a early morning flight.

My second stay came courtesy of UA after having a misconnect at IAD in December 2011. I ended up at the Sheraton Reston/Herndon. This property seemed a lot nicer than the Sheraton EWR until I got to my room and noticed green oxidation/rust on the bathroom door knob. The breakfast buffet was quite poor (no omelette or eggs made to order and a lot less fresh fruit than what Hyatt or Marriott would have). It was only somewhat better than the one offered by the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA (the prior hotel UA put me up at for a previous misconnect at IAD; they probably didn't do that again since I ended up with a late departure and the hotel had UA pay for a private car for me to IAD).

I was annoyed by the incorrect time for a clock in the hotel lobby, and the hotel employee who insisted that the shuttle was on time. The only good thing from that stay was that I signed up for SPG and got a free breakfast, after the front desk guy insisted that UA doesn't pay their food vouchers. I don't know if he was telling the truth, although I have noticed that the McDonald's in Terminal 7 at LAX has a paper sign stating that CO food vouchers are not accepted at that location. That is a corporate MCD location.

After those two stays, I should have avoided Sheraton, but I got a promo offer from SPG where one stay would get a free night's certificate at a category 1-5 property. I had an award trip with an overnight layover in NRT, and Marriott is somewhat lacking in affordable properties (a RC seemed like overkill and I wasn't going to spend 30k points on a CY).

I decided to stay one night at the Sheraton across the street from the Hyatt Dulles. I got a $55 rate for a club room over Labor Day weekend. The club was closed, but I got breakfast and internet with my rate. The service in the restaurant was quite lacking. How did I end up with a waiter who did not ask me for any drink preferences? The service was disappointing along with the food. Sheraton properties don't have good breakfast buffets. The fruit is lacking, and the inability to order eggs with a hot buffet seems cheap. Frankly, the food was not much better than the Hyatt Place next door, which is owned by the same hotel company that owns this Sheraton. I could not believe how much worse the service was at the Sheraton compared to the Hyatt Place. That experience told me that Hyatt has tighter controls over their franchisees than Sheraton.

The room at this Sheraton was small, and they had the heating/cooling unit right by the window of the room. It wasn't much different than the Hyatt Place in that regard, except that they used a desk and a faux wood cover to hide the unit. They have a laundry room, but I wasn't told this at check in.

I ended up at the Sheraton Miyako in Tokyo last month for my most recent Sheraton stay to use the award certificate. They have free internet for all guests. I found the property to be somewhat outdated since there were no TV channels in English or any language but Japanese. There were no business channels, and the room's furnishings looked out of date by at least 10 years. The breakfast buffet at this property was another disappointment. It was better than stateside Sheraton properties, but it was quite poor compared to food and service standards in Asia. I was asked for what type of tea I wanted to drink, and they never brought any hot water or tea. The food was okay, although I expected more hot items.

JohnMacWW Dec 9, 12 2:30 pm

Originally Posted by crazypalooza (Post 19821445)
OK now i'm confused as to official policy...

the t&c on the general page where it talks about benefits says:

¶¶¶ Room Upgrade: At no additional charge, we’ll do our best to upgrade you to our best-available guest room in the next room category level. Suites are excluded.

However on the detailed page it says:

Room Upgrade
For Gold Elite members the best way is up! So every time you check in, we'll do our best to upgrade you to a premium room - at no additional charge – for your entire stay. Upgrades may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites, subject to availability identified by each hotel.

So is this really a case of hotels discretion, or are they eliminating suite upgrades as policy?

Great post. When I read this thread, I was thinking, "so what, exactly, is in writing as to the t & c's?"
Better you have spotted and example where they hype goes beyond the t &
. That usually ticks me off.
While I think the OP is going to be mostly equally dissappointed by any brand, here it does seem like the OP is reacting too strongly. But, it was lousy customer service. Why not upgrade an elite as high as you can? You make them a return customer and very happy one. So the hotel was dumb. So don't shop there and tell others. Beyond that, not worth using it as a catalyst. But we all lose it some times. I know I have.

alrvd83 Dec 9, 12 3:03 pm

I have been fairly successful with upgrades. My best one was probably at this Renaissance hotel below.

It was a 1 night stay booked at my Siemens corporate rate...booked a 1 king bed room and got upgraded to a huge executive suite.

I've gotten suite upgrades, in the past 3 months, to their largest room type possible at these properties just to name a few (i booked regular king bed rooms and got upgraded to suites or with SH or RI, larger suites). Yes I know these are totally random locations, and the hotels aren't top tier, but still...Marriott isn't that bad :)

socrates Dec 9, 12 3:22 pm

Originally Posted by hhoope01 (Post 19820872)
Starwood FS hotels quite often don't have one at all (i.e. I do believe only Sheraton has a lounge as a brand standard.)

I've heard (but not certain and running for a flight shortly so no time to research) that Sheraton has done away with this brand standard but again this is 3rd hand info

NJUPINTHEAIR Dec 9, 12 4:05 pm

Originally Posted by JohnMacWW (Post 19825032)

So the hotel was dumb. So don't shop there and tell others.

However, he has yet to even do this.

northwest_buckeye Dec 9, 12 6:10 pm

I've been with Marriott for around 7 years (plat for the last 5), starting from the moment I graduated college. In the nearly 600 nights with Marriott since then, I've been upgraded probably less than 25% of the time. Of those upgrades, I've been very lucky to get some AMAZING suites... But I've never expected or even asked for an upgrade. If one is given to me, great. If not, then my room is exactly the one I paid for.

The sense of entitlement on this website has become outrageous.

