I read in Miles to Memories Boarding Area ( https://milestomemories.boardingarea.com/ranking-hotel-programs/ ) about how Marriott is "dead" to the writer. I'm certainly not there. However, I suspect my approach to bookings for both business and leisure stays will change. I no longer am working on LT status and I certainly haven't felt the love this year in which I have spent the most nights AND dollars ever with Marriott. Needless to say, it has been pretty underwhelming.
I had a great conversation with a hotel manager today in Boston. He said that since the merger there has been a huge increase in platinum and platinum premiere stays on Sunday through Thursday nights, which is impacting the ability to provide upgrades. In a 430 room hotel they anticipate between 150-250 elites a night. I suspect this is the same for most major US cities (NY, DC, Chicago, Dallas, San Fran etc.).
He stated that we earn more points now and that staying with the program will gain the higher status folks more rewards. I countered that statement with my perception that with the new seasonal tiered points structure and higher number of points needed for higher category hotels, it makes the points less valuable to someone like me who wants a full service hotel with amenities (whether on business or leisure travel). Giving me a free night at a CY/RI/FFI/TPS is not my idea of a reward!
We also discussed resort fees, which I found that Marriott employees also have to pay on their stays. He agreed that a status rewards member should discuss options with the front desk personnel or manager and that it can result in reasonable adjustments or modifications based on your status, if you as politely.
So the short answer is yes, I will likely look at non-Marriott options when booking in 2019. How about you?