This is a copy of an email submitted to Marriott's Customer Service regarding one of our most recent visits to their properties:
On 06/07/2011 I was contacted by the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes regarding an upgrade to the Ritz Carlton for our stay. I informed the representative I made this reservation with family use in mind & that the Ritz was not as satisfying citing the JW's lazy pool. I further explained our specific interests and the nature of our visit to the area. I made these reservations well over 2 months in advance. Upon check in I was not provided with a room upgrade despite being a gold member due to high booking preferences for a conference. I offered to pay for a better room however it was not available. I requested to be placed on a waitlist for a better room. I was not offered such despite being on property from 6/13-17 and observing various parties check out. During our stay, our 4 yr old daughter was trampled by a drunken hotel guest. The incident brought us to a local pediatric urgent care for precaution in the late evening. Thankfully, there was no medical concern other than a bump, a scare, and scrape. I also contacted Marriott customer service regarding gold status priveleges and free continental breakfast. I was informed by Marriott customer service that the property informed them this property is a resort and unable to provide a free breakfast. I made various reservations with gold member status priveleges in mind and researching same for both family vacation & wedding anniversary celebration. This property and its management completely disappointed our family, our perception of Marriott's premier property, and Marriott in general. It appears that its management is concerned with business revenue over family values and loyalty to Marriott rewards. At check out, I was informed by the front desk that a manager would call me regarding these incidents. The attendant informed me the manager was in a meeting regarding the conference.The call was never received. The property's website fails to indicate the property is a resort and the person that called me the week prior to offer an upgrade to the Ritz did not mention when I specifically inquired about inclusive breakfast and gold member status. I must say that 3 employees made the stay more enjoyable due to their service; Teddy, Glenn (bellmen), and Emy Lue (housekeeping). These individuals are a credit to Marriott and reflect professionalism, dedication, and true service to a company we hoped to trust with our family vacations, rest, & relaxation. They encouraged us and prompted us to return to the property despite these disappointments and incident. I was impressed with their attention however I remain unimpressed with the property management's attempt to reconcile with our family.
In a seperate incident,I also encountered more disappointment with a room upgrade and breakfast at the Courtyard in Hutchinson Island. I reserved a suite expecting an upgrade. No upgrade was made and paid for a better room; an ocean front suite. I was not aware the suite I reserved had no ocean front view. The room had view of dunes. Again, no upgrade was given nor breakfast provided. After experiencing the previous disappointments, I did not call Marriott customer service. I honestly did not want to be burdened. frustrated, nor waste my time.Where is the loyalty to Marriott's reward priveleges and how does your company remedy valid customer concerns and experiences like these? Why should I continue to be loyal to Marriott if these rewards are not consistent to your company credo, reward status, and published /advertised commitments? Our vacation was very disappointing to these regards which were unattended by your properties, its management, and customer service. We hope that these concerns can be addressed by your company and that this email be disemminated accordingly within Marriott's corporate administration. We thank you for your anticipated response and look forward to your valued commitment with regards to these unfavorable experiences.
A few thoughts.
Was the offer to an upgrade at the Ritz free? If so, that's a pretty nice gesture even though you preferred the JW.
I'm sure you know that free upgrades are never guaranteed. In my experience, i get the free upgrades about 75% of the time, but I never come in expecting them because then I just get dissapointed when it is not available.
Surely you are not blaming Marriott because some drunk guy bumped in to your child. Or, are you suggesting Marriott should have noticed the drunk guy and kicked him out? Not sure you have room to complain about this one.
Are you suggesting Marriott should have given you a free breakfast at the Courtyard? Unless I'm mistaken, Courtyard does not have a Concierge Lounge or a free breakfast, so I would be surprised if you came in expecting that.
Of all your complaints, the only one I see with any merit is the manager's failure to call you to talk about your complaints. There is no good excuse for that, unless maybe he tried to call you but was unable to reach you for some reason.
