Marriott Bonvoy Titanium & Ambassador Recognition?

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

The Marriott Bonvoy program launched just over three months ago. The changes that kicked in as of then weren’t too substantive, as Marriott’s three loyalty programs were largely aligned as of last summer.

What changed in February was how the programs were marketed. Marriott also made changes to the way they branded their elite tiers, and I was curious about the impact this would have on elite recognition.

Bonvoy Titanium & Ambassador status

This isn’t about whether or not hotels provide elite upgrades or other benefits, but rather about how they recognize various elite tiers. Specifically, prior to the Bonvoy program launching, Marriott had three tiers of Platinum (Platinum, Platinum Premier, and Platinum Premier with Ambassador service).

With the introduction of Bonvoy, Marriott changed how they marketed the tiers:

  • Platinum remains Platinum with the Bonvoy program
  • Platinum Premier becomes Titanium with the Bonvoy program
  • Platinum Premier with Ambassador becomes Ambassador with the Bonvoy program

I was curious how these changes would impact elite recognition. For example, I’ve been an Ambassador with Starwood/Marriott for years, though I can count on one hand the number of times at check-in that I’ve been thanked for being an Ambassador member. Rather I was always thanked for being a Platinum member, since Starwood’s system historically didn’t do much to differentiate the tiers.

That’s totally fine, and was accurate, since Ambassador was a type of Platinum.

But that has changed now, as Titanium and Ambassador are no longer “flavors” of Platinum. They’re separate tiers.

Hotels can’t get Titanium & Ambassador right

It seems to me like hotels can’t get it quite right. For example, since the Bonvoy program launched, front desk associates have thanked me for being a:

  • “Bonvoy member”
  • “Bonvoy Elite member”
  • “Bonvoy Platinum member”

But I’ve never actually been thanked for being an Ambassador member, which is odd, because it’s my understanding that the system now clearly shows this.

The reason I bring this up is because yesterday I wrote about my (pretty bad) experience at the W Dubai, and in passing I mentioned my interaction with the front desk, where I was thanked for being a Platinum member. A reader asked the following:

You only have platinum status? Wow. I figured you were ambassador or titanium. If you aren’t platinum then I don’t know why you overlooked pointing out that the hotel failed to get your correct elite status right. There is a huge difference now between platinum and ambassador.

Bottom line

None of this is a big deal, of course, but I’d be curious to hear the experiences others have had. I can’t even imagine how much Marriott spent designing the Bonvoy program, so it’s puzzling to me that they can’t even seem to get front office staff to get the tiers right.

I don’t care hugely one way or another, though it is a bit strange to be thanked for being a Marriott Bonvoy member (of which there are 100 million plus members, and it’s free to sign up and takes 60 seconds), when in fact I’m someone who spends 100+ nights per year at Marriott hotels.

So regardless of your status with Marriott, I’m curious what experience you’ve had with hotel staff correctly recognizing status under the new Bonvoy program at check-in? And to readers who work at Marriott hotels, can you clarify if the system clearly shows Titanium and Ambassador status, and if so, what might be causing this confusion?

  1. I have ambassador status and I just crossed 100 nights this year to qualify again for 2020 (yes it’s only end of April). I have the opposite…. W Bellevue, greets me as “Thank you for your Ambassador status”

    Same as Dubai Ritz, Sydney Park Sheraton, Seoul, I’m in Stockholm Sheraton. Weston’s, Marriott, the script seems to have been updated, I don’t think I have once not been greeted as Ambassador.

    I wonder if my account profile screen somehow shows up different than yours? Maybe your account isn’t reflected as Ambassador properly?

    Just a guess.

  2. I was thanked at check in at the DTW Westin last night for being an Ambassador for Life last night (I’m ambassador but only LT Gold)

  3. They mentioned Elite Member only at 3 different places I visited. In fact, Sheraton Taipei still has SPG printed on the key envelope, and another piece of paper outlining SPG Plat benefits…as of less than a month ago.

  4. In China, you have to EXPLAIN to hotel front desk staff what Titanium is, how it is written and where it is positioned within the tier system. Example: Westin in Beijing.

  5. @SK
    I was asked if I was an “SPG Platinum” at the Shanghai St. Regis happy hour last month. I’m a Titanium…made for a confusing conversation/explanation.

  6. I think there was an Ambassador member on saying s/he was denied upgrade because it is only for Platinum and not for Ambassador.

  7. I wasn’t thanked as an Ambassador as a SPG Plat Ambassador and I have only infrequently been thanked as an Ambassador under the Bonvoy program. Of course, I could care less about being thanked as anything as long as I’m being upgraded to the best available room or suite at check-in.

  8. I‘ve stayed at 13 properties since I became Titanium in February. None greeted me as Titanium, mostly „thanks for being a Platinum“, sometime just „thanks for your loyalty“, … I don‘t think they deprived me of any benefits, but special recognition definitely not!

    However, what bothers me more is that out of the 13 stays I had to use retroclaim 5 times to get my nights/points. All stays booked online on the global chain website. So I guess there are quite significant IT issues persisting.

  9. I am titanium elite and I’m always thanked as platinum. I spend over 100 nights in hotels so I might as well do Hyatt / Marriott as I don’t get anything more for 25 more nights.

  10. I’m a Titanium and always get thanked for being a Platinum. Never had my correct status acknowledged once…..

  11. Working at a W Property, I can tell you in our system it does show Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Elite Status etc. However it shows as SPG. Ex: “SPG Silver Elite” or “SPG Ambassador Elite”. Maybe Marriott properties show differently but ex-SPG properties still show SPG in the status.

