I won't go thru the entire story, only will say that I called the San Sebastapol Fairfield Inn and made reservations. $169 a night. Yes, for a fairfield Inn. Had to change the reservation, and called the elite gold reservation line. I was told that the reservation price was a "senior discount". As I am not a senior I pointed this out. They called the hotel who informed me the price was now $209 a night. Yes for a Fairfield Inn. But I explained the mistake was the Inn's not mine, as the reservation was initially made by phone, and the confirmation didn't say senior rate. The Fairfield Inn nor customer service cared or offered any sort of apology. So, all I could do was cancel 6 nights worth of reservations. Any opinions on other hotel status plans? Marriott doesn't seem to want my business. I am still deciding if I should have my assistants cancel their Marriott stays.
I realize I am not a 100+ night a year person. But, I do stay 50+ at Marriotts and control the stay locations of 3 people who also stay 50+ nights a year.
I'm surprised to hear this but I have seen other posts saying the service has gone downhill with the Marriott hotels. I recently got a new job that requires a lot of traveling and hotel stays. I've been with the Marriott hotels (mainly Fairfield Inn & occasionally Courtyard) for about 2 months now and don't really have much to complain about. Also, when I send email inquiries to them, they are usually prompt to reply back.
If you want to try another hotel, the Hilton & Hyatt comes to mind. It's a little pricier depending on the area but is probably worth it.
In truth, I have been reading complaints about Marriott service "going downhill" ever since I first started using this site. I've not seen it. There is an occasional problem and almost all of them are resolved to my satisfaction. Marriott, almost always, makes things right. I've well over 600 nights over a period of almost 50 years, and I don't see any deterioration of service since the days of JW.
I stay at Fairfield, Courtyard, Marriott, and Rennasaince. The service at Fairfiled is better than Courtyard for the most part. The staff is of a different caliber, but they can be just as nice. Rooms may not be as fancy, but staff is always friendly. Just got back from a trip and I was upgraded to an Exec King at no charge, and even checked in early. My room was not ready, but the desk asked the staff to ready my room. I took seat in the 'dining' area and the front desk clerk came and got me. They also leave waters in the room, no charge. It works. But for me its about location.
This past year, when having the option of staying at FFI's or CY's, and they're often located right next door to one another, I too have gone for the FFI's, mainly because of the breakfast and the suite type of set up, but also, (and sorry to admit) I find I don't really care for the new, modern concept that the Courtyards have adopted: the futuristic space station looking front desk check-in modules, the decor in terms of the technology pods or the "communal" table, or even the new Bistro. (But honestly the bottom line is how I'm treated, which is far more important than whether or not I find the decor/design concept of a property line to my liking.)
Sorry to hear your experience. Are you possibly staying during an "event"? I've stayed their twice on my way to an extended camping weekend were I need to make conference calls on a thur/friday before heading to the coast for camping. This area is kind of a gateway to the north coast. My rate was much lower both times.
And the the rooms and service was great (maybe ever better than most FF's). Much better than what I've had the Dulles FF.
Good luck and enjoy!
Over the past year, I have stayed at this hotel numerous times, to the extent that the front desk staff greet me by name - whether it is for a very late night arrival, a mid day check-in, or a late check out. I find this hotel to be a 'cut above' most Fairfield Inn's, not only in facilities, but also in price (during the week) and also in service from the front desk. The breakfast area and menu is definitely at a level greater than most Fairfields, in that usually there is a choice of protein items offered.
I also enjoy the great variety of folks I meet at this hotel, as it can be business travelers, parents of students at nearby institutions of higher learning, foks visiting and vacationing in beauty of northern california...... but all very congenial. (in reading your only 2 posts - both negative - perhaps the staff sensed you did not meet the profile of their average guest, and thus found you an appropriate room rate)
I have also stayed at other Marriott facilities in nearby Santa Rosa, and was disappointed in the level of facility and service. My recommendations to other associates traveling in this area is ALWAYS the Fairfield Inn in Sebastapol....... and none have ever suggested I made a bad recommendation.
