I confess that normally I am a lurker, I have been for years now. I enjoy all the debate and the conversation and the tips and tricks for how to find the value in my Marriott Rewards program. As a gold member I am not as awesome as those who spend many more nights a year at Marriott properties and I also confess that I am loyal to other programs at the same time.
I was all set to send in my fifth message to Marriott regarding one particular stay when I thought maybe I'd try posting here and see if anyone else had similar experiences with a property. We took a wonderful trip to Europe this summer with our youngest two children and we enjoyed many nights in beautiful Marriott properties that either met or exceeded our expectations. Then we arrived at the Edinburgh Marriott in Scotland. We picked this site over many others because 1) it was a Marriott, 2) it would have a concierge lounge and 3) it would have a room big enough for the kids to spread out. The room rate was not fabulous (because it was still high season and because the currency conversion zinged a bit) and there were other locations in the same area, closer to the Royal Mile with much lower rates. Nevertheless we booked and I checked in online on September 1st. I arrived and after settling in the room I went off to find the executive lounge to grab a drink and a snack. My first surprise came when I was informed that effective that day the Lounge had been closed and would not reopen. Hmmm...not impressed particularly not impressed when I had asked Marriott by phone and by chat if this property had a lounge and was assured that they did. So, being a positive person I let it go and they gave me 2 coupons for a free drink at the bar and said they would "offer a generous 750 points in place of breakfast now that the lounge was closed" hmmm thought that was in the fine print of the elite program as a guarantee but if it is a generous offer in their mind that compensates for failure to deliver on the product promised, okay, fine I didn't say anything and went on my merry way. We had a number of issues with the first room related to an air conditioner that was too loud to be able to sleep or even have a conversation and we had to be moved. No problem, **** happens so we move. We encounter a number of other issues, mostly minor, ie. bathtub drain plugs, wonky internet, loud housekeeping, you know first world problems that really shouldn't irritate a person. But at the end of the stay I looked at my husband and he said "Do you feel like we just paid $800 to stay in a Travelodge on rte 192 in Florida?" And I have to say for the first time in a very very long time I stayed in a Marriott and almost nothing met my expectations and I was... disappointed? Is that silly? It's just a hotel right? It was clean, it had a bed and a pool. What was my problem? Silly me, I was actually disappointed by a brand??
So we moved on to another Marriott back in London and it was AWESOME. Arrived home and like always I watched to make sure the points posted to my account for all of the different hotels we stayed in and one after the other they posted and I checked them off. All but guess who? Excellent guess if you say The Edinburgh Marriott. So at the 10 day mark, I fill out a missing stay form. Nothing. Three days later I chat with Marriott online, again Nothing. Then I chat with Marriott again, followed up with an email and the points post today. But lo and behold no "generous 750 points per night for the missing breakfast". Surprised? No. Frustrated? Definitely.
So, have any of you had an experience with this particular hotel? Or did you ever just have a stay where you walked back outside of a property to make sure that the Marriott sign actually was on the property because your expectations and reality were just so far apart?
Thank you for coming out of the shadows to post, but sorry it was to let the community know about a negative stay! I'd like to share your comments about your experience at the Edinburg Marriott with our Customer Care team, and also look into getting you the missing points for the lounge being closed. If you send me a private message with your Rewards number and either reservation number or dates of stay, I'll get right on it.
Thanks, and we look forward to hearing more from you about other experiences
Will do this right away Thanks for being so quick to respond. I wasn't sure if posting was a good idea or if it looked whiny. I have had lots of amazing Marriott experiences. I say that as I am sitting on a Marriott bed in a lovely room after having been greeted with the normal Marriott welcome
rebeccakirahannah - thanks for sharing your post. I am sure you've come to the right place to both share your story and get some remedy to the situation. I, like you, lurked on this site for years for many of the same reasons. Your perspectives are no less valuable than someone spending 200 nights a year in a Marriott property. It takes all of us to form the community, so I do hope you will come back and share again. We'd love to hear about all those other Marriott stops that you enjoyed so much too Thanks again for sharing!
Thanks for that reassurance. It's hard to come out of the shadows and into an existing community where everyone already knows everyone, at least virtually. 99% of the time when I email Marriott it is to give kudos to staff who have gone out of their way to deliver the "WOW" factor, I feel bad that my first post wasn't about them rather than a post based almost entirely on frustration and disappointment. My future posts will be more positive I hope! Thanks again for the welcome!
Hi rebeccakirahannah and welcome to the board. Hope to see much more of you in future..
