A tale of two Marriotts:
Organized a family reunion to celebrate uncle's 80th and aunt's 75th birthdays in July 2015. Family came in from NC, CA, etc. We stayed at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Farmingdale, Long Island, NY. I can't say enough about the manager Paul Rowe and his staff. They went out of their way to make our 4 night stay incredible. They were about 16 of us staying at the hotel and Paul and his staff were constantly checking in with us to make sure we had everything we needed. Paul Rowe perfectly exemplified the Marriott brand for excellent service.
Last week visited the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa which is part of their Autograph Collection. Beautiful hotel, beautiful location. However, this was the most dysfunctional hotel I ever stayed at. At checkin I upgraded our room to a lakeview (additional $40). I had reserved a room with two queens. They assigned a room with only a king (I was visiting with my 80 year old mom and my sister) which would work for the 3 of us. Plus, for an additional $40 there wasn't really much of a lake view. They said they would change our room to one with 2 queens but we'd have to wait. They would call my cell when it was ready. No problem - we went to lunch in the little village and were killing time, waiting for the checkin call. Around 3:30, went back to hotel to inquire about room. Oh yes, they said, room has been ready for quite some time. NO CALL.
Room's heater didn't work, was blowing only cold air. They sent someone up to repair. We then went to dinner at hotel's restaurant Bin 189. Food was okay but service horrible. Waited nearly 1 hour for our food to be served. Arrived cold. Sent it back to be heated, waited another 20 mins. What a disaster.
Back to room after dinner. No heat. I'n now tired and frustrated. Seems like all day was consumed with dealing with problems. At 8pm they switched our room to one with heat.
The night desk manager,, Dominique, was very kind and comped our dinner and wine and gave us a voucher for breakfast. That was kind of her. But what I had planned as a nice overnight trip for my sister, mom, and I turned into 24 hours of dealing with one issue after another. Not fun.
As an aside, I don't understand how this hotel earned the Autograph designation. Rooms need updating. Glass window in lounge has a long horizontal crack sealed with tape (tacky), room door had to be slammed to close as lock malfunctioning. No bar in lounge - have to walk into restaurant and order. I'm not a picky person but we had a much better experience at the TownePlaceSuites - go figure.