I admit Marriott hotels haven’t been my top choice in the past. But it’s a whole new world out there since I have been discovering a few Marriott hotels with my new Marriott Gold status (from teh Ritz Carlton credit card).
Marriott has been doing a lot of things right (from my perspective) – some of them I feel turned out to be good ‘by accident’ not as a way to win me (or other guests) over specifically.
Best Rate Guarantee
Marriott has by far the best ‘Best Rate Guarantee’ in the industry. You can file it against prepaid rates with no risk even. The agents are professional and fair and up to the point. You can do that for all brands now including Ritz Carlton and Delta hotels.
Prepaid Rates are not always prepaid
At Marriott.com you can make non-refundable, prepaid rates without actually paying anything for 24 hours. That’s awesome especially for a making a BRG claim.
The quality of the Executive Lounges at the JW Marriott Jakarta (Review) and JW Marriott Surabaya (Review) I recently visited was just fantastic. I have been to too many Starwood affiliated hotels and Hiltons were the food and drinks offerings is horrible.
Very few lemons
Admittedly many Marriott properties fail to excite but with Marriott I have found it really difficult to find any ‘lemons’. I easily had 100+ nights at Marriott affiliated hotels in my life but I can’t remember a really bad one – I have more such memories with Starwood and Hyatt (which also have many more very exciting properties).
Marriott Rewards points have tremendous value
I used to think that of Starpoints but after some many rounds of devaluation there is little value left.
Look at the Protea Hotel in Livingstone (Victoria Falls) – that’s $167 a night or 7,500 Marriott Rewards points.
In Africa it is easy to find 3-5 cent in value for many redemptions.
4 PM checkout
This is a wonderful benefit for Starwood elite members – now that Marriott is busy rolling this out with more Marriott properties you’ll have that too.
Marriott and IHG have the most creative promotions right now – while IHG is certainly more lucrative – Marriott has upped the ante finally.
So I’m not concerned at all about seeing Starwood merging into Marriott – the only thing is the universal value (and ability of transfers) of Starwood points that I might miss.