WARNING - Hotel Ocean, Miami Beach, FL

Old Mar 26, 18, 9:06 am
  #1  
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WARNING - Hotel Ocean, Miami Beach, FL

I wanted to get this out there in hopes of saving someone else from the great deal of aggravation this caused. DO NOT EXPECT ANY POINTS RESERVATION TO BE HONORED BY THIS HOTEL!!!! If you have a pending points reservation I highly recommend getting another room. You will be denied a room! I wish I could leave a review on Choicehotels.com, but I can not due to reservation cancellation. Hopefully this will show up in a google search.

The Hotel Ocean, An Ascend Hotel Collection Member located at 1230 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, FL 33139 refused to honor a points reservation. The front desk indicated the manager is not honoring any points reservations. No one bothered to reach out in advance from either Choice or the hotel directly. I found out when I arrived to check in that they were not honoring my reservation and was told I had no room. This left me in South Beach at 7:00 PM on a Thursday night of spring break and music festival week without a room. Needless to say I was not happy. The front desk was useless and rude, Choice guest relations was of no help. Spent nearly 2 hours on the phone (5 different people over multiple calls) with no resolution and frustration building. The best they could do was a room at the airport, at my expense. I was even hung up on by a Choice guest relations person after asking for a cancellation number, real professional! The front desk could not provide one either. The ironic part of this was the points were still out of my account, no one could provide a cancellation number yet I could not get a room. After I realized trying to stay at this poor excuse of a hotel was not going to happen, from either Choice or their staff, I started pursuing a cancellation number to ensure my card was not charged and that points were refunded. Nothing would have angered me more than a no show charge on my card.

In 20 years of travel, and 75 - 125 nights a year in hotel rooms for work, I have never been treated this way by front desk staff or customer relations. As a Choice Diamond member I am even more shocked. After this experience, I am done with the Choice Hotel chain permanently. I know there are tons of "I'm done with XXXX" on FT, but after this experience I am done! With so many other hotel chains to choose from, Choice is a NO CHOICE for me.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 6:40 am
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Thanks for the heads up as we probably would have staycationed there at some point on points.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 7:59 am
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Hotels overbook. Sometimes hotels are oversold when everyone who is booked actually shows up. It's annoying, but common practice across the country and hotel chains.

Worse, it is rare that you are notified because the property doesn't know that everyone will show up until they do.

You can skip this place because there are tons of other dumps in the area. But, don't think that this is a unique situation.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 9:03 am
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What a joke. Sounds like an infuriating experience. I had actually looked at that place, thanks for the heads up.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Hotels overbook. Sometimes hotels are oversold when everyone who is booked actually shows up. It's annoying, but common practice across the country and hotel chains.

Worse, it is rare that you are notified because the property doesn't know that everyone will show up until they do.

You can skip this place because there are tons of other dumps in the area. But, don't think that this is a unique situation.
Certainly this is true. However, isn't the bigger question 'What obligation do hotels have to customers with reservations?'

I'd like to think that the hotel would have a local network of other hotels they could tap when in this situation.

e.g. 'Unfortunately we're overbooked, but the best we can do is get you a room at neighboring property X, at the same rate you agreed to pay us. Sorry for the inconvenience.'

But perhaps I'm just a dinosaur in regards to my customer service expectations.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 9:27 am
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That's fine except a college of mine witnessed the same treatment of a couple trying to check in on points the night before. He forewarned me. Obviously, it is a common practice for this particular dump. The front desk staff had no problems saying the manager is not honoring points reservations.

This maybe common practice as you say but in 20 years of travel I've never come close to having an issue like this.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 11:40 am
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Unfortunately posting here on FT will have limited exposure. If you really want to get the word out post a review on TripAdvisor.com. MANY more people read reviews there and this just might get the GMs attention since it is likely to cost him bookings or get the attention of the owners who would not like to lose revenue.

Also, I would hope for a CC charge. The chargeback fee will get someone's attention and cost them more than just the charge. Wallets can be a very sensitive place.

