I stayed at Marriott properties for nearly 6 months last year and over 100 days this year. The one time I stay at a Marriott for pleasure it finally dawned on me that Platinum status really gets you nothing. I just got in to the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco. It took the hotel 5 hours to get me a room. I am on the 7th floor (out of 40) with a view of the interior of the hotel.
Andy,.... That's not good news. I'm thinking of spending a day or two next week in the SF Marquis.... Can you fill us in a bit more as to why the wait for the room? When did you get there? Was there some major convention happening? Also, can you comment at all on the Concierge Lounge?
You should have gotten better service! Period! I did see your status update that you were wanting to check in early. Did they actually get you a room at least by normal check in time (3pm??) Did you inquire about a room on a higher floor; or a room with some sort of decent view? I'm also curious...is the concierge lounge open for the weekend, or did you get a free breakfast coupon? Hope the rest of your stay is better. After your stay, you can send a critique to firstname.lastname@example.org. they'll forward it to the hotel where hopefully someone will at least respond to you.
sounds like there may be something special going on in the hotel. It's pretty clear from many of the posts here that Platinum does get you something, but just not all the time. My experience tells me that I can go 20 times without an upgrade, then hit 5 upgrades in a row. I was just upgraded for the entire week to a suite at the Marriott Hotel and Spa in Stamford, Ct.
Don't they still have the separate Elite line?
Or was there a queue in that line as well?
Something Marriott might want to consider is letting platinum's go to the CL to check in.
One of the hotel chains allowed this.
I can't remember which one now, as it was a while ago, but I remember checking in at the CL for a conference so I didn't have to stand in line. Our company travel booked it that way, e.g. payed more for the room
Actually this would be kinda of nice, cause the CL would be in charge of all platinums
This makes the CL not just an optional service, but embeds it into the hotel operation. Sort of like how when you fly 1st class, they take your coat, bring you a drink, take your dinner order, return your coat for landing, etc.
1st class cabin attendants take care of 1st class passengers the minute they board, until they disembark.
I like the idea in theory, but in practice, I'm not sure I would care to shlep my stuff up to the top floor to check in only to go back down to my floor. Also, I've been to hotels where the Lounge was on the bottom level, on a middle floor, but most often on a top floor. Just doesn't seem to make much sense to me.
One of the best places to be upgraded to concierge level for an upgrade is the Atlanta, GA Airport Concourse Ren. The top 2 levels there can only be accessed with a card so it's a lot more security than most, even though I've never worried about security anywhere. It's also just a nice touch to make one feel special. My husband and I love to watch the planes come and go since he was once an aeronautical engineer and loves planes just as I do, so we have to ask for the concourse side since they try to upgrade us by giving us the quiet side. :-)
(I added the name of the hotel in Atlanta, as the Concourse Atlanta. I have no idea how the CY in Newark was even a possible match for Atlanta Ren. and couldn't get rid of it.)
Well that's interesting, jerrycoin. When we checked into the Marriott Marquis in San Diego in July it was in the Elite line in the lobby.... not the Concierge Lounge. Or are you talking about the Concierge desk in the lobby?
But this makes me wonder about something.... At the Ritz-Carlton South Beach I was checked in at the CL.... but only because I asked to be, since there was a queue in the lobby. I wonder if the properties with CL's could also do this upon request? I get the impression that they're not set up to do so.
Hotels in Asia understand service!
After traveling in Asia, its hard to go anywhere else as they spoil you so.
My 1st trip to Bangkok which was pre-Marriott days (no Marriotts in Bangkok yet) we stayed at the Bangkok Oriental which at the time was rated #1 hotel in the world. They picked us up at the airport in a Rolls Royce. The driver had a uniform with white gloves. He picket up our luggage and we never saw it again till it was in our room, pressed and in the closet. Since the family had previously traveled there, they knew the preferences. Food we liked was in the room, bath was drawn, and thai traditional massage was offered in room. (and we didn't get to the hotel till 2 a.m. having flown to Japan from the east coast, changed planes and then on to Bangokok.
