I recently completed a paid one night stay at this hotel, in an oval suite. This was the only room that looked to be big enough for my wife, young daughter, and I that also had a sofa bed. We stayed here the last night of our time in Italy; we had to get up very early the next morning to catch our flight home.
I contacted the hotel twice before our arrival to ask that the sofa bed be made up for my daughter upon arrival. I received confirmation that this would be done.
Upon check in, I asked about the sofa bed. I was told that they had it noted and should be ok.
We went to the room and found it to be hot. I assumed this was the case because it is one of those rooms that needs the key to be inserted into a slot to turn on the power for the room. We also found the sofa bed not to be made up.
We went out for some final sight seeing. On the way out, I stopped by the front desk to ask the bed to be made up for my daughter. I was told that it would be. I had thought the temperature thing would be taken care of when we were back for the night and I inserted my key in the slot inside the room.
A couple of hours later, I returned to the room to get a few things and found the situation the same. I stopped by the front desk again and requested the bed be made up now.
When we returned for the night, the bed had been made up...after two e-mails in advance and three in-person requests.
The temperature was still very warm in the room. An hour after we had been there and had the key inserted, it was still very hot. I started playing with the thermostat and found that there was no display on it at all. I assumed the digital read out was just broken, but I couldn't figure out how to use it.
I picked up the cordless phone next to the bed, referenced the directory, and dialed 9. No answer. I did it again. No answer. A third time. No answer. Then I tried to call room service to ask to be transferred, no answer. Again, no answer. So I made my way down to the front desk.
I told them that I had called down numerous times but no one answered. Then I told them that the room was too hot and the thermostat did not have a display. I asked how I could make it more cool.
The response I got was that they, the front desk, had to adjust the temperature. WTF?! So I asked them to do that. They offered to set it to 15 Celsius; I'm not good with temperature conversion but that sounded too cold so I suggested 19 (if it had worked, that would still be very cold I know now!).
An hour later after the kiddo had the bath, the room was even more hot. We put the kid to bed in shorts, no covers and she conked out. I again tried to call down on the cordless phone to no avail. So I used my cell phone to call the hotel, internationally...racking up charges. Yes I could have gone downstairs again but I hadn't got great results on my prior attempts to get things resolved. I got transferred to the front desk and relayed the information. I told them it was even warmer and asked that they make sure they lowered it, and to lower it even more.
About two hours later, I'm still awake. My wife finally fell asleep, and the kiddo is asleep as well. I make another international phone call because they don't answer the phones internally and told them it was still hot. They offered to send someone up at this point. I declined the offer. At this point, I wanted my daughter to get as much sleep as she could; I didn't want to wake her, and I didn't want to move rooms when they clearly had control of the temperature.
About ten minutes after that call, all of the power in our room went out. I figure they threw a breaker or something to try to reset the AC unit.
At 4:30 AM, I woke up and it was finally cool enough that I could cover up with the sheet and not sweat.
In the morning, I didn't even mother communicating this to the front desk staff. I was pretty peeved, and in a rush. I did send an e-mail upon our return and just got a reply back today.
That reply blew me away. It gave me a "sincere apology", followed by a "but all our rooms have the thermostat but without display as a choice of Management." WTF kind of four star hotel (or whatever it is) does that in Rome, in the summer? Absolutely ridiculous.
I had asked for compensation for the issues I encountered. I asked for specific monetary compensation. What I was offered was a "free upgrade in a beautiful suite overlooking Rome" on a future stay to make that stay a special one. <begin snark> I had actually wanted this past stay to be a special one, and that is why I booked one of those beautiful suites overlooking Rome. <snark ended>
I'm sure I did something wrong here, most likely not letting them come in at 10:30 PM or moving us to another room (which would have had the same insane temperature regulation issue). But really? They believe guests to be too stupid to set the temperature in their rooms?
I'm at a loss. Not once did I tout platinum this or lifetime that. (though they were nice enough to put a sign on the front desk letting me know that I was one of 59 plats at the hotel).
I feel like the response I got was a pretty decent sized F-you.
YIKES!!!! And I mean a big fat YIKES!!! We are staying there for one night on our last night of vacation as well next month. Really rethinking that decision at the moment. WOW. I hope you post all of this on Tripadvisor. They definitely care about TA reviews big time. Really sorry you went through this. What a sucky end to vacation...
Ask for a fan to be put in the room at mobile check-in (just for insurance), and address any unacceptable temps right away, as early as possible.