Haven't stayed in a FF in years, the last one being in NH and it was very nice, and very reasonable.
Just recently I had to reschedule a flite in EWR and had to stay the nite at the ap for a flite in the a.m.
While sitting at the P1 bus stop waiting for the CY bus, the FF bus came by twice, and I told myself, next time I will try the FF as their bus comes by more frequently.
I checked the FF prices and they are the most reasonable property at EWR. Usually I stay at the FS property which is bit more expensive, but more convenient as they are the only property [not just marriott but all hotels] that has a shuttle bus directly tot he airport. For the rest you need to use P1 bus stop and take the tram.
This particular time, FS was fully booked, the platinum override wasn't available as it only applies 48 hr in advance, so I went to the CY.
Next time, my BU plan is the FF.
I've noticed an improvement in Fairfields over the years. Breakfasts are better than the past. I've been upgraded as well, to "Executive Studio King" rooms, which are comparable to Springhill single studio rooms. Some of the ones I've stayed at recently, all excellent, include:
San Jose, (Airport) CA
I enjoy the FFI's and recently had good stays in Spring Valley, NY...Knoxville, TN....Milford, MA...Peabody, MA and there are really good FFI's in Orlando, Indianapolis and on Rte 95 traveling thru North and South Carolina and Virginia.
The only thing I try and make sure of is that it is a newer property. Some of the 'older' FFI's are rundown and in need of refurbishing and I won't stay at the older ones. But, I have always found the FFI's to be a good value for a quick overnighter when traveling.
My favorite FFI is the Rehoboth Beach, DE. It's new and well run. My only complaint, which is echoed by several hotel employees, is a lack of closet space. I don't understand the logic of reducing closet space because some people don't need much. This makes no sense to those of us that travel more heavily.
The hotel, incidentally, wants to market itself to host wedding parties. Weddings are a big business in Rehoboth but the rooms have no place to hang a wedding dress of even brides maid dresses.
The layout of the room at FFI is better (for me). You enter with the bathroom on the left, next, a short wall cove with a fridge, microwave, coffee maker. Then you enter an angled sitting area with a sofa, chair, coffee table, work desk and chair. This room also has a full size flat screen TV. Walk through an archway and you're in the bedroom that includes another flat screen. It's almost a two room suite, as far as separation and privacy. If you travel with kids, this extra TV comes in handy.
The SHS's that I've been in have a nice sitting area but a single TV that's on a swivel table that is turned toward the bedroom area or sitting area. I still like the SHS, but prefer the FFI.
I'm with you. I really enjoy the FFI experience better than the SHS or CY. To me, nicer properties and I agree the suites in the FFI locations are really pretty nice for mt dealings. You're pretty close to my stomping grounds...Hopkinton, just up the road a few miles on 495. Enjoy!
Sorry to hear about your reservation rate trials. Very frustrating at the least, and on many levels, I'm sure (it's amazing how pricey "average" service hotels can be in certain locales, too. You're referring to a property near the bay area, so need I say more? (Although I paid $149 at a FFI last weekend in Spokane. Spokane!). I'm not sure what changes you called to make, whether it was date changes or not, but obviously date changes can affect a rate. The business about rates has been discussed many times on this forum, and I think we've discovered a thing or two: first, it seems best to make your reservations online, where you can enter any discount codes, and you can clearly see the rates (and it can get interesting, as yesterday, I noticed that rates at a particular property in Hawaii, were exactly the same for AAA, Senior, or Marriott Rewards member.) Also, sometimes rates vary between weekends and weeknights, and if one isn't careful, the reservation "machine" will charge the higher rate for all nights when making a reservation that spans a date range (sometimes it will show a change in rate, sometimes not). But the thing most folks have found is that if you make a reservation online, your MR number is attached to the reservation, and you have a hard copy (if you print) and an email confirmation proving your rate, should it ever be challenged, and that email confirmation will (should) carry the day in the event of something like your situation (again, I don't feel like I have all of the details of your transaction). And always beware when changing your reservation, as that opens you wide up to rate changes, which it does clearly state on the website. Second, as Tef has mentioned, rates can change (up or down) over time, so it sometimes pays to keep checking rates, as your rate may go down, and then it would pay to change your existing reservation to the lower rate.
