I´ve spent a two night stay at the Renaissance Bochum Hotel, Germany, earlier this summer. During check-in I was told that there was no lounge and that I was entitled to breakfast in the hotel restaurant. My wife joined me for the second night and we had breakfast in the morning.
The hotel charged the second breakfast arguing that the Gold Elite benefit would only be valid for the member and not a second guest staying in the room. According to the hotel this was in line with program rules.
There was no manager present at the hotel at 11am on a Sunday so I had no option other than accepting the charge.
A number of emails later the hotel was willing to refund the breakfast charge but still argues that breakfast for one was in line with program rules.
A call to customer care resulted in a 1000 MR points as sign of good-will.
I am still confused as the rules state breakfast for two: https://www.marriott.com/rewards/member-benefits.mi
I am also highly disappointed about how both the hotel and customer care dealt with the matter as no one to this day has clearly stated to me what the official rules are and if I may expect breakfast for two or not. 1000 points seems stingy for an issue where - as far as I understand - the hotel charged me inappropriately and it took me quite some time to get the money refunded. There were also other issues with the hotel so I will avoid staying there again.
My question to you: Has anything like this happened to you? What can I do in such a situation at the hotel? Provided the rules posted at the site are correct, how can a property like the Renaissance Bochum be forced to follow the rules?
I am still irritated that Marriott will tolerate such individual "interpretation" of the program rules...
This is another case of "being right is overrated". You were/are right and yet it still turned into a headache requiring additional effort through phone calls and e-mails just to get things ironed out.
I have had similar situations where a front desk associate did not know a policy (gift cards, welcome amenity, points etc) and did what you instinctively did, sought out another, more knowledgeable associate, which so far, knock on wood, has always resolved the confusion. I haven't experienced what you experienced, where the entire hotel was wrong in implementing policy.
We have often discussed in this forum how it is a 'property by property' world out there (fortunately, often to the benefit of the traveler, with the property going beyond the threshold policy), as far as making a property follow at least the bare minimum, to me, that's between Marriott and the property. I'd inform Marriott like you did, share with others the problem hotel (like you have, thanks) and move on. IMO, we have plenty of other travel issues to watch out for personally (keeping track of passports, cell phones, chargers etc ) to lose any sleep over whether Marriott enforces a policy with a hotel we don't plan on utilizing any more. Thanks for sharing.
erc I think you are right. Even though every employee or "associate" can't possibly know every policy backwards and forwards, they should have a solid grasp of how the elite system works and how those perks should be handled. I always applaud when an associate gets in contact with another associate, supervisor, or manager in order to not only resolve the issue at hand, but become educated on it and avoid the same issue going forward. Now, when that issue pops up again, boom they know exactly how to handle it.
I'm with you. It's ridiculous that something that is a basic part of the program the front desk doesn't know, and it's also something that MR Cust Svc should be addressing w/ the property (not just Bochum, but definitely Bochum since they're still insisting the policy is for one) to educate them.
I would never eher spend a night there. My wife should pay too.
As compensation I got 10k points from Marriott Rewards.
Is very annoying. Customer Service Germany told me that the breakfast for my wife should be included too. That was in April. They will never learn.
thanks for your comment. I will certainly not stay there again. There are good alternatives in the area.
You must have been lucky to get 10k points. I received a "good will gesture" of 1000 points.
While the points - however little - aren´t much of a compensation anyway I´d appreciate if Marriott would sort out this hotel. I have had good experiences at other Renaissance hotels, but this location brings the name in discredit.
Ok, I posted on the Bochum thread on Flyertalk, asking if anyone had any updates on the property and/or experience with the brekkie for one vs the two that's supposed to be provided.
So based on this reply I'd say warning, warning - steer clear of the property if you can avoid it.
"It is a terrible run operation. No recognition for elite-members at all, and a terrible attitude from GM down to quite a few staff-members with sending out insulting eMails to this PP-member after Corporate got involved. I stopped staying there due to this despite my project still running pretty close by and now stay at the DUS Ren - while older the service and attitude there is so much better that it makes up for the additional 30 minute commute by train.
P.S.: Be aware that the CY's in Bochum and Gelsenkirchen are run by the same management, so these two found their way to my blacklist as well."
Well, here's another twist on the elite brekkie being for one person only. Had a report on Flyertalk yesterday:
Miami Beach / Winter Haven, Autograph Collection / NO LOUNGE; Cont'l breakfast is for TWO people - that is, ONE breakfast for TWO people, not one cont'l breakfast per person. It's 2 slices of toast and 3 mini croissants; OR you can apply $7.55 per person to something else on the menu.
So basically each person gets 1 slice of toast & 1-1/2 mini croissant. That's hardly in the spirit of the elite breakfast. communitymanager, any input or clarification on the policy & if this is compliant with Marriott T&Cs? I thought it was one cont'l brekkie for elite & one cont'l brekkie for the elite's guest in the T&Cs, not split a cont'l brekkie.
On a different note, we've got a report that the Renaissance Ashville NC has an executive lounge but doesn't serve breakfast in it/it's not open until evening. Elites need to go to the restaurant, which on the one hand would be good if it was a full brekkie. But instead they get to stand in line to be seated, and are limited to coffee/juice & danish. So a simple dash into the exec lounge for a cup of coffee or cont'l item turns into a 30-minute situation with the restaurant. The explanation was that doing it this way brought it to Marriott's standards/policy. Uh, I don't think so. Sounds like the GM just didn't want to staff the exec lounge/serve brekkie there.