But yes, Choice CSRs of little help. I had a place delay posting a stay and it overlapped another stay so they refused credit. I had to push for them to actually look at the reservation to see the dates didn't match and even then they were reluctant to fix it. I now dub Choice as NO Choice, it's gotta be the ONLY place available within 50 miles before I will book them, which is too bad since I have had some nice stays.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 12:28 pm
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I'm sorry this happened to you.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 6:02 pm
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If this were any other chain, Iíd be shocked.

But since this is Choice,, Iím not surprised. I remember the one thread about the poster who booked into a property that was completely closed, and nobody could relocate them.

Have you tried reaching out to someone at Choice HQ? Not sure if they still monitor their Flyertalk or not.

I wish some blog would pick this up and give them the bad PR that they deserve.

Typical choice; sadly. I am not surprised that Guest Relations was worthless. Every time Iíve called them Iíve gotten an unhelpful foreign call center. Diamond status seemed worthless in this case.

Not to sound like a troll - but Wyndham has a great Diamond Desk that answers quickly, seems to genuinely appreciate our loyalty (not just reading off a script) and is empowered to solve problems. Thatís where Iíve shifted most of my budget stays to.
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Old Mar 28, 18, 8:49 pm
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Sometimes management thinks they lose money by taking a points reservation during busy times and will cancel because they also know of Choice's poor customer service. Some are already unhappy with Choice so they're not really concerned about alienating turned-away guests.

What most DON'T know, is that they actually receive 100% room rate for a points stay when the property is completely sold out, whereas a less than full hotel gets them peanuts by comparison.

On a semi-related note, if you have to cancel a points reservation at a Bluegreen property you MUST CALL Choice reservations! Don't bother clicking "Cancel This Reservation" on the website, as the points will not be returned to your account. Learned this the hard way; still waiting for resolution after nearly 3 months.
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Old Apr 7, 18, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by ItsAnAdventure View Post
If this were any other chain, Iíd be shocked.

But since this is Choice,, Iím not surprised. I remember the one thread about the poster who booked into a property that was completely closed, and nobody could relocate them.

Have you tried reaching out to someone at Choice HQ? Not sure if they still monitor their Flyertalk or not.

I wish some blog would pick this up and give them the bad PR that they deserve.

Typical choice; sadly. I am not surprised that Guest Relations was worthless. Every time Iíve called them Iíve gotten an unhelpful foreign call center. Diamond status seemed worthless in this case.

Not to sound like a troll - but Wyndham has a great Diamond Desk that answers quickly, seems to genuinely appreciate our loyalty (not just reading off a script) and is empowered to solve problems. Thatís where Iíve shifted most of my budget stays to.
I do not feel like your Wyndham comment is trolling. I have not had a need to contact them for anything but it's good to know they are supportive. I look forward to the LaQuinta / Wyndham combination. I have given LaQuinta several stays since this incident and have been very satisfied with the properties. They matched me to Elite within a day.
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Old Apr 7, 18, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by RogerD408 View Post
Unfortunately posting here on FT will have limited exposure. If you really want to get the word out post a review on TripAdvisor.com. MANY more people read reviews there and this just might get the GMs attention since it is likely to cost him bookings or get the attention of the owners who would not like to lose revenue.

Also, I would hope for a CC charge. The chargeback fee will get someone's attention and cost them more than just the charge. Wallets can be a very sensitive place.

But yes, Choice CSRs of little help. I had a place delay posting a stay and it overlapped another stay so they refused credit. I had to push for them to actually look at the reservation to see the dates didn't match and even then they were reluctant to fix it. I now dub Choice as NO Choice, it's gotta be the ONLY place available within 50 miles before I will book them, which is too bad since I have had some nice stays.
Doesn't TripAdvisor have a rule that you cannot post a review or rate a hotel if you haven't actually stayed there?
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Old Apr 7, 18, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Doesn't TripAdvisor have a rule that you cannot post a review or rate a hotel if you haven't actually stayed there?
I think the attempt is adequate. Plus, the review would not address any issues regarding a stay. I think they will allow it. If you don't try, it won't happen.
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