Hi Everyone. So, we stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott in Ocala, FL on our wedding night. We booked 3 weeks in advance, which I had switched from a different property's reservation simply because this property offered a "Romance Package" option. We checked in at 8pm, and went to our rooms (The best man was with us in the room across the hall). As soon as we walked in to our suite, the musty, mildew smell overwhelmed us and my husband stepped on a couple cockroaches. He asked me if I wanted to change rooms and I said no because it was 8pm, and I just wanted to get the dress off and into normal clothes. So we turned the a/c on and closed the curtains, went into the bedroom to find that there was no Champagne and Strawberries. So i called the Front Desk to tell them there were no strawberries and Champagne in the room. So the agent from the desk said he was unaware of the romance package and would check and call me back. So we went to the best man's room to check it out, and then offered him to come see our room. When we walked in, the phone rang and the agent stated that yes, we had booked the package and the co-worker was bringing it. She knocked 10 seconds later and brought it in on a tray and apologized for the mix up and stated that "The GM left early and hadn't told them there was a package on arrival". (I work for a company that owns several Marriotts, this is obvious on the guest's reservation profile if you check your daily arrivals, so it was just overlooked). We said it was ok and thanked her. She gave us a voucher for breakfast but didn't tell us the hours, so I assumed breakfast would be til 11am, but of course in the morning it was over at 10. We changed clothes, then opened the bottle, and there was no pop. Checking the label we saw it was in fact Chardonnay, not Champagne. So we tasted it and it was not what we wanted. So we opted to go to the bar next door at the other hotel (Where or original reservation was). Came back, and there was still that odor, so we lit some candles we had gotten as gifts, and sprayed some cologne spray. In the morning we received our bill, went down and changed cards on the room and stated what had happened with the package, and the agent at the desk (Different agent) said "Yeah, no one ever books those, like maybe 2 a year. So we aren't used to it." Ok, no resolution, or "Sorry you didn't get the surprise you booked for your wedding night, even though you alerted the reservation stating it was your wedding night". So we checked out and left. 2 days later we get a bill with a $250 charge for smoking in the room. Really? We were only there like 14 hrs. And it WAS our wedding night, we were a little too busy to smoke in the room. So we called about it, and were told we needed to speak to the GM. Left him a message. No response. Called 3 more times that day. Finally got the AGM. Told her about it and she said "YEs, I personally verified the room smelled like ILLEGAL SMOKING, and there were several guest complaints about the smell, we couldn't pinpoint where it came from. The smell was so strong we had to take down all the curtains and deep clean the upholstry.. etc" I told her that was ridiculous because we don't smoke. She said she smelled it herself. I insisted we don't smoke but she wouldn't budge. I explained that I work for a resort and I am a Front Office Supervisor, and I know not to smoke in a no-smoking room, and I don't even smoke. But at this point, it's her word against mine. So I told her, fine, here's the issue with the package. Explained about it not being placed in the room, despite the alerts. And then they brought Chardonnay not Champagne. Her rude response was "Yes, I am the one who took it to your room, and it was MY call to upgrade you to the higher tier bottle of Wine above the Champagne to make up for the issue, and if that's NOT what you wanted, you should have told me THEN." Well, I was a little pre-occupied with my wedding night, getting undressed, settling in.... Anyhow. So, once again, no apology, no concession.. So I said "If you're adamant that that is all you're going to do for me, I'll just contact the Manager. She said "Go ahead.". So I contacted Customer Care. They gave me a case number and apologized and told me the GM is obligated to address the issue and if I do not receive a response, to let them know. And if the response is not to my liking, to let them also know. So 2 nights ago I get a response from the GM. Basically putting it out there that the AGM insists that we smoked in the room. (Once again, I'm not a smoker, and I am not that dumb, working for a resort). He states specifically "There was an obvious Marijuana smell in the room. Now we are not going to accuse you of doing anything, but we will not remove the fee". Oh, I don't feel accused at ALL. I mentioned the issue with the Champagne and he states the AGM took care of it with the Chardonnay, I told him it wasn't what was ordered, so of course I expected Champagne not Wine, as we don't drink it. He sends another email "Well, I am crediting your card $55 for the wine so you can continue your celebrations for your wedding night." that was really snarky, sir. I told him in response that working for a company that owns over 120 different properties and a great percentage are Marriotts, we would be ashamed if any of our staff, let alone members of upper management treated a guest this way when THEY made the mistake, not the guest. There was no response. So, considering that I am a rewards member, and I still haven't gotten my points for the stay even though I Booked through the marriott rewards member site... where do I go from here. I plan on contacting customer care again, and if I don't get the response, I will go through our property's owner since he owns enough Marriotts, he should have some pull. I'd hate to do that to them.. but there are more professional ways to handle something. And if I need to submit to a drug test, i surely will. This is ridiculous. Horrible way to treat a Rewards Member, or guest, and especially on their wedding night.
