Marriott has extended its lead in a hospitality race to the bottom.
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New Marriott CEO Comments
New Marriott CEO, Anthony Capuano, was applauded this week by Ben Schlappig of One Mile At A Time for his candor. There’s some merit to that, but like Lucky, I am more than disappointed to hear management’s approach:
“I think we’ve made terrific progress. The integration of Marriott Rewards and SPG was a monumental task. And it’s quite interesting. You hear SPG loyalists say, ‘My goodness, what have you done to our program?’ The program was very guest-friendly. It was less owner-friendly. What some of those SPG loyalists may have lost, a bit, in terms of the richness of the program, we hope that breadth of choice, whether it be brands or geography, is a bit of a mitigating factor.”
Marriott really has two customers, the travelers that stay in their hotels and the hotel investment companies that manage their properties and choose to stay within the brand or convert to another. It’s hard to reach out to both, but Capuano has clearly chosen which customer he wishes to endear.
More Fairfields and Fewer Upgrades
In more news this week, Suite Night Upgrades, a perk for top-tier loyalists is no longer available at all-inclusive properties. Imagine spending 250 nights/year on the road in busted Courtyards to redeem free nights for your family only to discover that the Cancun resort with the huge buffet doesn’t qualify for a little bit bigger room despite living in Marriott hotels all year.
Capuano stated that where SPG loyalists traded “richness” for breadth, he was really saying “upscale” for “anywhere.” There is a valid point to that argument. The sole criticism of Hyatt is a lack of properties, and SPG had just a few hundred that weren’t either beat up Sheratons or Four Points by Sheraton. As it stands today, the great Marriott brands that come to mind: St. Regis, JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, account for relatively few of the properties in the brand (about 4%.) Of the 7,000 properties under the Marriott flag, almost 40% are Courtyard, Fairfield, or Four Points brands.
However, that trade doesn’t seem even to me. I don’t want more Fairfields in exchange for fewer benefits.
Marriott Has Lost Control of its Properties
The real problem with the Marriott Bonvoy program and its affiliate hotels is that the brand is too large to hold any control over the product and keep participating hotels within the reigns of its own terms and conditions.
I have expounded over the last couple of years on the decoder ring loyal Bonvoyers need to take with them to their hotels just to know what benefits they should (but likely are not) receiving. Top Tier Ambassadors and Platinum members receive free breakfast at these properties but not those, upgrades are honored here but not there.
In just the last week, yet another property added an energy charge of 4%. As Gary Leff aptly pointed out, this is a room charge increase outside of the bounds of a standard rate increase. I’d go further. The reason why airlines like Spirit, Allegiant, and Frontier can charge a fee (and pay fewer taxes on the revenue) is that it is optional and not part of the fare – there has to be a way to avoid paying it to qualify like my favorite Spirit Airlines trick. Unlike the optionality of where and how you book your hotel room or even method of payment surcharges, an energy charge is unavoidable and patently absurd.
As a customer (now Gold, formerly Platinum for several years) I have no idea what I will get when I check into a hotel. I have so little faith in the Marriott Bonvoy program and its leadership’s ability to deliver a consistent product that despite huge credit card signup bonus points, I simply have no desire to earn and redeem points in the program. I love some of the brands (mostly SPG) but won’t even look at their properties anymore.
Hilton has stated it will permanently change its housekeeping policy to limit visits to the room. In the current environment that seems permissible due to COVID and worker shortages despite record levels of open jobs and higher wages for those jobs. There was a change to its free continental breakfast benefit for Gold and Diamond guests which in a way is more flexible (doesn’t have to be used for breakfast) but falls short (allotments are not enough to offset the cost of a single meal.)
IHG, in an effort to maintain its superiority as the worst possible value for hotel points, jacked-up prices during the pandemic. Just a couple of years ago, its top-level redemption was 50,000 points, but the brand tested 120,000 before backing back down.
Hyatt remains a loser in the race to the bottom which makes them a winner to me.