BKKLEE Dec 9, 12 6:13 pm


Originally Posted by northwest_buckeye (Post 19825938)
The sense of entitlement on this website has become outrageous.

BigLar Dec 9, 12 7:08 pm

I'm also done with Marriott. But it's not their fault.

I became unemployed back in 2009, so no more hotel stays, I was a plat with MR since about 2004 or so (which they comp'ed me - no matching!). Since then I did my 75-100 mights/year in a Marriott (usually a FI) and enjoyed every one of them.

No (paid) stays since 2009 and they still make me a Gold!

And I can't tell you how much we enjoyed the week at the Chancery Court, the County Hall, the Monaco Marriott, the Amsterdam Marriott, etc. Have never run into a Marriott (overseas or domestic) where the service wasn't at least fine - more often that not, superb.

Yes, I'm done with Marriott. But I miss them. :(

nacho Dec 10, 12 1:05 am

Originally Posted by TommyC80 (Post 19821807)
My only problem with *wood is that their network isn't nearly as large as Marriott's. I had trouble maintaining status with them simply because it was often too hard to find a property close to where I needed to be.

+1 especially when you are mostly travelling within Europe and looking for mid range hotels.

I love to try out *wood too but it's difficult to find them near where I need to be.

Recently I stayed at Hamburg Marriott and we were 2 adults and 3 kids (the oldest one is 7), and we ended up paying EUR 40 for an upgrade to a larger room that 'can' accommodate all of us. We are both Gold, and according to them 1 upgrade for us is an 'executive' room and in order to 'fit' all of us in we need 2 cat. upgrade and since we only entitled to one, we had to pay for the next category upgrade.

Btw it's the same with Plat (I asked :D the FD), so don't expect suite upgrade there as a Plat.

JohnMacWW Dec 10, 12 6:40 am

Originally Posted by northwest_buckeye (Post 19825938)

The sense of entitlement on this website has become outrageous.

I do not think it is this site. There are always some travelers that have a high sense of entitlement. It is also a common for some elites to develop a sense of entitlement to privileges and perks. And, while most of the time I am a very nice, polite, mellow traveler, at least once, after four straight days of low sleep, and multiple cities and flights each day, I have gotten a bit grouchy and exhibited some entitlement.

Orange County Commuter Dec 10, 12 7:09 am

Originally Posted by keloutwest (Post 19820359)
I've been a Plat member with MR for a few years now. In general, I've been pretty happy. But a new change has absolutely sent me SPG. Here's why in case anyone is listening:

--Apparently upgrades are now up to 1 room type higher. I checked in the other night at a Renaissance in Europe on a 300+ Euro rate for business. I did my usual "any suites available tonight?" The response was weird..."yes, we aren't very full tonight, so there are several available. I can upgrade you to a Jr. Suite for only 140 Euros/night." I laughed and said, "Oh, I'm a platinum, isn't my number in there?" The response was "we only upgrade up to 1 room class higher. It's a new policy". Long story short, I argued, got nowhere, was furious (a DYKWIA moment, unfortunately) and called MR. They confirmed that indeed that's a new policy. I've missed upgrades before, so that wasn't the issue. It was the fact they said they had plenty available but wouldn't give me one.

That made me start shopping, and I realized the following "benefits" just aren't working for me:

--Bad lounges. The lounges are usually little more than 2 or 3 rooms put together, and often feature a limited and often cold-only breakfast. I stayed at a W recently and they offered me breakfast in the real restaurant (not offered in their club lounge). They also charge for alcohol usually. So what's the point of the lounge?
--Breakfast on weekdays only? My company would pay for me to eat on weekdays. It's when I travel on weekends for pleasure, that's when I need the benefit.
--Golds versus Platinum? What's the point of going for 75 nights (one of the highest as far as I can see) when at 50 nights you get essentially exactly the same benefits (minus a few guarantees that aren't honored anyways, like the bed choice guarantee or arrival gift guarantee that has a loophole bigger than the 500 points themselves)
--Resort and Courtyard exclusions? Really?

It's been real Marriott. See ya!

I fail to understand why folks think that whining on here is effective. Do you think we care? Send your complaint DIRECTLY to Marriott and follow up with what really matters.... Don't stay there. The rest of it is just whining! Marriott, SPG, Hilton, Delta, AA etc know that at least 50% of the "I am taking my toys and going home" rants are just that. Unless you really don't stay there then it's just words.

As for me having been top tier at Marriott, SPG and Hilton over the past few years.... the grass may look greener, but it's just different manure being spread around. None of them are perfect and IMHO whining about SPG will soon occur. I expect that the "churn" of "I am going over to greener pastures" just means that when the OP leaves Marriott it's about the same time someone leaves SPG for Marriott LOL!

keloutwest Dec 10, 12 1:42 pm

Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR (Post 19825432)

Originally Posted by JohnMacWW (Post 19825032)

So the hotel was dumb. So don't shop there and tell others.

However, he has yet to even do this.

Easy, people. The hotel was Renaissance Amsterdam near central station. Hotel is okay otherwise (good rooms), but horribly tiny gym and small lounge with no windows.

SkiAdcock Dec 10, 12 2:29 pm

Originally Posted by keloutwest (Post 19830825)
Easy, people. The hotel was Renaissance Amsterdam near central station. Hotel is okay otherwise (good rooms), but horribly tiny gym and small lounge with no windows.

Thanks for mentioning the property. It helps others when making decisions on where to stay. FWIW - I prefer the AMS Marriott.


dayone Dec 10, 12 2:32 pm

Originally Posted by northwest_buckeye (Post 19825938)
The sense of entitlement on this website has become outrageous.

"[H]as become"?!?!

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