This morning, Stephen posted about his recent successes with Marriott’s best rate guarantee program. There’s some good news on that front: Design Hotels, one of the myriad of Marriott brands, is once again eligible for Best Rate Guarantee claims.You can’t make claims against the rates at designhotels.com or on the hotel-specific sites (though the good news is that you can book via those channels and still earn Marriott rewards points).
In late 2018, Marriott had updated its best rate guarantee program to exclude Design Hotels (Loyalty Lobby wrote about that change here). But as Loyalty Lobby now aptly points out now, Design Hotels are no longer excluded. Here is Marriott’s official info about participating and excluded brands from the guarantee terms:
The Best Rate Guarantee applies to Marriott branded hotels unless otherwise specified below.
The Best Rate Guarantee does not apply to Ritz-Carlton Montreal, The Ritz London, Ritz-Carlton Residences, The Ritz-Carlton Club, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott’s Grand Residence Club, or any other properties operating under Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation brands, its subsidiaries and its affiliates. The Best Rate Guarantee does not apply to Homes & Villas by Marriott International, Sheraton Vacation Club, Westin Vacation Club, or any other properties/units owned or managed by Vistana Signature Experiences, Inc. its subsidiaries and its affiliates. The Best Rate Guarantee does not apply to Elegant Hotels branded properties.
While you see some exclusions above, Design Hotels is no longer included in the excluded list.
The change to extend the Best Rate Guarantee to Design Hotels does exclude matching against rates you find at designhotels.com. Under “applicable rates”, see this paragraph:
Comparing Marriott channel rates to those found during later searches on Marriott channels (including Marriott-affiliated, private label, or property standalone websites) are not eligible for the guarantee. For Design Hotels Partner Hotels, rates found on the Design Hotels™ Website, Design Hotels™ Mobile App and any individual Design Hotels standalone Website & Mobile App are not eligible for the guarantee.
In other words, since the Design Hotels and individual hotel websites are “Marriott channels”, they will not accept a claim against a lower rate you’ve found in those places. However, the good news is that these are official booking channels, so if you book with the Design Hotels website/app or directly with a Design Hotels website, your rate should still earn Marriott Bonvoy points and elite credit — essentially, you can still get the lowest rate (in this case by booking your room via Design Hotels or the individual hotel site), but you can’t get 25% off of those rates since Marriott deems those channels as “booking direct”. It’s unfortunate that they don’t integrate systems to make the rate at Marriott.com match Design Hotels, but on the other hand it means that those who know prices are sometimes cheaper at the Design Hotels site can sometimes save a few bucks.
If you do find a lower rate via a competitor channel, it is possible to get a Best Rate Guarantee approved, something that Stephen Pepper proved true with this morning’s post. I have also enjoyed enough success with Best Rate Guarantee claims that I know I should look for those opportunities more often. It’s good to see another of Marriott’s brands participating.
H/T: Loyalty Lobby