Residence Inn Tampa Downtown
I picked this property because I was cruising with a handicapped friend, and according to the website it had transporation from the airport to the property, and to the cruiseport. It also included breakfast, and as a platinum I was entitled to an upgrade to a 1 bedroom which I made clear when I booked that I needed as one of us would be using the bedroom, and the other the sofa bed. My friend is a Hilton Honors member and really wanted to stay at Hilton, but the combination of airport transportation, cruise port transportation, and breakfast included made this the better choice.
Arrived late as there was a medical emergency while we were in the air, and we circled in the air for over an hour while medical personnel on the flite worked on a passenger and stabilized them enough so they could sit down and we could land. So it was both a traumatic and tiring trip.
Once on the ground, I went outside to catch the Marriott shuttle which at all other properties runs on a regular basis. After about 45 minutes I realized I had better call. My cell phone was dead but Super Shuttle was kind enough to make a local call to the hotel which said there was no shuttle. Bought a ticket with SuperShuttle which had only 1 other passenger so they sent a limo to take us to our properties.
Upon arrival my friend was already checked in, and sitting up waiting for me to arrive. The sofa bed was not made up so I called down to the front desk and was told only 1 person was working at the hotel, the night desk clerk and that he could not leave the desk, and that I should talk to the manager in the morning. So I gave the bedroom to my friend, and I slept on the unmade up couch.
In the morning, in the light of day, I could see what an old property we were in and that it had not been maintained. Many of my favorite properties are older, but they have been well cared for. This one had not. It showed its wear. We got dressed and headed off to breakfast which was the only nice thing about the property as they served a wonderful breakfast. After breakfast my friend headed back to the room to make plans with her local friends to get together, and I headed off to see the manager, who was the most surly person I have ever encountered. Everything according to him was my fault. He offered no options.
According to him,
1) This property does not have airport transporation after a certain time, but my friend arrived at 2pm in the afternoon and when she called for the shuttle, she was told they no longer offer a shuttle. I pointed out that the website did not indicate that there was no transportation, but instead said there was, and that there was no time limit on it. Since my friend is handicapped this was a huge deal for her, and we would have most certainly picked another property had we known this.
2) Residence Inns do not make up couches into beds. I told him my favorite property in NYC is the RI on 6th between 38th and 39th and they always make up the couch into the bed, at anytime of day or night. I just call down to the front desk and they come up immediately and do this. One time my nephew arrived back to the property at 4 a.m. Even though he had his own room, he decided he wanted to stay in our room, so I called down, and someone was up to make up the bed within minutes.
3) I reminded him that I am not ony platinum, but lifetime platinum, and I did not have a particularly good night sleep and was in an exceedingly bad mood, but all he said was that it was all my fault cause there is no shuttle, and RIs do not make up sofa beds. He keept repeating this like the more times he said it, the more true it might be. He made no mention of options, how to rectify things going forward, etc. Really bad conflict resolution skills on his part.
At this point, I decided that not only was I not happy but I was wasting the 1st day of my vacation, and that I would just move hotels, which was absolutely the best thing I could have done. When I told him this, he wanted to then know what he needed to do to make it right. It was amazing that he was going to offer nothing until I threatened to leave. He offered better rooms, he offered to comp the rooms, but I told him I was leaving and that was that. He wanted to make the arrangements for me to leave, and I told him absolutely not, as I knew he would poison the well by calling ahead and tell them I was a problem customer.
So I went back up to the room, packed us both up, and moved us out (my friend was handicappted and could do nothing, and there was no assistance in the property, so I lugged it all down and hailed a cab.
While waiting in the lobby, he then offered to comp the room, as I think he wanted no trace a platinum had been there and left. He even comp'd the all room charges (phone calls, drinks, snacks, etc).
We moved over to the Tampa Watefront property that was truly lovely, and I finally felt like I was on vacation! My friend just said, oh yes, this reminds me of a Hilton! We had a room on a high floor, per my profile, with a great view of the waterfront. The front desk could not do enough. We both had friends coming to visit that lived locally but were not familiar with downtown Tampa, and not only needed directions, but also needed help when they got lost. The front desk actually talked to them the entire time until they found the property. Everyone loved having dinner and drinks on the Terrace, and plan on using the property for entertaining even though they live in the Tampa area.
As for how to fix this property, my advice is to get rid of the manager, and add additional hands on workers at the property so there is never just a front desk person, and no one else available. The property could also stand to be updated, but I have stayed in other older properties, and have never checked out because of this.
That is one "Horrible story"! Thank-Goodness, it had a "Happy Ending"!
You sure did the right thing in getting away from that place!
I had a similar, (Really my only really bad hotel experience) at The Townplace Suites, Louisville North!
This list of properties to avoid, is most helpful to all!
There are just so many wonderful Marriott properties!
Considering the many properties over the years I have stayed at as a lifetime platinum, to have only 1 stay that was so horrible I had to leave, is a pretty good track record.
