As Gold elite for many years, for the first time I was Downgraded on arrival at a Marriott hotel: The Lexington NY Autograph Collection! Also the first time I was not greeted as Gold elite. Maybe there are more Gold elites than ever in 2018 so benefits go down (like, way down in this case!).
This past weekend we checked in at the Lexington in NYC, in a polar cold and after a long drive from Montreal. After a fantastic stay at the Marriott Harbor Beach over the holidays (at the same time as Bill Marriott I heard) we wanted to see the tree at the Rockefeller Center and do some shopping. I picked the Lexington although we usually stay at the Marquis since I had read good things about it.
Upon checking in, the front desk agent (Catherine) expeditiously handed us the room keys and the breakfast vouchers. No acknowledgement whatsoever of my status. Didn’t ask if we needed help with the luggage.
Since she had mentioned that with the cold weather they had many cancellations, I asked if there was any possibility of an upgrade. She said she would look, took back the first set of keys and gave me another saying that she found us a nicer room. So we went to the room assigned only to find out that it was ridiculously small. I looked up my reservation on the Marriott web site and it said that we were in a Cozy Queen Room (this is one feature I like, being able to see in your account the room type right after the check in), the second smallest room types in the hotel. No way this was an upgrade, and it wasn't even the room I had booked (king), forget about a suite upgrade (who gets those anymore??).
Back to the front desk with our luggage, talked to a manager who put us back in a king size room, pretty large with two bathrooms. No apology, no explanation and we were tired after the long drive so just left it at that.
The next day I went to talk to him since I was passing by the lobby and he only offered the explanation that Catherine was in training and she didn’t know the room types. Seriously??
I expect all front desk agents especially at a Luxury brand (from the hotel website 'More than just a luxury hotel') to know the hotel’ rooms. What happened was probably just plain incompetence but if she was indeed in training, it reflects poorly on the hotel management to let her check in guests by herself, it should be an embarrassment. So my impression was that no one really cares about the customer, it’s a run of the mill operation, and certainly the Gold Elites are not recognized.
What is the point of trying to reach a high status with Marriott if it doesn't mean anything at the end of the day? Fighting for benefits, like mentioned in another post, no thanks!
I have already nominated two associates for the Spirit to Serve for their outstanding professionalism, this time unfortunately I am writing about a different kind of experience.