I am a Marriott Platinum Member... I recently took the family on a spring break vacation in California. My wife and I wanted to relive/revisit with our children, a few of the good times we had when we lived in California. Along the way, we stayed in several of the Marriott family of hotels stretching from Los Angeles to Marin and back.
One of the hotels I made the mistake of booking was the Residence Inn Salinas Monterey... I have never experienced a hotel where it appeared so obvious that people went out of their way NOT TO BE HELPFUL...
Our stay at this hotel was booked on points (what is the point in having them unless you use them)... I asked for an upgrade to the best available room when we checked in (a request made in and honored at every Marriott stayed in on this trip), the manager at the desk told me that Marriott does not upgrade Platinum members to best available without charging points and the only way he would upgrade me was to charge me 10,000 points or for me to pay cash... I explained that he was mistaken about Marriott’s upgrade policy, again he refused. By this time I was tired and I guess pretty frustrated, so setteled and the the family and I were jammed into an extremely small 1-bedroom unit on the ground floor in the back of the hotel.
At check-in, and in my on-line reservation, I requested a roll-away bed (after a long car ride I wanted to separate the kids)... Later, the same manager claimed to have looked for the bed and said it was not available. I requested that he keep searching and supply the roll-away for the 2nd night of our stay. Apparently this request was ignored, because on the 2nd day of our stay I heard the last available roll-away bed being given to a different guest.
On the 2nd day of our stay my wife decided to do some laundry… The girl at the front desk acted as if she did not want to be bothered, she gave my wife the wrong directions to the laundry room and neglected to mention that she would need to purchase laundry detergent/supplies from the front desk, something discovered on my wife’s second or third trip to the front desk.
Breakfast at the hotel was mediocre at best… My experience was that there did not appear to be much attention being made to keeping the buffet stocked and the coffee flowing.
I brought my check-in experience to the attention of the day manager on check-out, I guess I half expected him to attempt to make things right...
Well, we all know how that worked... So much for spending too many nights a year in Marriott hotels and expecting to be treated differently....
At least all of my stays at other Marriott properties during this vacation proved the Residence Inn Salinas Monterey to be the exception and not the rule. My stays at the Residence Inn Pasadena Arcadia, Courtyard San Luis Obispo, Courtyard San Francisco Larkspur Landing/Marin County, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, and the Residence Inn Los Angeles LAX/El Segundo were all top shelf experiences.
So if you are planning to stay or do some business in the Salinas / Monterey area, avoid the Residence Inn Salinas Monterey and stay at the Monterey Marriott or try something else.
I think the same management runs the Salinas Residence Inn and the Salinas Courtyard. Based on my experience, it seems that attempting to make your stay a-great-one does not appear to be a priority for this property or it’s management. The staff at the Residence Inn Salinas Monterey, or at least the staff I was exposed to, just doesn’t seem to care.
The Residence brand seems to be Marriott's most likely to "not meet" expectations. The sites are more likely to be older and exterior design was very poor.
Anyhow, I have stayed there twice this year with no problems. I think you just experienced the often forgotten fact: "Family vacations can be a complete nightmare". Once the reality "hell" of the family vacation settles in, then every small issue becomes exaggerated.
I live about 15 miles from these hotels and have never stayed there, but I sympathize with your angst over the treatment you received. The hotel is in an interesting (as in out of the way) location just off US 101 and not that close to Monterey--traveling CA 68 in rush hour to Monterey can take an hour at the worst and 30 minutes at best--lots of traffic signals and two lanes for the most part all the way.
That being said these hotels need to have a service reminder and they should compensate you for your poor treatment. I would contact Marriott's customer care in Omaha NE (firstname.lastname@example.org) and also the hotel directly-they need to hear this, as all of us who watch the Insiders do, and fix their problems.
I too would concur that the Residence Inn brand is the bottom of the heap as far as expectations are concerned. They are the ones I have problems with.
What gets me is when Marriott hears complaints, they refer them back to the hotel and nothing ends up getting done about it.
They should start up a special chain, call it "Merry Rot Inns" or something, and punt every underperforming hotel into that chain until they improve.
I can think of a few prime contenders for that chain myself.
On a positive note, we stayed at the Residence Inn Independence, Ohio just outside of Cleveland for about the 4th time this weekend, and they are always so nice. They remember us, the front desk people are always so happy to see us, and they they are always kind. The breakfast people are always the same, and as nice as ever. Even some of the service people are super firendly. They just had a new facelift and everything looks great. So there are some out RI out there that still treat their guests with kindness and respect. Every time.