Marriott on top in Americas with Freddies wins. Hyatt takes best elite program.

Marriott Rewards tallied top honors in the 2014 Freddie Awards winning four of five hotel categories for the Americas at last night’s ceremony in Seattle. Marriott has won Hotel Program of the Year for the Americas for seven consecutive years and has been voted this honor 15 times in the 26 editions of Freddie Awards.

Hyatt Gold Passport kept Marriott from winning a clean sweep by taking best hotel elite program in the Americas.



Best Customer Service — Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards
Best Promotion — Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards
Best Elite Program — Hyatt – Gold Passport
Best Redemption Ability — Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards
Program of the Year — Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards

Hotel Freddies for other regions

Europe and Africa


Best Customer Service — IHG – IHG Rewards Club
Best Promotion — IHG – IHG Rewards Club
Best Elite Program — Starwood – Starwood Preferred Guest
Best Redemption Ability — IHG – IHG Rewards Club
Program of the Year — IHG – IHG Rewards Club

Middle East and Asia/Oceania


Best Customer Service — Starwood – Starwood Preferred Guest
Best Promotion — IHG – IHG Rewards Club
Best Elite Program — Hyatt – Gold Passport
Best Redemption Ability — Starwood – Starwood Preferred Guest
Program of the Year — Hyatt – Gold Passport

You can see all the 2014 Freddies results for airlines here.

It would be nice if there were information sharing what offer won the Hotel Best Promotion for each region. Marriott Rewards MegaBonus was a great offer in 2013, but since so many hotels moved from category 4 and 5 to category 5 and 6 or higher, the value of MegaBonus free night certificates (1-4 hotels and 1-5 hotels) has diminished significantly in 2014.

Marriott gets my customer service vote this week

Marriott Hotels’ customer service places the chain in a class of its own based on my Best Rate Guarantee claims experience this week. Over the past few days I submitted eight best rate guarantee claims with six different hotel chains when I found lower room rates at competitor online travel agencies. Despite an available lower rate through an online travel agency for each hotel, four of my best rate guarantee claims were denied.

All sorts of reasons were provided by the hotel chains for excluding the lower rate from a Best Rate Guarantee claim. Bottom line is each hotel reservation with a denied BRG claim was a hotel room rate that could have been booked by me and most likely anyone at a lower rate through an OTA than the rate on the hotel chain’s website.

In the case of Hilton, the online travel agency rate at easyclicktravel.com was $60 less than the hotel chain rate and Hilton said easyclicktravel.com is not an eligible site for a best rate guarantee claim.

Marriott approved my best rate guarantee claim for Renaissance Blackstone Chicago where I stayed two weeks ago for $122 compared to the $300 rate on the Marriott site. The competitor site for the best rate guarantee claim was easyclicktravel.com.

My Best Rate Guarantee claims this week for Jacksonville, FL, Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC.

  • Best Western Hotels – denied.
  • Choice Hotels – denied.
  • Hilton Hotels – denied.
  • Starwood Hotels – denied.
  • Another chain – pending. ( I still have one best rate guarantee claim pending and the hotel chain seems to be holding out for a rate change with Expedia as it approaches 24 hours with no response and Expedia’s rate discount ends at 10:00pm tonight. I don’t want to risk an influence on their decision with this post. I’ll write it up after it is approved or denied.)
  • Marriott Hotels – 3 claims, all approved.

Three of eight best rate guarantee claims were approved and they were all Marriott brand hotels. Marriott has shown me great customer service this week compared to five other hotel brands.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. I can’t believe Marriott winning 4 hotel category awards. I’m a platinum elite with them and Diamond with Hyatt. I’ll take Hyatt any given day only advantage Marriott has over them is large number of hotels.

  2. Absolutely meaningless awards. I’m sure the recipients will brag about the “great honor” of “winning”.

    Seriously, what does “Best” even mean in this context?

  3. Isn’t Marriott’s LNF just as brutal for international properties as many international OTAs issue vouchers?

  4. @bluecat – keep you eyes tuned to the hotel websites and you will certainly find many references to their award wins. The Freddies Award seems to garner more publicity and pride than most of the annual awards each year.

    @Michael A – I don’t have experience with Marriott’s best rate guarantee for international hotels. I have only filed claims for US stays.

  5. @bluecat it is all about marketing, anything that gets the hotel brand on people minds is win for them.

    Onto them winning it is not surprising, the consistently seem the get the basic things right.

  6. I do agree that Marriott offers the best customer service of any hotel chain, I’ve encountered in the Americas.

    Not just for their mostly reasonable handling of LNF (US) claims but more so, for showing great flexibility and willingness to assist (even low/mid tier) customers with whatever issues arise.

    What shocks me about the list is that IHG was awarded best customer service (Europe)! ime, they are the worst of the worst!

    Perhaps, I should seek out contact info for IHG’s European Department because they certainly must offer the European market, services that are simply nonexistent to us here in the States.

  7. I vote Wyndham Rewards worst of the worst honors for customer service. IHG is automated enough that I do not have to go through customer service very often.

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