Wow, is it different staying at a Marriott in the US these days than in Europe - this is only my second time in a year in the US and I am NOT happy. I checked into the Chicago Marriott Downtown (Mag. Mile) and except for breakfast this morning it has been a bad experience. Admittedly this was booked through a conference (this is the conference hotel), but I supplied my Platinum Premier rewards number upon booking (and all my preferences on record). I have had no trouble with conference hotels giving me full amenities in the past.
I checked in at the Elite Desk no less, and while I was given my elite access cards to the Concierge Lounge, I was told it is closed on weekends. I pointed out that as a Platinum Premier that I am entitled to some other breakfast compensation, and the woman at the desk simply said, "we don't do that." Then I got to my room, which instead of a king or queen bad had two full beds. Nice view of city, but not lake, and a small room.
Then I went to the CL for hors d'oeuvres and drinks. The hors d'oeuvres consisted of three choices: a cooked ham and cheese sandwich, Minnesota rice soup, and some cut up cheese. Then I asked for a glass of wine, and for the first time in years I had to pay for it -- and dearly $9.97 a glass. If this is what staying at a full service Marriott is like in the US these days I am glad I stay almost exclusively overseas.
Unfortunately since I have to preside, I have no time to complain personally (esp about the lack of weekend breakfast), but I would give this hotel at best a 1 star rating out of five.
Hi SS and Jasper,
I got in late last night and now have absolutely no free time until I leave Sunday. I'm curious to hear from Canadians whether they are experiencing any of these problems. When I stayed at the Toronto Marriott on Bloor last spring, I was treated like a queen.
Meanwhile, I have discovered yet another problem - the bathroom was so cramped it was difficult not only to use the bathtub (seemingly built for children) but even to use for makeup (I did so using the main room mirror). None of the usual amenities like hairdryer is built in and there is no pullout mirror.
I'm glad I stay outside the US, because I would not be a loyal Marriott person if this is the norm. I probably won't be able to write more till I get home but will hope to see more comments then.
Prof, I hope when you get a chance you transfer your comments to the new hotel rating system so that this becomes even a more official poor rating of this hotel..I know when I have stayed here in the past, the service was very good and was upgraded to a suite..that being several years ago though!!!
These issues go directly to the article posted by steppingstones regarding customer service issues being the task of 2012 for hoteliers. There is far too much of this 'attitude' with Marriott (I call it poor training) and they really need to 'get it together' this year. The comentary of 'we don't do that' to the Professor is, at best, insulting. It's like the Marriott I stayed at (and reported on this blog) that told me 'we don't have the staff to do that' (their job) when I had an inquiry about a bad process.
2012 is a year to get it together. I hope Marriott is tuning in.
Sadly, that was exactly what happened to me on my last trip. It was also so loud in the lobby with all the conventioneers (Which I was not) that it was uncomfortable. I wound not wait in the lines to eat or drink in the Lobby/2nd floor.
What really got me was the inconsistency, I had been upgraded to a fantastic room the time before, and did not expect it again, but didn't appreciate the poor room I had last time. There are too many other great places that I can count on to take care of me in the future.
I'm home now, thank goodness, from the worst full-service Marriott experience I have ever had, including well before I was Platinum Premier -- but then it meant something in those days even to be silver or gold. Granted this is the first "full-service" (HAH) Marriott I have stayed in in the USA in the past twelve months -- there's an annual conference I go to which almost always features the Marriott as one of the key conference hotels. But I could've stayed right nearby at the Chicago Courtyard Marriott or the Residence Inn, and if I had had any time at all during the conference I would have checked out immediately. (Except that I did use my gift card at check-in.)
I am sure others have had different experiences and there are probably lovely suites and nice rooms, but I sure did not get one of them. While partially I'll be repeating myself, now I will tell the whole story:
-- no recognition as a PP at check-in
-- had to ask for Platinum gift
-- was told about breakfasts on weekends 'we don't do that'
-- given a room on the 42nd floor (ok, that part looked good till I saw the room)
-- the bathroom was a cubbyhole, which is why they kept the blow dryer in a bag in the closet and why there was no pullout mirror. You could not keep the door ajar and stand in front of the mirror at the same time
- the bathtub was made for short tiny people (but I really needed baths, so I used it after my sanitizing)
- the toilet bowl bottom was either permanently dirty and never cleaned with clorox or rusted
- the toilet paper could not be reached without scratching your hands on the wood partition which it was behind
- the furniture in the very small room (again, not my online and accessible preference, which is king or queen bed -- instead I got two full sized) was scratched, portions seemingly carved out, etc.
- I will add a brand new report for the Concierge Lounge, but we'll see. Suffice it to say here, it was open (during my time there Wed night; Thurs morning and night; Friday morning); it reopens Sunday night (in theory)
- Other people in rooms on the same floor had newspapers outside their door; I did not except for one day
- The internet was ridiculous. Most international ones have it all figured out by now and you just log in. Even last year in Boston, I didn't have to sign up for the seeming $14.95 package every day as I did this time, even though it wasn't charged (I checked the night before I checked out)
- Since the CL was completely closed on the weekend, you could not even get in to get water or use the printer. So I went down to their kiosks first starting at the now infamous elite desk. I was told they often don't work, but they'd print them for me. The kiosks didn't work; they did print it for me, but I had to give them my Delta Skymiles number to do so.
On the days there is breakfast it is very good. On the days there is not, if you eat at Harvest restaurant it will cost you $20-25 for the basics.
