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With the opening of the 1,000th Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (the Courtyard by Marriott Walla Walla in Washington State), Marriott International is giving away 50 million Marriott Rewards points to guests checking into Courtyard properties worldwide today.
That's right. Marriott Rewards members arriving at Courtyard today will receive 1,000 bonus points a piece. (That sound you just heard is a bunch of folk pulling out their phone to make a quick reservation for today at a Courtyard.)
With this 1,000th property, Courtyard is now the single biggest brand in the Marriott portfolio (by number of properties) and the 8th largest hospitality brand worldwide. There are Courtyards in all 50 states, along with 38 countries and territories.
While Courtyard was commonly found near airport or in office parks, in recent years the brand has gone urban--to New York City and downtown LA--as well as tropical--to Bali and Waikiki Beach--and nearly everything in between (Middle East and Europe.) Inside the Courtyard, the room design now reflects today's traveler and free and fast WiFi is a priority. Food and beverage offerings have been upgraded as well, with most Courtyards offering at least a Grab-n-Go or Bistro concept, if not a full-fledged restaurant.
So with 1,000 properties all over the world, chance are some of you dear readers have stayed at a Courtyard hotel before. And now, we want to know which ones you like the most.
Free WiFi / Hotel News / Marriott International / Marriott Hotels / Hotel WiFi / Marriott Rewards / Loyalty Program News / → All Tags
The reason we were all "meh" about Marriott Hotels' wireless phone chargers a few weeks ago was simply because Marriott is still charging for WiFi up in the guest rooms. But it looks like they've had a change of heart because...
Marriott International will be giving all members of its Marriott Rewards program free WiF at all Marriott brands (about 3,800 hotels) starting on January 15, 2015. #stunned #flabbergasted #theendishere
Here's the official Marriott statement:
Loyalty Program News / Loyalty Programs / Viva Vegas / Hyatt Gold Passport / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hilton HHonors / Marriott Rewards / Fine Hotels and Resorts / → All Tags
If you're a frequent hotel guest, then you're probably a member of that hotel's loyalty program. Or you should be, so you can earn and use loyalty points at different hotels across the world.
While using a hotel's loyalty program is pretty straight-forward (find the hotel brand in whatever city you like and book), things work a little bit differently in Las Vegas which is dominated by massive hotel-casino resorts. In past years, you needed to be a member of a casino's players club program to earn rewards like upgrades, dinner comps and free rooms.
But that's no longer the case. Even first-time visitors to Vegas (affectionately called Vegas Virgins on our sister site, VegasChatter.com), can get a free room, a killer view, and more, all through their existing loyalty program membership.
See where your favorite hotel loyalty program can be used in Vegas below!
Hotel Loyalty Programs / Starwood Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest / → All Tags
Marriott, Hilton, and Starwood Hotels have all made changes to their reward/loyalty programs as of late, and while there may be a silver lining here or there in terms of hotel participation and member benefits, the long and short of it is that your points won’t go as far. Here’s the down and dirty:
Citing pricing and popularity as the main motivations, Marriott rearranged its tier structure, moving 36% of its hotels into a higher point category while making only 1% less expensive. Marriott also created a new category for its 12 most popular properties, raising the cost of a night’s stay to 45,000 points from 40,000. These changes will go into effect on May 15th.
Changes are coming much earlier for Hilton on March 28th when it will add a 10th category for its top hotels and charge approximately 95,000 points per night. Stays during peak periods (i.e. the holidays) will see the harshest increases in point requirements, but Silver, Gold or Diamond elite status will enjoy a 5th night free when they book consecutive nights.
Caribbean Hotels / Marriott Rewards / Autograph Collection / Hotel News / Marriott Hotels / Island Outpost / → All Tags
Boy, that Autograph Collection sure gets around. We've barely finished letting you know that the Marriott group of 'high personality hotels' was going Euro and here comes news that they'll also be hitting up the Caribbean.
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina in the British Virgin Islands will fall under the Autograph umbrella in early 2012—the most appropriate time of year to drop everything and jet off to a small, private island. Start racking up those Marriott Rewards points now!
