Had reservations at the Fairfied Kalamazoo East to attend soccer tournament with my daughter and her team. One look at this property...I was on the phone with Marriott trying to switch my reservation with another property. Can't beleive Marriott would allow their name to be associated with such a dump. The Hotel (or should I say Motel) is beyond outdated, rundown, and tacky. It is one of the old buildings with outside enterance doors located next to a vacant building full of truckers parking for the night. Very questionable area.
I was able to switch to a Residence Inn down the road...however the other 16 families had a terrible experience.
Marriott....do you have some type of quality control? Maybe some Marriott employees should try this place out for themselves. This place needs to be retires and sold to some "no tell motel" chain!!!
Any Marriott properties that you stayed at that would cost Marriott their reputation and brand loyalty?
A fine topic for sure. Places that we've stayed in the past which would qualify have most likely been remodeled or I hope they have.
Biggest dump was Boston Long Wharf back in 2011, the place smelled like a ski lodge and over all horrible carpet, bed and just about everything else....maybe it has been fixed.
I imagine some of these older properties are limited in what kind of renovations can be made. You're not going to start knocking down walls (too expensive). If you cannot effectively renovate, then I guess you have to try and sell the property. Quite a dilemma for Marriott if they can't unload the property. I guess if they're franchises Marriott can stop them from using the Marriott label.
The Fairfield Inn in Chattanooga (Shallowford Village DR. was the same thing. They are proud to be one of the original 15 Fairfield Inns with that design. I think they then sold the design to Quality Inn. I filled out a survey expressing my disappointment. No response. I wrote to the hotel group that owns this franchise. No response. I even mentioned it to a Marriott Rewards CSR and it didn't seem like a big deal to her either. I guess they feel you will just forget about your disappointment. I sure wish a warning would pop up when you book the reservation that this is an expensive Quality Inn. That would keep us from feeling the way we do after seeing these types of accommodations. We have been happy with all of our other visits with Marriott, though.
Marriott's CEO made a very telling comment last week, in the context of the company's move to the NASDAQ exchange.
His point was that one of the key strategic changes Marriott Intl was in the process of introducing involved moving away from the "standards-led" business model it had always followed - and which many believe was the origin of its success - towards a more decentralised model in which individual establishments would be allowed more latitude to determine their mode and style of operation; and, by implication, their adherence to universal standards and the costs attached to these.
I noticed that same issue as we move to a market by market, if not property by property approach - even more of a reason to keep Insiders alive, to report back on any significant outliers, favorable or unfavorable to the traveler.
Here's the article arkwright was referencing (as thoughtfully shared by anadyr )
Here's the article on the move to NASDAQ;
And here are some Cliff notes about that move (including the article about the move to NASDAQ):
Provided to Insiders in tribute to Sy Syms and his educated consumer.
merb this is why IAHFLYR is anxiously awaiting the cleansing of the Activity Board, so we can run on all cylinders, with folks from around the world, like Ark, Klaus, et al. contributing. Keep on keepin' on, you're getting close to getting it back
It's a Secret Society and you weren't invited .
No, just in case you're not busting my chops and I accidentally mislead you, what I meant was the actual word ACTIVITY like you see above in the upper right corner in blue Activity / Communications / Alerts.
When I click on the Activity link it takes me to the list of the last 25 or 30 posts (recently, often 20-28 Reviews). So when I say cleanse the "Board", I just mean clear out the mind-numbing reviews and go back to the previous way of having Discussions/Posts etc. This makes it easier to follow discussions, which creates more participants, which generates more ideas, which helps us (or at least me) optimize our travel experiences as well as in my case, relieves me of the tedium of deal finances, estate planning (hopefully quite awhile before checking in at the big hotel in the sky) and adult children discussions about health care insurance!
Andy and merb have informed us that good changes to the forum format are coming and unlike BOGOs where good ol' Michellel was hung out to dry by the suits, the media team probably actually has authority over the Insiders forum, so I'm optimistic we'll get back to the previous format which provided invaluable travel insights (not that it doesn't now, but it's IMO, far less efficient than before).
