My wife, nine year old daughter and I stayed at the Wailea Beach resort in mid-March 2009 for an eight night stay using points. Although the resort is nicely done and sits on a spectacular stretch of beach, the service in many areas fell short of expectations.
Our room assignment at check in failed to match the guaranteed room reservation or my Platinum profile. We eventually ended up with a partial ocean view room.
The lobby has a grand staircase that offers a spectacular ocean view and is the main route to/from the lobby and the majority of the resort. The bad news? The top of the staircase has been designated as a smoking area. We had to walk through smoke on numerous occasions. What was management thinking when they made this decision?
Food quality at the two restaurants was good but the service was very inconsistent. We stopped using the breakfast buffet because of the poor service. The Kumu bar and restaurant was quite understaffed. We ate most of our meals at other area restaurants including the other hotels down the beach.
The spaces in the hotels parking garage are extremely narrow and would barely accomodate my mid-size rental car. Additonally, the room key failed to operate the garage gate mechanism properly forcing you to leave your car and return to the front desk for a new set of room keys.
We encountered an adult male ______ing on the sidewalk near the Kumu bar/pool one evening as our family returned from dinner at 8:00 PM. I went back to the Kumu bartender to tell him of this situation and was told "I'll take care of that". No apologies were offered.
I mentioned to a front desk representative that this property offered limited specialized services to its Platinum guests. Her answer was that all guests are special. A good "official" response, but it made me feel as if my past 26 years of Rewards membership and Marriott patronage was of no value.
After our return, I sent an email to the hotel's general manager. Ten days have passed with no response from him or anyone on his staff. Customer service does not appear to be a priority at this hotel.
We chose the Wailea Beach resort because of its ranking in the top tier of worldwide Marriott Hotels but we did not receive the experience we expected. I wish that we had chosen another Marriott property to use our 185,000 points.
It is likely that on our visit next year to Maui we will choose another hotel brand.
It's regrettable to hear that the Wailea failed to meet your expectations. I share your disappointment about the conditions and lapses in service you and your family experienced while on vacation. The Marriott Smoke-Free Hotel Policy is very clear and direct * and went into effect 3 years ago. Wailea's non-compliance is extremely offensive to hear about.
You did the right thing writing to the GM. You can leverage the lack of response to your advantage and negotiate a partial if not full refund of 185,000 points. Consider this approach as a boilerplate, and feel free to improvise:
Customer.Care@Marriott.com will acknowledge your e-mail and assign a reference #, stating a response back in 3 to 5 days. At the 3 day mark reply to that message requesting an update. Continue to e-mail and request an escalation path. Ultimately, this will lead to the Executive Office of the Wailea as well as the Executive Office of Customer Care in Salt Lake.
As you author your e-mail, consider reviewing the Platinum Elite benefits and incorporate that into your narrative along with the fact that you are charter member of the rewards program that launched in 1983.
Let us know your progress. Good luck!