We stayed at W this past Xmas for 8 nights using reward points. This was not a very smooth experience and I am comparing this with my reward points stay at Ritz in Grand Cayman last year over Xmas.
For reference, I am titanium member and most of my personal/business spend goes against Marriott credit cards. On both stays I was there with my wife and kids.
At Ritz, I was upgraded 2 or 3 levels without even asking for an upgrade. At W I used my suite awards and I was upgrade only level up, something that I can get usually as Titanium member without using suite awards.
When I asked W for better upgrade for suite awards, I was told that hotel would want more revenues for better rooms and my spend in dollars with hotel was not enough.
Ritz had awesome service, they also provided turndown service. (FYI, no turndown service at W). At W my experience was completely different:
- 3 days in a row when I came back to the room at 3 to 4pm, my room was not done. Eventually I just asked for room service using mobile app everyday after leaving the room
- Several days, I only got 2 clean towels even though I had a lot more people in the room.
- Service barely replenished shampoo/body wash. One day we came back to hotel ready to take a shower and all we had was half used small body wash bottle. If I remember correctly mouth wash was never replenished after initial batch.
At W welcome gift was either points or $25/night towards breakfast at El Vez. We took $25/night which was enough to cover breakfast for 1 adult only. At Ritz after first few days, Ritz provided full breakfast buffer for all family members.
I do realize that resorts don’t provide free breakfast or guarantee 4pm checkout. However, beyond welcome gift, there was no indication that I was a titanium member. I get more recognition at Courtyards.
On the other hand, Ritz was doing a lot of little things to make us feel welcome and show appreciation for our status. We got none of that at W.
Breakfast at W
Every morning when we showed up at El Vez, we saw plenty of empty tables. However we had to wait between 10 to 25 minutes every day to get sited. It appeared that El Vez did not have enough people working there to accommodate all guests. I would not mind if this happened once or twice, but this was the case every day.
At Ritz, I ordered a cake to the room for morning off for my wife’s bday. Ritz did some of the nicest decorations on the cake that we ever saw and delivered everything on time.
At W, I was told they need 48-hour notice to get a cake to the room. OK, so I ordered some desert of the room service menu and asked for decorations for my wife. The morning off, we woke up earlier than expected and I called hotel and asked for desert to come earlier. They had no records of my order. Desert came 30 minutes late without any decorations.
For the evening we ordered some Champagne for adults and cookies for kids to the room. Next day we had left over Champagne and cookies. Next day in the evening, we came book to the room and my kids were looking forward to finishing the cookies. However, both Champagne and cookies were gone. I decided not to complain about Champagne, but I ended up talking to 5 people and waiting 5 hours before they brought cookies for my kids back to the room.
Our flight was at 9pm so we wanted to stay at the hotel as long as possible. We did not get 4pm check out, so we packed, left our luggage with concierge and went to the pool/hot tub. At 4.30pm, we came to the main pool that had change room/showers for us to clean up and change.
These change rooms were closed. We waited, wet in a strong wind, for 20 minutes before someone came (they had to find the keys) to open up change rooms for us. Change room looked like it was not cleaned in a day or two.
Ritz at Grand Cayman is an amazing property that we would love to come back to, W not so much. I do realize that Ritz is higher category than W. However if you are saving your points for a luxury vacation, don’t waste your points on W.