Sounds like a very frustrating night, arnettfamily133. I'd like to pass this along to the appropriate team to review. Would you mind sending me a private message with the dates and property details as well as your Rewards number?
I'd also like to welcome you to the Insiders Community. As you may have alreayd seen, this is a great forum to talk about all things travel related. From recommendations and experiences to getting the most out of the Rewards program, we cover it all. I'm carat and I am one of the moderators here along with lindseyh and deannad. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to any of us, we're here to help. I've also included a link to our Getting Started Guide, just in case you'd like to take a look.
Looking forward to hearing more from you.
I agree with phctourist that it is very probable that someone @ Marriott will make some sort of agreeable amends with this situation. There are so many issues detailed in their post that are distressing. I will comment only on the one issue that is a passion of mine - broken promises.
The Marriott Brand is promise to guests. Period. A promise of a standard. The very foundation of this promise starts with a clean and fresh room. Period. Traveler reviews have repeatedly called out dirty rooms, bad smells and stained carpets @ this hotel as far back as September 2011, with these same concerns popping up consistently throughout 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015.
It is puzzling, but immaterial, to me that mixed in with these reviews, are travelers or @ least "reviewers" that were completely satisfied with the conditions. Doesn't matter. The manager's responses to reviews often mentioned that the hotel needed a remodel and had one slated in May, 2014, but are now, in fact, scheduled for one in early 2016. Well, that's just fine if you were not one of the dozens of travelers that already stayed in the past 5 years and complained of roaches, mold, mildew, odors, dust, mustiness, bad smells, stained carpets and dirty rooms.
So, will the overdue remodel really happen in early 2016? I guess we will see. Did the pretty, newly remodeled Lobby & Bistro make guests feel better about the unacceptable conditions in the hallways and in their rooms? I would say absolutely not - I have always seen this as a true "cart before the horse". If you can't remodel/update the entire facility, then put your first attention to where your guests are laying their heads.
Why the apparent lack of urgency around updating older properties?
First off, congrats on your marriage and best wishes for many years of happiness. I was saddened to read your wedding night issues, and the reposes from the property and how you were treated. I have been married for almost 25 years and remember the hotel we had our wedding night in, and we did not experience any of the type of issues you note.
I suggest a few things:
1. write a letter to the GM at the property and spell out all of the issues. Send it via registered mail and ask for a signature to verify receipt, that way it cant be denied it was received.
2. If you captured the names of the people at the property you dealt with, include them, since it is important to note who you interacted with and what they did to address your topics
3. Constrictively ask for your refund of the charge you indicate is unwarranted
4. Dispute the charge with your credit card company
5. Find out who owns the property and send them a copy of your letter, the owners of the property need to know how the employees they pay are treating guests
6. :leave feedback you feel appropriate on Tripadvisor
7. From my own personal viewpoint I never stay at a Courtyard, ever, period. I suggest you think about why a Lifetime Platinum Elite would ever offer such advice. Suffice it to say that this property which was once referred to as the Hotel for business travel designed by business travelers is not on any itinerary I have ever, period.
8. If you work for a franchisee and they have some pull, use it, in a judicious manner. don't ask them to do battle for you, but rather, ask them to get you to the right person at Marriott HQ that handles this property so you can relate your issues to the right person in a professional manner.
Best wishes and I hope you find resolution and marital bliss, not necessarily in that order
I stayed at a Hilton in Cairns that was similar to this. The stench mildew was overpowering. Of course that's a difficult problem to control in high humidity areas.
One thing that seems to happen with me is that while normally all my stays are perfect, or close to it, when something goes wrong it's like the universe has stored up all the minor problems that didn't happen on previous stays and dumped them all on me on this one. One after another after another.
Good luck getting some compensation. Hope it works out.
Wow, that is amazing. I know that property well and actually like it as I stay there on a personal night after a couple days of business at the Univ of Florida. The pool area has a "resort type" feel. I had an issue once where they charged me for an extra night even though I had cleared to leave a day early. A call to the hotel did not work but a case with Marriott got prompt resolution.