A letter to the General Manager of the Marriott NIagara Falls describes our stay:
Mr. David Searle
Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel Resort & Spa
6740 Fallsview Boulevard
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada L2G 3W6
Dear Mr. Searle:
I am writing to provide feedback to you regarding my family's recent 2-night stay at the Marriott Niagara Falls.
Prior to our stay, I had contacted you (via email, fax, and phone message) regarding this trip being our celebration of my 2 young children's birthdays, and wanting to make some requests in order to make this stay special. We are longtime Marriott Rewards members and have in the past been acknowledged as such and received such upgrades and special attention when available, realizing of course that our requests could not be guaranteed and depended upon availability. I confirmed that such requests were received prior to our arrival.
Suffice it to say that we received no such special requests, with the possible exception of one, and that only upon our asking at check-in. Our stay was from Tuesday August 11 through Thursday August 13 (and the hotel was by no means at full capacity). Upon checking in, I was told by the desk agent that "I have a nice upgraded room for you, which is larger and has a fireplace." I thanked her and expressed my appreciation, at which point she told me that the charge would be $30 more per night for such a room. Disappointed, I declined the offer. At that point, I reminded her of my having made numerous communications in advance of our stay for special room requests, and was told, "Ok - I can put you a few floors higher." This was graciously accepted. At that point the desk agent asked me the ages of my 2 chldrren, which I happily assumed implied that some recognition would be made of their birthdays during our stay. Unfortunately, this never happened. In fact, aside from the room floor upgrade which I requested after declining to pay for a better room, there was no recognition whatsoever of ANY of the other requests which I had made, or of the fact that my children were here celebrating their birthdays. What a huge disappointment. I must say that at one point I even called the front desk to inquire about this, reminding them of my communications prior to arrival, and was curtly told, "We gave you a higher floor" (with the implication being "Be happy with what you got").
Prior to arriving in Niagara Falls, we stayed for 6 nights at the Sheraton Centre Toronto, also in celebration of our children's birthdays. We had made similar requests of them prior to our arrival. In response, without so much as our needing to say or request one thing upon arrival, we were upgraded to a Parlour Suite on a Club Floor (with daily complimentary breakfast and evening hors d' oeuvres, as well as free internet usage), baskets of candies and balloons were sent in the room for my children, fresh flowers were brought into the room, and numerous calls were made to us by hotel management inquiring as to our stay. What a difference compared to our treatment by the Niagara Falls Marriott.
Another aspect of our stay which you may want to be aware of concerns our having gone to the "Information" desk early in our stay to ask for information and guidance as to how to begin exploring the area. My wife and I have rarely been treated as rudely as we were by your staff member "Barb," who upon realizing that we were not interested in buying a tour from her, told us that there was nothing she could do to help us other than devote 5-seconds to making a pencil sketch on a pre-printed map telling us how to get to the Maid of the Mist. We asked about discounts, including on dining, and was told, "We have none in this area...this area is very expensive." Needless to say, Barb's response was not only rude, but incorrect, as we found all of the information we were looking for, including discounts (at restaurants such as Tony Roma's right across the street!), from someone else. What a disappointment. I recently read a "TripAdvisor.com" review of the Marriott Niagara Falls entitled "Nice view, nothing else" and I must, unfortunately, agree wholeheartedly.
The final insult during our stay occurred at checkout. Upon arrival, I informed the hotel that I had Marriott Gift Cards for payment, and was told that I should simply present them at checkout. "Simply" soon became nightmarish, as your desk agent had no idea whatsoever how to process these cards, resulting in his contacting someone else and ultimately in a 25 minute checkout process (at 7:15am, with no line whatsoever at the front desk). Is this really possible in a 4-star Marriott property?
My family and I had numerous hotel choices in Niagara Falls, and in fact had reservations at both Sheratons as well as the Embassy Suites. We decided against these based upon our history of exemplary treatment as Marriott Rewards members. I must state that we now feel we made an error, and that there was not one part of our stay which made us feel even the least bit acknowledged as Marriott Rewards members. Prior to writing this letter, I wrote a letter of thanks to the Manager of the Sheraton Centre Toronto for his endless hospitality, and his truly making my family feel special during our stay. I only wish I had such words for the Niagara Falls Marriott.