I rarely post any more and even less do I check. The old timers are gone, and while I don't want to self-identify, I miss what I valued as a travel site. I long ago gave up on Marriott after being treated badly on several occasions. The only times this year I have stayed and will in the future stay are at the Athens Ledra Marriott, which is in every sense of the term a true full-service Marriott. In all other cases, where I travel internationally every month, I am staying at independent hotels or other chains that will give me better benefits at a lesser cost.
I am truly sorry to say this. As an impoverished grad student I relied on one FF program (Delta) and one hotel chain (Hilton then Marriott) to make the most of my research trips. For years, Marriott was phenomenal. But over the past two years all that has gone. Those of us who have been some of the most frequent stayers have lost the most basic benefits like breakfast and wifi, which I easily get when I book on expedia, orbitz, hotels.com, and booking.com. Why should I pay exorbitant rates to get less? Short answer: I won't.
I know there are many former and possibly current MRIs out there who feel as I do. I was 'offered' the opportunity to buy back my Platinum status this year. I didn't because it would have been of no value to me. I am getting much greater benefits, cheaper prices, and cool stuff like pools from independent and boutique hotels (as well as other chains who have matched status). Unless things change, I won't be coming back to Marriott except for my favorite two hotels -- the Athens Ledra and Ghent Marriott.
This makes me very sad, but Marriott has repeatedly ignored comments and suggestions from its longest term members. We may or may not count from Marriott's perspective, but I have made my decision -- and it's not Marriott. Too much lost, nothing gained, and increased levels for rewards.