Marriott Rewards used to have three official status levels (plus two “secret” levels) while SPG had two plus one “unofficial.”
You may think that Marriott’s highest elite status level is Ambassador or Cobalt, but that is not the case. There is one higher that comes with unmatched benefits.
You can access Marriott’s page for status levels and benefits here.
The status higher than Cobolt is Ambassador Elite 5-Star that is granted by Mr. Marriott himself. It comes with up to two free rooms per stay with complimentary food and beverage, and parking!
Ambassador Elite 5-Star
The Ambassador Elite 5-Star program is an exclusive membership sponsored by Mr. Marriott. The Executive Chairman of the Board personally selects a small group of Marriott executive associates, Marriott International Board of Directors, and other individuals to receive this executive status level.
The program goal is to permit the 5-Star members to evaluate quality and service and to increase their understanding of Marriott products and services. 5-Star members received the benefits of the Ambassador Elite tier as well as complimentary lodging (up to two rooms for leisure travel only), meals and parking.
It is important to note exclusive membership to this program is by invitation only and extended through Marriott International’s Executive Chairman of the Board.
Here’s Marriott’s elite benefits matrix:
This status is reserved for the friends of Mr. Marriott himself and a small group of Marriott executives.
It is, however, helpful that these executives are able to deal directly with Marriott hotels and see how things work on the ground and what if any issues can arise at a property level. The view from the ground and the isolation they may have in their ivory towers are certainly two different perspectives.