Well, the only reason why it occurred to me is that I ran into a similar situation once, only for an entire week! Stayed at the Rive Gauche in Paris, and our tiny room that we were given was an oven (in May), and the window wouldn't open more than a few inches. We went round and round with staff over the lack of A/C, they did try, but unsuccessfully and I felt, without much enthusiasm, and we even asked to be moved, but they were sold out. We also asked for a fan, but they said none were available. It was pretty miserable. I felt like a sweaty, sticky mess the entire week (I live out west, where the air is dry and am not accustomed to humidity). I stayed there again recently, and I'm quite happy I gave them a second try, because they came through swimmingly. Upon mobile check-in, I requested a fan for my room (this time thinking ahead), which they confirmed. Well, the fan wasn't in my room when I arrived, but they delivered one in short order, gave me a suite, and the A/C worked great also (in-room controls). So maybe give the GF one more try in the future before writing them off. I've stayed twice, both in May and June, and the A/C worked good in our rooms. If you let them know your concerns in advance, perhaps they'll try to give you a room where they know that the A/C works. (They must be aware of which rooms have good A/C and which ones don't... I'm sure you wouldn't be the only one to complain if a particular room/floor/wing is having climate issues.)
Regarding your post below, I didn't mind the location of the GF (except that what goes downhill, must come back up, lol.) Was not a fan of any of the eateries on Via V., but enjoyed some good ones tucked away on side and back streets.
Also, I have had the same thing happen (with people grabbing my luggage and then running off with it and then demanding 40€ for their 'services'), only in Naples. It was no fun. And they don't stop at that. While you're distracted in argument with them, be cautious of being pick-pocketed at the same time. It taught me to have no hesitation to be 'ugly' and aggressive right back towards these people if they get too close, I don't care what country I'm in or how badly I fear it might reflect on my nationality. Back off, Buster!
Same, snail. We were there for a week in April of 2014 and loved the place. Staff was very helpful and accommodating, the breakfast on the roof every morning was a huge home run and we just love the Via Veneto area, and stay in hotels around there every time we visit Rome.
My great experience doesn't make MDTravel feel any better, though, I am sure. No excuse for them not stepping things up and getting someone up there well before 10:30.
UGH! Ok, so I just cancelled the Autograph down the road for this one because for the same points, I was only out 30E instead of over 300E for a week. I'm going in the end of July, I hope I don't have the same issue or we'll be screwed, I cannot sleep when it's too warm in the room.
Maybe I should rebook the Autograph, anyone have any recommendations between the two of them? I've not stayed at an autograph so not sure what perks they extend for elite members.
Which one is that? I thought there was an Autograph on Via Veneto, but when I look online it looks like it is gone now? The only Autograph I see is the Boscolo in Piazza della Repubblica. If that's the one, personally at least, I'm not a fan of the area. The hotel looks beautiful and I've always thought when riding by it, but I just don't care for the area. Too much street stuff going on in terms of traffic and scammers in that area since it is so close to the train station.
Again, could have sworn there was one on Via Veneto when I was booking mine and I know there was at least a couple of years ago. ????
Was it the Grand Hotel Palace by chance? They aren't part of Marriott any longer, but I think they were?
zukracer Are you talking about the Boscolo Exedra Roma? If so, it is a beautiful hotel and 2 years ago we had a wonderful stay here. It is within walking distance of the train station(we never experienced any issues) Metro at your doorstep and within walking distance to major sites. We were treated to a wonderful upgrade on checkin(no asking for this), there was not a CL at the time of our stay, but we had breakfast in the restaurant every morning(it surpassed our needs). Much like any tourist area in Rome, you will get your transient population scattered about. Scammers...if you mean people trying to sell knockoffs well they are everywhere(even outside the Vatican). Much like any large city you must be aware of your surroundings and use common sense, but as for the area we found no issues walking at all hours and would definitely go back.
That's the one that I see; thought there was one on Via Veneto as well though.
My only experience with the area is when we stayed at the St. Regis (two or three times, I forget these things as I get older!) and walked from the train station, passing the circle in front of this Boscolo. We had several scammers. One scam (if that's what you'd call it) was more than one person coming up to us and trying to take our luggage as we pulled it along the side walk. I mean literally come up, put hands on the suitcase, and try to start walking and telling us it would only cost 5 euro for their 'service.' Then we saw people standing in parking spaces along the street trying to charge the people who wanted to park there. That was after we were at the train station waiting for a taxi and had a lady grab, literally grab, my wife's suitcase and take it to the taxi driver and then demand 5 euro. The area from the train station to the St. Regis made us feel uncomfortable. That may not be everyone's experience, but it's not for us. After more than a dozen trips to Rome over the last 10 years I know enough to keep alert, but this stuff wasn't the 'keep an eye open' type of stuff...it was 'be prepared to push people away' type of stuff.
Admittedly, this was also at a time in our lives when we were more budget minded. We walked everywhere in Rome...15 miles a day was a slow day for us. So we had a lot more opportunity to encounter stuff like this.