As far as dealing with hotel staffers for things like this, with rare exception, I have mostly found the central Marriott telephone reservations and customer service personnel to be far more knowledgable (and accurate) than the front desk/property reservations folks on site at non-full service Marriott properties (mostly what I stay at in CONUS). For instance, last weekend, I pulled into an RI at 3:30pm and informed the hotel that I wished to cancel my e-certificate reservation for that night (was visiting a high school frield I hadn't seen in almost 20 years, and she asked me last minute to come up and stay at her place, which I ended up doing to maximize the very short amount of time that we had to spend together). The cancellation policy for that property was to cancel by 6pm to avoid charges or forfeitures, yet the front desk employee told me that I would forfeit my free night e-certificate. Of course I knew it wasn't true and didn't want to argue, so just called customer service and asked about it, and they told me it would be credited back to my rewards account, and sure enough, it was.
From my own experiences and from the other experiences related here, I really think you got a one-time bum deal most unfortunately, and I wouldn't hold it against Marriott nor Fairfield Inns on a permanent basis. I'd give it another shot before you write them off completely. My stay at the FFI in Spokane last weekend was stellar. The property was recently renovated, my status was recognized (no hard benefit from it, just the courteous verbal recognition and thanks for my business and for being a loyalty customer) at midnight, no less, by the cheerful Melinda, the breakfast was good (breakfast room was very busy, but if you go during peak breakfast time (not real early or real late), that's what one can expect, I like a protein with my breakfast, and loved the fact that the hard boiled eggs were already pealed(!), the employee, Savoa, working the breakfast counter was a super hard worker, and ensured that NOTHING ran out, business center worked trouble free, and parking was free. It was a very good stay.
Sandandbigsurf, again sorry for your misfortune. I think if you hang in there and give it another try (try using the website), I believe you'll have a better experience next time. Thanks so much for posting. We all learn from one another's experiences.
i am new to this forum, and i really joined to address this topic.
i normally stay at fairfields, courtyards, springhills, residence inn, towneplace and in the past month i've had (3) extremely negative experiences, (2) of them being at fairfield inns. they were actually both for the same reasons. the room i was given smelled funky, air conditioner didn't work right, tub drain was backing up over my ankles, room was not feather free (and that is in my profile but i also call each hotel individually after making reservations to make it known. first time i was using points it was a cat 1, and after calling the telephone customer service they credited back my points. the other time (2 nights ago) the GM asked how things were going as i hit breakfast so i felt compelled to be honest. she came up to me at breakfast said my room was comped and gave me another room (feather free) across the hall where i was able to stay into the evening, again comped. these were in beloit, WI and scranton,PA respectively. what irks me about the situation is that they were able to easily fix my room in that situation, and another which is thru springhill, but did they never think to give me those rooms to begin with? in both situations they were significantly nicer. bottom line, these fairfield inns are nothing more than motel 6's and comfort inns that went out of business with a marriott sign slapped out front. the rates they want are outrageous for the low value they give.
'bottom line, these fairfield inns are nothing more than motel 6's and comfort inns that went out of business with a marriott sign slapped out front'.
I disagree. The newer (and newly built) FFI's with the Suites are very nice properties that provide a great value for the price paid. There are 'older' Fairfields that are properties probably taken over from another chain, but I won't stay at them because of their age and general disrepair. They're easy to distinguish from the newer ones, just look at the picture folio. The older ones are, for the most part, in need of re-furbishing and don't get the attention that a newer property does. It's really a buyer beware with the old units. I just don't go there and stay at the newer ones that are quite pleasant!
The only FF I ever stayed at was in NH and was very nice, and extrememly reasonable. Sent many friends to stay there when they were in New England looking a colleges for the kids. I was just checking the directory and I don't see it there anymore so I wonder if it was replaced by the Residence Inn around the corner.
