As part of doing a Platinum challenge, we decided to have a hotel night in our own city area. As Marriott Elites, we have hardly ever had such a bad experience.
It started off with our arrival: first employee tried to check us in, but she couldn't find my name. She didn't pay attention to me spelling it out, so I had to pull out one of my older Gold Elite member cards. No mention of my membership status (although hardly any properties in Quebec province seem to follow the Marriott script "I see that you have *** elite status, so we'd like to thank you for your loyalty") throughout the check-in process. Since I saw before leaving our home that the website still listed suites as available, we inquired if we could be upgraded (roughly the only benefit an elite member can receive at a Courtyard). Without any explanation, she asked her male colleague to take over and she simply left.
The male colleague turned to us after a minute of typing and clicking and concluded that he couldn't upgrade us to a suite. We accepted his answer and took the keys for the room that was originally appointed to us.
The "King Room", part 1
Upon arrival in the room, I verified one last time if there was still a suite popping up and indeed: it was still offered on line. When I called down to the front desk where the male associate picked up, I mentioned the available suite and asked why it seems so complicated to upgrade a Gold Elite member. He said that our reservation wasn't booked through one of the official Marriott channels, thus not being eligible for upgrades. I confirmed that I booked my room on Marriott.com with AAA/CAA discount, so that his explanation didn't make sense. He said he would try one last time. I heard typing, the associate was swearing and after a minute mentioned that he'd call me back in under 5 minutes.
5 minutes later he arrived at our door with new room keys and mentioned that we could take the time we needed and simply leave the old room keys at our earliest convenience at the front desk. We thanked him and took our luggage to the new room.
The "King Suite"
We did receive a suite, but one adapted to guests with reduced mobility: no fancy walk-in shower, but a low old-style tub; view on the huge garbage container of the hotel; and a queen-sized bed (we can understand that a wheelchair needs to be able to fit beside it, but on the website it's still sold as a "Suite, King Bed"). Maybe the FDA should've mentioned this before getting us to move to several floors and pretty much the entire lengths of both hallways?
More importantly, we were turned off by finding hairs on the bed linen and a lot of dirt on the carpeted floor. We called back down to let the front desk know that we would return to our original room, mentioning the problems. He had the guts to tell us: "Well, you wanted a suite so badly."
The "King Room", part 2
Back in our "King Room," I noticed that this bed was not a king bed at all. Staying frequently in hotels and always receiving king beds, I can recognize a king bed when I see one. Lying in them, this was a lot more like the queen-size bed we have at home (or an "olympic queen" at best). Also, the King room was a lot less spacious than the pictures on the official website give as an impression. The sofa is a sofa bed, but I doubt that there is enough space to fold it open (or, if it there is, you couldn't walk between the two beds, so some room occupants would have challenges going to the bathroom in the middle of the night that will surely wake up the other occupants).
More on the rooms: we noticed that both rooms had big HVAC units that I would expect in retrofitted hotel properties, not in newly constructed hotels. These models are very noisy and aggressive: I can't have the unit on while working at the desk or I'll catch a cold with the cold air flow while the unit is simply trying to maintain the current temperature.
Upon dropping off the keys to the unused suite, the FDA mentioned he'd follow up with housekeeping about the dirt. NOT ONCE IN OUR LIST OF INTERACTION DID ANYONE OFFER THE SLIGHTEST, SHORTEST, CHEAPEST APOLOGY. The front desk duo made us feel like we were a burden and simply there to make their jobs possible, instead of making us feel real elite members or even valued guests/clients for that matter.
The pool facilities
At the end of the night, we decided to take advantage of the pool. It was full with kids (youth league ice hockey teams), throwing balls all over the place. The supervising parents didn't give a damn and even the lifeguard on duty seemed discouraged, but did an effort to draw the line somewhere. We used the hot tub, the main pool (both at excellent temperatures!) and one of the two sauna rooms (access through the pool area, so we could use them mixed, contrary to certain hotels where the saunas are located in the changing rooms). However, the kids came bang on the window in the door. The lifeguard chased the kids away and started closing the pool. She was kind enough to give us a few minutes extra, but the sauna didn't heat up fast enough to actually take advantage of it. The hotel should consider dedicating the last hour of the pool's opening hours exclusively to adults.
The only reason for giving 2 stars is the very nice staff at the bistro, named Morgan 44. We appreciated that it was not the standard "Bistro" that most Courtyards have, but the offering was only slightly more inspired and still pretty pricey for a property at the end of the Montreal island.
Soooo.... do the communitymanagers know how to claim the "Room Type Guarantee" compensation in the case that the property cheaps out on the beds they put in the rooms and simply sell queen beds as king beds?
Pictures coming as soon as I figure out how to transfer pictures from my gf's iphone. (My battery died and I'm not an Apple-kinda guy.)