Starwood has long had guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout for Gold and Platinum members, in fact I think it’s the best benefit of SPG Gold status. It’s ‘subject to availability’ at resorts and conference hotels, but otherwise there’s no question that it should be available to elites. Period.
I know that some people have reported problems with this benefit, but I never have. Not once.
I like Hyatt’s 4 p.m. late check-out benefit for Diamonds (and 2 p.m. for Platinums) even better: I’m proactively offered late check-out at nearly every hotel when I check in.
Back in April Marriott Rewards announced three new benefits similar to offerings of Starwood Preferred Guest.
- Experiential redemptions like SPG Moments
- A member concierge trial like Starwood Ambassador
- Guaranteed late checkout for Golds and Platinums
Marriott Boca Raton
This was great news — with Marriott acquiring Starwood hotels they’ve gone to some lengths to begin improving the loyalty program. These new benefits seemed like a start.
However the devil was in the details. Marriott quickly clarified that guaranteed late checkout wasn’t guaranteed after all.
Late check-out was guaranteed, and late check-out ‘could be as late as 4 p.m.’. They oddly explained this meant:
- Guaranteeing late checkout of some time to be determined by the hotel
- Late checkout won’t be later than 4pm but it may well be earlier.
After much blowback they clarified late check-out again and declared that it would be a real, firm benefit.
Renaissance Boca Raton
Reader Daniel stayed at the Triada Hotel in Palm Springs and requested 4 p.m. late check-out as a Marriott Rewards Gold member (matched from Starwood Gold).
I asked the front desk about having my check-out moved to 4pm, but was told that this is subject to availability, and was offered 12:30pm.
Since the website seems to make clear that 4pm is guaranteed, I spoke with a manager on property who confirmed that the policy is subject to availability. Since the hotel is not a resort, it seems like I should have been given the 4pm check-out…
The Triada is a downtown boutique hotel, but I still wanted to check to make sure it isn’t considered a resort or convention property where late checkout is subject to availability. Marriott’s resorts and convention hotels are listed online. The Triada isn’t one of them.
Daniel emailed Marriott Rewards customer service to learn what he should have expected, since the hotel denied him the checkout that is supposed to be guaranteed. And they told him there is no such guarantee: “Gold and Platinum members are guaranteed late check-out. The time-frame is up to the hotel. They can allow late check-out up to 4 PM, but it can also be earlier.”
Here’s the old policy that was replaced,
Priority Late Checkout
Call the front desk the morning of your check out, and let us know your planned departure time.
Late checkout is based on availability and offered at all participating Marriott hotels, except Marriott Vacation Club®.
Here are the actual terms and conditions of the new benefit:
Guaranteed Late Checkout: Gold and Platinum members may check out as late as 4 p.m. This benefit is guaranteed at all hotels, except at resort and convention hotels, where it is based upon availability. Marriott Vacation Club is excluded from this benefit.
Here’s how the benefit is supposed to work,
The benefit can be requested through voice reservations, on the Marriott app via the mobile check-in process, at the front desk during check-in, or on the day of departure.
There is no ambiguity and hotels that are not honoring 4 p.m. late check-out for Gold and Platinum Marriott Rewards members are acting contrary to the terms and conditions of the program. Marriott Rewards customer service agents who are telling members this benefit is at the discretion of the hotel are mistaken and doing members a disservice.
There’s a long thread on Flyertalk with over 500 replies reporting on late check-out experiences at different Marriott properties. Judging from that thread, results are mixed. However I assume that people are inclined to post about outlier denials of benefits than they are when things work exactly as expected.
Have you requested late check-out using this new benefit? Did the hotel honor it?