It was in Merrimack on Industrial Way, and looked more like a New England lodge which I think the lobby originally was, and then it looked like a couple of wings had been buil on with more rooms. Not long after a Residence Inn was built around the corner, but I always used the Fairfield Inn as it was about 1/2 the price and had a very charming lobby area. Haven't been up there in years, so I am not certain what has happened. I know the whole area took a big down turn back in the 80s and 90s when the defense budget was cut. Not certain they ever recovered from it.
IE, I agree the FFI on Harbor Blvd is terrific. Right there across the street from DL's main gate, nice property with swimming pool for a refreshing afternoon break from sensory overload for the kiddies and free parking. Very well priced, too. Used to be a cat 4, now a cat 5.
wlewis612 Both of these FFIs made good after you pointed out their mistakes. They acknowledged their error and gave you what you had expected. They gave you financial relief. You seem to think that they intentionally gave you inferior rooms. I doubt that that's what happened.
My guess (and that's all it can be) is that somebody messed up and I'll bet they were disciplined or fired for it.
The fact that these events occurred so close together is probably coincidence and not an indicator that FFI is going downhill.
If you've had a long history with Marriott don't judge the company based upon a couple of screw ups. I used to stay Best Western occasionally, but one of their hotels messed up in 1995 and neither they nor Best Western gave me any relief. As a result, I stayed in one BW in the ensuing 20 years while reaching Platinum with Marriott.
Marriott, almost always, corrects problems, apologizes, and provides either extra points or refunds as part of the apology.
I think it is a hit or miss with FF's. 3 weeks ago I stayed at one of the worst FF''s ever. Bugs, plugged bathtub, clanking air conditioning, chlorine stench from the pool...you name the problem and this place had it. The next night was outside Nashville, TN and it was one of the nicest FF's I have experienced. The manager was on site where the manager in Memphis was no where to be found.
They cost the same.
We recently stayed at FFI in Santa Clarita, Stevenson Ranch. It sits right next to RI, which was initially my first choice but since it was a last minute/same day check-in reservation, FFI is the only Marriott hotel available in town (at that time). I was truly worried as I have not stayed in any FFIs before. And the Marriott reservation line also informed me that FFI are the most basic of Marriott's chain. I was surprised that the nightly rate was $125/night. For a FFI in Santa Clarita/Valencia. I was thinking more of less than $100/night. Anyhow, I paid for 1 night and used my cat 4 e-cert for the next night. And I guess you can say I didn't expect much at all.
Long story short, our weekend stay was pleasant. The staffs were friendly and accommodating. The room/bed was well, basic but clean and comfortable. The breakfast was decent, lots of choices. The pool was also clean. Everything was truly pleasant, no complaints. I guess you can say that I would stay in a FFI again if given a chance. But I don't know if I would pay $200/night for it.
I am planning a Key West, FL trip sometime 2/2014 and thought I might find a good deal on FFI - Wrong! FFI in Key West is a cat 7, would cost me $330/night! FFI's bottom of the chain, most basic they say? So there... :/
I have not used alot of FFIs!
With that said, I have used the NYC FFI on 28th between 6th & 7th alot, and have enjoyed it very much.
They always upgrade me to a room at the front of the hotel on a high floor with views of the empire state building. The rooms are small, but the bathroom is larger than most (you can open/close the door without hitting the tub or anything else like at some NYC properties that cost more).
I have even stayed here for <$100 (Jan 2013) and have posted pictures in the Photo Album link.
I've stayed in many FFIs and most experiences have been good. Nevertheless there were a few glitches. The worst one was when the maid and her boyfriend had used our bed sometime after the room was made-up but before our check-in. It was revolting. The hotel's response included a new room, assistance with moving luggage, and a generous serving of points.
On the other hand, we have found that the newer FFIs are quite stingy with closet space. That is a real turnoff to us and will probably result in many of our stays being made elsewhere.
I believe that Marriott is planning to eliminate closet space from many rooms. That will drive us away from any such hotels.
