I'm planning a trip to Clearwater Beach next spring (on points) and am trying to decide between the Marriott and Sheraton. I've stayed at the Marriott previously and enjoyed it, but it is now a category 8 and will require 160k points for 5 nights. (I already have a 5 night cert. for cat 5 and will need to spend an additional 60k). The Sheraton will only require 40k SPG points.
As I recall, there is no CL at the Marriott, but platinums get at least a free continental breakfast (sometimes free full buffet), parking is free, and there wasn't a resort fee when I last stayed there. Rooms were all suites with a separate small living room with mini-fridge and microwave.
I'm not familiar with the Sheraton rooms or the platinum benefits at this property. I'd appreciate input regarding the following:
- Will I likely get an upgrade, and what are rooms like?
- Is there a lounge? Is it open daily? What is provided in the lounge (breakfast/beverages/wine). Are there other platinum benefits?
- Are there resort or parking fees?
- Is the fitness center well equipped?
Currently I am leaning toward the Marriott because I already have the certificate that I have to use at some point, but I really don't think it is worth the cat 8 points (it was only 6 when I stayed there a few years ago). I will gladly switch i