I've I've stayed at the Edinburgh Marriott several times for work as it's a short bus journey from the airport and my working venue is a short drstance from it.
Its it's an old property that could do with a refresh, and the pretty decrepit AC can be noisy in some rooms, though because it's Scotland they're seldom needed! Over my stays I've sampled toilet handles falling off, missing sink plugs, power sockets that don't work, dodgy heating and battered furniture. Upgrades are rare. But the bed and linens have always been spot on and I sleep soooo well in the Marriott bed.
The exec lounge is excellent and is normally open 7 days a week so you were really unlucky to encounter a closure, I assume caused by something going wrong in there. It's a real pity as the lounge is particularly excellent, great food choices, lengthy free alcohol hours and great desserts. The breakfast in the lounge is very good too. And yes, I'd be really disappointed if it was closed on one of my stays. But really, honestly, I'd only choose the Marriott for work or airport stays. Edinburgh has much better Marriott options.
If I was visiting Edinburgh for a romantic stay I'd choose the elegant historic Dalmahoy Marriott which has a pro-active policy of upgrading elites and if I was going for the famous city centre historical attractions I'd choose the wonderful Glasshouse Autograph which also has a policy of actively upgrading Golds and Plats. Pay the extra £5pp for the great hot cooked-to-order Scottish Breakfast, its one of the best cooked breakfasts in the world!
And yes, points shorting and missing stays are a frustrating fact of life here in the EU. I repeadely raise it and the mods get the points for me, but Marriott corp does nothing to solve the problem, no doubt because riffing regular customers saves millions of points and Marriott has its real focus stateside. We can only hope that with some Starwood influence (30%of SPG is international against only 15% of Marriott's) in the boardroom that there wil be a greater focus on international issues like this.
Thanks! I am sad to say that when we arrived on September 1st we were informed that the lounge closure was to be permanent. While many of the staff gave differing versions of "why" they all were consistent that a memo had gone out the previous week making the announcement that it would be closed. A couple of them even mentioned to my husband that they were dreading the arrival of the business customers on Sunday and Monday because they would be unimpressed. I laughed out loud at the list of items you have experienced, only because we encountered EVERY one of those issues during our stay. The air conditioning was loud enough to wake up not only the children in our room but also loud enough for people to go out into the hallway wondering what was going on. Good times, LOL
I had done a lot of homework to find just the right hotels across Europe and one of the considerations was the access to the lounge. We skipped hotels where the lounge access was limited to platinum guests and we made a point of seeking out the lounges where the reviews were consistent.
I normally don't mind an older hotel and in fact have found that many hotels in need of upgrades consistently deliver the best service because that is how they survive. It's a strange phenomenon.
We had limited options for where to stay because we were travelling with kids and that is a totally different experience than travelling as a couple. We try to be mindful of the hotel's clientele so we are not disrupting other guests. I am thrilled that you mention the Dalmahoy because now that we are looking for a return to Scotland in the spring that totally answers the question of where to stay and I will definitely put that at the top of my list We did consider it, but unfortunately they did not have a room for four at the time that we were booking.
Sorry to hear that points and missing stays are a common thing for the EU, we did pretty well, we only had the one hotel out of all 23 nights we spent bouncing from place to place.
Thanks again for the warm welcome, I have read many of your posts and taken advantage of your knowledge and Marriott experiences.
I just wanted to post a quick update. After posting my comments here, the hotel management team reached out to me directly and addressed the issues that we encountered and resolved the points issue. The management team was professional, gracious and incredibly apologetic. They committed to looking into the issues that I posted along with other members comments. Their response gave all indications of a sincere desire to consistently deliver the Marriott experience and I wish them all the best in moving forward. Many thanks to those who commented and of course to the moderator who so quickly jumped in to help achieve a resolution.
We started out at the Marriott Maida Vale for 5 nights (service was outstanding, concierge lounge was among the best I've visited as much for convenience and friendliness as it was for food/drink selection, the renovated rooms are beautiful with all modern touches), then we went into Paris to a Courtyard Boulogne which was very good but we only did the one night there before heading to a non-Marriott (if I am allowed to confess that here) for a few days and when we returned to London we did several days at the Regents Park Marriott (again outstanding service, large room that was clean but hotel due for a little TLC which it is well on its way to getting) then off to Scotland which led to my original post and then another non-Marriott (eeeeek twice in the same comment) and then to the Marriott at Heathrow which was again outstanding (another newly renovated room, excellent concierge lounge and 100% AMAZING staff). Wish we had the opportunity to sample more marriotts but travelling with kids in tow sometimes means compromising on the expectations. As a couple I would happily hotel hop, but packing up little ones and disrupting routines so that I can get a Marriott fix isn't really as much fun
Well minus the not so good Marriott stay, it sounds like you had a wonderful time! It really does! I looked at the Regents Park also, but I did read comments that it was in need of some TLC. I guess they will be renovating soon?
