I have been trying to plan a trip to Wroclow in Poland in December to visit the Christmas market. I knew that there was no Starwood property there but found that a new AC hotel had recently opened. I believe that AC hotels do not allow a free breakfast as their Platinum welcome so I looked at a bed and breakfast price for my 3 day stay. On the Marriott web site, the price using its own currency converter was 350 pounds. Because it is a new hotel I decided to check other reviews on different web sites and was amazed to find that Bookings were offering the same room including breakfast for 234 pounds, a full 116 pounds cheaper. Being new to the Marriott web site, and knowing the problems that I had had booking my only stay to date at the infamous Marriott Huntingdon, I thought that somewhere I must have missed a special rate as I was certain that Marriott offered the same price guarantee that SPG do and I have never seen such a large price difference on SPG.
I decided that I had better ring the Marriott reservations department to check. I spoke to someone who in ten seconds said that the price on the website was correct and without offering to check elsewhere as my Platinum Concierge would have done, just told me to book it through Bookings but if I did I would not get any points or status recognition. I asked about the Price guarantee and was told I had to book it first and then fill in a form on the website and if it was exactly the same rates Marriott would consider beating the rate. this was said in a tone that basically said to me but dont hold your breath!
There are many excellent hotels in Wroclow, as good if not better than the AC and I am not prepared to book this on the basis that Marriott might match or beat Bookings price. In ten years of booking through SPG nobody has ever just stated that I should book one of their hotels through a third party.