OK, first post here and hopefully someone from Marriott Corporate reads this. I'm a plat and just finished a stay in the Marriott in Singapore. This is my third time at the hotel but in the past it's been a one or two night stay. This time I had my wife with me for a week vacation in Singapore. This isn't my first rodeo and travel mostly in Asia as a US expat. The Orchard Towers location down the street from the Singapore Marriott is well known with it's ladies of the night.
However, and I find it appalling, was how they seemed to be like coach roaches at the Marriott. They were at the pool, in the club lounge, in the bar, in the lobby, EVERYWHERE. That Marriott just lets it go on and to not clean it up as a business/corporate hotel is amazing, that or top level management needs to snoop around and see for themselves. It's one thing for guys to seek it out but I don't want to see it front a center, almost like a feature of the hotel. Marriott better fix this quick before it gives the hotel a permanent reputation.
My wife and I returned after a trip to the Night Safari and we made the mistake of going into the "Living Room" bar just off the lobby at around 11:30 at night. 3-4 sets of women waitng for customers. Of course one guy already was at a table with a girl 40 years younger them him.
As for the hotel itself, it was usual Marriott quality room (certainly no JW level but as expected). The club lounge was terrible with large crowds and you can't sit down if you get there much after they start serving. Very uncomfortable feeling with people standing over you waiting to sit. Of the week we were there, only used the lounge one night as it was just not worth the hassle. If that many people all have gold or better status, good for Marriott but at least make it usuable. I am spoiled at my "base" hotel that's for sure. In the US I expect lousy club lounges an service (sad, isn't it) but in Asia there is no excuse for a lounge to be set-up like that.
Lastly, compared to other hotels the cab line at the Marriott is terrible. At other hotels the cabs stage right up and you're gone during peak time. At the Marriott they come one or two at a time because the way to corner of the street is set up. Definitely have a cab pre arranged or plan to wait for up to 30 minutes during peak times. Other hotels I've stayed in Singapore are not like that with cab waiting lines.
The breakfast buffet was typical Marriott standards. As for hotel eating, the Pool Grill restaurant had good food (albeit expensive) that we ate there a couple times. Probably the only place to relax besides your room in the hotel.
I certainly will never stay at that property again. Seeing the prostitutes at the hotel really everywhere, day and night, put a stain on my image of the hotel that I just can't get past. Can't believe I used points for that place. Very disappointing.
I read your piece with considerable interest, at least in part because I sympathized with two of your areas of criticism - i.e. the very evident presence of "hookers" (of both genders), and the overcrowded condition of the Executive Lounge.
I wonder if you raised these points with the senior management on site. I did - and the answers I received were interesting, if not particularly endearing: they were that (a) hookers in moderation meet a market need, and (b) there was no scope within the existing structure either to expand the Lounge - or to reduce the numbers admitted to it.
The second response raised a broader question that has always puzzled me: what is it that Marriott has only one site (excluding the more recent Ritz-Carlton) in a city that is one of the most prosperous and commercially active in all Asia? I once put this question to a senior executive from Marriott International (who shall remain nameless for present purposes.) His answer ran like this: well, you have to remember that (a) we (MI) only manage that site, and (b) a condition of taking on that management contract may well have been that we (MI) did not put our corporate name to any other site in Singapore.
How much truth there might have been in this assessment, I will leave it to you to judge.
It is a shame that certain cultures 'accept' the degradation of females by allowing 'ladies of the night' to use their lobbies as concession stands, but such is life in the far east. many of the hotels have "foot massage" parlors in their building that serve as a gateway to exploitation. While I abhor this behavior, I reluctantly agree with the gm that told ark they were supplying what a percentage of their clients was looking for. There are plenty of properties that at least are more discreet in their practices and one must be diligent in seeking those out when traveling with their spouses.
just my opinion.
At a corporate branded hotel such as a Marriott, I don't think it does anything to drive additional business having the hotel as a hooker haven. I can tell you right now, I would not ever return to that hotel.
I don't agree that the gm has to "supply" anyone with them. That they were even using the pool was kind of the defining point where I realized how bad it was. One issue is the hotel allows full hotel floor access on the elevators without key access. The only places that required key access were the gym and the lounge. That needs to change.
I've stayed at 4-5 other Singapore properties and NONE of them are like what the Marriott has turned in too. Maybe we just hit the hotel at an odd time but in previous stays I've not seen the hooker presence like the hotel has now.
I just expect a Marriott to have more class than that. If a guy wants to go pick some fling for the night, fine. However, for the hotel to not only condone but actually encourage hooker availability in the hotel and have them practically on display in the hotel bar is simply appalling IMO.
I was not suggesting that anyone "has to supply" anybody with anything. I was simply pointing out that in 30 years of travel to the far east, many hotels, much nicer than Marriott properties, serve as bordellos. It's horrible and inexcusable, but it is what it is. Your decision to stay elsewhere is the best option available.
Apropos of local customs - and on a slightly lighter note - I was once eating at the Dorchester in London (at someone else's expense, I hasten to add) and, on asking one of the staff where the lifts were, was given directions but advised not to take "the lift on the right". "Why?", I asked, more than a little curious. "Well Sir", came the reply, "that is Aster Annie's lift." I couldn't resist putting the obvious supplementary: "And who is this 'Aster Annie', who has a dedicated lift?"
"Ah - well Sir, Annie is a lady who provides a service to some of our more venerable clients". "Fine", I answered, " but why does she have a personalised lift?"
"Well Sir, the lift isn't really for Annie, more for her clients. You see, Sir, sometimes they just get a bit too excited, and then we have to have a discreet way of removing the body. All part of the service, Sir"
At the moment, I began to understand the real meaning of a "luxury hotel".
Best for now,
Communitymanager, we were there from Spet 15-22
Place was crawling with them. I can tell you this, if my HR manager stayed at that hotel I can assure you nobody would be staying there on Corporate dime. In fact, I would not stay there again just so I would not be associated with it. I surely hope that the GM there is not a blaise acceptance as business as usual.
As I posted above, this isn't my first rodeo and I've stayed at many hotels throughout Asia. At any hotel I've stayed at I have never seen it at this level but for a Marriott branded property my expectations are much higher. They absolutely need to clean it up and I would strongly suggest they lock down the elevator access via key cards.
Sorry, but it’s not about the dates, since the story is the same in Kuala Lumpur, JW Beijing and the list goes on. I know in Beijing they were in the hotel lobby, in the elevators and also knocking on hotelroom doors. My letter to the Sr. Marriott Executives went answered.
Typically it is much more discreet where you may see a guy go across the lobby with his special lady trailing behind him by about 10 ft. Also known as the "walk of shame".
In this case, it was an infestation. When they are laying out at the pool, you know it's gone to far. So much for a classy vacation with my wife....