It’s not just rogue hotels that are dragging Marriott down, it’s the message from management. If the Marriott team thinks the way to recruit and maintain consistent top-tier travelers is by watering down benefits and adding more Fairfields, they are sorely mistaken.
What do you think? Is Marriott winning a race to the bottom? Do you hold hope for the brand?
It’s this race to the bottom in terms of hotel loyalty programs, and Marriott in particular, that finally broke my habits. I was loyal to SPG and then Marriott, but the Capuano comments combined with the BS of Bonvoy pushed me over the edge. I’m now somewhat loyal to Hyatt, though their tendency to be on the high end where they do have hotels has me staying more often at independent properties. If an Accor hotel is available where Hyatt isn’t, I’ll stay there. Otherwise, I stay at independent properties. I’m a lot happier with this setup and will stick with it.
With two consecutive CEOs that fervently espouse the same anti-customer mentality, Marriott is reaching awfully hard for the bottom. What troubles me is how stunningly stupid this mentality actually is. A sufficiently rich loyalty program incentivizes people to make irrational decisions in the name of loyalty, which pays off big time in added revenue for the company. Given the size of Marriott’s footprint, that’s throwing away gigantic amounts of extra money. That sort of shortsighted nitwittery gives me little hope for Bonvoy or Marriott since the Board intentionally chose a CEO who was at least as bad as the prior one.
Arnie took customer service to heart. You could email his office and the angry hand of god would smack down on the offending Marriott property. The new guy…
Capuano’s comments were the most honest I’ve heard from a hospitality CEO. His focus is clearly on shareholders and property owners. The company has grown so large that guest loyalty has become a trivial concern. That was widely predicted during the Starwood merger; interviews with Marriott top brass seeking assurances the program wouldn’t depreciate were met with rightful skepticism. I’ll slowly use up my Marriott points and focus future stays with Hyatt.
Spot on. I’m over Marriott and Bonvoy. I’m forced to stay with them a fair amount for work, but whenever possible I select and choose Hilton or Hyatt for both work and personal travel. We just spent considerably more money last month for personal travel in Hawaii to stay with Hyatt vs Marriott. We did the same last year, and planning the same again next spring with a trip to the Maldives. These are cash trips, not points. Their app, electronic key, and suite night “upgrades”, all need major work.
LT Platinum here. I really am not interested in “breadth of choice “. I used to go out of my way to stay at an SPG because of the “richness” of that program and to avoid being a “drone” at a Marriott property. I still do this, now only with Hyatts and Fairmonts.
This Capuano “bean counter” obviously never heard of the business principal “if you take care of your customers and take care of your people, the numbers will work for themselves”. He is doing neither imho.
I am that guy… 300 days a year before the pandemic. Still did 200 last year, and 100 this year. I’m platinum for life, and feel like I’m pot committed. I don’t want another Fairfield. Might as well get a motel 6. I stayed with Marriott because they made us too tiered folks feel special. Now, if one finds a hotel where one gets a free bottle of water, it’s a win. They might as well not even have the program in Europe, as the answer to any request for special service is a minimum of €15. Asia is the last bastion of excellent service. Seoul is second to none. But Don’t even bother in Japan. At $500 a night average, there’s too many better options.
But every where else in the world I’m elite in name only. Now I know it comes from the top!
I think what they have realized is that there are more customers than beds, so when you move your business someone else, there is another soul or two willing to take the bed you left open.
and they have also entered the Airbnb space.
Agreed with this, but are they the kind of customers they want? Also, their Airbnb option is atrocious.
I’m 8 years an ambassador. I used to chat with Arnie. Trust me, guests have a long, Long, LONG memory. I did week long mattress runs -pluaral- during covid. I’m not feeling this is reciprocal any more. My ambassador was the best. Now I have what amounts to the same customer service everyone else gets. I might as well take my piddly 50k$ a year elsewhere.