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Seen at the Novotel Gare du Lyon in Paris
UPDATE: We goofed. Accor Hotels has been providing free WiFi in all their hotels in France since July 1, 2010.
We'd like to think that this latest bit of news from Accor Hotels in France and Marriott Hotels in Australia and Asia had something to do with our Hotel WiFi Report which we released on Tuesday, but never matter, we're just happy that finding free WiFi at these hotels just got a hell of a lot easier.
First up, Accor Hotels has told HotelChatter that
starting since July 1 of 2010, all their hotels (about 1,400 total) in France will offer free WiFi. This includes the brands Hotel F1, Ibis, All Seasons, Mercure Hotels, Novotel Hotels, Pullman Hotels and Sofitel Hotels. They also have plans to roll out free WiFi progressively at their hotels in Europe. Sadly, in America, you will still have to pay at Sofitel hotels.
Signing onto the free WiFi at the JW Marriott at LA Live which is actually free for all guests, regardless of class level.
The hotel chain has decided to open up free internet for its gold and platinum level Marriott Rewards members at all of their full-service hotels (except for the elusive Ritz-Carlton brand) everywhere, including the random assortment of hotels in the Autograph Collection. Previously, these elite Rewards members could only access free internet in North and South America.
While the traditional gift for a 15th anniversary is usually crystal, the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino will give out rewards points instead—15,000 of them.
To get the 15,000 Marriott Rewards Points, you have to stay at the Aruba Marriott on August 15, the resort's birthday. If we're at the hotel on that day, we'd see if we could put the 15K points toward a beachside massage or maybe some poolside cocktails.
There's been a lot of changes in the hotel loyalty program world as of late. So much so, that we're due for a massive update to our Guide to Loyalty Program. But until then, we'll keep peppering you with the latest in Loyalty Program News.
The next program due for a change looks to be the Marriott Rewards Program. A tipster tells us the loyalty program recently sent out a survey to its members about some changes they are considering. Our tipster thinks the changes look like "Marriott is trying to modernize it's program to be more in line with Starwood and Hyatt." But from what we've read, these changes seem to be pretty good benefits for Marriott Rewards members.
If you don't want to wait to redeem your Marriott Rewards on your next trip, the brand's now allowing you to instantly use your rewards on almost anything in the hotel, from room service to spa treatments.
The points previously were used for hotel rooms, frequent flyer miles and things of that nature. But Marriott guests complained that they wanted more flexibility with their points and so the company answered by giving them more control on when and where to spend with instant redemption awards.
Are you are card-carrying member of Marriott Hotels' Rewards program? If so, and that card happens to be in the upper Rewards tiers of Gold or Platinum level, then it's also your card to free hotel internet at Marriott's US and Canada hotel properties beginning from March 7.
This is a HUGE deal for Marriott, who are notorious for charging an arm and a leg for WiFi despite their reputation are business hotels. Finally they seem to have wised up, and the free WiFi for Rewards Gold and Platinum members even stretches from regular Marriott hotels over to JW Marriotts and Renaissance Hotels.
Big problems, after the jump
You know how we keep reminding you to sign up for all the loyalty programs that you possibly can in order to get the most out of your busy, sometimes-expensive travel schedule? We're also going to recommend that you maybe set up a separate email account with an address that you use exclusively for all your loyalty program signups 'cause, uh, 'tis the season for the loyalty program promotions from all the different chains to be comin' atchya fast and furious.
All these summertime loyalty program promos are sort of making our heads spin and, yeah, they're kinda blurring together, aren't they? Still, here's another one, which is coming out of Marriott Rewards this week: the Double Nights Promotion, which is (as they're spinning it) a way to earn elite status twice as fast.
From now through June 26, 2009, Marriott Rewards members who register for the promotion will receive two nights for every one night they stay, so they can hit the elite levels quickly.
Ten nights earns you Silver status; 50 nights earns you Gold status and you hit Platinum when you've racked up 75 nights. Oh! And these days, once you hit any of the elite statuses (that's Silver, Gold or Platinum), any unused extra night you've earned at the end of 2009 will automatically be transferred to your 2010 account. You know, like the cellphone rollover minutes.