Just completed a stay at the Gaylord in Washington DC. Does this hotel not have many upgrades? We were told we were upgrade to an atrium view. The room was the same size as a standard size.
A room with an improved view is considered an upgrade. In your case, you were upgraded from a standard room (which probably had limited or no view) to an atrium view room. Yes they are the same size, but an upgrade doesn't always infer a larger room. Typically an atrium view room at a Gaylord is approximately $50 more than a standard room when you look at the rack rates online. So you saved $50 as a result of your upgrade.
I've been upgraded to atrium view suites at other Gaylord properties. It depends on what's available during the course of your stay. Sometimes it's just a better view, sometimes it a bigger room. Sometimes it's both.
I look at it this way. If I get upgraded, I get a better room without having to pay more.
To put it in a slightly different perspective, lets say you were at a beach property and you paid for a "parking lot view" standard room but when you got there you were given a "Pool or ocean view" standard room, that's an upgrade.
See my comment here: https://insiders.marriottrewards.com/message/227598?commentID=227598#comment-227598
As others have said, the definition of "upgrade" is a loosely defined term.
I've been upgraded at the Gaylord National Harbor, but in your case, if your original room did not have an Atrium view and your room you were moved to did have an Atrium view, then by Gaylord's (and Marriott's) definition of "upgrade", you were indeed upgraded. With the MGM in the area now, there is a ton of weekend traffic in the area, so weekend upgrades may be less than a few years ago, but, they still exist!
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