I am so done with marriot properties our last visit outside of langhorne was convenient to sesame place but the marriot site lacked so many things you get at Hilton properties no ice bucket no tissues and the worst grab and go breakfast I have ever seen no fruit I filled out a survey and I have not been contacted keep your points I am done
I’m a long-time SPG member and earn points using my AMEX card. I can’t figure what’s their take on what’s going on. I have happily paid the AMEX annual fee for the convenience and benefit the card provides. I am no longer happy, and will likely take my plastic business elsewhere. Is Marriott paying them off?
I agree. I’m a lifetime Gold member with a Bonvoy Visa card. In the past 2 years I’ve yet to get an upgraded room in spite of the fact that the parking lot is only 1/3 full so I know they have plenty of available rooms. The franchise owners could give a rip if they treat you poorly as they know this is a one off stay.
I thought it was just me being refused an upgrade or even a bottle of water when I check in and a complete disregard for hospitality. I’m a Titanium member. At no time did that seem to make a difference in how I was treated. I have accumulated a million points over the years. I’ll now use them for flights, not Marriott hotels.
I have enjoyed the Marriott brand, and participated in the loyalty program for 11 or so years. I’m at gold level, just a few nights shy of platinum. I have no interest in staying at Fairfield. I have more of a commitment to the benefits and amenities that I used to enjoy at the other hotels. That is, until recently. I see that Marriott has eased right into the first place slot in the race to the bottom. The brand, in my eyes, has become average. There is so much that you can’t have now. I’m given the ability to upgrade, but I only received it once. I can’t count on the handicap accessibility that is clearly on my profile. And even if I do get the suite, there is no housekeeping. There is nothing special about the Marriott anymore. I keep my commitment to this brand, expecting its loyalty in return. I’m not feeling the love. Where is my prenuptial?!
Even before Covid marriott was on the way out for me. Little things add up like a Marriott in a medium size southern town that wanted to charge me for parking when they never did before. The parking lot was essentially empty. It was lightly raining when I parked the car. The clerk informed me I had to go put this pass in the car. I told her, go ahead tow the car. I was not going back out to put a pass in the car. I was miffed. Everytime I would stay in a Marriott I could hear the words” welcome Mr soandso” How may we extort you further???” I’m done. Went to Hilton, and other independents.
Kyle, we don’t always agree but this time “we’re brothers” I have been saying this for several years now Marriott is no longer a True Marriott company, the family only has approx 17% stock and some property ownership left. I have written previously I grew up in DC, went to school in DC and worked in the family business. We dealt with the Marriotts all the time in the 60’s 70’s in those days there were a number of families the Marriott’s being one that developed / owned real estate in the DC area. There is no way the “old man” Willard would tolerate the condition and management of modern day Marriott flags let alone allow dumps like the Court Yard in Honolulu or the Laylow into the system.
Clearly the current CEO is “owned” but equity capital etc. I so wish I had spread my business around giving me more lifetime status with other flags like I did with airlines. Now I suffer with all these Marriott points and lifetime Titanium status which means I get a cup of coffee and stale muffin for breakfast such as the Laylow. What a dump
@Ghostrider – Happy to be on the same side of the issue with you, brother. I can understand the need to manage costs, but I feel as though they are listening so much to the operators that they are forgetting the customers. They’ve taken one of the most premium products on the market and ruined everything that made it great. SPG might have been too generous (might!) but this is such an overcorrection that it holds no value now. I have held points for years even as a Platinum when that was the top that I didn’t spend because the rates were always so ridiculous. It’s not gotten better with time and I will likely end up transferring them to an airline to maximize my value – at least until they “enhance” or give more breadth to that feature and devalue it too.
We’ve stayed at the JW Indianapolis 4 times and the valet parking us beyond horrible. There are not enough workers. I’ve been disappointed on the last 2 visits as room also amenities change each visit. Some have a side table with a chair others do not. Refrigerators are not standard as in most Hilton hotels. If you get one it doesn’t work and they’ll tell you sorry about that but we don’t have replacements so my grandbaby’s milk spoiled. They offered ice to keep it cool. I’ve requested high floors to get the 10th with several kids running up the halls. on the Marriott gaining ground.
