I've been on a 2 week family trip, staying at a range of mostly Marriott properties. All of them except the Fairfields have had bottled water in the rooms for guests. I'm currently staying at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Ithaca, NY, and the tap water is HORRIBLE. I'm also a Gold member, and had thought that Gold members were customarily provided with 2 bottles of water gratis in the rooms. Could someone let me know if this is a FFI policy? As I recall, the FFI in Great Barrington also didn't have water in the rooms. When the going rates for FFI's are $250 plus, it seems ridiculous to try to economize (from a management perspective) by skipping the water in the rooms. Come on, Marriott, you can do better for your guests. And I mean all guests, not just elites. Especially when the local water is bad. Next time I might stay at a Sheraton instead.
I think it just depends on the hotel. And many of the reviews on TripAdvisor say that you had to pay for water at FFI if it was in the room. Most of them a warning as there was nothing to say you get charged for opening the water, and people had opened it and been charged.
I always bring a few bottles of water with me when I travel. I never know if the Marriott I will be in will offer free water. It also cost less at a convenient store.
Sign up for a SPG account if you go stay at the Sheraton. Then you might get some sort of credit when Starwood merges into Marriott.
no water listed under features.
Thanks for the helpful suggestions. Actually we do normally bring water with us, and/or bring any bottles provided from a previous hotel with us for ensuing stays if we're on the road for a while. But we'd just run out when we got to Ithaca.
Also, I do belong to SPG too, which is why I made the remark about Sheratons. Like Marriott, they do seem to provide bottled water at many properties, though I've not been to a Four Points in a while. In any case, it seems both chains are renovating and/or building fancier properties even at the lower end of their respective brands, and there is definitely price creep in locations where other hotels charge more/there's more demand, e.g. Ithaca and Great Barrington. Shocking that these two FFI's require 30k points for one night, or over $200. Actually the going rate right now in Gt Barrington for a Sunday night stay at the FFI is over $300!! Thank heavens I am eligible for a government rate, which is far more reasonable (and in the ballpark for what other FFIs used to charge, i.e. $110-120 or less).
Well FFI hasn't made it over to the EU, so I've only stayed once in Canada, but being Marriotts bargain basement brand I'd expect no extras. I don't expect bottled water at UK Travelodges, Premier Inns or Holiday Inn Expresses. I wouldn't expect them at FFI.
Mind you, the branding demarcation lines are becoming blurred, apparently in Manhattan there's a Cat8 $400/night FFI. How does that happen?
I guess the brand blurring is what is getting to me here. If FFIs are at the bottom of the food (water?!) chain for Marriott and the amenities are presumably more limited, then don't try to charge us the equivalent of a full service property!! I expect more when paying more. Granted, I was able to get government rates, but I am also thinking of the going rate and what others are likely paying vis a vis the provided amenities. Seems to me like Marriott is trying to go more upscale and charge for it...which is fine if the amenities improve along with the room comforts/decor.
Incidentally I recently stayed at the Teaneck Marriott which has a great M Lounge. My recollection was that the going rate there for a room with lounge access (open 24/7, free non-alcoholic beverages including a Starbucks espresso machine, plus breakfast in the am and evening snacks) was less than either of the FFIs in Great Barrington or Ithaca. Crazy. But again it's probably what the local market will bear.
Well of course Marriott doesnt own the hotels and I don't think it manages any FFIs either, I'm sure all FFIs are franchises. So when it comes to franchises it's definitely about toe-ing the franchise line. And that line seems to be no bottled water! Rates notwithstanding. As a matter of interest I have a 17-night US trip upcoming in September and of the 16 Marriott-brands nights the FFI night is right in the middle rate-wise costing $130. I have 1 night at a CY that's cheaper, 1 at a SHS, 3 at Marriotts and 3 at a JW - Yes my 3 nights at the JW Downtown Houston work out, thanks to the special TIPPLE rate at only $119/night making a JW cheaper than a FFI.
Free water provided in rooms is not a brand standard in FFI.
As far as rates are concerned: it is summer. Rates are higher in seasonally appropriate locations. Higher rates are not equivalent to free water provision.
I have had water provided to me free in many locations where it was not a standard. But it is not an expectation when I know it is not the standard. It's a nice and welcome gift.
OT: check the same hotels during 'leaf peeper' season in the NE. Or $500/night for a RI in downtown areas during peak times. Ouch.