I have seen a number of instances of criticism of the virtual concierge in the past few months. So I would like to redress the balance by sharing what has happened to me in the past few days.
A couple of months ago I made a reservation for 2 nights at West India Quay, London. This was a bargain rate, room only, pay in advance. I booked online, but when I checked about 4 weeks later, I found the booking had been upgraded to a Studio Suite with Executive Lounge access, which amazed me at the price I was paying. Admittedly I am a Gold Elite, have stayed in a Studio Suite in the past 12 months, and also have a Studio Suite booked for 5 nights in December (using points and paying for an upgrade). But to be upgraded so far in advance, at the rock bottom rate I got was incredible. I honestly expected us to have a room overlooking the bins.
Our trip is imminent, and a couple of days ago, I got an EMail from the "virtual concierge". I asked for my usual extras, a high floor and extra feather pillows, and mentioned that Mrs Tommo has a birthday while we are there. I got an automated response acknowledging my requests.
But to my surprise, I subsequently got a personal email from the hotel. I have disguised personal details as anyone can read this forum, but it said:-
"Dear Mr Tommo,
Thank you for choosing the Marriott London West India Quay Hotel and Executive Apartments for your stay commencing on the **** 2014.
Please be advised that your request for high floor and Mrs Tommo's Birthday have been noted and a nice room has been allocated. The Extra Feather Pillows requested will be placed in your room prior arrival.
Mr Tommo, thanks again for contacting us and for choosing the Marriott London West India Quay Hotel & Executive Apartments.
If there is anything else we can do to make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable, please feel free to contact the Guest Relations Team at firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> / firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> or +44 2070931000
We wish you in advance an enjoyable stay with us.
Now, that's impressive folks!!!!!!!!!
That's an excellent story with a terrific outcome. You have just highlighted why most of the recent criticism about the Virtual Concierge is that several properties have stop using it (this is not to be confused with the 45 character - make your request upon making a reservation). As your successful story indicates, this was one of the customer service features that often worked quite well. Hopefully, the properties that dropped it are outliers and not the wave of the future, because it is/was a nice touch. Glad it went so well for you - that's what it's all about.
Thank's for sharing such a wonderful experience!
Have never been to that hotel, but it sure sounds very "Classy"!
You might enjoy this photo:
The Tower is fascinating!
Yes, it is stunning. I think I have said before that I used to work round the corner from the tower, and we often used to have our lunch in the summer sitting on the seats at the tower perimeter.
The ceramic poppies are really special. They have been added gradually by volunteers for weeks and weeks, and are filling the moat at the Tower of London. It is very poignant and moving. By Armistice Day there will be over 888,000, each one commemorating a British fatality in the first world war. Then they will be removed and are being sold, with some of the proceeds going to service charities.
Here are some pictures taken from the internet.
Now that's the kind of customer service we should find at all Marriott properties.....bravo!
AND a merb sighting as well.......great stuff.
Exactly IAHFLYR! Look after the customer, and the customer looks after you! At the moment I feel that Marriott is looking on me as someone special. Every Marriott guest should be made to feel that way, shouldn't they?
I will report back on our stay when we get home.
As to the merb sighting. Yes, I am doubly blessed.
That is a great outcome. I have had similar success at the San Juan Marriott & Stellaris back in April. I was upgraded from Ocean Front to Ocean Front corner room on the 19th floor and it was fantastic. I checked in on the app ahead of time and I arrived about 1PM. Once checking with the front desk the room wasn't ready yet but about 20 mins later the app alerted me my room was ready and about 30 second later (as I was walking from the pool to the front desk) the front desk called to inform me it was ready. It was great. The penthouse level CL was awesome as well.
Funny how we all get different feelings about places brightlybob. WIQ has always been very good to us, and we have never thought of it as anything other than a super hotel. On the other hand, we have stayed at County Hall and were not impressed. But jerrycoin cannot speak highly enough of it, so his experience of the same hotel is excellent. I guess personal experience counts for a lot, as the mixed reviews for any hotel on Trip Advisor will confirm. For instance we also love the Marriott York, both for it's position and service. Some other reviewers slate it, which we cannot understand. Which only shows we all have different expectations - and none of us is wrong!
After my praise of West India Quay, London earlier in this thread for their personal contact following my response to the Virtual Concierge, I thought you might be impressed to know what happened when Mrs Tommo and I arrived. Remember I said that I knew before we arrived that we had been upgraded to a studio suite? Well, it got better & better.
The lovely young lady on reception welcomed us warmly as returning guests, which made us feel that our custom was really valued. But imagine how surprised we were to find we had been upgraded to a Curve Suite! The top rooms in the hotel. Separate bedroom, lounge and dining area, and a huge bathroom with a separate shower. Absolutely lovely.
On Mrs Tommo's birthday, there was a knock at the door of our suite. There stood a member of staff with this!
We went to see the poppies installation at the Tower of London. There has been a lot in the press about the crowds, but we had no problems. The hotel is right next door to West India Quay DLR station, and is only a 5 minute ride to Tower Gateway, which is right opposite the Tower. So we left immediately after breakfast. When we got to the Tower, there were quite a lot of people, but nothing like the crowds the papers have been showing. We walked right round the Tower and took lots of photos. There was no crush when we were there, but I can imagine it got bad later. Here are a couple of photos I took.
And finally, the hotel also had a pumpkin carving competition for Halloween. The various departments within the hotel had carved their pumpkin, and guests were encouraged to vote for the best. Such good fun. Here they are.