  12. I haven’t noticed the slightest difference from being a Platinum to a Titanium. Every time I check in, I practically have to beg for an upgrade only to be told “nothing’s available”, meanwhile the Marriott app at that second shows plenty of availability. This has happened so many times, I just stopped bothering/caring. It’s happened in New York, Minneapolis, San Jose. Zero difference between Platinum and Titanium.

    The only thing that’s different from Platinum and Gold is the free breakfast. If I was gold, I’d still get the same “preferred room” as an “upgrade” and a late checkout. It’s a complete joke

  13. I only stayed 75 nights last year but they still let me retain my previous Ambassador status (maybe because I stayed 180 nights the previous year). I’d say about 75% of the time under the new program I am thanked for being an Ambassador.

  14. I am titanium for life and never get recognition. I stay at the government rate. Never get an upgrade. All I got here at a RI in Jacksonville was a card thanking me for being a bonvoy member and an expired pack of famous Amos cookies. They were out of bottled water so they offered me 500 pts. Thats it. Thats all it ever is now.

  15. I thought being a Titanium Lifetime member would be a big deal! No way. Never been recognized as such or thanked for being a Titanium. As your reader SK says: in Beijing (St Regis in my case) it was “impossible” to get them to even understand what “Titanium Status” was! Similar experiences in Mumbai, Delhi and Dubai…Don’t think Bonvoy has hit it’s stride just yet.

  16. I think I’ve been correctly “identified” once or twice at the current Westin I stay at as Titanium. The biggest driver for me of recognition at hotels has been frequency of stay at that hotel rather than overall status.

    At this current Westin (a brand I would generally assume better adheres to “corporate standards”) where I’ve been staying since January, I now receive upgrades to named suites every week and have even received the Presidential suite. I even have a colleague who stays here less frequently (and doesn’t have any lifetime status while I do) and they’re ambassador but have never received an upgrade.

    So clearly in this case they are prioritizing specific hotel loyalty rather than general Marriott loyalty. I wonder if this will be even more common with the larger pool of elites that the combined Marriott / SPG have as individual hotels get inundated with all tiers of elite and thus prioritize within the top tiers by specific hotel loyalty.

  17. I am a lifetime Titanium member with Marriott/Bonvoy, having accumulated six million points since joining the program in 1985. When I was a Platinum Premier member and then a lifetime Platinum member I was only greeted once as such by an associate in ten years. What I get now is “Oh, your only a Titanium Member?” at times, as if that means little or nothing. I am disappointed in Marriott’s lack of customer appreciation, something that started before the current merged system was put in place. I was an Ambassador with Marriott Rewards long before the current system started, but that’s another story for another day.

  18. Just completed a conference in Brussels and my colleagues and I stayed at the Sheraton Airport. Im titanium and got an upgrade to club level. My colleague is platinum, checked in after me, and got a suite… with a bottle of wine and chocolates.

  19. As a titanium, If I’m very lucky, I get treated like the old SPG gold. I usually seem to get the worst rooms. Colleagues with ambassador do slightly better but we are all pretty frustrated.

    I agree with pp, best situation is staying at same hotel multiple times.

  20. I agree that the upgrades seem to favor the people who frequent the same property. I am an ambassador and heard them thank the person in front of me for plat status and upgrade them to a suite at the Westin north shore chicago. They thanked me for my status … no upgrade. After inquiring, they mentioned they had no more available, but I had checked in 2 days prior on the app and they clearly could have allocated this based on level has they chosen.

  21. There is a way around all that jazz. All you’ll hear is something very simple but very meaningful, like, “Welcome back and thank you for being a Hilton Honors Diamond.” 🙂

  22. I never really listen anymore but when I did, they never got it right.

    I’m ambassador and sometimes they treat me amazingly and other times like my first visit. Honestly, the only time I care about upgrades is on weekend, multinight stays when I will use the space. For my business stays, which account for about 90-95% of my stays, I just want a standard room.

    I do agree with those (and it seems obvious to me, but maybe it isn’t) that frequent visitors of the same location get better treatment. I’m on a first name basis with a majority of the staff at my most frequent location – to the point I bring them bottles of wine for Christmas presents around the holidays and they always treat me well. But who wouldn’t expect that?

  23. Does it really matter? Or is it all about stroking your ego? “Thank you for your loyalty, Mr./Mrs. XYZ” should suffice.

  24. I am an ambassador and recently stayed at the Westin Nanea in Maui. I was thanked at check in and had a wine amenity with a note in both rooms we booked. We were also upgraded to the highest category for each room. Hotel must have been quiet, not sure if they normally do that at villas resorts.

  25. I’m a long time reader but never posted a comment. Anyway, I’m going on my 2nd year of platinum premier / titanium. China is essentially hopeless, although I’ve always gotten the welcome bonus (500 pts), lounge access, and the breakfast benefit. It should be no surprise that there are frequently large language barriers.

    I was greeted as a titanium in San Diego. However, the receptionist properly guessed I was there and joked with me that only business travelers get that. The whole thing was totally transactional, which is fine with me. The stay was perfectly pleasant, but I do wonder if hotels don’t bother going above and beyond for business travel mostly because we spend so little time at the hotel (at least that’s true for me).

    As a non-SPG legacy member, Bonvoy has been perfectly adequate… and im fine with that as long as marriott continues to be convenient for my business needs.

  26. I tend to agree with many of the posts. I’m titanium and also a diamond at Hilton. I was trying to decide if I should work towards Ambassador or retain my diamond status. I believe I’m going to not work towards Ambassador as I just don’t see the benefit. Just last night, I checked into a Marriott property at 1130 pm for one night and was given the smallest room with approximately 20 cars in the parking lot. I was barely thanked for my loyalty and the lounge didn’t even have a cold bottle of water yet had three employees using it as their personal family room.