Love the absolute stupidity of that opening quote…so they took away benefits and think the fact there are more hotels under their umbrella makes up for it? First, the hotels were already options – just not under Marriott’s brand so the absolute number of options available to a traveler in a given location didn’t change. What would have been nice is if those properties now had the great elite benefits. But without the benefits, what has changed? As an elite traveler, adding properties while reducing benefits doesn’t seem like a win. I’m so sick of these executives trying to sell these changes as good for their loyal customers. Why can’t they just be honest and either say the lose too much money and found that they can’t correlate enough earning to loyalty programs to offset the costs of the benefits they provide or that there’s nothing special about being elite anymore because they give it away so easily with credit cards (meaning being gold or diamond doesn’t actually equate to a ‘loyal’ customer anymore). I sure hope Hyatt doesn’t follow Bonvoy and Hilton down this unfortunate path.
I think you are being a little harsh and maybe your feelings are hurt you don’t get the perks you used too. I am an Ambassador Elite with Marriott and work with my Ambassador Karen almost weekly. She has made my experience great at all the properties I have been too. Some things are still closed due to covid but they make up for it. I spoke with Karen about my lack of upgrades when checking in and now she calls the hotel before I get there and I don’t know the last time I didn’t receive an upgrade or was able to extend without a problem. Also your comments about the all inclusive properties and suite night rewards is not true. I just did it not even a month ago. Everything was taken care of and I received all of my elite perks. If you are an ambassador I’d suggest actually working with your ambassador and then you will get the perks you say you are lacking.
@John Mayhew – Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting. I have to clarify that while you may have received a suite night upgrade at an all-inclusive last month, the change was announced in the last two weeks. You may have been able to use that in the past but won’t be able to going forward. But none of my other issues are central to COVID service disruptions. The CEO himself stated that the program is intentionally less valuable for travelers to make it more valuable for the hoteliers – I’m not reading into it, the source article and the quote are in the post. Further, I have had a very good experience with My Hyatt Concierge in the past so I don’t see the advantage that Marriott holds over Hyatt in that regard, plus I’d have to get to $20,000 and 100 nights with Marriott to achieve it. Hyatt is just 55 nights, Hilton is just 30 stays or 60 nights.
Not sure how you work with a specific Ambassador when they eliminated that part of the program. It’s just a general team of people.
Kyle – you should do a write up on Marriott not giving LT credit two years in a row now. Big FT thread on it. More Marriott promises made and promises not kept.
I stayed for almost 2 months at a Marriot Courtyard in California, Riverside area earlier this year. But a couple of months after returning to work and getting quite a surprise (about 50% price increase/day) about what they would charge me (Gold member), I decided it wasn’t worth it. Unlucky for them because I am doing 2 months work again.
I was SPG grand poobah or whatever the level was that allowed my concierge access, which I didn’t use often. But SPG was a great program. I think it worked well because most of its hotels were somewhat adjacent in terms of cost and expectations.
Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridian, all very similar. ST Regis was a higher end brand obviously but not an insane jump. The low end was what Four Point?
Marriott goes from 1000’s of Fairfield’s and other semi residential brands to St Regis, Ritz, JW. So much of the portfolio is now lower end business self service hotels that how do you have a realistic free reward to a Ritz from a Fairfield?
They should add a multiplier by brand grouping to handicap for margins across chains.
I’ve been a loyal Marriott member for over 10 years. From Norway to San Diego, I’ve only reached out to stay in the Marriott Hotel Brand.
I don’t know this new Marriott International CEO, but his actions are no longer about the customer.
Shareholders, board members, steering committee members and the CEO should realize that the people that are voicing their disapproval are the very people that made your status possible. Had you ever hear the phrase, “if it an’t broke.,..?”
they are also extremely overpriced in their fees for the vacation club dues…that is where they really have people over the barrel. if you want to sell your timeshar, they are the only one that can do it and charge somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 to 40 %. I wish I never got involved 20 years ago.
they are also extremely overpriced in their fees for the vacation club dues…that is where they really have people over the barrel. if you want to sell your timeshar, they are the only one that can do it and charge somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 to 40 %. I wish I never got involved 20 years ago.
