Marriott Rewards Adds New Benefits As Merger with Starwood Draws Near

By Paul Riegler on 20 April 2016
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DSC_0782 (1)Marriott International, which is slated to merge with Starwood Hotels and Resorts later this year, announced the addition of new benefits to its Marriott Rewards loyalty program.

The move appears to harmonize its offerings with those of its merger partner.

Starting in late May, all members of both the Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs will be able to access an experiences marketplace. The hotelier says the experiences will include tickets to “one of the hottest shows on Broadway,” the opportunity to hang out with a favorite sports team, or cooking lessons from a world-renowned chef.

Gold- and Platinum-level members will be guaranteed a late checkout starting May 16. The benefit, somewhat consistent with Starwood’s, is not available at resort, convention, and timeshare properties, although Marriott does not guarantee 4 p.m. à la Starwood but says it “could be as late as” 4 p.m.

In addition, Marriott will be testing an “Elite” concierge service starting in late May that is similar to the Starwood Ambassador program. The service is intended to allow members to develop a relationship with a specific concierge who will ensure that the guests’ preferences and needs are met “before, during, and even after their stay.” The service will be offered, starting in late May, to U.S.-based members of the loyalty program traveling worldwide and expand from there.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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