I’ve been in jobs in Sales, Marketing, Coaching, and Administration my whole life that have required interaction on a regular basis with hotels and hotel brands. Because of this engagement, I don’t pass out compliments lightly. However, I feel like I owe Marriott a “thank you” for 2015.
I made Platinum level in the Marriott Rewards program for the first time in 2015 and that was nice, although not necessarily mind-blowing. I appreciated the upgrades and the welcome gifts, but they didn’t vastly change my experience. What did change my experience was the bonus points I received with each stay, which allowed me to amass points in 2015 at a whole new level. And having this mass of points is what I’m thanking Marriott for the most because they allowed me to…
- Give a good friend a week’s stay in Cleveland, OH while her father was in the Cleveland Clinic having a heart procedure. It felt great to know that her and her mother didn’t have to worry about how they were going to pay for a hotel or if they were going to have a nice place to stay while they were going through this stressful time.
- Take a trip of a lifetime with my wife for my 40th birthday. Our long weekend in Rome, Italy at the Marriott Boscolo Exedra was an experience I’ll never forget and one I wouldn’t have been able to afford without all of those points.
- Provide a place for my mother-in-law and wife to stay in Knoxville, TN over Christmas when my father-in-law had to be rushed to the hospital on their way to visit us for the Holidays. Having points to share on these hotel rooms kept my family from having to sleep in a hospital room for over 3 weeks; while it was a difficult time, a nice place to sleep and a smiling face in the concierge lounge every morning made life bearable during this tough time for our family.
I was a committed Marriott Rewards member before this year, but the ability to make these things happen with my points not only made me feel good personally, but showed me the value in loyalty.
Any of us to travel a lot know that not every location of our favorite hotel chain is perfect. We run into problems from time to time and get frustrated. But my experience with the Marriott properties I stayed at in 2015 was fantastic and I’m particularly thankful for the Courtyard Cleveland Independence, the Boscolo Exedra Roma, and the Knoxville Marriott for making my family and friends feel welcome and cared for on our points stays. You’ve increased my loyalty for 2016 and beyond.