After experience staying at both Hilton, SPG and Marriott,I personally had the best experience with Marriott, and I am seriously think about whether or not should I "intentionally" pursuing eligible nights and member status?
I am currently only stayed at one night with Marriott, and I think I might travel and enjoying the nice hotel more often from now, I already plan to stay 7 nights with Marriott for my Vacation visiting Bangkok next June . I can become Silver member next year if I challenge, and probably challenge a gold member in 2018...
(How ever the fastest way is to get SPG's Gold status and matches to Marriott.I know this is unfair to Marriott elite)
I have seriously thought about this. I love travel, I love stay at nice hotel. I care about details. But I seldom travel for business, which means all of my nights with Marriott is paid by my self for pleasure.
From what I know, those hotel member program is mainly designed for business customers, who goes on a business trip very often, so they can meet the qualification of higher member status, yet most of the time, they don't to spend a money for their nights!
So executive lounges, board room, is all mainly designed for the business customer rather than travel for leisure.
Many of the Marriott or other hotel chains properties in the States don't even have a real executive lounge. And in many cities , you only need to paid a little to enjoy the perks of Gold member like executive lounge, free buffet breakfast, even 4 pm late check out.
So I starts to wondering, is it really worth to pursue the higher member status, if I travel, but not that often, and probably all paid by myself, no business trip. For example, 10~15 nights a year.
Probably I should just paid for the perks, if I really need to , instead of pursuing staying nights ?
Beside, even if I become a Gold Elite, what really helps me is 4 pm check out and upgrades( of course and the service level for Elite guests). I don't think you will really comeback to the hotel to enjoy afternoon tea and dinner at executive lounge, if you visited Bangkok, Tokyo and New York City, where there are so many things to explore outside the hotel?