JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Discussion created by newdaddy on Nov 13, 2018
Latest reply on Nov 14, 2018 by newdaddy

Just completed my stay here and I have to say, I haven't been this disappointed in a hotel in long time. 

Upon arrival, there were three employee's standing for valet.  Two of them quickly disappeared.  One came over and asked if he could help me.  I told him I was checking in and he asked for my keys.  I popped the tailgate and walked to the back while he was asking my information (name, etc).  Now, call me spoiled, but when I've stayed at full scale Marriott's before, especially resorts, I expect a certain level of service.  For example, no one opened the door for my wife on her side of the car and in this case, no one, not even the valet standing there offered to help with my luggage.  I ended up unloading it myself while the valet stood there and watched.  Now, in hindsight I should have complained right then, but I let it go not wanting to get the trip off to bad start.


Next up check in.  I'd reserved a Signature Resort room, which from my understanding had a king bed and couch with a hide-a-bed as I was traveling with my two children.  The clerk proudly informed me that he'd upgraded me to a signature suite.  Great!  Well, not so much.  It only had a king bed, so nowhere for the kids to sleep.  First time I can remember getting a real upgrade in quite some time and I can't even use it (he did offer me a roll away, which of course would accommodate one child).  Then we come to the usual free breakfast benefit that I receive as a Platinum Premier Elite.  I generally take the points, because its only good for two people and I generally have my two kids with me.  But this time, he explained to me that I could present that cards in any fashion during my stay - for example using 2 cards at one sitting to obtain breakfast for all four of us one morning.  The cards were only good the continental breakfast, but for an additional $10 per person, I could upgrade to a full breakfast (by which I'm presuming he meant the buffet).  I thought this would be a nice touch on the day we left for the airport and would be pressed for time.  More on this later.


Next fun event?  The pool.  The hotel advertises the lazy river with a water slide and charges a $35/day resort fee.  Pretty much the only reason we stayed at this hotel was this feature.  A warm sunny Sunday afternoon - its closed.  I thought maybe it was closed for a break and watched a non-stop stream of kids run up, then run back down after finding it closed.  I hadn't seen any staff, so I called the front desk who tells me - no its open, daily until 7 PM.  I explain the situation and they say they'll take care of it.  About 15 minutes later an employee walks up, spends some time yelling at some kids for being kids in the water (because safety) and then opens the slide.  Except for what looked like a shift change, the slide stayed open the rest of the time we were there, well over 2 hours.  Fair enough.


Monday, first I'm woken by the pleasant sound of a hammer drill.  Seems they have construction going on I didn't know about until I got there right below my room.  Then again, albeit with fewer kids at the pool, the slide's not open.  This time an employee walks by so I ask him.  I get told that they only have two people and no one is available to run it especially, if no one is using it.  Fair enough, but my kids are here and they want to use it.  He says he'll check.  About 20 minutes later he comes back and explains that they are short staffed today, but that his manager will come by run it as long as the kids want to go down it in what I'm going to call a not very customer service friendly tone.  Seriously, I’m on holiday I’m not really interested in being lectured on staffing models.  Twenty minutes or so later an employee comes by, opens the slide, and by this time about 8-10 kids are waiting.   He runs it for about 30 minutes and as soon as the flow of kids slowed, closed it and left.


Now today’s event – the straw that broke the camel’s back.  My family went to the restaurant and at the hostess station I asked about using the cards and explained to her what I’d been told and that we’d like the buffet.  I was told that the buffet wasn't open today, but that I could have a $20 credit against a menu order (never mind that each card is technically worth $40 – the cost of two continental breakfasts), but I could only use the card with today's date on it.  There was a second employee there and she told the hostess that this was incorrect and that I could use two of the cards since there were four of us (exactly what I’d been told at the front desk).  No, the hostess was insistent it wasn’t going to happen.  This went back and forth for about a minute.  I finally just said that we would go someplace else to eat and left.  Kudos to the second employee for understanding customer service.  However, I’m not sure why they date the cards if you can use them anytime during your stay.


Upon check out I went to the front desk. The employee of course asked me how my stay was so I handed the breakfast coupons back, told her not very good and went over this list.  By this time, a second employee who acted like a supervisor had come over.  This employee first offered to adjust my breakfast bill, when I told her I didn’t eat at the restaurant, she offered me the points that I would have received for passing up the breakfast.  I told her not to bother because I’m pretty much past that. 


Then….  You’d think with a disgruntled customer someone would make sure they didn’t have an additional issue on the way out the door.  I left my wife and one son in the lobby with the luggage and went to pull the car up.  Several employees stood around and watched as my wife and son brought the luggage out.   I ran up to help and loaded the bags myself while my son opened the door for his mom…….  It seems that even my 12-year-old son knows what to do.


My bottom line is that I experienced really poor customer service at a hotel that is not inexpensive.  Honestly, while I expect a little pampering, I do demand that services be offered in courteous manner.  A couple of the employees seemed to understand this.  For example, the second employee at the restaurant.  Or another employee, who when we couldn’t find something in the hotel, dropped what he was doing and escorted us to our location.  That’s the kind of customer service I expect.  I didn’t get it during this stay.


Needless to say, I won’t be back anytime soon.