There was no 'official' checkin.
This level of superb service is of course, all well and good (and expected and appreciated) at the world's number one rated hotel toward repeat customers. I've run service companies who were the industry's price leaders and whereas justifiably so,it raises client expectations, it's actually easier to run an organization that is expected to be superb, than a mid-brand competitor, it's reflected in everything you do (or you won't be doing it much longer) in your operating culture. What's most impressive to me is this level of service performance (meaning attitude, not invested costs - like a Rolls) at the Marriott, Springhill, even Fairfield Inn properties where the margins are tighter. I agree with Ark's assessment about the importance of service providers managing expectations, which is why it baffles me when Marriott does drop the ball on no brainer, low or no cost, slam dunk service 'recognition' gifts (like room placement on low occ nites, pricing accuracy and credibility, a check in within reasonable real time room cleaning, or even sacerdos $20 shipping fee).
Had the same level of service in the rest of my hotel stays as well in Asia. Even the smallest, local hotel in Bali, had a hotel taxi, that they picked us up and brought us to the hotel. There were no lines, checkin issues, or anything like that. We always felt like there one and only, special guest. They do this by having lots of well trained staff. There are 2 room stewards for every room. If you walk by their work station, you will see rows of lights that go on and of as guests leave their rooms, and they use to go into the room and make sure it is always in order. All things being equal (or least ballpark price wise), when I am in Asia, I will use the hotel providing service. Hotels not doing this in Asia, do not survive, or have only guests that need to stay there cause they only speak one language. I have no problem dealing with other languages and customs.
thats because the hotel industry in the states is much like the restaurant industry. in the states its a gig/job, where in europe/japan its a career where people enjoy it, take pride in it, and make more. in turn they are more genuine, and give better service making me want to come back again.
I very much agree; it is a curious situation. I cannot believe that MR/Marriott International aren't aware of the problem; it is much too "savvy" an organisation for that to be the case. I suspect the apparent incongruity relates in some way to the proliferation of "franchises, and the added pressure these create by virtue of the need to meet two profit targets - one for the owners, the other for MI itself.
I greatly enjoyed your "trip down memory lane". The names and images are so vivid, the language so evocative - how many these days would speak of "drawing a bath"?
Tempus fugit, it would be tempting to say. And yet is it as simple as that? The notion of "service" in Bangkok, for example, a city of ca. 20 million, does not appear incongruous within a growing, diversifying economy and an "emerging" (albeit with occasional interruptions!) democracy; and yet in my own city, Manchester - which nurtured the Industrial Revolution and, with it, many of the democratic and economic freedoms we now take for granted - the idea of "service" has a decidedly demeaning ring to it, and, as a consequence, standards are at best uneven, all too often depressingly low. It is a state that, I guess, owes much to the relatively lowly status of the "hotel, catering, and tourism" sector in our labour market. In most parts of Asia - though perhaps less so in China - and also Eastern Europe, it is a very different story. Perhaps the same is true of Central/Latin America - but I wouldn't know.
Enough. I fear I am rambling!
I must be dating myself!
Also, I have move around so much (10 US states, 2 European countries) and worked in global environments, that I am afraid my English has become a hodge podge of expressions. I must sound like one of those ex-pats mixing local lingo with English
Once when I was staying at the London County Hall, I had requested early check-in because I had an interview scheduled for 3pm. They did tell me to go set myself up in the CL (as usual from the East Coast, I arrived in London very early in the morning) and they would call when the room was ready. As the hours dragged on (and not having slept on the plane), I finally called down (for the second time) to see if it was ready yet. I got in at 2:45. Fortunately the first part at 3pm was only a phone interview because I looked terrible, but the BBC would not have been able to reach me at the hotel had I not called down again.
