I usually dont post, but fealt compelled to at least say someting about my friends at the RITZ.
Speaking as a Platinum Premier member, I would like to see some type of recognition as a Marriott patron from the SNOOTIE people at the RITZ. I have had to stay at a RITZ property several times, only because the meeting I was going to was at a RITZ, and have to tell you on all occasions they dont even blink an eye at you. In fact, i thought a customer in front of me the last time I was at a RITZ got better service only because he had a BURRBERRY coat.
If the RITZ is truly going to be a MARRIOTT partner, then they shoukd treat their loyal customers as such! I can tell you I will try and avoid them as much as possible!
I stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin, Germany quite recently and they were charming and looked after me very well (but we had paid for a club level junior suite and had club lounge access). But it sounds like some Ritz Carltons are not adopting the same attitude to Marriott guests. I think this maybe something to do with Ritz having their own rewards scheme which might be why they look down on MR members, seeing us as the poor relation of the family, which is unfair. I would write to the general manager of the property concerned and also to Marriott themselves. But to me, it does seem having 2 reward schemes running could be the problem.
I totally agree with the above post. I recently stayed at the Hotel de Arts in Barcelona Spain and received the same treatment. I have been accustomed to receiving excellent service at Marriott hotels across the US and was amazed at how differently I was treated. After spending substantial resources for a stay at this beautiful hotel, I was at least expecting to be welcomed. Instead, my check-in took forever and seemed to be looked down upon.
WOW! I suppose the "customer first" training the Marriott folks spoke of is beginning to show results...... NOT!
What a shame! I have stayed at many, many Ritz properties ovr the years and have NEVER experienced a single negative moment. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.
That's a shame. I'll weigh in with the folks who had the opposite experience. Our single experience at a Ritz was terrific.
I've posted previously on the extraordinary experience my family and I had at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Arts in Barcelona. (I was stunned to see the post, above, describing a negative experience.) We stayed there - two rooms, for five nights - on points. We:
Sorry you didn't enjoy the same experience....
The message is clear that Ritz wants to be a brand apart from and above the Marriott brand and will not easily succumb to Marriott Elite comparisons. For a while they had a repeat guest program (I was in it) that did not offer comps or upgrades just a notation on the reservation that you belonged. Club floor access in my experience is never given without paying the club floor rate.
Recall that Ritz sells to a different segment of the traveling public, a smaller more well-heeled clientele to maintain a brand standard. Thus, our Marriott Rewards status will never mean much to Ritz.
My Wife and I have stayed at every Ritz property in the State of Florida and there were a couple of them that didn't really acknowledge my Platinum Premier status... but all the others did and treated us excellent!! So much so that we actually held our wedding and reception at the South Beach Ritz Carlton. Then we went on our honeymoon at the Cayman Ritz Carlton.
We also travel to NC often and our absolutely favorite place to stay is the Charlotte Ritz Carlton.... not only is it an AWESOME hotel, the staff there is extremely attentive, remembers us by name and really takes care of us, each and every time we are there (about 3 or 4 nights every other month).
I think it depends on the which property it is....
Interesting comments, and ones that I can agree with for the most part. A few years ago, just after the Ritz chain became associated with Marriott, I stayed at the Ritz in Boston. While I was treated with respect, it was not exceptional treatment - not like the more genuine expressions of concern for my satisfaction that I receive at Marriott branded properties. I'm willing to give them a break as it was, as I said, only shortly after the association with Marriott.
On the whole, however, I agree with my fellow Insiders who believe that it's not worth the extra money for a Ritz especially when there is a full-line JW Marriott, Marriott or Renaissance available in the area.
I would hope that this was the exception at a Ritz but I fear it was not. Sometimes hotels lose sight of the people who allow it to exist--their most loyal customers--in search of "exclusivity."
If any of you have stayed at the Four Seasons hotels in in the US, Europe or anywhere else, I think you'll agree that this is the pinnacle of lodging perfection (at an astronomical price).
I always felt that the Ritz was on an even footing with the Four Seasons. I've had the pleasure of staying at many locations of both companies over the years (generous exp acct), and have savored every minute of each stay. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure,. please be assured that it is worth every cent (when coming out of an expense acct).