And because there are so many wonderful properties, its just easiest to move properties to one that you will really enjoy.
Since that trip I now have a Plan B property, ready and waiting, just in case I have problems.
Yes, you are so correct. I have only had one as well!
I like to use your "Plan B" when traveling thru airports in the Winter. I book the hotels in case of flight cancelations, weather, or? I just have to remind myself to cancel by 6 PM if all goes well!
Atlanta, Neward, Chicago, Detroit (One of your favorites, Marriott Detroit Airport}, are "Musts" for Holiday-Winter travels!
Great idea to book a hotel when traveling through airports in the Winter.
Never thought of that.
Also, Indianapolis airport was actually worse in spring/summer with T-storms and tornedos.
If you can't get a non-stop, and need to connect, then Plan B hotel for connection city is a great idea!
My worst trip was in the following Property: Fairfield Inn East Rutherford Meadowlands
never again i will visit this property
see following pics.......
also was the aircon or heater or something we say to it, only heating and the room was hot like in the caribbean......worst
Cosmopolitan Las Vegas - a Marriott Category 7 Autograph Collection Hotel. Luxury, right? Neg. Actual experience: As a "mere" Marriott Gold Elite member, you can only get mediocrity that if you even dare to question, will only get you spiteful rudeness from the management.
I was there on business for a conference, so I arrived with only my laptop bag. I checked in, was acknowledged as a Gold Elite, but was told that complimentary upgrades and free breakfast were only for Platinum Elite's. I explained to them that Marriott Gold Elite benefits include either concierge or club lounge access or breakfast vouchers, but they said they have never extended these privileges to Gold Elite members before. All right, fine, so it's breakfast on my own. More choices, hoo!
Late afternoon. Checking into my room - it was tiny, not a suite, and quite noisy. I had specifically requested to be far from the giant external HVAC fans, but they put me right above, in the west tower. There was also an issue with the bathroom fan. In the early evening, with the HVAC being automatically turned up, the noise got to be unbearable, causing me a horrible migraine, so I had to request a room change.
I was told that there were no rooms on higher levels available, only ones on a lower floor, even closer to the HVAC. I then asked if it's possible to go for an upgrade, if that might be a better location. "That'd be $50." As Gold Elite, I've stayed in upgraded rooms at over 20 different Marriott and Ritz Carlton properties, but I have never been charged for an upgrade before. There's always a first in Vegas. Considering that I was in horrible pain from the noise, I said yes.
The first room change was to a balcony suite, apparently the next level up from a regular room. The bathroom fan was fine, but the bed was right next to the balcony windows and Planet Hollywood was across the street. There was significant street noise. I told them almost everything was perfect - except the noise from the strip! Better sound insulation or higher floor?
Next room, same general layout with the suite bed next to the balcony. East Tower. The problem with the side facing the city center interior is that we are now facing a gigantic HVAC system from either the Aria or Vdara! I explained the situation with the HVAC, but this was to another rep on the phone who wasn't familiar with the initial issue that I requested a room change for. She put me through directly with the night manager, who told me that she couldn't offer me another room change.
I guess I was stuck with the room with a bed I couldn't use - at least it was larger, so if I stayed far from the window, near the sitting area, I would be far from the HVAC. I then tried to settle in, ear plugs, couch pillows. Unfortunately, I then started noticing a lot of defects with the room.
First, browsing through missing amenities - they still have the "Pillow Butler" listed in the guest book, but apparently they discontinued offering those select pillows a year ago. Considering that I was going to be sleeping on the couch, due to noise from the balcony next to the bed, the body cushion pillow sounded great, but alas, the in-room amenities book was a year out of date.. There was a boxing lesson listed as well, but apparently the coach was out until January. Sad things to find calling down. So far they've failed at everything. (I stayed in late November.)
And then I tried the tub/shower. Disgusting marks on the tub. Big gaping hole in the wall between the bathroom and the living room. I wondered, what was there to keep the steam from filling up the room? I tried turning on a lamp (it was a bit dark), but the lamp was broken. Called to request lighting, and to ask about the bathroom and living room hole in the wall.
They sent the night engineer up. He told me they were out of the blinds separating the bathroom from the living room, and they might be out of light bulbs for the lamp that was broken. He looked in the bathroom and found that the vanity mirror was broken - I didn't even get to use that even. He told me that this room was not in a condition meant to be sold and offered to request a room change for me, when I explained the night manager had said she would not allow for another room change, no matter what the state of this room. (In hindsight, did she mean to put me in a broken room, out of spite? How scary and unprofessional.)
When the night engineer called, stating that there numerous defects, including a missing blinds that they don't currently have in stock, the manager was rude enough to ask if I had taken it. (This was on speaker phone. The phone volume only worked on speaker.) That's right, instead of taking responsibility for putting a guest in a defective room, she would blame the guest - a frail 5'4" woman traveling with only a small laptop bag - for stealing an 8' bathroom-living room blind!
