Marriott acquired Cape Town based Protea hotels earlier this year (read more here and here) that has more than 100 hotels around Africa, although most of them in South Africa.
At the time, it was communicated that the properties should be available for booking on Marriott.com sometime in May (they now are) and that they would be part of Marriott Rewards sometime later in the 2014.
You can access Marriott Rewards announcements about Protea hotels here. Marriott also has a special mini site that you can use (access here) to explore Protea hotels in Africa.
Now Marriott has put up a web page about this acquisition just for Marriott Rewards members. Seems that we have to wait until sometime in 2015 before we can earn elite nights, points or use rewards at Protea hotels.
According to the Marriott, it is taking time to upgrade Protea’s systems to be able to accommodate elite level guests and issue points etc. One would have imagined that simply switching to Opera (property management system) would have allowed this overnight.
Marriott.com search for Cape Town:
Marriott simply hasn’t had any properties in Africa beyond Egypt (+ maybe one property elsewhere) so all the properties coming up in the search are Protea ones.
There is a warning on GREY that Protea hotels don’t participate to Marriott Rewards and thus you won’t earn any points or receive elite level benefits.
It is good that Marriott has now communicated that it will be sometime in 2015 before Protea properties are part of Marriott Rewards program. One would have thought that integrating them into the Marriott Rewards shouldn’t have taken more than a year.
Personally, I have no reason to stay specifically at Protea properties or book them on Marriott.com before Marriott Rewards related benefits are honored.
Here are frequently asked Marriott Rewards related questions:
“Protea Hotels will participate in Marriott Rewards sometime in 2015 after some necessary system upgrades. Until then, Rewards members are unable to earn Elite benefits, Elite nights, points or airlines miles for stays made prior to then.”
1. Is Protea Hotels participating in Marriott Rewards?
We look forward to Protea Hotels’ participation in Marriott Rewards sometime in 2015. To ensure we are able to appropriately recognize and reward your loyalty, we need time to implement the necessary system upgrades in order to provide the excellent service delivery and smooth check-in processes you are accustomed to.
2. Will I be awarded stays and points retroactively prior to the official program participation?
No, members who had stays made before the brand fully participates in Marriott Rewards will not earn points, miles or nights retroactively.
3. When is the official date when I can begin earning night and stay credit for my stays?
At this time, an official date has not been determined. Marriott Rewards members and members of our partner program, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, will be notified through our Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards communication channels, including: Insiders, email notification, marriottrewards.com and ritzcarltonrewards.com. Sometime in 2015, members will be able to earn points, miles, Elite nights, Elite benefits, and redeem points for free night stays at that time going forward.
4. Will I, as an Elite member, receive any of my Elite benefits from the program during my stays prior to Protea Hotels joining the program sometime in 2015?
No, until Protea Hotels officially join Marriott Rewards sometime in 2015, members will not receive Elite level benefits they normally receive at participating brands. This includes, but is not limited to: Gold & Platinum free internet access and complimentary guest room upgrades.
5. When will I be able to redeem my points for a free stay at Protea Hotels?
Until Protea Hotels become a fully participating brand sometime in 2015, members will be unable to redeem points for a stay at Protea Hotels.
6. When Protea Hotels become a fully participating brand in Marriott Rewards, will I as a member of The Ritz-Carlton Rewards also earn points, miles, Elite nights, and Elite benefits at that time?
Yes, due to the program partnership between Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, members of both programs will be able to earn and redeem points and receive the appropriate Elite benefits when Protea Hotels become a fully participating brand in Marriott Rewards sometime in 2015.