The girls are just a couple decades behind our airlines. Most people who have traveled globally understand the stark difference between US based airlines and foreign flag carriers. We are seeing our hotels race to the bottom and more people will discover other hotels such as Shangri La, Mandarin Oriental, etc… Within our country’s borders we are stuck with poor customer service unfortunately. Implementation of Bonvoy will prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Marriott in the long run.
We’re done. Sold our properties, good by Marriott.
My family and I tend to stay at Marriotts almost exclusively, so we get a lot of exposure to the various levels of hotels within the Marriott brand. We have noticed in the past 10 years or so that the Courtyard brand has sunk to about the level of the Fairfields – there really is no reason to stay in one vs the other, to be honest. At least with Fairfield you save a few dollars.
he only reason I can think of the reduction in quality for the Courtyards is that more people have discovered Marriott and like it, but by the same token can’t afford the Courtyard and higher pricing, so Marriott lowered their standards. But with that, the Fairfields have also gone down in quality – almost to the quality of Motel6 and the like. It’s very disappointing.
While I appreciate that the CEO, Marriott as a whole, whatever, wants to chase the almighty dollar, at the same time they’re really shooting themselves in the foot.
What’s funny is that in a lot of places now, the Fairfield is nicer than the Courtyard. They often are newer and with more sensible rooms. In some Courtyards you have to a contortionist to watch the TV from the bed. The one in Norman, OK–I swear at some point they must have chopped the rooms in half and doubled the inventory.
I am lifetime Titanium Elite and have continued to get the recognition and level of service I have come to expect over decades of primarily staying at Marriott properties. Just today I was notified that I have a confirmed Suite Upgrade at the AC Marriott in Charlotte on an upcoming points redemption stay for a wedding. While I agree the quote from the CEO has justifiably caused a backlash from customers, other parts of his interview indicated top management is working to address complaints and to provide improvements to the experience of guests. I have already planned numerous redemption and cash stays in the Florida Keys, Colorado, and various cities through June 2022. If my experiences decline and fail to meet expectations, I will reconsider. Until then, I will enjoy the level of recognition and service I have received and thank the providers accordingly. I’m sure there are bad experiences at times, but I choose to acknowledge the 99% good experiences I’ve had over decades and the benefits I am fortunate to enjoy. Cheers.
I am a Lifetime Titanium with Marriott and sadly have to agree with you on every aspect of your observations. I believe that the pandemic has provided the hotels with an excuse to deliver a less than expected experience. The pandemic has reduced the staff so that housekeeping has been impacted but to allow the properties to become so worn out and filthy is not acceptable. I used to enjoy the respectful and courteous service upon check in and throughout my stays that is now glaringly absent. The value of my Lifetime Titanium status is tremendously tarnished. I have trouble now booking any of my travel with Marriott properties because of the apprehension of what I might be checking into.
My husband is a lifetime Titanium and we laugh at this on every stay. It means ZERO–No acknowledgement, no water, no upgrade, nothing, nada, zilch! We have to ask for the upgraded wifi every time. What’s the point of the status? Where is the reward/acknowledgment for loyalty over other programs?
I have a few things to say about Marriott as I’ve been using them for years but let’s start with many many years ago when you couldn’t use the GNU Linux to book a room. They all but told me they didn’t care. Then was a few stays in California where the hotels were substandard except for on Coronado Island.
I stayed in Boston, actually Revere in a very frightening SPG. In Bakersfield, I had directly booked two nights and they thought my room was supposed to be checked out when it wasn’t, barged in while I was remotely working and charged me for an extra night when I had already paid for two!
Finally the final blow was when I was going to stay in Pasadena. City of Pasadena had declared a state of emergency and so I wasn’t going to be attending the conference I was booked for. Marriott refused to give me any refund for the room, even though I was with someone who has an autoimmune disease and there’s no way I was making this person go into a covid state of emergency location!