Back to thorpy's post - Not to sound pollyannish, but I cannot ever recall a property stay where I felt the performance was so bad that it was harmful to the Marriott brand, even when I was a butt in bed Platinum (meaning 75+ nights, vs. credit cards and rollovers). I've certainly had some mediocres where by just being 'average' it was a bit of a disappointment, but I've been very pleased with decades of stays (knock on wood). It's the boys and girls at Intergalactic that concern me!
Erc and Pained,
Changes to the forum (including separating out the reviews from the 'recent activity' widgets) will be rolled out next month sometime. I've previewed the changes. The look and feel of the navigation will at first appear (perhaps dramatically) different, though easy to adjust to, while more importantly the core functionality (everything that we can currently do) will remain the same. At this juncture, current navigation words like 'create' and 'communications' will be replaced by 'post' and 'inbox' respectively, but again, the core functionality is the same. Hopefully the changes in their entirety will enhance navigation, and perhaps most importantly for many, include the ability to exclude those pesky hotel reviews (pesky, yet a useful tool when you want to utilize it, but only when you want to utilize it.)
Happy Sunday and hope you are enjoying some nice October weather. Since I live in an oven from June-Sept, I'm in weather heaven right now.
To the topic at hand, here's a few that were questionable for me...
At $62/night, the very outdated FFI, Branson, MO with it's broken water main was questionable, but it didn't affect our room or our breakfast and we could hardly complain about the price, though we did switch to the Willow Ridge Vacation Club after that, with their fall deal of 35% off for elite members, and a very nice place. (I'm not a Branson fan and will not be returning.) Does this FFI diminish Marriott's reputation? Perhaps a bit, but then again, if it's a bargain you're after, maybe not.
We could hardly complain about the bargain 101 euros/night at the Imperial Riding School Renaissance in Vienna, Austria, but it is a property riddled with lots of problems, which I delineated in my review. http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/reviews/20695 I won't add it to this list however, but only because it is due for renovation, and I have high hopes for the outcome. I will not stay there again until after the renovation.
Monterey Bay (and Carmel by the Sea) are fantastic places to get away. (Some lucky ducks get to live there full time, but I won't mention any names anadyr in order to protect privacy. ) At over $200/night, I found the Monterey Marriott to be disappointing. The valet parking is overpriced, and self parking options are not really doable there in the downtown area. While the room was nice, we were greeted by the broken leaning floor lamp of Pisa, and no mini fridge. There was no CL, and no complimentary weekend breakfast was offered, so we booked the breakfast rate, which was a fair deal, and the restaurant did serve a nice breakfast with great service. Our elite membership was acknowledged by way of the front desk handing us an envelope enclosed with a Xeroxed letter of thanks. I asked for an upgrade and we did get changed to an ocean view. Still, we won't stay there again. I expect more from a full service Marriott. Is it worthy of being put on the list of properties that compromise the reputation of the Marriott brand? A matter of personal opinion, I suppose. Though not a place I will return to, I would say no, not quite. And btw, for $150-$175/night, we can stay at the Los Lobos Lodge on Ocean Avenue in Carmel, large suites with fireplace and balcony for people watching, free parking and complimentary breakfast served in the suite. There are also other similar properties in Carmel that provide the same nice offerings as well. No Marriotts in Carmel. Monterey Marriott is the only gig in town. Salinas, 17 miles inland - 20 minute drive - has a Courtyard (but no more Courtyards with 'beastro' for me), and the breakfast at the Res Inn next door has gone downhill (plus both properties categories were bumped up to 5 - not worthy - last May.) It's non-Marriotts for me in this area now. Life's too short (and getting shorter by the minute) to sacrifice a quality experience for a few extra reward points that are ever subject to ongoing inflation.
I stayed there about 3 years ago and I can only say I wholeheartedly agree with you. I was there in May and the A/C was not functioning -- or when it briefly did it sounded like jackhammers -- and it took most of my stay for them to fix it. Meantime, with the windows open but the screens not properly attached, I ended up with all kinds of flying bugs in my room. My cat would have liked it but I didn't. By the end of my 4 day stay most problems still existed -- it was a horrible room, and back then I was Platinum Elite.
Since I go to Kalamazoo almost annually for a medieval conference, I've taken to staying at the Radisson downtown, which also means I don't have to rent a car since they have shuttles.
The problem with franchises is they can do whatever they want until people stop staying there.