With over 170 hotels across in 18 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Marriott today announced new benefits for their most elite guests who travel and stay in JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Courtyard by Marriott within the region. Starting today, guests who stay 75 qualifying nights at Marriott hotels and reach Marriott’s Platinum Elite Status will be eligible for not only room upgrades, but guests will now qualify for FREE suite upgrades, based on availability!
Before this benefit was announced, Platinum Elite guests were eligible for room upgrades. Per the Marriott’s website, a room upgrade was described as rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites, subject to availability as identified by each hotel. However, now hotels located in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Guam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam are eligible for suite upgrades instead of just “regular” upgrades. However the new release also states that in Japan and South Korea suite upgrades may be limited and up to the hotels discretion. Not to be a pessimist, but it sounds as though upgrades in these regions will be close to zero to none. Furthermore, hotel stays of 3 nights or more, in all countries, will be up to the hotel’s discretion--dislike!
Although anyone who travels often knows that hotels tend to haphazardly follow the rules when it comes to upgrades and benefits, especially internationally. Some hotel chains tend to be better than others. Starwood properties can be some of the worst, Kevin on Cloud Commuting explains his miss upgrades recently in South American, and from my experience the Hilton group can be some of the best about following polices for elite members. What is your experience?
Marriott rewards program is good,yet it still does not offer all the benefits that SPG, Hilton, and Hyatt offer. However, it’s nice to see that Marriott is finally stepping up its game a little bit, after other hotel chains stepped up their game and benefits earlier this year--Marriott is FINALLY responding, kind of. Although this enhancement isn’t jaw-dropping, or applies across the entire Marriott family, it is nice to see an enhancement of any kind to the program.