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Old Apr 18, 10, 10:01 am   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: The Garden State
Programs: MRW Plat
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Courtyard Jacksonville Mayo Clinic/Beaches not honoring gov't rate

First, I am a Plat member with a couple hundred nights in the last few years and this is my second time staying at the Marriott Jacksonville Courtyard Mayo Clinic/Beaches. Also, I am a civilian employee of the military (not a contractor).

When I checked in a short time ago about this property I was informed that they will not longer be honoring the gov't per diem rate for anyone other than active duty military on active travel orders. I informed the desk clerk that I am a civilian employee of the military on active travel orders, paying with a gov't travel card, and I presented a valid military ID. I also showed her a copy of my reservation which included the rate rules which were the standard gov't per diem rate rules with no mention of this hotel's policy.

The clerk then said that they would make an exception and honor the rate this time only but I should keep in mind that I am not eligible for the gov't per diem rate at this location when making future plans. I informed her that would preclude me from any future stays. She didn't seem to care...

This is the first time I am encountering a hotel that does not want to honor the gov't rate rules. First, I am aggravated about getting the nth degree at check in when producing essentially three forms of ID any one of which should have been good enough but also because by not posting this in their rate rules they are deliberately being deceiving about this.

Is it worth a phone call to customer service? Not sure what I would get out of that.

I have already made a new reservation for the remainder of my stay (on principle) but I will call them first make sure they don't have any b.s. 'rules' too...
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Old Apr 18, 10, 10:19 am   #2
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It is my understanding that it is up to the individual property who they offer the government rate to, if at all, and there is no government mandate requiring that they offer it to all government employees, whether on official business or not. Now if they are not offering the government rate to all employees, including those in your position, then they need to make that clear in their booking rules.
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Old Apr 18, 10, 10:40 am   #3
 
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I would first check with the GM of the property. There's always the chance that the clerk got the policy wrong. Here's Marriott's official government rate policy, and what the clerk told you is definitely not Marriott's policy. http://www.marriott.com/specials/govtmil/default.mi If the GM tells you the clerk is right, then I would contact Marriott or, perhaps, the Marriott Concierge here.
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Old Apr 18, 10, 6:37 pm   #4
 
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Wow, thats pretty bad! I'm a contractor and have been staying the government for almost a year with no issues. I would definitely stay away from a hotel that started playing games like that.
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Old Apr 18, 10, 7:39 pm   #5
 
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I stayed there in Nov 2009 on a government rate, no problem back then. If true, must be a recent change.
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Old Apr 18, 10, 8:33 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctor15 View Post
Wow, thats pretty bad! I'm a contractor and have been staying the government for almost a year with no issues. I would definitely stay away from a hotel that started playing games like that.
You've been fortunate. Marriott's government rate rules preclude contractors from receiving the rate. http://www.marriott.com/File%20Block...eals/chart.htm
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Old Apr 18, 10, 10:26 pm   #7
 
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I am a state employee and I have had nightmares trying to prove it to the desk...i have provided ID and paperwork and still doesn't seem to work.
So, I gave up on the govt rates and I book VIP with my VIP card which is far lower than th government per diem so they just lost a bunch of money on me since they think I am trying to pull one over on them.
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Old Apr 19, 10, 10:25 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmark View Post
You've been fortunate. Marriott's government rate rules preclude contractors from receiving the rate. http://www.marriott.com/File%20Block...eals/chart.htm
Interesting... I have paperwork from the GSA specifically authorizing/requiring that rate and have never been questioned. Same story at every other chain I have needed to stay at for government related work.
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Old Apr 19, 10, 12:19 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Doesn't matter. My husband has orders from the Army when he travels, with the rate specified, and his CAC, but Marriott doesn't honor them for contractors, and that is their right.
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Old Apr 20, 10, 12:46 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldoggolfer05 View Post
It is my understanding that it is up to the individual property who they offer the government rate to, if at all, and there is no government mandate requiring that they offer it to all government employees, whether on official business or not. Now if they are not offering the government rate to all employees, including those in your position, then they need to make that clear in their booking rules.
The front desk agent didn't know what the hell she was talking about. I'd tell the GM so she gets chewed out -- I'm all for giving grace for mistakes, but she deserves whatever she gets for (a.) driving away business and (b.) ticking off a customer without even checking the rules.

