Marriott Now Includes Suite Upgrades as an Elite Benefit!
As I shared in my follow-up from the Freddie Awards, I personally think Marriott is undervalued.
A lot of folks get hung up on the 50 and 75 nights required for Gold and Platinum status, respectively. But they have an extremely large network of hotels, have been fairly good with customer service (from my experience) and through a Gold challenge I can receive free lounge access/breakfast and wifi on a regular basis.
Anyway, another issue for people has been Marriott’s exclusion of complimentary suite upgrades as a benefit to their elite members. More than anything, this had been just a company line, rather than a practice, in my experience.
Well, finally Marriott updated their website recently to include suite upgrades as a benefit to Marriott Rewards elite members, at no charge. The following wording is now listed as an elite benefit for both Gold and Platinum members:Room Upgrade
For Platinum 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. See terms and conditions for details.
This does not show up as a Silver benefit, although it never hurts to ask. After all, just last year I received Club Lounge access and free internet at a Marriott (and a resort nonetheless, which is usually excluded) just for asking about a suite upgrade, when they did not have any available.
And some might complain that are no “confirmed” suite upgrades available, and that it is subject to availability.
First, so what if you have to ask about it–it never hurts to ask. And it is also helpful to do your research beforehand, and see if they are still selling suites.
For example, when I stayed at the Tampa Marriott Waterside, I inquired about a suite upgrade. At first, I was told there weren’t any available, but after pointing out that is showed up on their website, she was able to confirm that I could be upgraded.
Marriott is definitely moving in the right direction, though it is not really much of a change at all. I suppose this would open up the doors for more Marriott properties to give elites suite upgrades, but based on my own experience this has already been the case.
My father is a Marriott Life-time Platinum member, and I can remember a number of instances of my family staying in a suite, in some cases TWO OF THEM, side by side.
One of my fondest hotel memories was just a few years ago when I was studying in Germany. I had a free weekend in Munich, so I had my father arrange a hotel stay for two friends and I, at the the Renaissance Munich (which is sadly now closed, by the way).
To our delight, our “room” included a ginormous bathroom, living room with a bed and couch, and separate master bedroom. The amazing thing was that it was only 150 Euros per night, which I presume was the government rate.
Thus, by splitting the cost of the rate, we were staying in posh suite in Munich, for a mere 50 Euros per night. I fantastic deal in my opinion!
Anyway, even though technically this policy had already been in practice, I think this is great news for Marriott Rewards.
I am actually staying at a Marriott property tomorrow night, where their webpage still shows at least two suites available. So I will most definitely try this out, and report back on my findings!
Tip of the hat to View from the Wing.