We didn't eat at the hotels for any meals, preferring cheap pizzerias and breakfast at the café bar. (We still prefer this actually but won't turn down a good breakfast buffet!). I had a difficult time finding decent places to eat in this area. We were there in the summer, so it was hot. Most places in Rome have very poor air conditioning (like the Flora!?) so we like to sit outside. The sidewalks in this vicinity are a bit too cramped to have a nice meal outside, in our experience at least.
The sites in the area that were of interest to us were limited in terms of walkable sites. We had Santa Maria Maggiore, the baths of Diocletian and the adjoining museum.
In terms of western chain hotels (Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Hyatt which has nothing in Rome) I personally don't find any of their locations to be all that desirable for seeing the sites. There is nothing in the heart of historical Rome, so it is either Via Veneto, the train station area, or outside Rome (Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott).
For us, Veneto is our choice if we're looking to stay on or earn points. We use Barberini, not Spagna when we use the metro...which is really not that useful in Rome. There are several cafes on Veneto on the walk from either the Marriott or Westin down to Piazza Barberini with large sidewalk seating areas. The park is right up the street. The Steps are walkable. For us, this last time, we made our usual walk even with our 6 year old daughter: down Veneto, to Trevi Fountain, on to the Pantheon, then to Piazza Navona. It can be bad in the summer, but she was able to handle it no problem. There is a Grom gelato shop at the Westin which we took advantage of quite a few times. The Café de Paris used to be our go to for breakfast along with a family owned café a block off Veneto. The bone church / crypt is also a decent thing to see every few visits. We can walk to the park, let the kiddo ride some rides, walk through the park, go to Galleria Borghese, and make our way down to Piazza del Popolo.
There is also a bus stop for the mini electric buses right at the top of Veneto. We didn't use them this time, but in the past used them to take a tour of the old part of Rome. They went around all of the major sites for the most part, and were a great way to burn time if it was raining.
Experiences vary to be sure. And what one person finds to be no big deal, another may find to be unnerving. So, this is just my personal (and my wife's) experience and feelings about the two areas being discussed.
Being there. This hotel is really amazing. I was there three years ago. I got a triple upgrade. My suite had a huge balcony, and the room was really charming, very up to date and chic. The bereakfast was complementary and excelent in any way. Its a pitty to see it is no longer on the Marriott's Properties list. Hope the new Boscolo can beat it.
Just an update. A moderator here intervened and indicated that I should hear from the hotel w/ in 48 hours. That 48 hours lapsed about 48 hours ago...my guess is that the hotel believes their initial reply to my email letting me know that it was the decision of "Management" to control the temperatures, and to apologize for the lapse of corrective action, and the offering of a "beautiful suite" on my next stay to make that one special, is their final response.
Room for free? No. Room at a discount? No. Generous amount of points? No. After two weeks, here is the response from the hotel. Keep in mind, the room had a non-functioning A/C unit, which even if functioning could not be controlled by the guest, and either failed to answer the phone 10 times or the phone was not wired right (though it certainly did ring). And this is on a paid stay (as in cash) in a suite. And all of this at what is supposedly a blah-star blah-diamond hotel. One more thing: You may have a good stay here. I've had good stays here. I've never had a great stay, but have at Starwood properties in Rome (bye bye to the awesome Westin right down the street once the purchase of Starwood is done...sniff sniff). But if you have a bad stay, here is the type of treatment you should expect to receive:
"Dear Valued Guest,
thank you very much to take your time, to share with us your experience.
We apologize that your recent stay was not satisfactory and appreciate your feedback. Please accept our sincere apology for inconvenience you may have with us. Our goal is to address your concerns so that we can ensure you have a good one on your next visit.
We would like to regain your trust and hope to serve you in the future.
Please do not hesitate to contact me personally for your next stay, to make your future reservation.
We look forward, we remain to your complete disposal for any further information you may inquire.
Front Desk Agent"
That came to me attached to internal emails sent by Marriott Customer Care to the hotel.
I am absolutely floored. I've never received such an absolutely lousy response for such a significant issue. Absolutely floored.
So, that was it? Their 'goal is to address your concerns so that we can ensure you have a good one on your next visit.' How did they meet their goal by addressing your concerns? What is their specific action plan? Or do you have to book a trip, travel to Rome and stay there, to finally learn how they will rectify your prior experience and satisfactorily address your concerns. That is a bit of a leap of faith - and an expensive leap, at that.
I loved everything about our stay at Grand Flora two years ago, but feel they are coming up small here.
Yes. The original email told me that on my NEXT stay I would be upgraded to a beautiful suite overlooking Rome. That was the same room type I paid for on this last stay.
Years ago, I had a similar email from them when our room (not the entire hotel) had no water for a day. When I tried to take them up on that 'come back and see me some time' offer I was told that there were no upgrades and they had no record of the offer having been made. It was then that I switched to Starwoods in Italy, where I have been treated absolutely amazing. Absolutely amazing. To the point that I wrote a couple of letters to the European Starwood exec praising the way their hotels are run.