I’m a Marriott Rewards Gold member and have enjoyed room upgrades and lounge access in a number of properties. I really do like Marriott as their properties rarely disappoint – though the age of the properties can be a worry (like at the JW Marriott Surabaya)
Here is the list of Elite member benefits:
Now Platinum requires 75 qualifying nights per year – that is a lot of nights at Marriott (can be paid or award nights).
But of course there is hack – if you are planning meetings for your company you can get 10 elite qualifying nights credits for just one meeting.
This link at Marriott Rewards spells out the details. Now we tend to believe such meetings are expensive – here are the participating chains:
JW Marriott, Marriott, Edition, Courtyard, Autograph Collection, Springhill Suites, Renaissance, Fairfield Inns, AC Hotels, Gaylord Hotels, Moxy Hotels, Marriott Vacation Club and Ritz Carlton. Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Marriott Executive Apartments, & Protea Hotels do not participate in the program.
Your eye will quickly be drawn to the Courtyard, Fairfield and AC Hotels brands. Many Fairfields in Canada and the US will provide meeting rooms for just $50 an hour. Here is how find Flyertalkers have found these events.
Q: How do I find a hotel that participates?
A: Click on the link to the Rewarding Events page and then in the “Plan” section of the page click on the “Find a Hotel” box. Enter the city you’d like to have your meeting in, purpose of event (Business) and then check the “I need meeting/event space” box. Enter the size of your meeting (2 attendees should work) and then click the “Find” box. Leave the start date and end date blank. A list of potential hotels will be shown. The smallest meeting room is not usually shown online — you may need to call each hotel to find out which one has a boardroom or other small meeting room. Once you’ve found a small meeting room, then request a quote online.
Q: How quickly will Marriott respond with a quote?
A: Usually within a day or two — and usually via email. The email should contain a telephone number of the group sales contact. Give them a call and tell them you’d like to follow up on the quote and you’re interested in booking the smallest room available for a 2 person meeting for an hour. If they quote a price that’s higher than you want to pay, ask them if they can get approval for a lower priced meeting (e.g., a recent quote was for $75 for an 8 hour use of a CY boardroom). They accepted a counter of $50 for a one-hour meeting in the room (plus service charge plus local sales tax). Urban hotels may charge significantly higher rates for meeting space than a smaller, less congested city.
Note that it is not required to actually show up or check in for your meeting. The credits should post automatically.
This is a bit of effort but if you are just missing a few more nights towards elite status this year this is a wonderful option.