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Marriott Points to rent hotel in Rome, Italy

swilli

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If anyone can give me a straight answer to my question is the Tuggers. I want to use Marriott Points to rent the Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora for five nights starting in Sept. 2012. I have enough points but the Marriott is not offering points rental of that hotel for the dates I need. I have been checking everyday since September 2011 and there has been no change. What is up with this? Does Marriott ever "release" rooms for points rental? Is there another way I can approach this? If anyone has any ideas, please share. Thank you
 

jimf41

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The Flora is tough to get into on points in September. The weather is beautiful and the tourist season hasn't quite ended. Three years ago we spent six nights there on our anniversary. When I first looked about 12 months out they had availability.

I waited to talk to my bride and when she said OK I went back the next day to book it. While all six nights were there before only the first two and the last two were available when I rechecked. I had to pay for the middle two days and believe me that hurt. It was a pretty dumb move on my part. I should have booked as soon as I saw the availability. What was she going to say "No I don't want to spend our 40th anniversary in a romantic hotel in Rome."

My advice is to start checking to see which single days are available. If they come open book them. The ones you don't get you'll have to pay for.

Good luck!
 

dmharris

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I'm a Platinum level MR member so I should get through any blackout dates. So I checked to see if I could get a reservation. The only dates I could use my reward points at that hotel were from August 5-27. Prior to or after that there is "Not Available for Check-in" notes on the calendar. If you check 'my dates are flexible' you'll see a calendar of availability. I'd call the number on the back of your rewards card and talk to the agents, they've always been very helpful for me in the past. Also, I think there is a better deal for you e.g. use five nights of points and get one free. Check on that. Rome is warm (by my standards living in Pittsburgh) at Thanksgiving so you may have to delay your departure to get the free room.
 

NboroGirl

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I had no trouble booking 4 nights in September 2012. The key was booking early - a year in advance. I had read on TUG it was hard to book this hotel with points, so I started about a year out. I couldn't book at first because it was too far in the future so it wouldn't allow me to. I used this time to decide approx. which days I wanted to go (at this point I was flexible) and how many nights I wanted to go.

Finally I noticed the week I was interested in was available. I pretty much had my choice of dates, so I reserved 4 nights - Sept. 16-20. Once I bagged the Flora, I was able to book the rest of my trip: 3 nights in Florence courtesy of Hilton points, and 4 nights in Bayeux, France (Normandy). We just booked our airfare - business class - last weekend.

As mentioned, keep checking, and also try looking for fewer nights. If/when anything becomes available, reserve it. You can always spend a couple of nights at one of the other Marriotts in Rome, or pay for a couple of nights.

Good luck!
 

MabelP

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The trick is to book when the rooms are first released. Call Marriott and ask (might be 331 days out). I spent seven nights there over Easter week 2011. I was on the phone right at midnight!
 

KathyPet

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Those points nights at the Grand Flora go very, very quickly. You really do have to book at the exact time they release those weeks.
 

pwrshift

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Flora seems to march to their own tune and the only reason they are tight with points reservations is that it's the only Marriott game in town as all other Marriott's are a good hike away from the centre of town (at least for now). Marriott just announced a new association of hotels in Italy but I haven't had time yet to check what and where, so things might improve.

Starwood, on the other hand, has three much nicer hotels than Flora in the same area of Rome and if you're collecting SPG points you'll find them a lot easier to use.

Marriott so far has really let their MR members down in Italy and hopefully that will change. But if you look at the many SPG hotels in Italy you'll easily see they are true palaces...so nice you won't want to leave. I've stayed in Venice, Florence and Rome in SPG hotels which make Grand Flora look like a huge step down.

Brian
 

exotherm

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We stayed at the Flora in Sept. of 2010 with points and booked the stay in September of 2009.

In 2007 we had also tried the Flora , but could not get in. We settled on the Rome Marriott Park Hotel as an alternative. Not as well located as the Flora and it was an inconvenience using the Marriott shuttle bus into and out of town- however, it was doable and we had a great trip.
 

LisaH

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I'm at the Courtyard Rome Central Park right now and love this hotel. It's outside the downtown area but quite easy to commute to the major attractions with metro and train. We bought a 3-day pass for (I think) 11 Euros each person so it's very affordable. This is the nicest Courtyard I have ever stayed. We have a spacious room with a huge terrace and a view of St. Peter Basilica in the distance. Hotel also offers a shuttle which takes you to Vatican vicinity. It's 3 Euros per person each way. For two days, we took a one way shuttle out in the morning and took the metro/train back. I think this could be a real alternative for Rome if Grand Flora is not available for points reservation. We paid 105 Euros per day which I think is a great price.
 
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Dave M

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Marriott normally releases inventory for making reservations early - very early - each Sunday morning. They release rooms a week at a time approximately 50 weeks in advance. Wanting five nights at the Grand Flora for September 22-27, 2012, I was online early on Sunday, October 9 (pre-dawn) and made part of the reservation. I finished up on Sunday morning, October 16.

I had no difficulty.

As NoboroGirl suggests, try booking fewer nights. As an example, my September 22-27 dates are no longer available. However, I note that September 20, 21, 22 and 24 (in the period September 19-27) are still available on points at the Grand Flora. I didn't check any other dates.
 

larue

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If anyone can give me a straight answer to my question is the Tuggers. I want to use Marriott Points to rent the Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora for five nights starting in Sept. 2012. I have enough points but the Marriott is not offering points rental of that hotel for the dates I need. I have been checking everyday since September 2011 and there has been no change. What is up with this? Does Marriott ever "release" rooms for points rental? Is there another way I can approach this? If anyone has any ideas, please share. Thank you
You may want to email the hotel directly.

I was successful in getting a reservation for 3 at the Grand Flora. I set this up by emailing the hotel directly. I was helped by an internal reservations agent named Marco Piccininno and got the room, a junior suite with a front street view for 40,000 points per night plus 53 euro. This was after being told no by another internal agent over the phone and when no availability showed on Marriott.com. I emailed directly to info@grandhotelflora.net.
 
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