  27. @DCS Very much in agreement. Have been more recognized as a diamond member with Hilton. Do not need to deal with the shenanigans that is Bonvoy.

  28. Marriott, United, Hilton, Hyatt, doesn’t what chain of hotel or airline, the vast majority of the programs have slid into the ditch. Little to no value even at the top tier. The only reason to have any loyalty towards these companies are the points and miles you can use to vacation with your family. Otherwise, why bother, all they want is to tie you into their brand and drain your wallet.

  29. I am 20 years Marriott platinum, now titanium. I feel the status has been diluted through the merger. I also feel cheated as to how much easier it is for life time status. I still manage 70 to 90 nights annually yet dont reach ambassador. The rewards, ” experience ” has been uneven across all properties in my experience

  30. I’m a Titanium elite and have had about ten stays this year, all at lower or mid tier legacy Marriott properties prior to this past weekend, and each time I was thanked for being a Platinum elite. This past weekend I stayed at the Ritz Dove Mountain and on arrival, the security guard at the gate thanked me for my Titanium loyalty. The entire weekend every staff member from valet to front desk to wait staff at bars and restaurants – every single one thanked me for my Titanium status. One of the best service experiences I’ve had in 800 nights. Oh, and they upgraded me to an executive suite (from a base room).

  31. I have a been thanked for being a Titanium Elite at check in for all stays since the new program started.

  32. @Endre nailed it – just a simple ‘Thank you for being a loyal customer’ is all I really want to hear…
    Agree 100% about consistant, frequent stays at specific properties.
    I stay at maybe 10 amazing 5* properties around the world, often…
    Always upgraded to crazy nice suites, always treated like family..why?
    Because I am a loyal customer, spend $$$$ with them etc…
    Mostly Europe – all LHW, Marriott 5* brands, Waldorf (Hilton), Sofitel, occasional Jumeirah, Kempinski etc…
    No matter how much $$$ we (customers) spend on rooms, hotels – it is nice to be recognized as a loyal customer. Sales 101. Getting comp upgrade to nice suite for a loyal customer, should always happen IMO…Sales 102. Easy way to please a good customer.

  33. Big Three with Hotels. Big Three with Airlines. Did you expect a different outcome? In fact it’s even more evident with hotels given a global dominance. Massive devaluations, far more than we have seen, are next to come.

  34. I was thanked for being Titanium at a TP Suites, then later the same week checked into an Autograph collection and they didn’t say a word about my status but they did make sure to tell me no upgrade was available. I’m not feeling the love…

  35. My experience has been the opposite of yours. In the past month I’ve stayed at seven different Marriott properties in Kansas City, Washington DC, Montreal, Doha, and Bangkok and each time I was thanked for being “a valuable Titanium Elite member.” Sadly those thanks did not include upgrades (Marriott is still AWFUL at that) but that’s another story for another day.

  36. I am Ambassador and lifetime Titanium. Upon checking in today, I received a text from the hotel: “. . . Thank you for being a valued Bonvoy Titanium Elite Ambassador.”

  37. Lifetime Titanium and I have been recognized as such once. Mostly it’s been “thank you for your loyalty”, and upgrades only a couple of times. I don’t feel like I should have to ask….so I don’t. That might improve my chances I suppose….The few requests for a 4:00 pm check out have all been honored though. And I’ve had no problems with access to the lounge or M-Club.

  38. I don’t care how I am addressed but have been frustrated that I get inconsistent answers about perks. I am titanium and the Marriott Anaheim has been giving and taking free parking perks. It is for Platinum, it is for titanium and above, now it is only for ambassador level, depending on who you ask… it is what it is but someone pick your perks and be consistent !

  39. I am Ambassador elite and often get thanked as such. I have also gotten some nice upgrades recently in Barcelona during MWC (major conference where whole city is sold out) from a base room to corner suite and in Hawaii over Christmas at the pink palace.

    My biggest complaint is I book most rooms on points (I collect millions from business spend) and it’s no longer possible to book high category rooms automatically with points like I could with spg. Many hotels are only offering base rooms on points. One exception is I was able to user instant redemption of points on an upgrade at the hotels recommendation in Cabo recently.

  40. I’m a Titanium and have been greeted properly pretty frequently since the Bonvoy change over, but yet I still don’t get quite upgrades at legacy Marriott properties (grand total of 1, where I wasn’t using suite night rewards since the reciprocal status began and my SPG status was matched to Marriott). A fair number of deal agents have jokes with my that Bonvoy is meaningless word, however. Legacy SPG properties have been okay about upgrades. But they are getting less and less frequent.

    I’m currently in the middle of a status challenge with Hyatt (the corporate/invitation offer), 10 nights down and 10 to go until I get matched to Globalist and can kiss Marriott goodbye.

    I never should have switched away from Hyatt to SPG.

  41. Welcome letter from JW M dubai, St Regis Maldives, and Marriott Bangkok S addressed as ambassador. Front office did the same. Upgrades are much better as ambassador than plat

  42. As an interesting follow up to my prior comment that repeated stays at the same property are the bigger driver of upgrades, etc., I’ve noticed at the hotel I currently stay at, they seem to switch my room time ~24 hours prior to the standard 4pm day of arrival check-in.
    When I look at the check-in in the app two days out, I show the room I originally booked while the day before (and there’s a large time zone offset as I’m 6 hours behind) I show the actual upgraded room they’ve moved me to. Seems to be a manual process the hotel undergoes to select where folks get upgraded before they arrive at the hotel and check in.