So there is a Marriott AND a Renaissance at Heathrow? Options nice! I heard that the Ren has a great CL to watch the planes from. I think pluto77 said she was there, or was it the regular Marriott? I want to stay at the awesome runway watching one!
Thanks for sharing!
The LHR Ren has been recently refurbished and is really spiffed up now, with an excellent lounge serving lengthy free alcohol overlooking the runway.
The Marriott is usually slightly the more expensive of the two and is just a 5 minute walk from the Ren. It's rooms are bigger and lounge offerings much the same as the Ren but there's no view at all from the ground floor internal LHR Marriott.
If you dont mind the smaller room, I'd go for the Ren every time... if you're at the LHR Ren when you visit do tell me, any excuse to plane watch over 4 hours of free beer!!!
With the help of you and fistuk, I'll book my main stay at the JW. When I circle back I have 2 nights left in London. Figured I would try out 2 properties and my last evening there would be plane watching.
There are enthusiasts who specifically book a runway room with CL access and stay there all day, with cameras and notebooks at the ready!
Nothing nowadays though can compete with the experience of Concorde taking off, now sadly a distant memory.
The Ren car park was a perfect location to witness the 'spine tingling' roar at takeoff.
Ah, SeaTexan, you haven't lived until you've passed (wasted?) an hour, a few hours, half a day ... or longer ... in the LHR Renaissance concierge lounge.... It's addictive....
Here's some pics: Runway Watching: LHR Renaissance
pluto77 was recently there, and we're awaiting a full report on the experience!
Yes, SeaTexan and ssindc, I was recently there, and the runway watching was indeed a thrill. I watched the planes land from both my room and the CL during a late afternoon. It was great, as it was all of the long haul birds from many different airlines globally. I don't have anything like the quality of photos that ssindc has, or the quantity, as I took a few snaps in the afternoon and thought I would have the next morning to watch some more, but alas, the next morning, it was raining, AND they had switched out the runways... The smaller, short haul planes were taking off (not landing) on the closest runway (and flight only occurred beyond the field of view) and the big planes were landing/taking off on the far runway, a distance beyond the LHR terminals. But watching the planes land the first afternoon was really great; it was fun to see the puff of smoke when the tires first touched the ground and also fun trying to identify the aircrafts as well as getting to see some of my favorite aircraft in action (all Boeing, of course, but also my fave behemoth, the A388's.)
We're all different... If I were enjoying a London holiday (a rarity for me, as it's cost prohibitive along the lines of NYC or Boston) and my outbound flight wasn't early, I would definitely not spend my last night at the LHR Ren planespotting. I'd be spending it enjoying one last hurrah in a city filled with color, vibrancy and energy, and then take a taxi to the airport the next morning. But for those who venture to London regularly and are Av Geeks of any sort, planespotting at the Ren is definitely a fun way to spend time. I'm glad it worked out in my circumstance (I was just passing through on an overnight layover).
The LHR Ren is less expensive than the LHR Marriott. The staff were excellent, so very nice, kind, helpful. I was upgraded to a runway view room. The CL was very crowded in the evening. Mostly Americans. The staff worked hard to keep up. The food was good (and served as my dinner). I enjoyed a glass of wine, and the pour was generous. I left the attendant 5 quid, cheapest meal I've ever had in the UK. I took the bus from the airport to the hotel. It was cheap and easy. The next morning I was a snoot and took a very short taxi ride back to the airport. It was hot and humid, and I didn't want to board my plane a sweaty mess.
Thanks for posting, pluto77!!! I think you're spot on here:
If I were enjoying a London holiday ... and my outbound flight wasn't early, I would definitely not spend my last night at the LHR Ren planespotting. I'd be spending it enjoying one last hurrah in a city filled with color, vibrancy and energy, and then take a taxi to the airport the next morning. But for those who venture to London regularly and are Av Geeks of any sort, planespotting at the Ren is definitely a fun way to spend time.
I forgot, actually the bus ride from the airport to the Ren was free (it costs if you take it for a longer journey, but to the stop near the Ren, it's actually free!) Thanks again for the advance intel on the bus!
For others, here's a nice webpage that spells it all out (bus transportation to/from LHR) ...