Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Award Success

When Marriott merged their loyalty program with SPG, they added an SPG feature: Choice Benefits.  These are benefits that you can select once you’ve completed 50 nights in a year, and again at 75 nights.  In the post “Marriott Choice Benefit Valuations. Which to pick?” I argued that the choice of 5 Suite Night Awards was the potentially most valuable choice (but I also stressed that each benefit is valuable only if you make use of it before it expires).  A few readers begged to differ.  In their experience, Suite Night Awards were not valuable at all.

Last year I completed 75 nights and so I ended up with 10 Suite Night Awards.  I recently had a chance to use 3 of these on a 3 night stay in London.  After booking a Marriott stay, if you have enough Suite Night Awards for your entire stay, you’ll see something like this when you view your reservation online:

After clicking to start the upgrade request, you’ll see one or more options.  Check only those that seem good enough to be worth spending your Suite Night Awards.  In my case, I had booked three nights at the St Pancras Renaissance London and was offered only one option (that’s OK, I love this option):

Then, after submitting the request, you should see this:

Finally, if you’re lucky, you’ll get an email announcing success as early as 5 days before your stay.  My email came exactly 5 days prior:

Suite Night Awards

This upgrade is particularly valuable at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London because it means that you’ll be in the spectacular Chambers wing of the hotel.  And it also means that you’ll have full access to the awesome Chambers Club.  It’s important to note that if you don’t stay in the Chambers wing, you won’t have access to the Chambers Club unless you have Titanium Elite status or better.  Unlike most other Marriott properties with a lounge, Platinum status is not enough to get you in.  They consider this to be a club, not a lounge.  Platinum Elites do get free breakfast at the hotel restaurant, but it’s worth upgrading a Chambers Suite so that you’ll get Chambers Club access as well.  The Club is arguably the best part of this hotel as it offers full breakfast, afternoon tea service, evening canapés which can easily be an early dinner, and complimentary beer & wine.

Upon check in, we asked for, and got, an elite upgrade above the standard junior suite.  This is how we ended up in a suite with a full living room and separate bedroom as shown at the top of this post.  Ironically, we prefer the regular junior suite that we’ve stayed in on several prior visits.  Next time, unless we need the extra space, we’ll ask to return to our favorite St. Pancras home:

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Homer
Guest
Homer

I am royally and perpetually pissed off at this hotel for their policy on lounge access. I was denied lounge access as gold under old program. Now lifetime Titanium but they are dead to me

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

I view a Suite upgrade at Marriott as equal to maybe Hyatt 3D tier room! And Hyatt answers their phone. But I have to believe that investors should love Marriott because they treat their customers like crap and laugh all the way to the bank. Great investment lousy to be their customer.

losingtrader
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losingtrader

I suggest moving to Hanoi and living at the JW Marriott if you have platinum status. The Club lounge provides breakfast, then snacks and sodas, high tea with canapes , and evening booze, hot food, and desserts until 10:30.

All this for $150 per day and a suite upgrade to a really nice 1000 sq foot suite.

For $4500 per month you can live like a king , and you’re on a nice private lake .

It sure beats the Hanoi Hilton….

Plus they love Americans there…not joking.

Darlene
Guest
Darlene

Because of your raves, I booked a 5 night stay for 200,000 points at the St. Pancras in July. I had expected from your earlier posts that as Platinum, I would at least have access to the Chambers Club. Seems that now Marriott has even taken that away. In the past, I think that you were offered an upgrade at checkin from a regular room to the Chambers wing junior suite for around $200/ day. Now the points to upgrade are spelled out on Marriott’s website, & it is a ludicrous 910 GBP. I’m thinking of cancelling my res unless you have any ideas of a workaround or a helpful contact at the front desk I could talk to.

I have had much better success with Plat status at Ritz Carlton’s. Maybe Marriott has not tinkered so much with downgrading their program. Last year at the RC Macau, an all suite hotel, we were upgraded to an even more amazing suite and given club floor access for a very reasonable charge. At the RC in Kyoto (which is an outstanding hotel), we were given an early check in at 10 AM to an upgraded suite overlooking it’s own Japanese garden (on a standard award room). Most recently we were upgraded to a suite at the RC Abu Dhabi on 2 separate stays and were given complimentary access to one of the best RC Club floors I’ve seen at their hotel in Doha on a five night award stay.

Nick
Guest
Nick

I got an excellent 5 night SNA upgrade at the Westin Maui back in January… so I would say I had a good experience. It was moderately busy but not packed during the stay, which obviously played a part in actually getting upgraded. I would say you just have to think about the time of year and probability of cash reservations trumping your request…

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[…] been reading about the St. Pancras Renaissance hotel forever. Just before our visit there, Greg from Frequent Miler and Jon from No Mas Coach both posted about their stays (both of them were upgraded to a suite, […]

Bbondarenko
Guest
Bbondarenko

I just happened to come across this discussion. Was looking to see what this “5 night suite upgrade” entailed.
We are booked at the St Pancras this September ( titanium elite) an had no idea they have this chamber wings access. I will certainly make sure now that I know, that I will receive access.
The benefit for the suite upgrade still eludes me, since as a titanium elite I will always receive an upgrade when available. ( usually do).