  43. @lucky i used to correspond with starwood platinum liaison all the time and they reply me very quickly and get things done at hotels even before i check in
    after the merger i became titanium and in the first few months post-merger i still get a plat/titanium liaison replying me. now nothing but radio silence…….

    the email seems to be still valid though, no error message
    anyone knows any plat/titanium email for marriott?

    i checked into w & le meridien bkk, w & vana belle samui, tokyo ritz, taipei aloft and renaissance and they did greet me as titanium past 2 months

  44. I always select hotels with digital check-in so I can avoid the staff. Not interested in fake niceties.

  45. What happened to James? Off topic question but I noticed he hadn’t posted in a while and his name isn’t on the about us page…

  46. Contrary to what most people here are saying, I’ve gotten my titanium status recognized on 90% of my stays with Marriott this year.

  47. Just stayed in Marriott Surawomgse in Bangok, the newest one there. I was greeted ambassador and upgraded to presidential suite. The front desk manager was called when I checked in. He personally greeted and welcomed me

  48. I work at a Marriott Property and our screens tell us what status level each person checking in is at. Ambassador Elite has the most perks. I should say however as an Elite member your room/bed type is supposed to be guaranteed always. You get a 4:00 PM check out guaranteed starting at platinum. Ambassador is supposed to be able to check out at anytime of day. We are also supposed to ask all platinum-l to Ambassador status guests if they want points or there market item on check in and you’re supposed to get $50 cash if you’re not asked personally. Read the terms of your elite status on the Marriott app, there are a lot of options that allow you to get cash depending on things that happen during your check in.

  49. I was a loyal SPG platinum for many years and with the merger, received platinum status with Marriott. I’ve been an Ambassador now for several years now; I stay about 150 nights a year with no Bonvoy…we’ll on my way to Qualifying again very soon . I travel the world for business and stay with Starwood/Marriott because I know what I’m going to get most of the time.
    The upgrades are nice but inconsistent and I must say that not all Marriotts acknowledge loyalty…In fact, in my experience, very few.
    A simple thank you goes a long way and I think it really comes down to training or the lack there of: lack of consistency would probably be my biggest issue with the new program. I honestly don’t blame the front desk agents but do put responsibility on their managers in not training them correctly, explaining the differences between the program levels and keeping the staff accountable: At the very least, insisting on a minimum set of standards for every guest that checks in. I’m still incredibly loyal to the old Starwood properties, that must admit that I do enjoy having more options. Maybe the program is too new or the company is too big…Maybe in time, the Company will work out the kinks. Seriously, there has to be a manual somewhere or a cheat sheet that can be given to every Associate. For a company that has a system for everything, it’s truly strange that they can get this one right.

  50. I’m Titanium and always welcomed as a Platinum. I’ve been wondering about this question for a while.

    It makes an important difference at Ritz Carlton properties, Platinum members are not entitled to suite upgrades, Titanium members are. But seeing as every Ritz Carlton I stay at welcomes me as a Platinum member I guess it’s no wonder I’ve not received an suite upgrade yet!

  51. Im Ambassador Elite via the original Marriott program. Aside from a bag of cookies and 500pts, I see no benefits from being their highest status. Supposedly you get access to an agent assigned to you, but I have never spoken to them and got an irritated email reply when I wrote to say hello. I plan to let my status expire and switch to Best Western (I know I know but they always have BWs in my favorite ski towns).

  52. As a Marriott brand associate I can tell you that the mobile check in still has to be done manually meaning unless you are staying at a property that uses the Mobile Key then we still have to verify the information on the credit card that’s on your profile.

    Also I read someone say that there were only 20 or so cars in the parking lot and was told no upgrades were available, depending on the time of day you checked in you have no idea what the occupancy for the evening is going to be and it very well may be that their aren’t any upgrades available. As far as upgrades as most know are they are available based upon availability at the time if check in, as previously stated. So, just because you checked in on the app 2 days ago means nothing being at the select service properties we still have to check you in physically/manually..the only way to avoid that is as someone else mentioned using a a property that has mobile key and you must have stayed at least once before and not be a new member. The property management system at select service hotels is at least 14 years old, it’s pretty much DOS based for those who know the least bit about computers. 1 screen may show you as a Platinum member and then another Titanium. Gold Members also now receive 250 points at the select service properties as an Elite Gift which is given above property. I myself honestly don’t care if you’ve stayed once or a thousand times we as front desk agents just want to be given the same respect as you do..we have no idea what kind of day it’s been for you and same goes for us as well have no idea how our day has been. I do realize it’s our job to check you in, recognize your Elite Status as well as offer upgrades and late check out. But please don’t be that person that belittles the front desk agent because they didn’t recognize you as Titanium or Ambassador. Each property is different from the next the only thing that should be consistent is courtesy and helpfulness of the staff. We’re sorry that we’re booked, that theirs a large convention or sports tournament taking up all the rooms in the area, and we’re sorry we had to find other hotels for those that aren’t Elite or non Bonvoy members.

    Any feedback on what we can do to make your stay better or something we can improve on is always a welcomed comment. The way the Marriott select service brand hotels are rated is by what’s called Guest Satisfaction Survey which I’m sure many have had the opportunity to fill out. What some of you may not know is that anything below a 9 is considered a zero. So just because your mattress was hard or breakfast wasn’t great especially since that’s not something we at the front desk can control please remember that next time you’re taking the time to fill it out

  53. I’ve been a loyal SPG MEMBER for 10-11 years. The last 5 of those years Platnium. With Marriott, n now Gold. They’ve screwed up my Paris France June dates, now the hotels are more, you have to wait in hold for longer periods of times. They’ve changed my f membership number twice without even informing me.

    In my humble opinion Marriott loses my business, not to mention many colleagues too.

    There are many hotel brand choices, and SPG was a good one.

  54. I am a Titanium Elite, but always been thanked you as a “Bonvoy Elite”, and sometimes as a “Platinum Elite”.

    Never been thanked as a Titanium elite.