The JW's initial call was nonspecific in offering me an "upgrade" to the Ritz. Both properties boast equal amenities and service. I was however specific with our interests in the property, discussed the amenities, and the newly acquired gold status benefits. No mention was made regarding these priveleges being unavailable at this property. It is/was our lack of education with respects to these benefits that failed to meet our expectations of same. It now appears their interest in "upgrading" me to the Ritz was more to accomodate the conference's customer; revenue before family.
I do place some vicarious /shared responsibility in Marriott for a disorderly and drunken guest within the confines of its property especially if he/she is being served alcohol within its premises.
I am suggesting Marriott should be more informative /consistent with benefits such as free breakfasts and its exclusions. Marriott Customer Service itself was unaware the Grande Lakes Orlando property was a resort. It was only after they contacted the property that they were made aware of the exclusion.
And, Yes; the property management's inability to call after they inquired about our stay is an area of concern where they promised to do so. It was their inquiry to our stay. I was available, remain available, and am easily accesible to be reached. My complete and accurate contact information is listed on my profile even when mobile or in transit. I find it truly disappointing thus far.
I believe the specific property managment fell short of our expectations given its alleged reputation of boasting Ritz qualities in providing service. I've received better service from inferior property categories. Our perception of the benefits have been tainted by this property and its failure to meet expectations by not following up. I was willing to pay for a better room however I was not afforded that opportunity throughout the entire stay. They failed to return their promised call. Perception is an objective reality. I'm content to have a multitude of options. I'm extremely grateful for that. Thanks for your welcoming and safe travels to you as well.
I agree, this hotel is the worse. While i stayed there, i had two different reservations under the same name when i checked in they didnt noticed that and charged me twice so when i checked out they didnt know what to do, I had to leave and call them several times before the problem was solved. The pool area was crowded and they dint have enough chairs to accomodate all guests, so we ended up having to seat on the floor with 2 kids. The water pressure in the shower was horrible, it actually stopped working for a little while, the hot water also ran out and i had shampoo in my hair for a good 5 minutes before i was able to rinse it off completely. THe line for breakfast was very long, we waited for 55 minuts before getting in, even though there was space inside; aparently they didnt want too many people indide the restaurant?!
i went another time with a business group and we had some issues with the reservations, we ended up solving the problem but after wasting 2 hours out of our conference.
This is a nice hotel, but the building is nothing without good employees, i would probably not stay there again for a long time until they get their act together.
I recommend calling Marriott Rewards and voicing your complaints. They will give you a phone number for customer service/complaints. I have called them a few times over the years whenever I felt I did not get great service, and they almost always take care of the situation by giving me extra points, rollover nights, etc.
After looking at the Marriott site (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mcojw-jw-marriott-orlando-grande-lakes/) I do see see that the word "Resort" appears several times on the page. However, looking at a listing of all of the JW Hotels worldwide, the word does not appear even though it does for a dozen other properties:
As for the upgrade, as others have said, that's hit and miss. I too don't check-in expecting it but am glad when I get one (if not surprised). I have written on this site that my personal success rate for garnering an upgrade is very low - and I'm a lifetime Platinum member. I'm assuming your a new Gold member so let this be a lesson to you, don't expect anything.
The managers lack of follow up is inexcusable. I've often wondered if they simply pick up a note from their in-box and crumple it and throw it away. This question also applies to anybody in the business world that doesn't call a person back. It's the ultimate form of rudeness.
Courtyards don't and never did participate in the breakfast deal, so there are no ambiguities about this one at all.
1. The first descriptions of the hotel are "our luxury Orlando Resort "
2. You are offered an upgrade if one is available. And they did offer you one and you turned it down (the Ritz)
3. A gold is not that high in the pecking order. Platinums come first and if there was a conference and a resort in Orlando, you can be sure that there a lot of them
4. The management is not responsible for your daughter being bumped into by another guest unless you can show that he had been creating a disturbance.
5. He should read his benefits. Breakfast is not offered at Courtyards
"Continental breakfast is available 7 days a week for Platinum and Gold Elite members plus one guest in the Concierge/Executive/Club Lounge at JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection®, Renaissance® and Marriott® Hotels."
6. Person sounds like the proverbial "Do you know who I am" and is trying to get freebies not offered.
You have no basis for a complaint and should get a life