It was ridiculous. I wish they would review the security tapes or something if they think I could have done something like that. These unbelievable words coming from someone who was supposed to be trained in hospitality, was witnessed by the night engineer, who was the one who initiated the call for the room change. The night engineer apologized for the night manager's misbehavior, after the call, and agreed that her insinuation did not make sense.
I was downgraded back to the West Tower, and they said they would comp the upgrade. It was apparently the West Tower, somehow facing the City Center again, so there was the same HVAC issue. I was too tired to complain. At least the blinds were there, this time, so that the incompetent and spiteful night manager wouldn't accuse me of stealing ANOTHER pair of 8' blinds in my TSA-carry-on-under-the-seat-sized laptop bag.
I was later charged for the upgrade, anyway.
And, unfortunately - a month later, after having to dispute my bill just to find out what else they charged me for - I was also charged for minibar expenses I could not have possibly consumed. I have medical complications where I cannot take alcohol. I wish they would check their inventory. I wish they would have their night managers pass basic hospitality tests. I wish that they could trust their security department a bit more to at least ask them if they saw a guest with a tiny laptop bag trying to steal an 8' long window blind! I wish they could get their billing straight. I wish they could fix up the rooms, get rid of the dents in the corners - it's amazing how cheaply built the place is that it'd fall apart like this after just about a year or two of service.
Too much to ask for?
Other Hall of Shame threads:
Two Inch Cockroach Joined Us at the Lexington New York City
We frequent many Marriott Manhattan hotels, and decided to try out the Lexington (Autograph Collection) hotel over the weekend of June 6th, 2015. We were greeted as Platinum members upon arrival, and promptly provided a room. The room was small, with a king bed and modest bath. This wasn’t a surprise, as many of the old New York hotels have small rooms, though whenever we stay at the Marriott East Side for example, we get upgraded to a larger room. Shortly after our arrival, we walked by an ice machine, and noticed the floor around the machine was soaking wet. Little did we know, this would prove to be a bad omen for events late in the night.
The lobby was pleasant, with a bar area, numerous tables and chairs, and a 2nd story balcony overlooking the lobby. We had drinks at the bar one evening, and found the service to be prompt. There is a Starbucks adjacent to the lobby, always a plus from our perspective.
Unfortunately, that evening, we were joined by an unwelcome guest. Around 3am, my wife yelled, “There is a giant bug in here.” Awaking from a deep sleep, I expected to find a small spider, which would be readily removed. Instead, I saw a huge cockroach, comparable to the size I’ve seen in the Caribbean, easily two inches long (possibly three). My wife turned on the light, and the cockroach raced toward the bathroom. I was surprised how fast it moved, but using a bath towel, was able to snap it into submission. Doubting anyone would believe how large it was, I put it into a paper cup and covered it with plastic, so that I might display the beast at the front desk in the morning. I understand that New Yorkers refer to these as “water bugs” as they gravitate toward water, dampness and humidity. My wife said she was willing to sleep in the room (and request a new room in the morning), but around 4 am I noticed that the light was still on, and she was “sleeping” in the chair, one eye open, awaiting a return visit from another unwelcome guest. We decided to wait until the morning, to request a new room.
The next morning, I brought the cockroach to the front desk, it was so large, it more than covered the bottom of the cup, and looked closer to three inches in length. The front desk associate was taken aback, grabbed the cup, brought the beast back to the manager and returned. It’s important to note that the front desk associate returned, but the manager did not appear. The associate apologized, changed our room, and said the manager would deposit extra points into our Marriot Rewards account. I thought this was a gesture of good faith, and considered the matter closed.
On June 25th, I called the hotel and spoke with Virginia, a front desk associate. Why did I call the hotel? When logging into my account to check on my upcoming Marriott (Vienna, Austria) reservation, I noticed the Lexington Hotel did not deposit the cockroach points into my account. Virginia apologized and said she would speak to the manager to make sure the points would be deposited. She also said the manager would call me. I asked Virginia who the manager was, and she said she wasn’t certain of his name, but thought it was Johnny. I thanked her, dubious that anything would ever be done.
We’ve been loyal Marriott guests for decades, and overall think their service is very good. From the casual and comfortable lodgings in St. Croix, to the nicely appointed Marriott in Moscow, to the beautiful Costa Rica Marriott in San Jose, we’re typically very happy with the comfort and service provided by Marriott. However, the Lexington Hotel has fallen short in both lodging and customer service. As of today, I haven’t heard from “Johnny” or anyone else at the Lexington. Will I stay at another Marriott in NYC? The answer is yes, but definitely not the Lexington. They really need to get the bugs out of their systems, figuratively and literally.
I recall using a major name (Hertz or Budget) and was satisfied. We initially tried a local company company which might have been Olympic, and were not pleased. My understanding is that the prices are all the same. I'd suggest using whichever major rental car company you like. That said, you'll be on island time, so service is lethargic at best.