  55. @Rob As a select service Marriott employee, I agree with a lot of what you said. Unfortunately for us, Marriott corporate has stopped caring about the guests. I have a GM that wants us to upgrade gold’s and platinums vs ambassadors because they get more surveys and appreciate their upgrade more. Therefore, they’ll be more likely to leave a good GSS review. Marriott wants good GSS scores, so management does what they can to achieve high scores. My current hotel does all upgrades in the AM shift, preventing the PM shift from giving upgrades to those who request them. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

    In reality, Ambassadors and Titanums should be getting these upgrades. They’re the most loyal and spend the most money, so they’re entitled to the suites. Unfortunately, this isn’t a corporate policy as everything is left up to hotel management discretion.

    And I definitely agree with your comment about mobile check-in. Nothing has changed since Bonvoy started. Everyone is shown on the mobile screen as some sort of platinum, and you have to dig into the reservation to find out if they’re a frequent guest or a higher tier status.

    If you’re a Marriott elite member, I would recommend leaving negative reviews at specific hotels about not getting upgraded if you’re an ambassador. Specifically mention that you’re an ambassador and were denied an upgrade. Marriott hotels always read reviews in my experience, and leaving specific critiques can actually cause management to make changes.

    If you review a Marriott hotel, Rob is right, anything under a 9 is a 0. If you’re the type who is unsatisfied because of one instance, please only reflect your review on that instance. There’s no reason to give a desk agent a 1 out of 10 on check-in experience because your valet took 20 minutes to get your car at check-out. Take time to fill out the survey and explain what went wrong. Don’t just give every department 1’s because of a bad situation in one area.

    You can be unsatisfied overall, but realize the specific employees you review are impacted if you just rate everything as a 1. It’s also easier for hotels to identify actual problems if 1 department is constantly getting bad scores, vs guests that just rate everything negativity.

  56. As someone who works at the Bonvoy program, it’s really enlightening to read how important is for you guys to be recognized for your status. Since my department only handles issues with Titanium & Ambassador members, it’s mandatory to recognize you for your status and to do everything in our power to make sure you got a seamless experience at our hotels.

    I didn’t know nor hear that many hotels don’t even acknowledge your status. For us, that’s one of the worst things you can do with working with Titanium/Ambassador. Specially for our Ambassador members, there’s nothing we won’t try to make sure you get the best treatment at our properties. Make sure you report us these situations, since we can take action with these properties and to either report them or educate them on the Bonvoy policies. Starwood and some low-category properties are the ones who still have more difficulties when applying the benefits.

  57. * I am a Bonvoy Ambassador and don’t care how they greet me as long as I get some sort of upgrade.
    * I note that non-SPG or Marriott branded hotels (i.e., Aloft, Autograph) will basically not give you anything no matter your status, just accept this, especially in Europe
    * I agree that if you know the hotel staff well, they will give you better upgrades as long as you’re Platinum and above
    * I was lucky and was checked into the Presidential Suite in Tbilisi, Georgia – the same room that George W. Bush stayed in!
    * It was a journey to discover who my Bonvoy Ambassador was – my Ambassador has been great and helped me to coordinate some logistics between hotels and request upgrades (based upon availability), however the level of personal touch etc. is not up to the same standards as the old SPG Ambassadors (i.e., when you watch their Ambassador Youtube video, the old SPG Ambassadors helped you get tickets to sports games, deliver stuffed animals for your kids, blah blah blah)

    I’m still happy with Bonvoy, but I suspect I am just waiting to get Bonvoyed before it hits a nerve.

  58. I get thanked for being an Ambassador member but I don’t see any real difference in upgrades or privileges by being ambassador. The person who is supposed to give me personalized service is worthless.

  59. I work for marriott hotels and yes the ststem clearly shows titanium and platinum and ambassador status and i always thank my guests. But i was hired after the change was made. So it was easy for me. Maybe the older employees are still getting used to the change. Idk.

  60. I’m thanked as a Titanium Member and it sounds VERY stupid. Im not sure where Marriott is going with this Bonvoy program, its utterly confusing to me and I have been a member for 12 years. most hotels are also confused about benefits. It seems you need a guide to understand what you are entitled to. I was at a Courtyard and they would not give me breakfast but they gave me a $10 voucher which did not cover anything on the menu except for a Sandwich. With a coffee it was around $13 (well, 3$) I don’t mind paying the 3$ but was a dumb policy. Seems cheap and does not feel at all like a loylaty program that cares.

  61. @James: Good luck getting upgrades on the Government rate. I rarely got them.

    I am Lifetime Titanium, currently staying at the Budapest Marriott. I asked for an upgrade to a suite at check-in (2 night stay, AAA rate) but was told none are available, which was an outright lie.

    I normally don’t care but there are of us in the room so the extra space would have been nice.

    I have learned not to expect any upgrades, and my expectations are usually met.

  62. “Marry-et” Bonvoy Titanium & Ambassador Recognition?
    Now I’m having to practice saying it correctly.

  63. @Jeff

    I stayed at the Budapest Marriott for 2 nights last week and am also a Titanium. Didn’t receive an upgrade despite lots of better rooms being available. I thought the hotel lounge was nice though, great views, the service is there was a little chaotic though.

  64. When they mentioned that I was a platinum member at a Four Points and no upgrades were available.
    I asked them to look at the “Marriott” side for my status and they corrected it.

  65. I’m Ambassador and LT Titanium. Sometimes I get thanked/upgraded. Sometimes not. Mostly, they do recognize status in Europe/US

  66. @Ian M:

    agree completely, great hotel and lounge (chaotic is a good word to describe it in the evenings). I was just venting a little.

