Disappointed in Marriott —- Beware of the Bait and Switch
I rarely, if ever, write a review for a business, product or service. When I do it is usually because the service was either exceptional or so abhorrent that I feel it is my duty to warn others. My stay after 2 hours at the Marriott KoOlina Beach Club on O’ahu is the latter. I frequently travel for business and pleasure and have stayed at some of the best hotels around the world. I have had a particular allegiance to the Marriott brand because of what is usually high quality service, consistency of the properties and the ability to trust that your actual accommodations will match your reservation. I have gone out of my way to arrange my travel to stay at a Marriott property and my trip to O’ahu was no exception. I was thrilled to find the property and even more pleased when I was able to book an “Ocean View” room for me and my daughter. Things quickly went south upon our arrival.
Upon arrival, the bel hop took our luggage, gave us a claim check and said that he would bring the luggage to our room after we checked in. What he failed to tell us was that we would need to call the bell stand and request that they bring the luggage to the room. I only found this out after I waited for an hour and then went back to the lobby to claim our luggage. I can attribute this to a communication issue so no big deal. What I cannot, however, attribute to a communication issue is that we were not given the Ocean View room we reserved and paid extra for. When we go to our room we immediately went to the balcony to check out the ocean. Only problem is there was no ocean (See photos from balcony). We could see the pool, mountains and lots of trees but no Ocean. Thinking this must be a mistake I went back to the front desk to get this ironed out. The desk clerk informed me that I did in fact have an “Ocean View” room even though the only water I could see was the pool and I could not see any sand. Her explanation was that the side of the building where my room was located was “deeded ocean front” and some rooms did not have as good a view because of how the property was positioned. I don’t know any normal definition of Ocean View where the view is of a pool and not the ocean and it is not reasonable for Marriott to think a guest does not expect to see the ocean when an Ocean View room is reserved. This felt as close to intentional dishonesty by a company as I can remember – they know you cannot actually see the ocean from certain rooms that are marketed as “Ocean View” — and I am extraordinarily disappointed in Marriott’s inadequate response given this is a vacation club where they seek to sell expensive ownership interests. I have a few more hotel stays scheduled in the near future and will look to change my reservation to a property other than Marriott.