Ritz must have been experiencing a major downturn in business recently. Even though they have been part of the Marriott family for quite a few years, they preferred to keep the relationship in the dark. The fact that they had to denigrate themselves by actually come slumming on here is a statement in itself. If the luxury industry has a rebirth any time soon, I'm sure they'll take their Waterford crystal ball and go home.
That being said, it still comes down to the individual property leadership to set the pace for excellent customer service.
Well stated. Each time I have called a Ritz, they too do not bat an eye at anything I request and many still don't know about partnership details with Marriott. You have to speak to a manager usually. The other problem is the implementation is not complete around the world and in many locations I deal with - Marriott Rewards and the partnership is not implemented as of yet and I have been told to check back in 2012. Really??? What seems to be the issue with a software implementation. Can't Marriott and Ritz send the information through the IT departments to implement blah blah blah by we'll say by (for example) Nov 15TH? Each hotel has IT or MIS Manager. I have called them to assist doing stays on occasion. What is the evolution to get the partnership online and the staff in hotels trained in the etiquette of the partnership so we don't feel like we are unqualified to stay at a Ritz without a $1500 jacket on?
Maybe you can at least get system online in Singapore before December 8th, maybe? Then I can surprise the group when they travel back through Singapore with a Ritz stay they are rewarded for..............Help me out Marriott Rewards Insider
I have stayed at a few Ritz'sin the US. In my humble opinion, top dollar I paid to stay and to pay extra to access their concierge lounge
is a rip-off. Sure they are nice to you and every employee greets you, welcome you with personalize note, call you on the phone etc etc
to a point where you get maddeningly sick of too much attention, but they are nowhere near the service at the real Ritz -- in London.
If you are going to splurge anyway, try Shang-Ri-La hotels, Four Seasons or the Peninsula hotels.
Marriott has a long way to improve the Ritz brand against the other upscale hotels as its value is not there.
I'm currently at the Ritz in Denver, and there is no doubt, at least at this establishment, that Marriott Platinum Premier members are not afforded any "special" treatment. I inquired as to access to the lounge as a PP member, and was curtly told that "regular guests are not allowed access to the Club level lounge". The hotel staff is very courteous and appear to genuinely want to please, but it is very clear that one's Marriott status doesn't mean a thing..
The room itself is nice enough; a slight upgrade over the typical Marriott properties. In the future, I'll be staying at a Marriott property proper, and will appreciate even more the welcome and appreciation that I've become accustomed.
It's funny. For years, Ritz didn't even want to admit being part of the lowly Marriott family. When the market for luxury stays tanked a couple of years ago, their tune started to change. They wanted to get their name in front of the multitude of MR members via the reservation tool. Now that a few folks have ventured into the upper echelon, Ritz thumbs it bloated nose at the same group that it hopes to save it when times get tough. "Regular guests" is insulting.
I have had the same experience at RC as you did.Club access is very restricted and never upgraded without a hefty charge per day. I suppose someone sees this as an attempt to continue exclusivity in the chain, but I wonder if it does not alienate us loyalists more than usual?
wow. I just do not get the same feeling at all when staying at the Ritz. First of all, it isn't that "for years" Ritz "hid" their affiliation with Marriott, it is only recently that there was an affiliation. Secondly, not even Ritz frequent travelers get use of the club. Their club level was developed to be a special place for special guests that actually generates some revenue back to the hotel. It's a totally different model than the CL at Marriott. I, for one, do not wish for Ritz to LOWER its standards, I would rather Marriott aspire to RAISE theirs. Also, I do not see the reluctance to upgrade an effort to continue exclusivity per se, but an example of a higher quality hotel experience. Does Four Seasons upgrade? I think folks on this board are just too tough on Ritz, mainly because of their lack of understanding of the Luxury Hotel business. It's kinda like when Ford bought Jaguar, did people now want Jag to be Ford???? Not really, not at all. The hope was Jag would raise Ford.
Of course, this is just my humble opinion, and it is coming form a true believer of the Ritz mentality.
It's not about lowering standards, unless standards mean that you routinely treat your guests with disdain. Why not approach this from the opportunity to impress a client? Would it kill the Ritz clan to welcome a Marriott member as one of the family? Show how wonderful the luxury experience can be and leave me wanting more? If luxury means high mightiness, they can keep it.