  67. I’ve been recognized at check-in as an ambassador at every property since Bonvoy launched except one. That one property recognized me as a lifetime titanium. From August 2018 until the launch of Bonvoy, I was recognized as platinum premier ambassador about 30% of the time.

    Technically, you made a mistake. There was platinum five-star before Bonvoy. Now, it’s called cobalt.

  68. I’m Lifetime Titanium and at my most recent stay in Bali they acknowledged my status. I had a question about room assignments and the Gen Manager met with me to explain that I in fact had the best unit available based on a number of factors I was not aware. I was offered options but after the explanation I was fully satisfied.

    I have learned that more often than not you will not be automatically upgraded but when you ask at check in at least 50% of the time I get upgraded. If you are staying multiple nights at a property and willing to change rooms, sometimes an upgrade is available the next day.

  69. Marquis in Houston greeted me as a titanium and gave me a nice upgrade. They did, however, lose my card that was stored when I checked in via the app making check in a bit of a hassle.

  70. I travel so much all I care about is getting to my room. When I travel with family I care about room upgrades. Lifetime Titanium and Ambassador. Really do not see any benefits with Ambassador. 120-150 nights out per year.

  71. In mid-late March at a Four Points, I was welcomed as a “Titan Member” (I’m Titanium). I thought I misheard the check-in agent, but nope, he repeated my “Titan Member” benefits for the property. Ha!

    Other than that, I’ve had decent luck with upgrades by using the in-app chat feature on the mornings before I check-in.

    I think the main issue for me in not being recognized “correctly” is that it then sets up some weird “Do I remind the agent of my benefits or just not bother” scenario, where I feel dumb for having to remind the employee of what my benefits actually are at their particular property.

  72. Not every time, but quite often I have been thanked for my Ambassador status. I have specifically noticed this since February.

  73. I have had mixed luck and frankly barring one property, none of them have recognized my “Titanium” benefits (I am a Lifetimer)
    – Marriott MDR -> “Thank you for being an Elite member” and once “Thank you for being a Marriott member”. In both instances, I never got an upgrade to even a better view even though there were tons of rooms available. I had to ask them for a better view every single time (forget a suite.. I am talking about not overlooking a dumpster)
    – RC MDR / RC LA -> “Thank you for being a Titanium Elite” (consistently)
    – Westin Hapuna -> “Thank you for being a Titanium”, but then the front desk actually didn’t know what it meant – in fact he thought it was the lowest tier and told me he could have upgraded me if I was Platinum! Luckily the GM was walking by and he corrected that mistake with a nice upgrade.
    – Courtyard in Foster City -> “Thank you for being an Elite” – again they felt Titanium was lower and unsure what it really meant or what benefits to accord. She literally had to look it up when I said its a different tier.
    – Castle Orlando -> Same as above.

    I feel Marriott has done an absolutely terrible job at conveying the information about tiers and training the staff to at least acknowledge the right status. There has been nothing so far to inspire loyalty anymore and I am already switching my stays to Hilton / Hyatt. I will still stay at some of the Marriott properties, but it is more to earn points as cashback than expect good service. Even without status, Hyatt feels much better at service right now.

  74. Dwilliams…..

    I had that same question awhile ago about James. Tiffany answered and said that he left to pursue other opportunities.

  75. I’m not sure, but I noticed as an Ambassador that interacting with the Ambassador has triggered more in overall responses to me and upgrades. I have been doing things like asking for recommendations for restaurants and ideas for trips. After I started doing that I have been receiving upgrades and in-room little gifts such as snacks, wine, chocolates, etc.

  76. I had a call recently via the Titanium dedicated support line to confirm my award booking (made prior to March 5), and the representative thanked me for being a Platinum member, which I thought was strange given that: 1) I am a Titanium member, and 2) the call was made using a dedicated line for Titanium members.

  77. @Tom
    “Starwood and some low-category properties are the ones who still have more difficulties when applying the benefits”. Not at all! Starwood are actually much better at providing benefits. PS I come from Marriott side of the merger, never had an SPG account before before.

  78. Recognition has improved because of the distinct elite status levels, but there are still almost no concrete benefits for ambassador elite status. That’s very frustrating. Not even more points or more suite night award certificates if staying an additional 25 or 50 nights over and above the 100-night threshold. It would be nice if ambassador elite status guaranteed you a real breakfast — there are still too many properties claiming a coffee and muffin is breakfast — or something more tangible, like a personalized welcome letter or in-room amenity with every stay.

  79. @Ryan pretty much agree with you. Also, for the people complaining about not receiving upgrades please remember it’s based upon availability at the time of check in. I don’t understand how you as the guest know what the hotels occupancy for the evening is, just because nobody is there when you checked in doesn’t mean the hotel isn’t close to capacity. Although you shouldn’t have to ask for an upgrade it certainly can’t hurt, if they tell you it’s not available ask if they’re sold out or if they are and someone cancels to please let you know.
    Most of what I am reading is that not all associate’s were trained or given the proper information on the different tiers or that they don’t see a difference. I can tell you that their is plenty of training available and it’s only a few clicks away, also that their is a difference between Titanium and Ambassador, information on this is also available to everyone on the Marriott Bonvoy page.

    I understand that most spend 75+ nights in hotel be it a JW, Marriott, Renaissance, Ritz, Fairfield Inn etc etc. but again please don’t throw this in the associates face, I know it’s frustrating but it doesn’t do anything to help us correct whatever the situation is ie: Associate didn’t offer upgrade at check in, Associate failed to recognize you as an Elite Member.

    Rather than complain and give the associate an earful maybe offer advice on what could’ve been done differently or what are things that we can do to make you feel more welcome or appreciated for your loyalty to Marriott and SPG.