At that point I was pretty much done with Marriott.
It seems any American-owned company cares not a damn for the customer. The ONLY attention paid is to shareholders. Customers are nothing but a nuisance, and “loyalty” customers even moreso. We earned Diamond at Hilton, yet get nothing for it. There are no more Executive lounges, we’ve not seen any upgrades and were told at a few properties that “we don’t do that anymore due to COVID”. And now the elimination of even the breakfast benefit. A $12 credit that doesn’t even cover the cost of a plain coffee and stale pastry. Why should we be “loyal” for that? Why should anyone be loyal to these corporations anymore?
Well Marriott lost my business! Charge double amount on weekends for patio rooms at resident Inn Miami beach 3 weeks ago. It took me to clean an infested patio with ants, hair, and spillage. Bought bug spray to ensure I enjoyed a social distance free breakfast. After speaking to the manager and writing a letter about my experience with pictures. no response. And showed dirty Clorox wipes from cleaning the room. Why am I telling you this? Because having rooms like this well .definitely make any hotel brand be on a winning streak to the bottom…1800.00 for 4 nights.
Marriott also quietly did away with their leisure rate for federal government employees in April of May. This was a holdover from SPG I believe. It really stinks because it provided significant savings for me in some cases. Presumably they want everyone to pay the highest rate possible now that travel is back. However, I’m not all about paying that rate if it’s not justified by benefits.
Marriott LT platinum and while the SPG program gave more, I enjoyed Marriott Rewards top tier status immensely. Plus most Marriotts have concierge lounges which the shabby Sheraton’s Westins, W’s, etc don’t in most cases. Always got upgraded when I stayed somewhere. But after the merger and disaster rollout of the Bonvoy program, it went south… quickly and never fully recovered. I appreciate the CEO’s frankness; a loyal guest like myself is no longer the priority, it’s the shareholders first then the hotel owners/operators. Now that I know where I stand in his eyes, I’m taking my loyalty elsewhere. No sense in bemoaning over something I can’t control. I doubt they’ll learn the error of their ways because casual travelers will still fill up their rooms and once business travel rebounds, all those corporate accounts have to stay in their properties.
LT Titanium here. Just used 5 SNA’s for a Courtyard. I used to avoid hotels without central heat/AC but now, I want my own air so a suite allows me to run the noisy AC in the room I am not occupying and the cool air flows into the other room and the distance attenuates the noise. And since I have a ton of SNA’s might as well.
I recently drove cross country and back staying in Marriotts of all levels. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was with almost every stop. Dirty , laundry doesn’t work , packets of quarters always missing one quarter, tv’s not working, parking lots full of holes, sour cream for the coffee in the room. I could go on and on. By the way. I am an platinum elite lifetime member, not that I think I should get more perks but certainly more than the few things I listed above
I am Lifetime Platinum elite. The Marriott product is going down hill really fast. The properties are in terrible shape. Prices are going up but what you get for it is less and less. I don’t flaunt my status but wish it got me something different then the one night customer. I have stayed at some properties for over 20 years and at this point I am treated as a nobody. They need to get there properties cleaned up and repaired in order to keep travels and business people like myself coming back. I was staying at a location weekly for over 20 years and the there was a hidden $7.00 charge. When I inquired I was told the franchisor wanted to replace the parking lot so this was a fee to offset the costs. Terrible! That is not for me to pay for!
I’ve been traveling for years for work, and pleasure with college visits, and have tried to stay in Marriotts in order to build loyalty points with the brand. I just recently hit gold, usually being silver. I used to be able to count on a Marriott property for a consistently clean stay. I’m starting to find, and the on-line reviews match up, that the properties in certain cities are absolutely terrible as well as being over priced. Water sitting in the drain at the bottom of the tub; carpet so filthy that my shoes stick to it and leave tracks on the bathroom floor; and loud banging from the air conditioner in the middle of the night so one can’t sleep. Basically disgusting. I’m having to travel further to a different city to find ones that are clean let along charging $170 for a filthy room. (So much for cleanliness in the times of Covid!) Definitely a race to the bottom.
