This was the subject of the email I got from Marriott earlier this week. Really? "Broken image concerns?" Last I looked the link to Flickr was working just fine and that link took anyone reading the review to amazing images of the hotel and the area. See for yourself: California 2014
No, the real problem was with the images I attached. See, the problem with being married to a photojournalist is they document everything with a camera so when the guests before us left their dirty dishes outside our door and they were still there over 24 hours later requiring a call to get them removed--my wife took a picture. When they removed them for our door, but then placed them in the room with the ice machine--my wife took a picture. When we woke up to enjoy coffee on our balcony and saw the pool area was trashed below us--my wife took a picture of it. (Believe me, as bad as this view was for us imagine what it must have been like for the restaurant guests who were poolside having breakfast.)
No, I don't think there were any concerns with broken images. The real concern was the damage done when you see for yourself just how poorly managed the Pier South Resort in Imperial Beach is. The real kicker? No member of their management team has ever contacted us and responded to our concerns instead Marriott protects them by removing my review.
As for my review of their hotel. I've put it back, but I removed the images they were so concerned about.
BTW, I have stayed 136 nights in a Marriott hotel this year. This was my first review. I say this because while I should make a point to say something nice about the other Marriott hotels I stay at during the year, I must admit to only making time to say something about the one negative experience I've had. What's that old saying? Good customer service you tell 5 people and bad customer service you tell 25? I suppose that still rings true today.
Correction! Somewhere on this forum I did leave a positive review of the Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard. (Found it) We had a wonderful stay and will absolutely stay there again. Better yet, I would recommend it to anyone and for those people who want to complain about their slow elevator, take the stairs. Images from our trip here. As for San Diego, when we return, and we will, we will probably stay again at the Courtyard in the Gaslamp Quarter, downtown San Diego. What an amazing old building! Great service and conveniently located to everything we needed to get to. Find images from that trip here.
dth61 It is perfectly acceptable to take pictures of things you find at a hotel that are not up to par. If service is terrible and it can be documented, there is nothing wrong with that. If it was placed there maliciously to create a fake negative review that is a different story but who would do that? No one. The fact no one contacted you is pretty poor. I do agree that most people only/mostly share negative reviews instead of positive ones, I guess that is just human nature. I usually give glowing reviews when warranted, and usually don't post negative ones. I don't post negative ones for the most part because 99% of the time someone else has already posted something about that property and the same as above, people only post negative stuff so I leave it out.
We actually shared my wife's review, which is copied on the hotel review forum, with the GM of the Hotel and Marriott prior to posting the review on this forum with the images. We wanted to give them time to respond before we did. Marriott replied with the standard cut and paste. A week later, with no response from the hotel we posted the review here. It has been over a month and no one associated with the actual property has responded. We had forgotten about it until I got the email that the review had been removed earlier this week.
The issue with this hotel is with management at the highest levels. They are ill-equipped to give the kind of customer service we as loyal Marriott customers have come to expect. According to the local press, Marriott took a big gamble investing in the hotel because of its location. Reports further state that after partnering with the development group that built and runs the property, Pacifico Hosts Hotels, Marriott spent only 2-3 weeks training the staff. This lack of training is evident especially at the highest level of management. Our experience with the staff on site in general was very positive--as in they were very polite to our face. The problems we had were due to the management's inability to see problems and correct them. After leaving their complete lack of interest in responding to our complaints only reinforces our stance.
There are some personalities allowed to manage that just do not and cannot accept efforts of guests, initially, kindly pointing out when things are amiss. It has been my experience that these are the few incompetents who find it hard to truly grasp or even care what being apart of Marriott is. Sounds like the managers suffer from deer in headlights syndrome.
That is awful. The shame there is that eventually enough negative experiences will keep guests from staying there and the entire property suffers. The problem with that though, is if nothing changes, thousands of guests will have bad stays before anything is done about it. Not the best business practice IMO.
Well done, dth61. As ks77 aptly stated, the key thing here is "The fact no one contacted you is pretty poor." What I look for at any property is, when something goes wrong as it will occasionally, fix it as soon as you can. Removing the review doesn't do that. Addressing the housekeeping issues, as well as giving a sincere apology to the guests who were affected by it, certainly was in order here. I read your review and IMO it was a very fair one under the circumstances, especially since the hotel was a Cat 6.
Update: We did hear from the GM of the property. He says the original email was received, sent before any online posts were made, and the issues we pointed out were addressed. He then invited us to return to see the improvements first hand.
We appreciate the fact that he took the time to reply and we do hope the property makes the changes necessary to make it worthy of being part of the Marriott brand.