One good thing about Marriott are their guarantees in case of something goes wrong; you are being walked, hotel fails to honor your bed type, or they fail to provide you with the Platinum Amenity. I as able to invoke the guarantee first time after 500 or so Marriott stays two weeks ago. But more of that later.
Marriott Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
This applies when you are getting walked in hotel lingo. It just means that the hotel is oversold for the nights and that they are not able to honor your reservation at their property.
For this guarantee to apply, you need to have your Marriott Rewards number attached to the reservation.
At JW Marriott, Autograph, Edition, Renaissance, Marriott & Gaylord hotels, you are entitled to $200 in cash (or local currency) and 2 free night certificates that are valid at any Marriott locations worldwide.
At Courtyard, Springhill Suites, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn and TownPlace, you are entitles to $100 in cash and Platinum members will also get 2 free night certificates that are valid at any Marriott locations.
You will get $200 and Platinum 2 free night certificates for being walked at Ritz-Carlton’s.
Note that hotels are notorious for forgetting what you entitlement is, so it is good idea to keep the Marriott’s website address handy.
Marriott Guaranteed Room Type
Guaranteed bed type guarantee only applies to Gold and Platinum members of the Marriott’s program. You are entitled to cash compensation that is brand dependent just like the Ultimate Reservation Guarantee.
Marriott Guaranteed Lounge Access/Free Breakfast
This is fairly weak guarantee considering all the exclusion. In the United States and Canada you are only guaranteed continental breakfast during the weekdays even if there is no lounge or it is closed. During the weekends, you are not entitled to anything, although there are hotels that have their lounges open during the weekend and/or provide breakfast certificates.
At international location, you are entitled to continental breakfast 7 days a week.
Note that resort locations are not required to provide a complimentary breakfast at all.
Marriott 48-hour Guaranteed Availability
This sounds great and you don’t see any small print, but there are black out dates when this benefit doesn’t apply for Platinum members rendering it almost useless.
Marriott Platinum Arrival Gift Guarantee
If I had been able to claim the monetary compensation every time the gift points haven’t posted, I would have made few thousands of this guarantee. It only applies if the front desk forgets to ask for your choice OR if they fail to deliver the food & beverage amenity that you ordered.
Claiming the Guarantee
Few weeks ago, I was in Ottawa and checking out the Marriott properties there. I had made a reservation for Residence Inn for a night using an award certificate from the summer promo. I didn’t pay too much attention, but it took a long while for the front desk clerk to assign me a room (or suite that I had booked).
This wasn’t typical Residence Inn as it had been converted from an office building. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect accommodations wise. I took a video of the room I had and you definitely couldn’t call it a suite.
Couple of days later after my stay, I had another look of my reservation and realized that the property had downgraded me from a proper suite to a king studio suite without consulting with me first. This would have qualified for the instant $50 cash per the Guaranteed Room Type-guarantee.
I decided to open a case with Marriott customer service and requested 10K points for the downgrade instead of cash and the property agreed to it. The downgrade itself wasn’t the end of the world, but they should have let me know first and offered some additional amenity or compensation on the spot that they failed.
It is good that Marriott has these guarantees in place for making walking a Platinum member very expensive for the property. For example, Hyatt doesn’t have a walking policy at all.