  80. I see all the negativity, but I have been treated extremely well. I was lifetime Platinum at Marriott before they consumed SPG. I have been upgraded extremely well. Just got back from the JW in Guanacaste Costa Rica and I had a HUGE suite. Sucks that they only give you two free breakfasts, but hey – the giant room was awesome. Same for the Renaissance in Phoenix. I was properly recognized. Sounds like there are some prima donnas on this thread.

    One thing I didn’t like to hear is that the Ritz Carltons do not automatically give you concierge lounge access for Lifetime Titanium. Not sure if it’s true

  81. @Rob

    I think the issue with the upgrades stems from the fact that I can literally book a suite for my length of stay moments before walking up to the check-in desk, and then the associate tells me there are no suites available for my stay to upgrade me into. Obviously this is flawed (i.e. “based upon availability at the time of check in”).

    Whether Marriott realizes it or not, the front desk associates (and all other staff we [as customers] interact with during our stay) are the “front line” of the Marriott corporation. Have you tried getting help over the phone from Marriott? No one is on the same page, hence the issue.

  82. In December 2018 the Sheraton Taipei had no idea of my Titanium status (a rollover from my SPG Platinum for Life status); nor in February 2019 did the Westin Surfrider in Waikiki mention my status. I’ve since been welcomed as a Platinum member at the Marriott, Provo, but never as a Titanium member. Nor am I aware of what the difference in services/in-hotel perks are between Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador.

  83. I have been an ambassador for the past 3 years. I always get upgraded to really nice suites in India. Except that I dont get much either in North America or Europe. However every single time they appreciate my ambassador status and leaves a handwritten note etc. Special mention to the JW properties in Kolkotta and Bangalore in India; their service left me speechless

  84. Wow, the fact that this is even a blog post just shows how petty you are with these things. Does it change your outcome in any way if you are a thanked when you check in… no it does not. These levels are merely there to stroke the egos of people who don’t have any real claim to special treatment but feel like they should anyway.

  85. I am Titanium and I don’t care if The front desk agent says my correct status.

    A much more important issue, I recently encountered well checking into the Sheraton in NYC… The agent checking me and said, I received a $30. credit per day that could be used on property. I asked her for more information and she said, its a credit can be used at the restaurant, the hotel bar or the mini bar, Just simply charge it to your room and we will take $30 off per day. I was staying two nights so $60 total. I had a drink at the bar one night and a few items on the mini bar. When I look at my credit card bill I was charged $28.50 fee per night and the mini bar items, I was credited only for the drink at the bar, $18.

    Then called Marriott for an explanation and I was told and that they charge me the $28.50 for the $30 credit per night. I asked a very nice woman on the phone if this made sense to her?? Why would anybody say it’s ok to charge my credit card for $28.50 to get a $30 credit that you use or lose? She could not explain an often to remove one night change of $28.50.

    Please be careful of the hidden fees!!!

  86. The only time Ambassador is mentioned when I check in is if my Ambassador booked the reservation. Otherwise it is just Thanks for your loyalty (YAWN). I am a lifetime Titanium member and that has never been mentioned

  87. I received a thank you email from the experience manager at the Westin Cabo San Lucas 2 days prior to check in thanking me for being platinum elite. Then she goes on to explain that being a Villa Property they are unable to offer select Elite member benefits including room upgrades, suite night awards, late checkout and Your24. I did get the continental breakfast. I read the Ts & Cs, sure enough she was right. It’s buried somewhere in sections 4 and 7. Just left a bad taste in my mouth telling me what they won’t do at a late date. Property was beautiful.

  88. @Bryan I agree that their are definitely situations that will occur and not everything is going to work how it should.

    As far as interacting with different associates throughout your stay if you have a negative experience it should only reflect on that department as someone else already mentioned. The so called front line of associates are I’m the people or associates who are checking you in. I say this because we are the 1st ones you see when arriving.

    You mentioned that you can book a suite for your entire stay on the app then once you get to the desk they tell you it’s unavailable. So my question is have you asked why it’s available on the app but once you are physically checking in why it’s not?

    Now, as far as contacting Marriott for help it’s and old computer system which doesn’t help matters but that’s not any guests fault. It’s just going to take some time for everyone to be on the same page.

    I am also seeing/reading some negativity here and again placing blame on the asociate because you want to feel special as an Elite Member or just to “stroke your (already enormous) ego” isn’t going to help.

    For the person who said “Yawn” I’m sorry you feel that way what could the associate or we as Marriott Employees have done better? I believe the purpose of this Blog is to be recognized as an Titanium or Ambassador level with Marriott or SPG not to place blame or have an ego.

    The best advice comes from guests who can provide us as associates as to what could have been done differently in order for you to feel appreciated as a loyal Marriott guest.

    If you have a problem while staying please report it and if it doesn’t get solved then I certainly understand the disappointment but to wait until AFTER you leave and have all negative comments on the survey then there’s not much we can do expect offer an apology or offer more points.

  89. @Rob Go away. We are not “just complaining” for no reason. The rules are crazy and INCONSISTENT!! Most of us are not the rude complainers. We play by Marriott’s rules and expect them to know them as well and be fair.

    @Ryan, thank you for providing constructive feedback which is helpful.

  90. @HV please excuse me as I never said you or anyone SPECIFICALLY …it only applies to those that do consistently complain or are rude. I have asked and still am saying hey let us know what we can do better.

    I definitely understand the frustration as we only get what comes from Marriott and are happy to help in any way we can ..we as well wish we had answers for things that make 0 sense. I’m on your side more than it may seem because I want my guests to feel welcome and appreciated.

    It’s the small percentage that do complain..and again sorry if you felt it was directed at anyone or you specifically.

