Anadyr (sorry, I cannot get used to calling you that) raised a serious point in another post about corporates crunching numbers. I am not some wild-eyed liberal professor (despite our sad reputation) and I follow CNBC and Wall Street as well as InsideFlyer etc.
For the number crunchers, all I can say is get what you can while you can, because the way you seem to be crunching numbers will end up crunching stays and driving away loyal high-spending members in droves. These people already seem to have pushed many of us in that direction.
My question: I can stay at the following choices in Venice: 1) a low priced nice hotel out of the way (example BW Sant' Elena) but which gives me free breakfast, wifi and amenities; 2) a fabulous hotel on the Grand Canal or the Lagoon which gives me great free breakfast, free wifi, and fabulous views (example Pesaro Palace); or 3) a Marriott that is out of the way, nice, but has little in the way of amenities. I will choose 2 first then 1, but would not choose the Marriott after having stayed there once. The Autograph Marriott in Venice is not a bad hotel, but it is way overpriced for what you get.
That is why so many of us are looking elsewhere. We realize we have other options now that Marriott is taking away our rewards repeatedly, one by one until it has reached a critical mass. Michelle and Andy, if you have influence with corporate, you need to communicate these issues. They are not going to go away, and they are driving us away.
And just a cautionary note to number crunchers in the tourist business: my students would not consider staying at a Hilton, Hyatt or Marriott. Even though I teach at an 'elite' college, the students want either a boutique hotel, a foreign family experience or a bed and breakfast. So if corporate is looking to the next generation, I suggest they look again.