So the CL is definitely a better place to wait hours and hours than the downstairs lobby, but in a hotel as large as that one (for which I got a fairly standard room though have been upgraded at other times) you would have thought one room would have been available.
Though there are without doubt significant inconsistencies in the application of the MR scheme, I suspect that this is not the major cause of the dissatisfaction voiced frequently on this site; that lies not with the scheme itself, but with misplaced expectations of it.
Is it not a fact that reward schemes exist to retain customer loyalty at the lowest possible cost? To achieve this end, the most successful over the longer term (such as Marriott Rewards) operate by giving some tangible advantages, but only the appearance or promise of a lot more. Against this, it incurs a variable (but always small) cost which it can set off against the potentially huge asset value of a 30 million + customer database. Recognition of this not as deliberate dishonesty but as commercial reality would help many to avoid serious disappointment.
I remain, Prof, an ageing sceptic ,
All best wishes
Chances are they were recovering from Oracle Open World (it ran from the 30th - 4th). But you are correct, I stayed at that hotel and am a Premier Platinum. Being in the top percentage of Marriott guests doesn't get you anything either, so don't feel too bad. I also had to wait for my room, I didn't get the concierge lounge floor either. Come to think of it, I never get the concierge lounge and I have only been upgraded once in all my years with Marriott (when I went to India). I have a beef because no one notices that you are a Premier Platinum in the US - why have that special level if it doesn't get you anything. They lump you in with the Platinum's. So don't get your hopes up too high... the only thing you get is access to the lounge but not better service. Even if you make the top tier of Premier Platinum.
To me, this is the issue in a nutshell; if you are a top 3% customer for Marriott and you don't receive the recognition commensurate with your business volume, who does and where is the breakdown? Is it training, communication, lack of credibility in the program, outright lack of concern or most likely a combination of them all.
As a lifetime platinum who can't understand why a property wouldn't automatically place me on the requested mall side (half the building) rather than the noisy interstate side at a lower than 60% occupancy, I can only imagine the justified frustation of a premier profit contributor when the simplest no-brainers are bypassed.
In this case, I would be really unhappy, too. It's even worse than when we go to a restaurant when there are lots of empty tables and they try to get away with seating us in the worst area of the place. I can never understand why places try to do that and why a Marriott wouldn't try to make you happy by fulfilling a request like that.
For me it's always been mostly hit and miss. I "miss" during most stays and "hit" on occasion.
I was pleasantly surprised to bag a suite a few weeks ago at the JW Marriott in San Francisco (nice property by the way), but most stays this year have found me in conventional rooms, although the CL access is always great.
andymorabe Oct 5, 2012 4:47 PM
Andy, I have a question not regarding this at all, but did you tag your post for Atlanta, GA Ren.? I don't remember having seen it before but when I posted about concierge level rooms with that tag, it doesn't seem that my tags are being added properly but I'm wondering if my tag went to your post in some way? Strange if it's that way.
Sorry to hear about your experience. I must say that I have been so fortunate to get Platinum "Perks" on so many trips that I never expect anything, but always appreciate them.
Just having a CL is rewarding enough for me. For the balance of the year I am really looking forward to getting "Lucky" in upcoming stays.
I recently stayed at the CY Milpitas Silicon Valley and after asking if they were able to upgrade me they gave me a suite. It was nice for a CY. They slipped my bill under my door during the night. I like this.
The following night, I stayed at the Monterey Marriott and was given a corner room on the top floor. It was the size of a suite and very nice with a water view. They didn't have a CL but gave breakfast coupons on weekdays. I got one and it saved $20 per breakfast. They gave 2 per room. They appeared really happy to have me as a guest and I was treated very well. I also arrived early and my room was not ready, which was fine, I went out sightseeing and upon return my room was ready and they had been trying to reach me to tell me my room was ready. They gave me a nice letter recognizing my status and explaining what I was entitled to. They slipped my bill under the door and a newspaper was outside my door in the morning. This is not done at all the hotels any more.
