I do not recommend that anyone make a reservation to stay at the Visalia Marriott. On July 19, 2015 I made a reservation on marriott.com for my family of three to stay here on July 25 after a 5-day backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park. When we arrived at 10:00 pm to check in, the staff person at the front desk claimed there was "a computer glitch", and I would need to wait for the other staff person to help me because he knew how to work around the computer glitch. I waited 5 minutes. When the second staff person was available and I approached him with my credit card, drivers license, and cellphone in hand to display my reservation on Marriott's mobile app, he then informed me that the hotel did not have any rooms available and that the manager on duty would come to the desk to assist me in 5-10 minutes. Another customer lurking around the front desk appeared to be in a similar situation.
After 10 minutes of waiting for the manager to no avail, I asked the desk staff where the manager was and what he was doing that was more important than serving customers who had reservations? The staff person did not know where the manager was or what he was doing.
While I continued to wait for the manager, I attempted to get a glass of water from one of the two elegant glass dispensers containing orange slices near the front desk, but both were empty. I asked the desk clerk if he could get the water dispenser filled, a simple request that required 10 minutes for the staff to eventually fulfill.
The manager finally arrived at the front desk at 10:20 pm. He informed me that he would reserve a room for me at a nearby hotel, pay for that room, and also deposit 30,000 points in my Marriott Rewards account (I knew that this was equivalent to 1.5 rooms at this and many other Marriotts). By 10:35 pm, arrangements had been finalized for my family to spend the night at the Lamp Liter Inn (see separate review), and we left the Visalia Marriott. To their credit, paying for our night at the Lamp Liter Inn and giving me 30,000 points made the horrible situation tolerable. Achieving customer satisfaction is, however, another matter.
Here is what should have happened instead of greeting me with confusion and a 35-minute delay.
This hotel requires reservations to be canceled 1 day before arrival. That means the management knew (or should have known) early in the morning that they were either oversold for the coming night or close to it. The manager and the desk staff should have begun preparing for the oversold situation hours before customers checked in to the last available room. As a Marriott Rewards Member who made my reservation at marriott.com, the hotel had my cell phone and email contact info and certainly could have contacted me in advance to discuss the problem they would have honoring my reservation. If I had been contacted in advance, I would have been perfectly happy to stay at any of the 10 Marriott properties between Yosemite and Visalia. In fact, in March 2014, a manager at a Marriott Courtyard in AZ emailed me and others who had reservations 8 hours before check-in time to offer Rewards Points if we switched to a hotel that was not oversold. At the Visalia Marriott, however, my very tired 8-yr-old daughter, wife and I needed to wait around the lobby for 35 minutes for the manager to arrive and then make alternate arrangements for us.
The management of the Visalia Marriott did not live up to the standards I have experienced at many other Marriott hotels recent years. I also see several other reviews on Trip Advisor describing sloppy billing practices by the Visalia Marriott. My advice: play it safe and plan to stay elsewhere.
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott Visalia Hotel Visalia
- Visalia Marriott