Print the rate rules and shove it in their faces with a smile on your face (can't stand people who are overly strict with rules to the point they hurt even legitimate users of said rule).

Here's a copy/paste of CY Jax Beach Mayo Clinic's Federal Gov't Rate Rule:

Code:
# ****************************************************************
# ** US Federal Government or Active Duty Military Only **
# ** Must Show Valid Federal Government/Miltary ID at Check-in **
# ** If No Valid ID-Rate will be Increased to Best Available Rate
# ** Government employees limited to two (2) rooms per stay **
# .
# ** Valid Identification consists of
# * Federal Govt issued Visa, Mastercard or American Express
# * Federal Govt picture ID (CAC or Common Access Card)
# * Military picture ID
# * Travel Orders
# * Federally Funded Research Development Corp (FFRDC) ID
# * Canadian Government or Military issued ID
# * Canadian Government or Military issued Credit Card
# * Native American Tribal Government ID
# ****************************************************************
But... if you're government, why don't you stay at Sawgrass? Only about 4-5 miles down A1A... perhaps an extra commute, but a MUCH nicer property than staying at a hospital full of sad people, many of whom are close relatives of terminally ill patients.
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Old Apr 20, 10, 12:53 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Also, the CY Oceanfront is miles nicer than CY Mayo Clinic... that place is horrible.

So in short, I recommend 5 miles north to CY Oceanfront Jax Beach or 5 miles south to Marriott Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra.

If it were me and I were Federal government I'd run away from the Mayo Clinic... the Mayo properties are the worst properties in all of Jacksonville anyway. That front desk clerk may have been doing you a favor.
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Old Apr 21, 10, 5:07 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I spent a bunch of time at the Residence Inn just off Butler Blvd on the other side of 9A. While that hotel hasn't been remodeled in a while, I always felt the staff did a great job of keeping it clean and well maintained. A few minutes away is the St Johns Town Center and that is a great time waster if you are looking for one.

One note of caution. The hotel is on Deerwood Park Blvd. Weekdays between 4:30 and 6:00 you will need to budget extra time (extra 15 minutes) if you plan to travel towards Gate Pkwy and the 9A entrance.
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Old Apr 22, 10, 11:14 am   #13
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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I havent gotten a chance to follow up with Marriott yet on this.

I did eventually end up at the Marriott CY Oceanfront which was great. The only reason I was not there for the entire trip was because of availability. Same thing with Sawgrass - I would love to stay there but I can never seem to get in.
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Old Apr 23, 10, 7:52 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmark View Post
You've been fortunate. Marriott's government rate rules preclude contractors from receiving the rate. http://www.marriott.com/File%20Block...eals/chart.htm
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctor15 View Post
Interesting... I have paperwork from the GSA specifically authorizing/requiring that rate and have never been questioned. Same story at every other chain I have needed to stay at for government related work.
+1. I have never had an issue. In fact, I have only heard a story twice in 5 years of working here where people had an issue. Once was at a Hyatt in San Diego where the hotel just wanted the GSA paperwork and the other in (of all places) Yuba City, CA at a Hampton Inn (Hilton). They weren't going to give my 2 coworkers Gov Rate and they finally said that if they didn't give it to them they were going to leave b/c that is all they are authorized to book and the HI give it to them after all.
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Old Apr 23, 10, 8:41 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekwars2000 View Post
+1. I have never had an issue. In fact, I have only heard a story twice in 5 years of working here where people had an issue.
Again, it's good you haven't had an issue. However, there are many posts in various threads on the Marriott board of government contractors being upset over being denied the government rate at Marriott properties. A few years ago Marriott changed the rules to explicitly exclude contractors. Prior to that, I don't remember any issues as to contractors being denied the rates.
I would guess that in the current economy many properties are again loosely interpreting the rules so as to fill more rooms, just as many properties now have more government rate rooms available then prior to the economy turning south. When the economy picks up, I'm guessing that will change.
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