If a negative star rating system were available to Tripadvisor reviewers, I would go to the negative end of the scale. Read on to learn more.
First, to be fair, the positives. The hotel itself is an adequate middle-of-the-road establishment in the bland same-everywhere Marriott style, but with some odd twists which I'll come to in a moment.
The rooms are quite spacious and cater to the insatiable electron appetite of the modern traveler, with outlets even at the nightstands as well as multiple ones on the top (yes!) of the small table. The beds are comfortable, the linens good, the towels appropriately fluffy, and maintenance seems good, though I did notice a large, strange carpet stain near the table. Internet was free at one speed and charged for a higher speed. Both wired and wireless connections were available.
At one room rate, breakfast was free, at a lower rate, not. The desk clerk advised me and a traveling companion, who was in a separate room, to get one room at the low rate and the other at the higher rate, which came with two breakfasts. So we naturally opted for that during the check-in process.
Then the problems started, on checkout. The front desk never clarified which room to charge the breakfasts to when we registered. So, a couple of breakfasts over our multiple day stay were incorrectly charged (oh and by the way, the coffee at the breakfast area was sneakily charged for even if you had the free breakfast rate, because "the free coffee" is hidden behind a pillar).
Not a problem to rectify this on checkout, we thought. We told a male clerk about the problem but he was completely out of his depth. He simply could not understand the very simple problem. Finally after ten minutes of futile noodling with a computer he called the duty manager, and that is when the real problem started.
She understood the problem, I'll give her that, but rather than simply solving the issue with a pleasant attitude, she fixed us with a stern glare and told us that the free breakfast was for the occupants of one room only, which is not what our check-in clerk told us. Her attitude was rude, crude and confrontational. Finally she said that she would transfer the without-breakfast room's charges to the with-breakfast room, and reverse them, although she emphasized that was under no obligation to do so. By now about twenty minutes had passed. Very slowly she clicked through the bills and finally said, "here you are, this is your bill". I scanned my bill. To my amazement, I was being charged for my companion's breakfast in spite of her assurance that I would not be!
Very calmly, using these exact words, I said "You told me I was not going to be charged for these items. I insist you remove them from my bill". I spoke calmly and reasonably. It was as if I'd sworn at her! In a fury of entitled dudgeon she yelled at me to atop speaking to her so rudely. I told her I was not being rude. I tried to calm her down. To everything I said, she replied with "You upsettin' me! You upsettin' me!" My traveling companion, who witnessed the whole scene, was wide-eyed with sheer incredulity.
Very calmly, I told her that nothing I was doing should be upsetting her. I was simply trying to rectify a billing mistake. I also said, "Madam, nothing I do or say has the power to upset you. Only you have that power over yourself." Well, she was plainly not ready for a discussion of the Stoic philosophy of Epictetus. She went from combative and crudely confrontational to ballistic. She demanded an email address and said she would email my company the bill, and that there would also be a letter from the general manager attached to that letter complaining about my rudeness.
Then she said, "MISTER (redacted), I ORDER you to LEAVE THE HOTEL RIGHT NOW!!!" Very calmly and quietly, I said that if she was going be using my title, it should be doctor. "WELL "DOCTOR" (redacted), YOU LEAVE RIGHT NOW! AND I'M A REGISTERED NURSE SO I KNOW HOW THINGS WORK!" She then called my shocked-speechless traveling companion to her desk, and said to me, "If you don't leave RIGHT NOW I AM CALLING 911!!”.
Not wishing to deal with a Taser-wielding southern cop looking for any excuse to fabricate a felony to brighten his or her meaningless day, I left. I know by reputation a little bit about how things go down in the South.
Now, here's the thing. I hold no grudge against this acting manager. She was who she was and was acting in accordance with that. She was, in my opinion, an angry, disruptive, highly emotional, entitled, irrational, hair-trigger loose cannon just waiting to collide with something. The world is full of such people, and they are usually easy enough to avoid. Except when put into positions of power, however slight.
As for the letter that will supposedly be sent to my company complaining about my behavior, well, good luck with that. First, an extremely observant and intelligent witness saw and heard everything. And second, I am the founder and president of my company, and any such letter will be framed in one of the break-rooms for the amusement of my employees, who know me well and will consider such accusations to be hilarious.
So ultimately, what I am extremely puzzled about, and angry about, frankly, is the Marriott organization.
Any organization that hires, promotes, and yields power to such individuals is, in my opinion, not worthy of support. It is quintessentially incompetent and worthy of nothing but profound contempt. In a very real way it is putting the wellbeing and safety of its customers at risk (try a mental image of Bubba the rural Southern cop Tasering first and asking questions later, if at all; the media are overflowing with such accounts).
To the extent of my abilities, I shall never stay at another Marriott property again. Given the possibility of future events of this kind, I respectfully suggest, gentle reader, that any future decision on your part to stay at a Marriott property be given a good deal of thought. If you do decide to stay at a Marriott property, then judging from my recent (and witnessed) experience, you may wish to consider recording any and all interactions with the front desk stuff and investing in a Taser-proof vest for your own protection.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Courtyard Acadian Thruway/LSU Area offers an excellent location just minutes from LSU Campus and Tiger Stadium. Guests will appreciate our state of the art lobby, updated guest rooms and ample meeting and event space. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Courtyard By Marriott Baton Rouge Acadian Hotel Baton Rouge
- Courtyard Baton Rouge
- Baton Rouge Courtyard
- Baton Rouge Marriott