Hello All - I'm lifetime titanium, and have been an Ambassador for 2 years now. 1740 Lifetime nights and I should have no problem making Ambassador again in 2020. I just wrapped up a week in London for work, and for this trip I brought my wife and 3 kids (11, 9 and 4), who were excited to check out London while I was working. We elected to stay at the the London County Hall Hotel, which was a good location for the family and more importantly it had a pool for the kids. I booked a single room suite to accommodate my family.
Upon check-in our experience was abruptly halted, when the hotel staff wouldn't allow 5 people in my 500 pound/night suite. They checked with the Manager on duty and there was no way to make an exception for my 4-year daughter. We had to shell out an additional 300 pounds per night for a second room, and the suite that I booked, well in the hotel's view that was also no going to work since it didn't connect to the 2nd room we were just forced to accept. Okay, sure, my fault. I know some places strictly enforce the 4 occupancy maximum, but really for a 4-year old? We accepted the solution, since it was clearly stated a 4 person max in each room. So now at 800 pounds per night for 2 rooms (that were advertised at 300 pounds/night each), we were ready to have an exceptional experience, right?!?!......WRONG!
After the hour long check-in debacle, we were eager to get to our room, and get settled-in and prepare for the coming week. We decided room service would be an easy way to feed the kids and get things situated. Well, after an hour of trying to reach someone on the phone who worked at the hotel we gave up. So now, between the check-in and hour waiting for service, over 2 hours have been wasted with nothing to show. We marched down to the restaurant to place our dinner order. Okay, maybe it was just a bad day, right?!?!?.....WRONG!
The next day, I was off to work early in the morning. My wife and kids still fast asleep, and I assumed they would use the Executive Lounge to get Coffee and an early morning snack. A few hours into my work day, my wife texted me to inform me they would not let her into the Executive Lounge and she had to pay for coffee/snacks down in the restaurant. Ok....there must be some error. Over 1,700 nights, we have never had this problem at any other Marriott Property before. I contacted my Ambassador via email and asked her to check with the Hotel Manager. My Ambassador asked me to talk with the Manager Andre when I returned to the hotel to clear up the situation. I got to the hotel and Andre was no longer on shift, but the Manager on Duty spoke with me and had no idea about the issue. He said he would look into it, and get back to me........well, 24 hours later no response.
Day 3, I was off to work again. My wife tried the lounge only to be told again, she was not allowed. After a debate the lounge staff let here in for a whopping 10 minutes to grab something quick. After work that evening, I checked in with the Manager, who had no idea about my previous complaint. He would talk with Andre and find out the issue.
Day 4, I decide I would try Lounge. It was me and my 11 year old son. I entered the lounge and they were checking room numbers....somewhat strange...no really a normal thing at most other properties. I said I had 2 rooms with 5 people, but only 2 were coming today. There was some sort of confusion and I was not on the list. A bit irritated, I mentioned my 2 rooms under my Ambassador status should qualify for access. Well, they needed to check, but we were allowed to enter. I immediately went to the front desk to sort this out. A new Manager on Duty greeted me and assured me that my Ambassador status authorized 4 people in the lounge and that my 4-year daughter was free throughout the hotel. She contacted the lounge staff to let them know....okay, all is well, right?!?!?.....WRONG!
Day 5 and 6, again my wife was denied access. At this point, she gave up. Apparently 800 pounds per night was not enough to allow my family to get a cup of coffee and a 2 pound muffin. Upon checkout I asked the desk to remove the breakfast charge from day 2, since we were inappropriately charged because we were denied access to the lounge. He thought it would be a good opportunity to educated me on how the lounge works. I lost my patience and someone else eventually removed the charge.
So all-in-all, if you enjoy paying full London Rates and getting charged for every benefit that should come free with Ambassador status, then London County Hall is your place. For those who expect consistency with other properties and some acknowledgment of your loyalty, I would recommend that find another option in London. There are many hotels who value your loyalty and don't treat their Ambassadors like trash!
I'm curious about other experiences at this hotel with Elites or Ambassadors. Was this a one-time issue or is this a common experience? Needless to say, my next business trip to London in 2 weeks, will stay clear of this hotel.