According to Lucky at One Mile at a Time, Marriott will only credit elite nights for one of the rooms you book per night as of August 1, 2018. This pretty much eliminates SPG’s policy of letting members earn elite qualifying nights and points for up to three rooms per night, if the member pays for all three rooms. This meant that the 50 nights requirement for SPG Platinum really only was 25 nights for 2 rooms, and 17 nights for 3 rooms, which is great for families.
How it affects our family vacation plans:
This was historically one of the reasons my family liked SPG. It frequently meant that 25 nights (in 2 rooms) qualified my dad for platinum status. As of August 1, 2018 this sadly will no longer be the case. This along with the fact that Marriott has effectively reduced Marriott points earning from 3 points per dollar spent to 2 points per dollar spent, really drives us away from staying in SPG properties. The new Marriott has a great portfolio of hotels in Europe, but still nothing compared to what Airbnb offers, especially in terms of convenience and location. In fact the next couple of trips we will be taking already has us staying 20 nights in Airbnbs and none in hotels. For us, SPG lately has just been an efficient program to earn airline miles through.
As it stands my dad is 24 nights away from SPG Platinum this year. I guess the real dilemma will be whether we should stay 12 nights before August 1 to grab Marriott Platinum for a year or just accomplish this by number of stays. Since he is so close, he might qualify for SPG/Marriott Platinum this year. However starting next year we will likely just forget about hotels and completely go Airbnb. We do spend quite a few nights in India at the end of each year so we may just look to go with Hyatt instead of SPG starting next year because the program has been historically been more rewarding for hotel stays.