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What We Got From Using Our Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards

by joeheg

The Marriott Bonvoy program provides extra bonuses to those who reach higher levels of status with the program. Starting with Platinum, members are given a choice of the following as an award:

  • Five Suite Night Awards™
  • Give the gift of Silver Elite status
  • 40% off your favorite mattress
  • Five Elite Night Credits
  • A $100 charity donation

The first time we reached Platinum, I picked the suite night awards. In the ultimate case of beginner’s luck, the first time I tried to use them was at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel and our five-night stay was upgraded to a suite in the Chambers Wing of the hotel.

At the time, I didn’t know this was the exception to the rule and that suite upgrades using Suite Night Awards rarely clear at properties where they’ll provide any benefit.

I figured it was the only time we’d have Platinum status and I was happy that I lucked out. Then 2020 happened and Marriott made it easy for everyone to keep status. That meant that just from our stays in January and February, we earned Platinum status for 2020, 2021 and 2022.

I didn’t realize that meant I needed to pick another award, so I was awarded Marriott Bonvoy’s default award, the Suite Night Awards. So we had another five nights of upgrades to use before the end of 2021, which were extended into 2022. (thanks, Covid)

We haven’t stayed at any Marriott hotel all year, so I was happy to see that a hotel I booked offered the ability to apply one of our suite night upgrades.

I only booked the hotel two nights in advance but a few hours after I applied for the upgrade it cleared. Here’s what I got for our trouble.

Sharon was staying for a night at the Residence Inn Cape Canaveral Cocoa Beach. It’s our preferred hotel to book before she goes deep sea fishing from Port Canaveral.  Mainly because I can use a 35,000 point free night certificate to pay for the room (Note from Sharon: Well, that’s HIS main reason. Mine is the full-sized refrigerator/freezer so my freezer packs stay as cold as possible).

I was curious about what type of upgrade we’d get.

We got a balcony. A 3′ x 6′ balcony.

Our huge upgrade consisted of the same room we had on our previous stay except for a sliding door that led to a deck with a table and two chairs. In fact, the room was actually smaller than before because the space for the deck was cut out of the living room area.

Things weren’t all bad. Looking over the parking lot, you could see Port Canaveral and the cruise ships parked there. That’s how close this hotel is to the port.

While this wasn’t the best use of an SNA, at least it cleared. That’s better than most people fare when they try to redeem one for a stay.

I applied the rest of our upgrades to our stay at a Residence Inn in Manhattan. We didn’t get a suite but they did put us in a corner room with a nice view of Times Square.

I guess your odds of your SNA clearing are better when you try to use one for a Residence Inn instead of for five nights at a big city Renaissance hotel. I’m glad that I didn’t end up trying to one one for our stay in Waikiki, considering what happened with us and that hotel.

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Carl WV August 12, 2021 - 8:10 am

I recently did a road trip to Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks NC. In between I stayed one night at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott, I had several certificates to use and decided it was a good way to use one of the 35K certificates. I have the Chase Marriott card (Silver status), but had not been at a Marriott for some time (therefore four certificates with a number of extensions). No upgrade coupons.

They had texted me early asking if I would like an early check-in, Nothing was promised, but I replied yes. Later as I was driving I got a text saying I could chick-n anytime and that I had been upgraded, It was about 10:30 AM.

The surprise when I got there was that had upgraded me to the Presidential Suite (1,100 square feet). Along with the dining area table to serve eight, full fridge, microwave, huge living room area (would seat eight or so), and some other area with couch and chairs, Each area with TV, etc. I also had access to the concierge lounge with beverages, snacks, and hot breakfast and early evening food., It was definitely overkill, but never nice,

I ended up just hitting the lounge a few times and mainly just chilling in the room.

You never know what you’ll get.

Carl WV August 13, 2021 - 12:58 am

I said “It was definitely overkill, but never nice”. I meany “very nice”.


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