I processed our booking for a family of 5 that included 2 small children in to the Marriott Courtyard in Miami on the 28th + 29th December 2013, back in Oct 2013. I deleiberately booked the Marriott because its location was in South Beach close to Lincoln Road for the shops and restaurants, and it was a very short walk from the beach. Hence it looked to be ideal for a family vacation.
I called the hotel on the 24th December 2013, to inform them that we would be arriving at the hotel late on the evening of Saturday 28th December, and that two of the party were small children under 5 years of age. I was assured that the late arrival would not be a problem and that the hotel staff were looking forward to seeing us. I put the phone down confident that the reservation I had made back in October 2013, for my family to spend a couple of days in Miami whilst on holiday visiting relatives over the festive break was still in place.
We arrived at the hotel around 21:30 on the 28th, having spent four hours driving up from Key West in heavy traffic conditions. We pulled up at the Marriott and set about unpacking all our luggage from the car. We then gave the car keys to the valet who promptly drove off with the car to park it. Our party of 5 proceeded to check in at the front desk. By this time the two children were miserable after the long journey from Key West ,and was displaying clear signs of being very tired. I had provided their full details including their age at the time I made the booking back in October. However, at this stage in the proceedings we was informed by the receptionist that our room had been double booked and that we had no alternative but to stay in a different hotel to the Marriot for the first night of the two night stay. This news left me both shocked and angry. What kind of hotel group kicks two small children out of their reservation and makes then travel to another hotel at 10pm at night? Clearly a very greedy hotel group who put making making money over the welfare of the children who are booked in to their hotels as paying customers.
After my begging the receptionist to see if there was anything she could do to get us a room at the hotel, it became clear that we had no option but to have to then wait for the valet to return the car, re-pack the car with all the luggage, and to then try and find our way to the new hotel. The Marriott didn't provide us with a map for the new hotels location. As we was new to Miami we had no idea where the hotel was located. We ended up having to use my iPhone to find it, which added to the delay and caused further stress for our party.
Whilst I appreciate a young person would probably give their right arm to stay at the 'hip and happening' Delano Hotel, it is anything but a child friendly hotel. This is because its key clients are mostly young revellers. We finally arrived at the hotel around 10:15, to be met by very loud music because one of the bars is located right by the main reception area,and so the party crowd who appeared to be having a very good time on a Saturday night where partying away in front of us.
Given the fact that we had two very small and by now extremely tired children in our party the situation was becoming a nightmare thanks to the greedy Marriot group. By the time we went through the process of checking in for the second time at a hotel in Miami in less than an hour it was gone 11pm by the time we got the key to the room. However, when we got up to the 6th floor and in to the room we had been allocated it became clear that it was not equipped for five guests. The room was very cold and felt damp throughout. It was certainly not of the standard that I would have expected the rooms to be at the much hyped 4* Delano. Plus it did not have enough towels or bed linen to accommodate our party of 5. Nor did it have coffee making facilities as the Marriott has. We therefore had to order room service to get some hot drinks to warm us up becasuse the room was so cold, which took a further thirty minutes to arrive and which we had to pay for. We had to wait another thirty minutes to be given the bed linen to allow everyone in the party to go to bed because at this stage we were all very tired and somewhat distressed thanks to the way the Marriott group treats its customers.
Once we turned the lights out it became clear that no one would be getting much sleep because our room directly overlooked the Delano hotels front entrance entrance and car valet area. It was so noisy that two of us got up out of bed got ourselves dressed and made our way to a nearby Walgreens to buy some earplugs. By now it was 12:30am.
I am a regular traveller with my job. Over the years I have received very good customer service and also some not so good in the various hotels where I have staid around the globe. But in all those years of using hotels I don't think I have ever come across a company that kicks two small children out of their reservation due to the hotel chain allowing double booking's out of pure greed. Its nothing short of a disgrace. Putting a small family of 5 up in the Delano was not the right move by any standards.
Whilst I fully appreciate the fact that the Marriot picked up the tab for the 1 nights stay at the Delano, no amount of money could make up for the inconvenience of us being kicked out of the Marriot late at night, having to then try to locate and travel to another hotel to re-check, only to then be turfed out of that hotel at 11am the following morning (which was the time that we was due to meet friends in the Miami Coral Gables region), in order to have to travel back to the Marriott and re-check in for our reservation on the night of the 29th.
We were finally able to check in to our reservation at the Marriott for the 2nd of the 2 nights we had booked about 1pm the following day, which totally ate in to our plans for the day. The room was spacious ands clean. It was also thankfully at the back of the hotel away from the noise out the front. However, the bed settee that allows the room to accommodate three adults and two children at the Marriott was not fit for a dog to sleep on let alone a human. The springs in the bed could clearly be felt when laying in the bed. There was no way we would have allowed the children to sleep on such an old mattress, and so having had very little sleep at the Delano the night before thanks to the noise of the traffic and party revellers outside the hotel directly below our room, my second nights sleep was interupted with the constant feel of a bed spring in my back. The bed settee looked and felt to have been in use since the 1950's.
The only saving grace of the Marriott Courtyard was the two very polite and helpful valet operators, plus Joe the manager on the front desk who when we arrived on the second day to check in again was very apologetic and helpful. The young guy working in the Starbucks bar on the night of the 29th, also provided a high level of customer service, as did the maintenance man when I reported the lift was making a very strange loud noise and was vibrating when travelling between floors.
Thanks to the Marriott group our two day family vacation to Miami and plans throughout the two days were completely ruined. I would therefore like to know why they kicked two small children out of their reservation without any prior notification to me, which is appalling given the fact that you had both my email address and cell phone number on your records. I think the Marriott Group owe me an explanation for the inconvenience and time wasting that they put my family through because thanks to the group you completely ruined what was meant to be a fun two day stay over in Miami whilst catching up with old friends whilst we were over in the US on vacation from the UK.
I would never use a Marriott Hotel again. They even promised to top up my rewards as part of an apology. But they have not even bothered to do that.
Such a dreadful level of service to a family from the UK who was so looking forward to the two day trip to Miami to see old friends.
I won't be using Marriott Hotels again either for pleasure or business.
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- Courtyard Miami Beach South
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