Ritz-Carlton seems to understand the meaning of service at least based on my experience.
What bothered me was the little framed card in the room that told me how many towels and washcloths were included in each room and subtly informed me that I would be charged were I to take them with me. Since I had no intention of taking a Ritz-Carlton towel with me I found the offer could not take as disturbing as the edict that taking them result in a charge to my room.
I also found Ritz to be a bit intractable when it came to rules. Free coffee was offered in the lobby lounge downstairs until 7 AM. Heaven help you if you arrive at 701 because at that point all free coffee was removed and you were directed to the coffee shop where you could buy coffee for something approaching four dollars a cup.
When paying these rates it seems to me that there needs to be a balance between the cost of the room and the service included with the cost. Ritz's philosophy "ladies and gentlemen serving other ladies and gentlemen" is appropriate and strictly adhered to. My concern with the Ritz unlike the Four Seasons hotel chain, is that there seems to be some distance between what is promised as service beyond compare and service in actuality.
Again this is just my humble opinion and I appreciate that of other folks I also understand the need to distinguish between the Marriott brand and the Ritz-Carlton brand even though Marriott owns a large share of the company. When the merger occurred there was no comparability between Marriott rewards Ritz-Carlton program but since the two have merged that we now see the benefits accrued in Marriott rewards for being loyal and do not necessarily transfer to the Ritz chain.
all noted and understood. However, a few thoughts from the peanut gallery.
the little card I noticed was different. It was from the General manager welcoming me to the Ritz and thanking me for my business. The wine, cheese, and chocolates were also noticed and appreciated.
regarding the coffee, I found the quality of the coffee in the room to be extraordinary and I found no need or desire to go downstairs to fetch a cup in the lobby.
Finally, has anyone promised that an in-kind acceptance of Marriott member awards would be given at Ritz? If so, pls forward the email to me because I missed it.
I believe that our ability to experience some of what the Ritz is all about using Mariiott points is award enough for me.
Ok, I confess. I accidentally () slipped a FFI wash cloth into my dirty clothes once. I returned it later to a Marriott, but after seeing it being ostracized and made to feel unwelcome by the others, I brought it back home where it has been used and treated without prejudice. Now I just need to figure out what to do with that Holiday Inn ashtray?
No Pretense at the Ritz that there is equality with Marriott Rewards and they have their own points system as you know. There are few discounts to be had even for PP and Lifetime members. My Ritz expectation level was high, my actual experience not that high, but that's just me. I would appreciate the personal service more if it was not so darn expensive!! Seriously Ritz serves a market that I am not really a member of. so they are free to treat or not treat their guests as they please. If I were to compare I'd give the Intercontinental Hotels here and abroad higher marks. Again personal preference. But that makes the world interesting and allows some of us to stay at Fairfields an others at the Ritz.
AS a lifetime Platinum Member, making reservations for Denver they told me over the phone I would get upgraded to club level if available and when arriving and checking in I noticed LA Lakers were there for playoff game. I was told that rooms are available for upgrade but would have to pay...I said that's ok...room was nice but then I decided to take my 5yr old daughter swimming gym guy said that isn't possible....gym is operated by another company which doesn't allow kids of that age on the weekend....Some hotels are havingtheir gyms operated or having memberships with local community which makes sense, but don't close thedoors on your guests that's paying that membership fee in just one nights stay.
I checkedout and went to Marriott denver instead!
I guess I find the presumption of guilt inherent in the card to be more offensive than the card itself. What can be so bad about the theft of a towel that a 500 dollar a night room rate can;t fix? I am being serious. Shrinkage is part of the business of business these days. I wish it were not so , and I do not steal items from rooms even when the room is very expensive.. I would rather Ritz disassociated itself from Marriott Rewards all together since it seems to invite our Elite disappointment when we stay there.
I'm beginning to think I should package up those unused toiletry items that I didn't use and we took home, and mail them back somewhere (maybe you should do that to the Ritz, with a letter to get their attention). Obviously they have decided that the loss of items could put them out of business (as opposed to their poor treatment of customers)!