A troublesome lounge closure at JW Marriott Marquis Miami

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by jfhscott, Jul 2, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    So, I write from the JW Marquis in Miami, where I would have anticipated a full CL (on account of status) offering for the weekend. Even as I write, one may book a concierge level room with all the trimmings for this evening (July 2) without respect to it being a weekend - and they will even charge you an additional $120 for the privilege. Indeed, my choice of hotels was based in part on the purported 24/7/52 opening of the CL, and my anticipated access.

    Well, the CL is "open" in that one can get inside, one can get a soda, or a granola bar, but no CL breakfast, no hors d'oeuvres, no late night snacks. They have compensated with breakfast coupons. I made my choice of hotels in part based on CL access, and have timed dinner reservations over drinks and hors d'oeuvre availability. Given that my "entitlement" is based on status, and whatever reliance I have made, I'm not gonna pitch an ugly fit.

    But if I were paying an additional $120, plus tax, I'd quite likely to pitch a fit.

    In general, indicating that a concierge level room is available (and indicating opening every day in the "room details" section, makes a gold/plat rely on availability in making choices. And as for folks who actually pay, the practice of selling a concierge level room when not providing full CL benefits is far worse.

    I should add, the JW Marquis is pretty tricked out and a lovely hotel - just wish they would not leave a poor taste in my mouth.
     
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  2. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Well, its not completely OT, but here are some observations about the new JW.

    It is a wonderful hotel, with just about every imaginable technological element, think in mirror TV's, elevators that talk, etc.

    Finishes are excellent, pleasant millwork, tile, granite. etc.

    Breakfast buffet was quite good, but (and see above) I would have preferred to take a heavy continental breakfast in the beautiful 36th floor bay view CL.

    The gym is likely the best hotel gym I have ever seen. The pool is quite good, but being amongst tall buildings, never gets sufficient sun to warm up even in July.

    I also got a tour of the Hotel Beaux Arts, which is on the top floors of the JW's building. It is even more fashion forward than the JW. The CL breakfast was obviously catered from the JW's kitchen - same preseantations as at the buffet.

    As for the CL "closure", I remain a bit perturbed. First, to the extent the CL had stripped down services, it was neglected. I should have photographed the rather foul looking bananas which browned over the weekend. And I think they really have made a mistake making CL rooms available for purchase online when the CL was, essentially, closed. I undertand that they have an interest in closing when there are few eligible guests, but when they have reasonably raised expectations, they should do more. Indeed, for guests who have actually paid for CL, I would think it appropriate to accomodate them in the CL in the Hotel Beaux Arts. I think this is the proper way to mitigate the terrible practice of selling CL rooms when they know the CL will be closed.

    And I add, to the extent I "expected" the CL, it was based on their willingness to sell a CL room, and that the "room details" description - unlike many, many, Marriotts - lists no times of closure. Indeed, I was assurred over the phone last week that the CL was open 7 days a week. They failed to satisfy what I consider to be well reasoned expectations.
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Did you complain to the hotel at the time and escalate to at least the assistant manager on duty? I think a complaint to Marriott HQ would be appropriate as I consider if fraudulent to sell a club room (especially with the lounge benefits explicitly in the room description) when the lounge is closed.
     
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  4. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    I did not complain at the time nor did I escalate.

    At bottom, my "entitlement" was based on status, not upon having paid for a CL room. And if the CL is closed, of course, no entitlement based on status. Hence, any grievance would be based on reliance on their representations of CL being open and not on what I actually purchased. As noted above, I had made the selection of hotels, timing of dinner reservations, etc., based on such reliance. I understand these fine points on account of my being an attorney, and I suppose others understand them as well as just being proper commercial practice for a vendor to fulfill promises which the vendor understands will generate reliance. I would not anticipate that an assitant manager on duty at a 30% full (I asked) hotel would appreciate these fine points, especially when the hotel is obtuse enough to be selling CL rooms at the very instant they have no intention to provide them. (Unless, of course, the assistant manager is a recent, jobless, law school graduate).

    I just did not think then, or now, that they would appreciate that the nub of the complaint would be what they encouraged me to rely upon.

    That said, it appears the policy there is to close the CL during summer weekends, but still offer CL rooms for sale. A sorry practice for a suburban Marriott, and even worse for a hotel of the JW Marquis Miami's caliber. And I think HQ would want it straigtened out.
     
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  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    IANAL but I would consider it to be fraudulent to sell rooms on their website where the room description includes lounge benefits when the hotel plans to close the lounge.

