Breaking up with Marriott

 
Old Dec 8, 12, 3:37 pm
  #1  
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Breaking up with Marriott

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 packing....to 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!
keloutwest is offline  
Old Dec 8, 12, 4:00 pm
  #2  
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and yet here in asia a suite upgrade policy has been implemented....... recent "sucesses" in both Phuket & Kuala Lumpur (not in Singapore).......

BTW, the grass isn't always greener on the other side...........

Originally Posted by keloutwest View Post
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 packing....to 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!
BKKLEE is offline  
Old Dec 8, 12, 5:07 pm
  #3  
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So are you saying that you are never ever ever getting back together?
dayone is offline  
Old Dec 8, 12, 5:59 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by keloutwest View Post
--Bad lounges.
Good luck with Starwood on this one. I've been a Plat with both for a while now, and for the most part Marriott lounges are better than those at Starwood hotels.

Also note that while most every non-resort FS Marriott has a lounge, 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.)
hhoope01 is offline  
Old Dec 8, 12, 7:54 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
So are you saying that you are never ever ever getting back together?
LOL! ^
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Old Dec 8, 12, 8:28 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by keloutwest View Post
... I did my usual "any suites available tonight?"
And what part of the terms and conditions did you not read? Suites are not a benefit ....

While I may not agree with Marriott's policy, I know the T&Cs and if I do get a suite upgrade, I'm suitably grateful. I don't pull a DYKWIA moment because the hotel does not break policy on my behalf.

GenevaFlyer
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Old Dec 8, 12, 8:45 pm
  #7  
 
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My father has been platinum for at least four years, and has been upgraded maybe five times. I've never seen him complain. Is it time for him to leave the brand?
longwaybackhome is offline  
Old Dec 8, 12, 8:47 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
So are you saying that you are never ever ever getting back together?
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Old Dec 8, 12, 8:49 pm
  #9  
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IMO that's up to him..............but on FT you'll find posters complaining about anything and everything regardless of brand............regardless of whether they are entitled to an alleged perk.............

Originally Posted by longwaybackhome View Post
My father has been platinum for at least four years, and has been upgraded maybe five times. I've never seen him complain. Is it time for him to leave the brand?
BKKLEE is offline  
Old Dec 8, 12, 9:01 pm
  #10  
 
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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?
crazypalooza is offline  
Old Dec 8, 12, 10:48 pm
  #11  
 
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Guess it's just random but all 3 stays after I hit 100 nights have been upgraded to a suite. This is after getting just a single suite upgrade all year. I'm also considering a Starwood challenge, mostly because I want access to cash and points for European vacations. I still plan to stick with Marriott for the most part. Marriott could do well to introduce suite upgrade certs that you earn after 100 nights or something to that effect.
escapefromphl is offline  
Old Dec 8, 12, 10:48 pm
  #12  
 
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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.
TommyC80 is offline  
Old Dec 8, 12, 11:43 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by TommyC80 View Post
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.
I'm with you on this comment...I can always find at least a courtyard or Fairfield inn no matter where I go...Starwood's are hard to find if you are in a smaller town for example.
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Old Dec 9, 12, 12:11 am
  #14  
 
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As of recent I've had a much better experience with the Hilton lineup. The biggest thing for me is that Ritz Carltons, despite being owned by Marriott, refuse to honor most of your benefits. A room upgrade to them typically means a better view, but that's about it. Much better experiences at Waldorf Astorias.
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Old Dec 9, 12, 2:34 am
  #15  
 
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My dilemma is a little different. I am both Marriott PP and Lifetime Plat, as well as HH Diamond and Raddison Gold.

However my travel patterns have changed so that I can only retain status in 1 chain.

I don't need to stay a night in a Marriott property to retain Plat, but the PP treatment I receive in Europe and Asia is such that I don't really want to stay anywhere else. Unlike the OP, suite upgrades are very frequent as are other forms of recognition, ranging from champagne in the room to a bathrobe customised with my name embroidered over the breast pocket.

However I would like to keep a second elite status for the locations where, for whatever reason, I can't stay at a Marriott. I've dropped to HH Gold for next year and am not sure what to do after Christmas when I start accruing nights for 2013.
thegoderic is offline  

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