Marriott Suite Night Awards: How TPG staff used them this year and how they can be improved

When you stay 50 and 75 nights in a calendar year at Marriott properties, Marriott Bonvoy members can select Choice benefits. For many travelers, the Suite Night Awards (SNA) have been a popular Choice Benefit pick.

Suite upgrades available in the Marriott area are complimentary to Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, and Ambassador Elite members on most brands. However, if you wish to confirm an upgrade in advance – perhaps for a special occasion – you may be able to apply SNAs to your booking.

I used my Suite Night Awards to stay in specialty suites that probably wouldn’t have been extended to me with a standard upgrade of available space (not applying Suite Night Awards). Just because you apply one doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get an upgrade.

Once you have requested an SNA, the hotel will search the inventory of available upgrades five days prior to your arrival. The reward will be redeposited to your account if the upgrade cannot be confirmed for the desired room(s).

The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart. MARRIOTT

Unfortunately, TPG staff didn’t have the easiest time getting ANS through some properties. Here is an overview of personnel data:

Hotel Mark Location Region Number of nights SNA confirmed? How many days of absence?
The Ben. Autograph collection. West Palm Beach, Florida. WE A. Yes. Five.
Ambassador Hotel. Autograph collection. Kansas City, Missouri. WE A. Yes. Five.
Large bohemian hotel. Autograph collection. Orlando. WE A. Yes. Five.
Domes of Elounda. Autograph collection Crete, Greece. Europe. Five. Not eligible. N / A.
The Mayflower Hotel. Autograph collection. washington d.c. WE A. Yes. Five.
Santa Clara Palace. Autograph collection. Valencia, Spain. Europe. Of them. Yes. Of them.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Autograph collection Waimea, Hawaii. WE Of them. No. N / A.
Courtyard Hutchinson Island Oceanside/Jensen Beach. Court. Jensen Beach, Florida. WE A. Yes. Five.
DeltaToronto. Delta Hotels. Toronto. Canada. A. Yes. Four.
Four Points by Sheraton Jaipur, Town Square. Four points. Jaipur, India. Asia. A. Yes. Five.
JW Marriott Frankfurt. JW Marriott. Frankfurt. Europe. Of them. Yes. Of them.
JW Marriott Mauritius. JW Marriott. Mauritius. Middle East/Africa Three. Yes. Five.
Le Meridien Mauritius. The Meridian. Mauritius. Middle East/Africa. Five. No. Five.
The Chatwal. Luxury collection. New York City. WE A. No. N / A.
Aruba Marriott Resort & Casino Stellaris. Marriott. Aruba. Caribbean. Five. No. N / A.
Jaipur Marriott Hotel. Marriott. Jaipur, India. Asia. Of them. Yes. Four.
Jaipur Marriott Hotel. Marriott. Jaipur, India. Asia. Three. Yes. Five.
Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. Marriott. Waikoloa Beach, Hawaii. WE Of them. No. N / A.
Marriott hotel in downtown Toronto. Marriott. Toronto. Canada. A. Yes. Four.
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown hotel. Renaissance. washington d.c. WE Of them. No. N / A.
Sheraton Gateway Hotel at Toronto International Airport. Sheraton. Toronto. Canada. A. Yes. Five.
Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino. Sheraton. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Caribbean. Of them. Yes. Five.
Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort. Sheraton. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. South America. Seven. Yes. Five.
Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa. Sheraton. Anchorage, Alaska. WE Of them. Yes. Five.
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. Sheraton. Honolulu. WE Three. No. N / A.
SpringHill Suites Amelia Island. Spring Hill Suites. Amelia Island, Florida. WE Of them. No. N / A.
SpringHill Suites Fishkill. Spring Hill Suites. Fishkill, New York. WE Of them. Not eligible. Of them.
The St Regis Langkawi. Saint Regis. Langkawi, Malaysia. Asia. Three. Yes. Five.
W Philadelphia. W Hotels. Philadelphia Cream. WE A. No. N / A.
The Westin Cape Town. Westin. The cap. Middle East/Africa. Four. Yes. Five.
The Westin Dragonara Resort, Malta. Westin. Malta. Europe. Four. Yes. Five.
The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square. Westin. San Francisco. WE Of them. Yes. Five.
The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket. Westin. Phuket, Thailand. Asia. Of them. Yes. Five.

Of our 33 SNA requests, 22 were approved. This leaves 11 applications where SNAs were denied, a rejection rate of 1/3.

Related: What is Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status Worth in 2022?

When are Suite Night rewards not cleared?

The Hermitage, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Jakarta. KYLE OLSEN/THE DOT GUY

In my experience, clearing ANS has been harder since travel started to recover after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While guests may now pay directly for suites, Marriott properties may decide to withhold suite inventory if they believe a suite could be assigned to a paying guest, as there is no obligation on a hotel to release unsold suites for Suite Night Awards.

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This is probably the root cause of the problem – even when suites are available online for booking, SNAs are sometimes rejected. It may be time for Marriott to sit down with its franchise partners to renegotiate franchise pay rates when a property clears an SNA. Either way, if properties had more incentive to clear SNAs, chances are the success rate would be higher.

So where are you likely to erase an SNA?

Our data shows that we have a good chance of getting an upgrade when using an ANS, but especially when traveling off-peak or to off-the-beaten-track destinations.

Many SNA denials come from requests in Hawaii and beach destinations in Europe and the Caribbean, where the value of these certificates can really shine with ocean views, bungalows or other upgraded rooms. Not to mention, upgraded rooms at these establishments can cost significantly more per night than a standard room.

Meanwhile, many approvals were for city hotels and less-visited cities and regions during off-peak travel dates. It’s a great strategy for some travelers, but it’s hard for the average traveler to redeem. After all, most of us don’t travel to Jaipur, India, or Malta in the winter, when most of the island’s resorts are empty.

However, if you’re ready to travel off-peak, read Katie Genter’s guide to how she traded 23 SNAs this year.

Related: 6 Ways Marriott Can Improve Ambassador Elite Status

How can Marriott improve the Suite Night Awards?

I used a Suite Night Award at the JW Marriott Mauritius this year. KYLE OLSEN/THE DOT GUY

With the disappointing success rate of SNAs at many properties, now is an opportunity for Marriott to revisit the Suite Night Awards.

On the customer side, Marriott must clear SNAs at the time of booking. This is something Hyatt is already doing with its suite upgrade awards. You can lock a suite with a Hyatt Suite Upgrade Award if a standard suite is available when booking an eligible rate. A change as simple as this would make SNAs a real advantage and could massively increase the value of Marriott’s elite status.

Also, if a Marriott Suite Night Award is rejected for a particular stay, it would be nice if Marriott extended the expiration and offered a nominal bonus to the guest as an apology, such as 2,000 points for a future stay. It could act like Marriott’s reservation guarantee that pays members when a hotel is oversold.

Regardless, something has to change. Some of our staff and readers are sitting on SNAs that are due to expire by the end of the year, despite multiple attempts to use them. Not everyone can travel during off-peak hours or visit off-the-beaten-path destinations, so there must be a way for Marriott to make ANS more valuable.

Related: Ouch: It’s Not Just You, Marriott Stays Now Cost More Points

At the end of the line

The Marriott Suite Night Awards aren’t as reliable as they once were. When applying a reward to your stay, checking off different room types that you are willing to accept in exchange for your reward can increase the chances of receiving a suite.

Still, it’s high time for Marriott to revamp these rewards to make them more valuable to the guest. After all, those with ANS are among Marriott’s top elite members.

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