The true service personnel (bellhops, maids, etc.) were very nice, a sharp contrast with SOME - not all - of the desk staff.
Now I'm going to post a theory about the Chicago Marriott's very weird CL and see if those of you who stay in the US regularly, unlike me, have experienced it elsewhere. But it will be a separate post.
But I am unlikely ever to stay at a full service Marriott in the US again, though I will in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and other places I may someday visit, unless they start getting back to the business of service, which was also mentioned on the wildly popular breakfasts page.
Isn't there some kind of guarantee that you get your preference if enough notice if the reservation is far enough in advance?
That's terrible to be treated like that and to have those experiences. I'm sure the price didn't reflect the lack of quality, so they probably make plenty of money to refurbish.
How was the mattress, as if that really makes any difference?
The Marriott Magnificent Mile was probably also getting a cut of the action from the American Historical Association's naming it a conference hotel. I know I paid a guaranteed deposit months in advance and it did ask for my Rewards number and status. The mattress was not too good -- which is a shame because one of the things I've always loved about Marriotts are their oh-so-comfy mattresses. But then it was a full bed, which I am not used to, so maybe my memory was deceiving me.
How was the speed of the wifi, Professor?
What a scathing review...Marriott should be ashamed of this treatment. If I got treated like you did, I would have spoke directly to the GM about my concerns, let him/her know that I would be providing a terrible review as a PP on Insiders and on other travel sights. I expect to be travelling to Chicago in 2012 and I can assure you I will not be stating at this hotel!!! These kind of reviews surely will result in some of us supposedly Marriott Warriors to not stay here...I hope the Marriott Insiders are listening here and report back to the non magnificent Chicago Marriott Magnificent mile hotel, because I would expect they will be losing a lot of the Insider's business!!!
This sounds worse than the recent reviews of Marriott Marquis in NYC and that is saying a lot!!!
Prof....... were you there this week-end for the AHA conference? I agree that the hotel was not up to par. I had maintenance in my room 5 times. The silver lining was that all staff members were very nice and helpful. The lounge on Thursday evening and friday morning was ok.
Yes, I was there for an affiliate society of the AHA. But since I go to these things every year (and stay at Marriotts), I can say unquestionably that was completely different from past experiences elsewhere. The hotel, other than the glitzy lobby and elevators, is getting really old and they don't seem to be making an effort to fix the guest rooms.
I have to agree on how appalling this was! I too am glad you have shared all this substandard treatment, and really feel it shouldn't happen to even the lowest of Marriott members (of which you are not even close!). Since most of my Marriott experiences have been in the US, other than a few trips to Mexico, I am really looking forward to some nice treatment when we finally get to go "Abroad". It's a shame that the ones in the US can't step up!!
Totally agree! Checked outwith no feeling from the Platinum desk--they could not have cared less! Went to J.W. Marriott which is phenomenal in every respect. This is the way you treat a guest--no matter what their status! Every employee here seems to love their hotel which speaks volumes about management. Try Table Fifty-Two restaurant and sit at the chef's table if you can get a spot! Not to be missed!!
There is a nice FF, and a CY on Ontario Street just a short walk from MMM. Next to it is a very nice place to dine in an old brownstone, Les Nomades. Having been there twice, one time it was outstanding and the other good but not great. A very peaceful place, and it will go back for a third time. It is right next to the FF.
We are just leaving the JW Marriott after what can only be described as four exceptional days. The concierge lounge was really topnotch with every amenity and lovely staff waiting to attend to every need. The rooms were large and really well appointed. We used the health club and found it to be first rate, The Spa, VALEO, is not to be missed! This is going to be on our list for a repeat trip! Although this hotel was a little off the convention circuit for our trip, it was a nice respite from the bustle of that activity. We felt really valued by every member of the staff here and are so happy that we left the disgraceful Marriott on Michigan Avenue! Thank you to TRU restaurant and Table Fifty-Two for really magnificent dinerexperiences in the windy city. Capital Grill and The Gage were also great. Chicago is a fabulous town!!
Congratulations, on a great stay! Likewise, I am sure glad to get a good report on the hotel. It has been an extreme hotel for me, either really good or really bad. Really disappointing the last time I was there, but as you say it is a "Conventioneer" hotel and I don't go to conventions.
Again, glad you had a great time, and please keep us informed of your Marriott experiences.
My first thought is to wonder if this is a franchise or a corporate property. I have found a significant disparity in the way the two seem to treat Marriott's elite customers. My wife and I spent this past weekend at a conference at the Marriott Dallas/Plano Town Center. Our room was upgraded to a suite and, even though the concierge lounge was closed, we had certificates for breakfast in the lobby restaurant. I have found that in the US, with rare exceptions, the concierge lounges do change for wine, beer, and cocktails. I have been staying as of late at the newly remodeled Marriott Atlanta Perimeter Center. Across the board, their staff is second to none. When in Chicago, I completely agree with Jerry. The Renaissance just down the street is the place to stay.
I have had a completely different experience at Chicago Magnificent Mile regarding my PP status. I have stayed at this location on four different occasions. On three of the four, I was upgraded after asking. On all four of the trips, my room has been very nice. The front desk staff has always been great.
My children love the huge staircase in the lobby from the second floor. It makes them feel like little princesses walk the steps to a ball. They have been welcome on the two trips that they were able to attend.
I have been there on very busy weekends when there has been a conference (AHA) and on weekends where there was seemingly fewer guests. My experience has been the same during both.
I wish your experience there had been better. Typically the Midwest is quite pleasant.