I Stayed at only 1 FFI, for 1 night only at 10,000 points for a Saturday. It was a StagHen special night, a night I get the feeling occurs weekly at that FFI. Cue loud Cowboys 'n Cowgirls bull riding competitions up and down the corridors, shouty SHOUTING conpetitions and only what I can assume are smoking and copious puking competitions outside our window, accompanied by yet more shouty foul language. Never again. No, really.... Never
ANd that is a pity, the hotel room itself was up to any Holiday Inn Express, a budget brand I really rate, although I would add the HIX breakfast is a better experience than the FFI, more due to fact that the breakfast room at HIX is much bigger and functional than the very fake and impractical "front room" style furnishing at FFI.
Yikes, brightlybob! That does not sound like a pleasant experience. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to pass this along to the appropriate team to review. Can you send me a private message with additional details surrounding this stay, dates and property? Thanks in advance!
Ah, carat this brings back the memories... *shudder* . I'd forgotten about the puking and smoking when I wrote my TA review. My wife reminded me because other relatives are visiting her sister in Oakville next year and I remarked that my memory of the FFI was, "nice rooms, boozy guests". Hers was "Never! Not ever! No! Sleep in your car instead!"
IT was the FFI Oakville, ON, on Saturday 1st August, which I reviewed on tripadvisor when I returned back to the UK thus:
This was a one night stay, only, thank goodness and my first ever stay at a Fairfield Inn. Considering the price, the hotel was quite impressive. The reception area was bright with a small seating and breakfast area in bright colours. The room was very large by European standards with a big and comfy king bed. The bathroom was not cramped and the shower was very good. Alas we left in the morning having canceled a planned weekend stay there for the next week and vowing never to return.
The problem was the night we stayed, Saturday, or perhaps better quoted as "StagHenDay". The limos were parked on our checkin and the lads and girls were readying themselves with plenty of door-slamming by the un-buffered doors onto the open latches. Irritating, but ok at 3pm. At 1am however, with the party in full swing, Cowboys-and-Indians being played out in the corridors and repeated non-stop slamming of doors onto latches, having been going on for several hours, with staff requests to quieten down ritually ignored (and to be fair the staff did try, but to little effect), it took a meet up with staff to FORCE the issue.
So, if you're a stag or hen and are looking to find likeminded drunken souls for unlimited LOUD SHOUTY Cowboys-and-Indian fun up and down hotel corridors at 2am, with repeated chasing between bedrooms and plenty of cursing, this place is for you! No, really. You'll LOVE it.
And all for only $100 per night. And don't forget, 4 can occupy a double-double room, that's $25pp. But I bet a couple more could be squeezed in with sufficient room for a 24-can slab of beer per person piled up in the corner!!!
It was actually a point stay, and at only 10,000 points for the night had it not been for the parties it would have been a fine place to stay. Regrettably the wife is still in the never ever camp
I stayed at the FFI Oakville back in 2011. I remember not being impressed with the hotel. Their breakfast was the worst FFI breakfast I had ever experienced. Also, the carpeting was very worn and dirty and the walls were quite banged up in certain areas. It was my first and last stay at that property.
AT 10,000 points I expected little more than a good sleep in a clean room.
Although not the clearest photo I can confirm the room was clean, though it had seen better days, and the bed comfy. Regrettably the fellow guests and the hotels tolerance if their behaviour till forced to deal with it does mean its not a great place if you want sleep, which does defeat the purpose somewhat...
A few months ago I spent two nights at the Fairfied Tacoma Puyallup.
With the exception of the rooms being quite small (still larger than most NY category 8 and 9'a) I found the property to be exceptional.
The staff, pristine cleanliness and a breakfast "set up" equal to any Springhill or RI.
I no longer fear a Fairfield being the only option in a specific area. Additionally, I would choose a Fairfield over a CY as the breakfast is included.
I have a couple of them that I stay at on a regular basis, and both are good hotels. The rooms are clean, comfortable (especially the bed - one in Texas I go to actually has the Marriott bed!) and the staff is friendly and helpful. I will be in Texas for 9 nights in December and I got a good discount for staying more than 7 nights that makes it worth it to me vs staying at any other hotel (not to mention the points and nights!!!).
The breakfast is not too bad either and they keep it stocked and clean!!!