I don't get this all the time and appreciated it.
I have stayed at numerous properties both domestically and internationally. In approximately 95% or more of the time, i have been recognized and upgraded. I have often been lucky and upgraded to a suite. It would be nice if the Marriot resorts would also include breakfast, which many do not.
However, this past summer, I was unable to obtain a room at a Marriott in Newport, R.I., so I decided to book a weekend room at a nearby Townplace Suites, in North Kingstown. Not only was I not recognized, nor upgraded, they were rude, unprofessional and not eager to make my stay memorable. I was placed in a room with a visible ceiling leak and an odor. I filed a complaint with the general manger and customer care at Marriott.
The bottom line is that nobody cared. I would never go near that place again.
I booked a room using my points for a friends daughter and her husband at the Renaissance in London. I called ahead of time and explained that she was not a frequent traveler etc. and asked politely if at all possible to get them upgraded with my Platinum Status. Not only were they upgraded but they were given a tour of the historic train station the hotel was attached to by the GM and had a welcome basket of fruit, cheese and wine waiting for them in the room. I will say that I have been exceptionally impressed with the Marriott service abroad compared tho the US. I have been treated well in the US but just not to the level of overseas.
I have a reservation at the Park Lane Marriott for next May. I sent a message to the GM telling him of the terrible room that I was assigned the last (and only) time I was there (and I was Platinum) and sought his assurance that I would be given a larger, brighter room this time. He responded immediately and assured me that this visit will be a different experience.
I'll follow up here after the trip.
I stayed there this summer!
They have organized tours twice a day, one at noon and one at 3pm. I believe they ask that you signup in advance. I did show up after the noon tour and couldn't make the organized 3pm tour. While checking in, I mentioned this to the front desk, and they did give me a very nice tour of both the historic features, and the more modern ones, like the CL which had a tricky lock, and the spa.
I have found the response to "Platinum, Elite" varies, however, in Curacao we were checked in with the Concierge and treated wonderfully and upgraded. The same goes for the Boston Renassaince (they allowed us in the CL and we weren't Gold") we also were upgraded to a suite in the White Plains Marriott when they were booked due to a sudden winter storm. I think that it is nice to ask and nice to receive upgrades. Those upgrades keep us booking with Marriott more than other hotels when we travel.
Having retired a couple of years ago my traveling days are not nearly what they were (120- 140 per year). Most of the time I was greeted with recognition of my Platinum Elite status and upgraded about 30% of the time Sometimes the upgrades were done by the staff beforehand but most times I asked for them. Through the years I was a member of most of the hotel rewards programs and overall I found Marriott to be the most cognizant of my status. I did hit the occasional Marriott property that treated in me in manner as described in the posts above but it was the exception. Sounds as though things are going south based on the number negative posts and if that's the case it's a shame as I think it's a differentiation for the brand.
It is good to see that Marriott is adding more hotel brands to the rewards selection. Most of my travel now is for pleasure and I always prefer smaller properties that have a local feel about them rather than the standard property. I have lots of points to burn on travel so I hope to find some jewels in the offerings. Anyone had any nice stays at the other brands being offered?
Sorry to hear about your stay. I love Platinum. I get free internet in every hotel that charges for it. I was in Mexico City - Reforma and I paid nothing for my internet and I got to use the consierge free. At this hotel it was an upgrade. It's so great to be Platinum that they have an express check in and check out in the Consierge Lounge.
Better luck on your next trip.
Hi Andy and Leftfoot,
I have more or less left Marriott (I stay only at the Athens Ledra these days when in Greece) because so many benefits were reduced or eliminated and rewards travel was both becoming more expensive, harder to redeem and with fewer perks. Instead, in my trips to Europe I have been staying at independent hotels (which I usually book on expedia, hotels.com, booking.com etc. I always get free internet and free breakfast (the latter for me is very important in Europe since it is usually so expensive), and now in Rome I have free use of a pool as well.