    Even if your lounge access is an elite benefit, it's not unreasonable to feel entitled to use the lounge unless its closing is announced, for example on the hotel's website. What you term reliance caused you to choose this property, perhaps paying more for it compared to equivalent alternatives. So you do have a right to complain even if you didn't pay extra to reserve the club room.
     
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  6. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    And I agree. I just hate the term "entitled". I'm over 40 and if my mom heard me talking about that to which I'm "entitled" she'd smack me just like she would have when I was 4.

    And, yes, there are definite aspects of fraud here, and certainly the makings of a customer relations debacle. I suspect that the booking interface and the decisions about lounge closure need to be reconciled. In the meantime, this property does have a very good way to mitigate, as the sister property JW Beaux Arts Hotel atop the JW has a CL, and I would think the JW could make arrangements for those with reasonable expectations of CL access to use the Beaux Arts lounge - always better to provide an upgrade over a downgrade.
     
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  7. SkiAdcock
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    SkiAdcock Silver Member

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    If I paid an extra $120 for lounge access & it wasn't available, I'd definitely talk to the FDM or GM & tell them to credit my c.c. $120. 'Nuf said.

    Most hotels have, in the room details for exec rooms, the days/hours of the exec lounge, which usually lets you know if it's open or closed on weekends. So someone, if they're willing to drill down one click to room description, would know it was closed & if they had any brains, would say 'pass' on the extra $120. But if they didn't, I could see them being pretty angry.

    I'm not an IT person, so don't know how hard it is to program in weekend dates to reflect exec level rooms Also some hotels which had closed lounges have opened them again, and some compensate with a full breakfast in the restaurant and/or drink/appetizer cert. I keep a master thread on properties who do so in the Marriott forum on Flyertalk based on reports by FTers, and obviously it's always subject to change.

    But does help folk like the OP who makes his plans based on an expection that turns out to be there in reality.

    Cheers.
     
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  8. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Thank you for undertaking this thankless task.

    FWIW, it seems the JW Marquis closes its CL only for low season weekends.

    I had literally confirmed with the front desk that the CL was open 365 days a year the Tuesday prior to my weekend stay. When I arrived 5 days later, not so much. My suggestion to this property is simple - when a guest entitled to lounge access due to status or having paid for it, (1) provide it, or (2) key their room card for access to the lounge at the Hotel Beaux Arts. A buffet breakfast on the 2nd floor does not equal continental breakfast, midday snacks, hors d'oeuvres, etc., overllooking Biscayne Bay on the 36th Floor.

    I wrote Marriott customer service about this issue a week and a half ao and have received no response.
     
  9. Kevin
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    Kevin Active Member

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    I booked a September stay with the expectation of having elite status by then and being able to have CL access. I may go with a lower priced hotel if I am not able to confirm that the CL will be open on weekends in September.
     
  10. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Well, I don't know how you confirm it.

    Calling the Tuesday prior to my arrival and explicitly asking did not help me get accurate information . . . .

    And accurate information which I can rely on to make decisions is the mnimum I expect of them

    Still no response from Marriott to my letter.
     
  11. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Well, well, well . . . .

    Just did a dummy booking on marriott.com and it looks like they have changed the language relating to the benefits of the CL, finally reflecting its closure on the weekends as follows:

    • This room features Concierge lounge access
    • Closed: Weekends, Closed: Friday 12:00pm to Sunday 5:00pm, breakfast vouchers will be given upon check-in
    • Complimentary food:
    • - Continental breakfast
    • - midday snack
    • - afternoon tea
    • - hors d'oeuvres
    • - dessert
    • - late night snack
    • Cocktails, for a fee
    • Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages
    • Honor bar
    • Business services, for a fee
    The dummy booking I did still chows the concierge level as being $120 more, but the click thru disclosure has been fixed at last.
     
  12. Kevin
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    Kevin Active Member

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    For anyone with upcoming trips: I spoke with the hotel and they anticipate fully staffing the lounge again on weekends starting sometime in October.
     
  13. I found out that the JW Miami Marquis,JW Brickell Marriott,Dadeland Marriott, and the Dadeland Courtyard Marriott are own by a franchise company named MDM Group. You could try calling MDM Group. I for one found it interesting that they own the Dadeland Courtyard,it's set up for business travelers.Yet the JW Miami Marquis is also set up for business purposes too. And their Courtyard rooms look better than the JW Miami Marquis.
     

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