Just came back from Cayman Marriott. Overall - we had a really good time, but there were some negative aspects that affected our stay.
First, lets mention the positives. Staff (with exception of housekeeping) is really good. They really try to please you and make sure that you have a good time. Olga at the front desk, Davina at concierge desk, Mirna at the breakfast, Patrick and Neil at the beach... These are the people who I remembered their names, but there were many others who really worked hard to make your stay as good as possible. Food at the breakfast, lunch and dinner was really good. Kids entertainment probably one of the best we've ever had and we stayed in many different family resorts.
Few other points before I mention the negatives: Yes, we came during spring break and resort was completely full, but we kind of anticipated that. Beach chairs - if you want front row, you better either spend a night on the beach or came around 4 AM.. I was usually on the beach by 6:30AM and the best I ever got is the third row.. Hotel tried to enforce their "no reserve" policy by putting time stamp on the chair and if it is not removed within 1.5 hours, chairs become vacant, but I do not think it really worked. One day, was some kind of private event on the beach and after 2PM portion of the beach became non accessible. Beach is narrow, and its really felt this way once they put 5-6 rows of chairs close to each other... We usually tried to stay at the side by kayaks so we would not feel suffocated. I guess, during low season it does not feel this way.
Now the negatives... When we reserved the room, about 8 month in advance, we tried to get room with two double beds, but as the reservation went trough - this request says "not guarantee" and in fact, few days before we departed to Cayman Islands, we got an email that says - only room with king bed and pull out sofa can be assigned to us. The problem is - we are family of 4 with two kids, so this accommodation would not work for us. I reached out to Ingrid Chaves - I believe she is the Director of Operations and also usually actively responds to TripAdvisor reviews, but the only thing that was offered to us as an air mattress... It is really strange, as this hotel position itself as family resort and in fact has an outstanding kids program, but only has 80 rooms with 2 double beds? I mean, how uncommon to have family of 4 with 2 kids coming on vacation?. I would understand if it was an adults only hotel, or some kind of ultra luxury hotel like Ritz, but for this hotel is was unacceptable.
So at the end, we ended up with the cheap air mattress. My daughter was not very pleased with that and did not have a good sleep, but it is what it is. We did ask for roll away bed, or at least some kind of platform for the mattress (it was only about 6 inches deep), but we were told that nothing is available, and roll away bed would be considered as fire hazard for type of the room we have.... Request to give us a room where it would not be considered fire hazard was denied..
Now the housekeeping.... It was one of the worst I've ever experienced.. They did not even set the beds for my kids. Me and my wife had to move the table to the other side of the room so we would have space to place air mattress on the floor. And even when we called to prepare air mattress and pull out couch for the night, they just placed sheets and pillows on top of the pull out couch. I guess they expected their guests to set their beds? I even had to pull out the the couch, they did not even bother to do that. We had to call the front desk again to ask to prepare our room so my kids could go to sleep, but I do not think these kind of things needs to be separately requested in 5 star hotel? Turn down service? Forget it! Not even once. Extra towels? - we had to call every day to ask for it. Cleaning the room? We are not that picky, but it wasn't look like it was really cleaned daily. All in all their housekeeping was disaster even considering "spring break" excuse, it was unacceptable for such hotel. For the records - it was room 420.
At the end, they offered me some additional points for our "troubles" which I took (not nearly enough), but it still left the bed taste, from otherwise really good vacation. Will we return? Only during low season and only if we could guarantee the room with two beds. I really do not want my kids sleep on air mattresses.
It stinks you had an issue simply with getting the room type you wanted. You honestly should have been able to get a double room since you booked it. My only advice would be to reach Gold elite so your room type is guaranteed. There is monetary compensation for Gold and Plat elites if their room type isn't honored.
As far as housekeeping, that is pretty poor. They should have done a better job. Glad to hear your trip was still positive despite the issues you encountered. As you mentioned perhaps a non peak travel time would have yielded a better result but I agree with you that even during peak time you should still have a great experience. Thank you for the review!
So sad to read of your troubles. In fact I was actually hoping to read something good since out last stay in this hotel about two years ago was my last stay and it seems like our room number was something like 420 as well, 1 KING JR. SUITE that turned out to be nothing more than a room with about 10 more feet. The air mattress concept is completely unacceptable for any hotel let alone a Marriott property of this Category....stunning and sad.
I also had dealing with Ms. Chaves when we returned since out stay was less than what we desired, she was very difficult to communicate with via email, but did offer two nights free stay within six months of the time we had visited. That was unacceptable to me since one of the issues was a completely run down room in need of remodeling which was to take place outside of the six month window we were given.
This property does have poor housekeeping as well so you sealed the deal for me, not going to return to the Marriott on Grand Cayman.