Greetings fellow Marriott Elite members and I hope I am also greeting the staff of Mr. Bill Marriott in this important address in regards to the Courtyard Location in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 475 Yonge Street.
As a note, In calendar year 2009 - I have stayed 29 paid nights and 13 free nights at Marriott Properties, thanks to completing our 25,000 point MegaBonus. Also I have stayed 8 nights at Holiday Inn Properties, 3 nights at LaQuinta and 4 nights at Best Western - so that's 57 nights out of 108 - so 39% of this year so far I have called a Marriott Property home.
Tonight instead of enjoying my stay in Toronto on one of the rare occasions I have the ability to take a pleasure trip instead of a business trip - I feel incredibly compelled to share my experiences with fellow travellers and warn them of what they may expect at this Marriott venue; and also laud a few other locations that are doing the right thing.
I drove from Waukesha, Wisconsin to Toronto, Ontario on the afternoon/night of April 17th, 2009 - we arrived in Toronto about 11:45 PM and were tired.
When I arrived I asked if any rooms where available - I was quickly told that the hotel was almost full and all that was available were 2 double queen rooms. The attitude I was received by was one of frustration and the tone was succint and unfriendly. Myself now frustrated - I walked back to the car where I saw my sweetheart - extremely tired nearly asleep in the car . . . Having confidence in the Marriott brand and experiences that I have had before I walked back in a little reluctant but very forgiving - I told the staff that I would take a room and was quoted a rate of $119.00 Canadian. I also asked that the room have a city view and that breakfast be included and that the rate be adjusted accordingly. Secondly I asked if I could stay both that night (17th/18th) and also the night of the 18th/19th - I was told there were no rooms available - again frustrated I reluctantly agreed to stay one night - thinking I could book at the full service Marriott for the next night.
We took our bags out of the car and proceeded to the elevators at the north tower and pretty much fell asleep right away weary from our travels. When I woke up I went right online to the Marriott Rewards website and immediately booked a King Room at the very same hotel.
Reservation number in hand I went downstairs to speak with the manager on duty on the morning of the 18th so that I could relate the experience that I had the night before with the staff and how I was treated hastily; also how it was that I could reserve a King room about seven hours after I was told there was nothing available, and also to ask if the rate of $129.00 which I was charged actually included breakfast.
The manager comped us breakfast and adjusted the rate accordingly I was satisfied at this. We moved our room down one floor to have a king room instead of the double queen we had to settle on. At this point I thought that my Marriott experience was stabilized and that things were going to be great, I was wrong.
In the king room on the north tower - room 737 - we put our belongings down took quick showers and quickly went out to explore the town I even thanked the manager from the morning for all her assistance.
Weary from our long walks we returned to the hotel so that we could rest for a minute and then go to dinner downstairs at the Yonge Street Grille. When I sat on the bed I looked at the wall in front of me - the wallpaper was warped clearly indicating that the shower stall was leaking immediately on the other side - this had been the case for a while because I noticed a white substance on the wall which upon closer inspection was clearly a white mold that was growing on the wall. We decided to address this with the staff after our dinner - so we went downstairs to Yonge Street Grille where we approached the hostess who was quick to warn us that there was a party of ninety and that the wait was going to be about an hour and a half - the restaurant was clearly half empty and this is also the restaurant that provides in-room meals - we were extremely dissappointed by this since it was becoming obvious that the understaffed hotel was suffering in quality because of the lack of bodies to attend to the number of guests.
We decided to address the issue about the mold right away - the manager on the night of the 18th was apologetic - at this point we were ready to pack our things and go to the full service Marriott - he insisted that we stay and put us in a room on the opposite tower and offered to have bell services move our belongings from one tower to the other. We mentioned the ridiculous dinner wait and instead of the manager providing an "in-house" solution to the problem we were sent off site to Fran's Restaurant (Our experience at Fran's was horrid as well; the manager at the restaurant deducted $9.00 from our bill to remedy the terrible service and food preparation -- seems like we were really striking out here. )
All these experiences along with serveral smaller incidents which proved just to be more annoyances amongst the bigger issues such as waiting over ten minutes for our car to be fetched by the valet while the entire La Cross team got to leave and then later being told by front desk that a wine flute and wine cooler bucket could not be sent to our room after going down the bar ourselves later and fetching them without a problem after our horrid dinner.
So all in all - this was a "F" experience - we are now sitting here in our "upgraded" room which is smaller than our last room - but has the perks of a better view and a couple terry cloth robes. I warn you my fellow Marriott Elite Traveller - choose carefully when your travels bring you to Toronto.
Now that I have shared my terrible experience I would like to make some commendations about several wonderful Marriott properties that I would recommend to all my fellow Marriott Elite Travelers . . .
Here are some A+ properties we stayed at in calendar year 2009:
Marriott - Lake Mary, FL - Phenomenal experience from the time I entered the door to the time I left, if you visit Central Florida stay here - it maybe a few more miles to Disney - but you will not regret it. I stayed here on business. The Governor of Florida (Charlie Christ) was staying here as well on the same night as us - so clearly he must know about the service level of this hotel. - We were treated as I think the Governor himself would be that night.
Fairfield Inn - Wilson, NC -- This is an amazing little Fairfield - I tell you the service level here was really impressive - I might as well have been staying at a full-service with the level of service the entire staff displayed right down to housekeeping. - This is a great hotel to stay at when travelling down I-95 between Virginia and South Carolina.
Courtyard - Middleton (Madison), WI -- We asked ourselves is this really a Courtyard? We stayed here on the romance package and were received very warmly - our room was phenomenal - and the breakfast was amazing - this whole stay was exactly what I would call a Marriott Experience - good job.
Honorable Mentions go to these hotels:
Courtyard - Barefoot Landing - Myrtle Beach, SC
Courtyard - Dadeland - Miami, FL
Marriott - Schaumburg - IL
SpringHill Suites - Colonie (Albany), NY
Back to the Courtyard Toronto nightmare . . .
It seems that the hotel has posted 6,000 points to our account which is a nice token but really not a direct answer to what has turned out to be more a hotel management trip than a vacation - but tomorrow morning I will be addressing this with the manager on duty, let's see what the response is - I'll update this post to see how our extreme dissatisfaction is dealt with. Until then steer clear.
- Loyal Elite Marriott Members
Fellow Marriott Elite Members,
Just to update you - the hotel manager comped me the following morning for the stay on April 18th/19th - The room upgrade was ok still nothing phenomenal. I will say however that Breakfast on both mornings was exeptional - (upon request, we were given breakfast as a concession, due to the experiences).
So a free night stay and 6,000 bonus points is how the Courtyard Toronto decided to remedy the stay. I was glad to leave - I ended up staying at the Marriott Cleveland Airport in Ohio - and let me tell you what a difference - that was a phenomenal stay.
It appears the manager for this hotel is new and she is trying to make a difference - so let's give her some time.
- Fellow Marriot Traveler