So I'm very happy having given up being other than an occasional loyalty member.
Well, I plan on reporting on every property I stay at on the CL and Breakfast situation, as well as doing a review.
Marriott EWR did not give me breakfast on the weekend, and is the only full service property doing this. When I told them that, they said its a property by property decision. Not only that but room service was lame but expensive, and they didn't upgrade me not because the room was not available, but it was not made up. They obviously think they have a corner on the market cause of their location and the shuttle bus situation, so I took off some stars from their review. I noticed that other reviews have noted the same thing.
Please see my review, and those of others.
My recommendation is the MI read these reviews, and vote them up or down if they agree or disagree with the issues, and if you have stayed at a property, write a review of your experience, and I would also note if it was consistent with what other reviewers found, or not consistent, so we will know if its a one-off situation, or a continuing issue to be expected by everyone.
This is just my opinion, but I see the most bang for your status levels at the Fairfield Inns that also have Suites. Look, as a Platinum you already get free breakfast at all hotels except the Courtyards (which I feel give you no rewards for status), and as a Platinum a lot of times you get bumped up to the Suites which are very nice and quiet. The Marriott in my area (Hoffman Estates, Illinois) gives you as a Platinum:
I guess it really depends on where you go / stay. It varies wildly from place to place.
Good review Andy, it's good to know what is out there.
Get used to it Andy...Today I was driving from San Diego to Phoenix with the family after bitching to Marriott about the crappy treatment I received the past few stays. They simply don't care and its really sad because many will leave to Starwood, Hilton, and Hyatt. Here is one for you - true story....My wife was trying to book a room five months out in Durango, Colorado this morning and the 'reservation system' told the Marriott rep that we could only use points for the first two and last two nights meaning the middle night we would be expected to pay. I asked, why is this the case - are you sold out and the rep said no we do not have the room available for points usage that night. We bitched more and were sent to customer care and the lady was a complete "Bitc.." Get this, I asked 17 times between four different people and over 2 1/2 hours who the EVP of Customer Service was for Marriott and not one person could give me the answer. That is the reason why Marriott is a joke and not worth staying at anymore for road warriors. Trust me, call Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood and send them your screen print of Marriott Rewards stays and points - all of them will grant you immedate top tier status. I have already done it....
I've had some bad customer service reps lately, too - very unprofessional, particularly one lady who was working from home and thought it was appropriate to tell me her life story instead of helping with my question. Ugh. Marriott needs to get some of these people basic customer service training and start monitoring calls for quality .
They are using a lot of home reps. Some of them are really nice and I wish I knew how to get them again. I suspect Mary in another post was one of these since she gave the number at which she could be reached. I got a number from a handicapped person who was working from home for that reason once, too. It's nice of Marriott to make that happen.
I know what you're talking about. I thought there were supposed to be no blackout nights for points, but Marriott is actually getting devilish in blocking nights so that you can't get the 5th night free, IMHO.
We had this happen to us a few times in the last 9 months we've been traveling as nomads while we looked for a home to retire to.
We've usually been getting good treatment with their thanking us for staying with them since my husband is PP. Amelia Island, FL RI was one of the best at giving us the royal treatment with a room upgrade, champagne, a free item from the market both times we stayed there that included gift items like a souvenir baseball cap for my husband once and a book about the island that I picked out once.
I was wondering what you'd been waiting for hours for at the hotel? Was it to check in or what?
Lots of times, there isn't a lot that CR at the 866 # can do because most of the properties are franchised or just cloaked under the Marriott name for management or something.
Yes, waiting to check in. I watched numerous others check in without an issue. I had a conference call to attend to, and ask if I could use an open office or conference room. I was told yes, but would have to pay the full daily rate of 200-600 depending on the room. I laughed at the rep due to it being a 1 hr call.