Couldn’t agree more with the article. Marriott has used covid as an excuse not to police hotels, allow rogue hotels to close gyms just because, close restaurants even in locations with no restrictions…etc. Being a Marriott Titanium for life, who is once again going to spend 130 nights in their hotels this month, have to tell you it won’t be long before I go elsewhere.
You used to know when you were in a Marriott–even if it was the one by the Kansas City airport with the generic Marriott room. The culture of hospitality and service was a given. Now you get demoralized skeleton staffs, unpredictable cleanliness, and a no-service environment where you have to beg for everything. Bonvoy rewards program has turned into more of shell game than a loyalty benefit. They want you to believe it’s all related to Covid, and of course they’ve had unprecedented challenges, but the main transformation has been on from putting the customer about third on the list behind stockholders and property owners.
I don’t agree. I am lifetime titanium elite and I am extremely happy with the recognition and benefits. Some of the best hotels I have had the pleasure of staying have been Marriott Bonvoy hotels. I get upgrades to incredible rooms, I get free breakfast and I am always recognized for my loyalty.
Has anyone actually tried calling Marriott? There phone tells you ‘more than a 10 minute wait”, after 60 minutes I gave up. Good by Marriott! Platinum member.
you have to wonder if the decisions the new CEO is making is based more on the touchpoints fof his bonus and less on thr future health of the brand.
Ninth year as Platinum and trying to hold out for 10th year for platinum before they change the rules AGAIN. Too often when I check in, the desk clerk thanks me and then sends me to a room – never quite sure what the upgrade is. Usually doesn’t seem like anything special and apparently gone are the days of getting a suite. Seems it costs no more to change the sheets in a suite than in a corner room and I would be – oh – so happy.
Just trying the accumulated Suite Nights and see how those work – if in fact – the benefit is honored.
I recently wrote a letter to Bonvoy saying that there is no longer any value in being Lifetime Platinum so I’m shopping for a new brand.
Two weeks later, I got a response saying ‘Thank you for your msg, It’s being routed to the appropriate person. Watch for a response.”
A couple of weeks after that, I got a survey requesting feedback on the ‘we’ll get back to you’ msg.
One thing I’ll say for Bonvoy, they continue to be very PC- Pathetically Clueless
I have been staying at Marriott properties for 25 years. Currently a Gold member. My verdict is – out with the old Marriott and in with the new Hyatt. Congratulations!
I have a theory I thought of after a month long interaction with the once chic St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta, The Marriott has bought the high end hotel chains so we shall never know what quality service is like. They wanted me to prepay for a reservation at high tea. Also, they tacked on a 20 dollar per guest “holiday” fee for mothers day. Tea for 4 was going to be close to 500 dollars. Then they tacked on a 22 percent “convenience” fee for the joy of paying early. What kind of savages think that’s okay? Marriot is the Ritz Carlton of ruining things. The Ritz would have been worth it. I never felt like it was a grift. But that’s all it is now.
I feel completely validated after perusing all these comments. I have been a fiercely loyal Marriott customer for well over 20 years; I travel only for pleasure, so my status is only gold elite, but I can identify with everything said here. There was a time when Marriott would treat ALL guests no matter the status with incredible hospitality. It was an absolute joy to stay in any property because of the service, cleanliness, and all-around experience. I concur with the comment that now it equates with a Motel 6. The rooms are often dirty. Things around the hotel are in poor repair, and checking in with a gold status means positively diddle. Could I at least get an old fashioned, “Thank you for being a gold member?” Marriott has made the choice to do like everyone else and blame EVERYTHING on COVID. Very convenient and equally implausible. It just makes me sad that such a pleasant part of traveling has become such a disappointment. At this point, it seems my best option is to seek out a company that adheres to a higher standard.