  91. As a lifetime Platinum. 14 years Elite and 645 nights. 1,28700.00 points. They only say Thank your for being

    At several properties I have asked to they see my lifetime platinum status, they say they are unable to see that.

    Personally I find it odd you spend a few hundred thousand dollars and get a higher tier status and your not recognized for that.

  92. “Lifetime Titanium” here…
    Seriously… I mean do we really need the addressing as, Thank you for being a Titanium” or in your case, “Thank you for being an Ambassador” when checking into a hotel….
    Better yet should we wait till enough people are checking in at the counter to hear it, further elevating our evaluation of us?…

  93. titanium, but recognized as such on only one stay this year. and that was an interesting one: while my elite status was acknowledged, i was simultaneously bonvoyed for the first time.

    you see, in addition to being a straight up legit titanium elite from my business travel, my brother is a marriott GM, so i qualify for MMP associate rates. i can count on one hand the number of times i’ve used that special rate, however.

    in this case, i had five nights reserved at a large marriott in a major asian city. and when i arrived, they thanked me for my loyalty, mentioned my titanium status and proceeded to tell me that because i was booked on a discounted associate rate, status benefits didn’t apply and i would not be getting lounge access.

  94. I am Titanium, heading to Barcelona this next week. Put in for a suite upgrade-I’ll let you know. Staying at an Autograph Collection Property.

    Mostly get thanked but I don’t really care as long as my points post-I just like an upgraded room so my wife can sleep while I take early morning business calls.

  95. For me, the Lifetime Titanium has meant nothing. I’ve had zero upgrades, etc. Maybe it’s fond memories but I remember as a SPG platinum almost always receiving upgrades, suites, etc. Sometimes even huge 2 bedroom suites in Mexico City, London, etc. Now I’m lucky if I get a king bed.

  96. In Dubai Marriott Al Jaddaf, I received a standard welcome letter from the Manager saying…thanks for being a “Marriott Rewards Platinum Member”, even though I was a Bonvoy Titanium Member. This was several months after the Bonvoy program was launched.

  97. Great topic, I just sent a complaint to Bonvoy team couple of weeks ago on my experience where hotel staff thinking Titanium lower than Platinum status.. I am a titanium elite and most of the time greeted platinum but get suit upgrades most of the time in China, Korea and SEA except for Japan.. I am spiral with IHG and they always acknowledge status correctly but give no benefits or proper upgrades at intercontinental where I mostly stay so I generally get a plain thank you… in regard to front desk status recognition and upgrades I would rank Hilton, Marriott and then IHG (at the very bottom) unfortunately i don’t have anymore status with Hilton since they don’t have enough coverage for me in Asia..

  98. I think the whole thing is hilarious. I am LT Titanium. I was told by front desk that was impossible. When the program switch happened I was thanked for being Platinum. I had just received my Titanium card so I asked the clerk, purely out of curiosity, what the difference was. I was told that Titanium was “kinda like Platinum” not much difference. The clerk then thanked my for being Platinum for Life. I told him that I was actually Titanium for Life. I was then told I must be mistaken since that was impossible. It was a friendly exchange so I said,”possible I was mistaken, let’s check.” I pulled out my computer and signed in. Well, I said, looks like I am was right. The clerk said “you must be extra special in Marriott’s eyes”. My response, “Nope, just means I stay in hotels WAY too much. Learned long ago, status doesn’t mean anything beyond that.

  99. Working at a Marriott Property myself I’d like to say @Ryan’s comment was superb. @Rob hit some good points too. At my property we got a lot of training during the merge and were even sent big posters outlining each individual perk all tiers receive that we studied in order to be prepared to answer our guests questions. We also have a smaller one kept at the front desk to pull out and show anyone who inquires. Check the Marriott site and read what you should be getting– as well as the fine text. For instance, upgrades are available based on availability, but if you see it available online and the FD Associate tells you otherwise it’s possible the systems are out of balance (something that is incredibly frustrating to us too, Marriott needs to work on that.) In other cases, make your voice heard! Leave a review, call Marriott Rewards Help Desk, ask to talk to the Manager for an explanation… something. Like @Cece said, there are lots of cash options for you if you aren’t receiving or being offered a perk you deserve.

    In regards to the membership status being repeatedly wrong.. I’m really not sure what this could be other than the system displaying the wrong information, or simply lack of training. There are multiple PMS systems we are permitted to use and its at the hospitality group or management’s discretion, so I’m not sure if a certain one doesn’t display that correctly. My property uses the DOS looking system and I’ve never had it display me wrong information about someones status.
    Honestly, I feel like there is no excuse to not name these status’ specifically when thanking members. The whole point of the program is to award loyalty and these tiers are supposed to mean something.

    Lastly, about upgrades; I always feel a little embarrassed when a Bonvoy member has to ask me for an upgrade and it turns out it is indeed available. Like @Ryan said, blocking and upgrading rooms is an AM shift duty for the current day arrivals so PM shift kinda gets the short end of the stick when it comes to time of check in if it wasn’t done properly that morning. I try to catch it before the guests start coming in and upgrade members beginning from Ambassador, especially if they are here longer than one night. With the new Suite Night Award feature I hope you guys get the upgrades you want more often, though.

  100. I am a lifetime titanium member. I remember way back when Marriot was the McDonald’s of the hotel business. The experience was seldom over the top BUT there were no surprises because the staff training was always perfect. As they have grown so large, the consistency and control has slipped away. Employees (who don’t really work for Marriott) no longer “drink the coolaide”. As the biggest, with the most choices, being a part of the family is no longer important. These days, if I stay at a domestic Marriott property, I stay at a Fairfield Inn as the rooms are pretty much the same and and the service is usually better. Abroad, IHG is feeling like the Marriott of old.

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