I have a few questions. Last week I had an eye appointment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I found out I had to be back very early the next morning; I live about 45 miles away and I decided to stay overnight so I started looking online at Marriott properties nearby. The was Residence Inn only a block away that showed the AAA rate of 98 dollars for the night. I didn’t book it at the time because I had to meet someone and was running a bit late. After my meeting I drove to the Residence Inn, went in without a reservation and said I noticed online there was a AAA rate of 98 dollars. The man at the front desk looked at his computer and said he showed a rate of 196 dollars for AAA members. HUH?? I didn’t pursue it, nor did I tell him I was a Marriott Gold member but went back out to my car, logged onto Marriott’s website and booked the 98 dollar rate.
I went back in and said I had a reservation and gave him my name. He thanked me for being a Gold member and told me the options for parking. Inside parking was 20 dollars a day and outside, which was only a half a block away was 10 dollars. I told him I would park outside. Then I said I know you have your policies and procedures but why couldn’t you book the 98 dollar rate I saw online. He said it didn’t come up on his computer. I thanked him and went to my room. I don’t know if he felt guilty or what but I noticed I didn’t get charged for parking.
Something similar happened a few years ago at a full service Marriott, I don’t remember the exact circumstances but I walked in without a reservation and asked if I could get the senior rate. At first I was told it was sold out but then I told her I was a Marriott Gold member and then she said she would check with her manager. She came back and said there were a few rooms left at the senior rate so she booked it for me.
I know booking online will give one the best rates but what I saw and what the Residence Inn quoted me was almost 100 dollars difference. Really?? The least he could’ve suggested was to go back online and book it. I realize Marriott is a business and a business needs to be profitable but has anyone else experienced this and do the front desk personnel really not see the rates we do when we log onto Marriott’s website? Does it help to state one is a Marriott Rewards member? Is it up to the discretion of the front desk whether they book a certain rate or not?