ssindc

Courtyard Elyria (Ohio): New Property (Ready for Prime Time)

Discussion created by ssindc on Nov 10, 2018

Latest update: TWO IN A ROW!!! I had ANOTHER perfectly normal (fully satisfactory) multi-day stay at this property over the weekend.  Best, most consistent experience ever.  I'm increasingly optimistic about the future.  They've come a long way in the last year...

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[Prior] update:  I had a perfectly normal (fully satisfactory) stay at this property last night.  Best experience ever. Welcomed by the most professional employee/team member I've seen at this property.  Everything went smoothly.  Breakfast was exactly what you'd expect at a Courtyard Bistro.  I'm guardedly optimistic about the future.

 

- - - - PRIOR EXPERIENCE, below ... Let's now call that water over the dam (or at least that's what I hope)!

 

Sorry to post this - and I'll try to even out the bad with the good - but my spouse said it wouldn't be right to say nothing, so, here goes:  [note: 3 updates from subsequent stays at the bottom..]

 

  • Brand spankin' new property - open about a month - we've anxiously been anticipating this property opening because it's very convenient for us as potential repeat customers (and we've stayed at a number of nearby properties (closer to the Cleveland airport) in the past).
     
    • exterior and interior - looks like a brand new Courtyard - and it all looks good - lobby, cafe, rooms, etc - with some new/interesting touches I hadn't previously seen at Courtyard - in particular, plentiful (and well placed) outlets and storage (which is nice).  The open shower is highly European, but not configured to keep all of the water in the shower (but, hey, I've seen much worse in Europe).  One mini-peeve, particularly for a new property - no in-room recycling (no divided trash can), but that's an easy fix.

  • How do I say this?  They're either not yet ready or not yet staffed to meet the brand standard.

    • Two night stay:  today, we left the room before 11:00 am and returned after 9:30 pm - the room had not been serviced (at all).  I call the front desk and say that our room wasn't cleaned today, and the front desk staff responds: "OK."  (Caught off guard, I pause ... and wait ...)  So I say (in a deadpan voice), "you are aware that this is rather unusual, right?" And the staffer cheerfully responds: "Oh, yes, we've had a number of complaints today."  So I say, "but you've made a note of this, right."  And the staffer says "yes," so I say good night.  [No offer of fresh towels or ... well ... anything...]  Whoa....

      • I should have seen it coming when we arrived back at the hotel and the front door trash can was overflowing.  So, on the way in, I stopped at the front desk and said, "if no one else has mentioned it, your trash can is overflowing."  The response I got was "OK."

      • Disappointing postscript on this ... Now that a week has passed, I can confirm no follow-up from the property.  I'm guessing most Marriott Insiders have had similar experiences to me in that, normally, when there's a systematic melt-down at a property [again, the front desk conceded that multiple guests complained that their rooms weren't serviced ... at all], you at least receive an apologetic email from the manager afterwards ... sometimes a refund (which I normally refuse), an offer of a free (or discounted) night in the future (a nice gesture) ... or even some bonus points (which is better than nothing) ... but, this time, ... just radio silence... 

    • Morning breakfast at the cafe (day 1, we didn't bother on day 2) - very short line - the place is 90 percent empty.  The only guy in front of us has (seriously) lost his temper because, apparently, he's been waiting too long for his coffee.  He's smokin' hot, and, at the time, we thought he was being poorly behaved.  (Alas, I'm now much more sympathetic.)  So we order two hot entrees and two coffees.  We sit down and wait ... for 20 minutes. (Fortunately, we were not in a hurry.) Our entrees arrive. My wife mentions that her entree was supposed to come with fruit.  The server agrees ... but the fruit never materializes. We ask about the coffees. The (polite) staffer apologizes and returns with them (after a reasonable wait).  The coffees are the wrong size (but we say it's OK at that point - not worth arguing over a buck or two - see below).  My spouse goes in search of cream for her coffee - alas, no cream, no half-and-half.  (I'm glad I drink my coffee black.)

    • Working backwards - at check in - I asked for a (platinum) breakfast/food coupon - it's only $10, but I'd still like to have the $10 - the front desk staffer says "most people don't ask for them."  And I (gently) point out that, well, I just asked for one.  She looks for one (briefly), but doesn't find any.  We have things to do, so I give up.  It's only $10, but it's irritating. Nice enough room, but no upgrade (which always seems strange when the property is empty - although, in fairness, it appeared the hotel had a much higher occupancy rate the second night we were there).

  • Last additional observation - a strange location/spot in terms of access
    • The property is seemingly in the middle of nowhere but adjacent to the highway (a stone's throw from the toll booth) and behind a massive, partially vacant shopping/strip mall (offering a strong, somewhat eerie ghost-town vibe).  There is a potential entrance from just past the toll booth, but it's blocked.  From there, you have to drive - basically in a circle - around and through the mall - for the better part of a mile to get there. The GPS didn't understand the street/mall parking lot, so I had to turn it off.  Over the course of the weekend, I tried approaching the property from four different directions - it's an extraordinarily long and circuitous route no matter how you cut it.  If you had a 4-wheel drive, and you were willing to cut across a small traffic median, you could shave minutes off your ingress/egress.  We found it all remarkably strange.

Because it's (relatively) convenient, I expect we'll give in another try in the future.  We hope they have some of the kinks worked out by then.

  • Second chance, and ... alas, still not ready for prime time.  So... 3 months later ... trying again.  Late in the afternoon, and it's looking quiet over in the Bistro ... but the front desk suggests patience ... and ... then ... later ... concedes that the Bistro will not be in open for the evening (no dinner, no drinks, no ... nothing) because someone didn't show up that evening.  Oh, my....

  • Third time ... and things are starting to look up....  Still a bizarre back-of-the-ghost-town-mall situation, but it appears that many of the staffing issues in the Bistro are now under control....

  • Fourth try ... are we gluttons for punishment?  We have one future reservation ... but, we fear that, after that, we may simply have to give up.  
    • First day there (after first night) - we're gone from 11:15 am to 5:30 pm - we return - our room has not been made up.  No apology (although we were offered clean towels), no offer of points.  At this point, I think this has happened to me more times at this property than in all of my other Marriott stays combined over ... I dunno how many years....
    • Same BS about breakfast coupons - (still) no coupons at front desk - seriously? - the (nice) folks at the Bistro claim it's not their problem, and that most of the time, the front desk takes it off at check out.  First bill I receive didn't ... so I stopped at the front desk ... and it appears they fixed it, but why should I have to fight about it?
    • We asked for a late check out when we checked in.  We reminded the front desk when we went out the final morning - at the time, the hotel was EMPTY - fewer than 6 cars in the parking lot - front desk staff begrudgingly says we can have the late check out because they're not at capacity.  And, still, when we return from lunch, our keys don't work, so it's back to the front desk....
    • The GPS thing is a serious problem - iPhone GPS cannot locate the property We heard others complaining at the front desk.  We already know our way there - and, admittedly, it's complicated - but, as an experiment, we plugged the hotel into both of our phones - one Android, one iPhone - the Android did fine, but the iPhone literally couldn't get there, even when we were in the parking lot.  Seriously???

Outcomes