On December 25, 2010, during Christmas dinner in Mexico (incidentally, at the JW Marriott, another fabulous property we stayed at), Continental Airlines called to tell me that they had preemptively canceled all their flights back to the United States before the first snowflake of the expected blizzard ever even fell. That was not necessarily the major issue; the major problem was that they also *turned off their phones* at that moment and did not answer ONE phone call over the next 72 hours to any of their customer service lines, including their Elite Desk.
Able only to get on a flight back to Cleveland the next afternoon - the one flight which hadn't yet been canceled to the US - I called the Marriott elite desk to ask for help from the boarding area in Mexico. The phone was immediately answered by a cheery lady who not only expressed compassion for my circumstances and secured me a room at the Cleveland airport Marriott, but began immediately thinking of creative ways in which to decrease my costs, which, because of the delay and inconveniences caused by Continental airlines and their rude staff, were becoming more significant and unexpected by the moment.
Without any prompting by me whatsoever, this wonderful Marriott representative immediately offered that I had points almost totaling a free night’s stay; she was able to process a very nominal charge for me to secure the required additional points, costing me a grand total for one room of well under $100. I didn’t even know this was an option, and, having been treated most contemptibly by Continental’s reps at every step of the way by that point, cannot express enough gratitude to Marriott's agent for processing my stay in such a kind, efficient, and compassion manner.
Upon finally arriving in Cleveland, we were again told by YET ANOTHER RUDE Continental agent that no further flights were available home (northeast) till the 31st (it was the 26th). The snow had only just then begun falling on the northeast. I called the Marriott from the shuttle phone and told them we were unable to leave Cleveland and would be using our reservation that night. The wonderful agent at the local property immediately directed her shuttle to come get us. Wait time for shuttle? 0 minutes.
Arriving at the property, which was WAY BETTER than we even expected it to be, we were greeted again by a friendly, warm, compassionate desk agent who processed our reservation and secured us an additional room (we were a party of 4). They have, also, an AMAZING harvest-to-table style restaurant on site there where we had an incredible meal. I have never seen a menu like that in an airport hotel. EVER.
Our rooms were clean and comfortable, and we were given everything we needed to make our stay as good as possible despite the circumstances and being at that point, battle-worn, displaced travelers.
The next morning, our standby flight was, of course, again canceled. We had no choice but to drive home to the NE in what was by then a full blown blizzard. Marriott's shuttle driver DID NOT HAVE TO, we know, BUT HE DID, take us directly from the Marriott to the Hertz rental car site. Little touches like that go a LONG WAY!
I cannot express my gratitude and appreciation to Marriott, not only for the fabulous stay in Cancun at the resort property, but more importantly for being the only source of compassion and professional efficiency during what can only be described as a horrific travel story. Between our stay at the JW Marriott Resort and our brief sojourn to the property in Cleveland, every single Marriott team member exemplified what customer service should be. The entire team went above and beyond.
After 72 total hours, we finally arrived home. The Marriott properties we stayed at and their respective staff members are the only bright spots of that week. THANK YOU.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.