Since the August merger of the Marriott Rewards and SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) programs, Marriott has been working towards integrating the programs onto one technology platform. To-date, the integration hasn’t been smooth, but there are now signs of progress.
A friend alerted me to the fact that it appears that Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton properties are now fully integrated into Marriott.com. With other brands (St. Regis, Westin, W, etc.), if you find a hotel to book through Marriott.com and click on it, the system takes you over to SPG:
With Sheraton and Four Points, though, you stay with Marriott.com and can use Marriott.com’s best features. For example, you can do a points advance to make an award booking even if you don’t have enough points (you must acquire enough before your stay). And you can apply free night certificates online. Here’s the Sheraton Kauai Resort for example:
While I can’t promise that this works on all Sheraton and Four Points properties worldwide, my friend and I have checked a number of them both within the US and beyond (Israel, Maldives, …) and all seem to work.
Travel Package Implications
If you bought a travel package before the program merger and if you were hoping to use your stay certificate at a Sheraton, this should be good news. People have reported lots of issues with trying to apply stay certificates to SPG properties, but now that Sheraton is fully integrated I expect that applying certificates will be easy.
When will the rest come aboard?
Previous reports suggested that Marriott was expecting to have all hotels on one system by sometime in December. I’m skeptical about their ability to deliver on this, but the Sheraton progress is a positive sign.