I am considering a visit to Ankara in Turkey and the astonishing-redemption-value Cat2 JW Marriott there. With our excellent Insiders reviews now having been removed I was researching the hotel via TripAdvisor and came across a review that I felt was as damning of the reviewer as the hotel.
Essentially the guest was making a single 14 night stay there in June 2015 booked via 2 reservations, one cash for 2 nights and a second redemption stay for 12. The hotel upgraded the reviewer for the first 2 nights but insisted they wouldn't be upgrading the last 12 nights and she'd have to switch rooms which so infuriated her she checked out after the paid element of the stay and cancelled the redemption entirely. Although this guest seemed to have a case of DYKWIA, I could see some of her point of view, but it was the response posted by Albert Helms (the GENERAL MANAGER, no less) defending his hotels position that caught my eye:
[Snip/Snip] As you are one of our most valued Platinum Elite member guest, you are entitled to get the next available upgraded room category which you were honored for the first two nights of your stay. As a reminder, Marriott Elite benefits clearly states that the upgrade is not available when guests stay with their points [Snip/Snip]
So is there really a new Marriott policy concerning elite stays that:
A. Limits upgrades to next available room category; and
B. Mandates that redemption stays no longer qualify for upgrades
Now I took another glance at the MR T&Cs and couldn't find either of these changes so is this a case of a General Manager who doesn't understand the Marriott Rewards elite benefits? And if so, then why not? I understand them, and I'm not being paid to. And then posting this misinformation on Tripadvisor of all places effectively advertising "Join Marriott Rewards and become our most valued guest receiving minor upgrades when you pay, dumpster views when you redeem" Attractive... Not!
So, is this to become our experience of redemptions in future, elite benefits denied at checkin with battles necessary to above GM level to obtain them?
Not so rewarding, methinks.