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JW Marco Island Marriott, FL [Master Thread]

JW Marco Island Marriott, FL [Master Thread]

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Old Mar 20, 15, 12:44 am   -   Wikipost
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Effective July 7, 2014 Marco Island will have a daily resort fee of $25.

$25 DAILY RESORT FEE INCLUDES
• Enhanced High Speed Internet Access/WiFi ($17)
• Unlimited Domestic Long Distance Calls ($5)
• Unlimited Local Calls
• 2 Bottled Waters Daily ($7)
• Access to resort golf practice facility including range balls & clubs ($35)
• Complimentary Golf Course Shuttle
• 1 Hour Non-Motorized Beach Rentals (water hammock, pedal boats, & kayaks) ($45)
• 1 Beach Umbrella Rental Daily ($25)
• Kids Eat Breakfast Free at Tropik’s buffet when accompanied by adult with purchase (maximum 2 children per family) ($20)
Total Value: $154

The property will close for 3 months: May-July 2015 to start demolition in preparation for the remodel. They are adding another tower and plan to be fully complete by December 2016. When they do reopen they will be re-branded as a JW Marriott.

Timeline:

"May 3 - August 4, 2015 Resort closed; transition begins.
August 5, 2015 - December 31, 2016 Re-opens as the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort
January 1, 2017 - Debuting as the new JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort"
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Old Aug 20, 10, 7:28 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 91
Thumbs down JW Marco Island Marriott, FL [Master Thread]

So, one of the major reasons I choose to vacation year after year at the Marco Island Marriott is the fact that they have, without fail, always upgraded my room view to a "gulf front" upon asking at check-in. This is something like 6 years in a row. It isn't something that I "expect" if they're full, but given the availability, they have always been generous with these rooms. This time, I'm here in August (pretty much their lowest season) so I expected it to be easy...not so much.

At Check-in I was informed that an upgrade to the gulf front view would be an extra $69 a night. A suite would be $129 a night extra. I explained that, even as a lowly silver elite, I had always been comped the view upgrade in the past. She admitted that this had previously been the policy, but stated that the policy had changed and refused to provide a complimentary upgrade. I further explained that I return to this hotel year after year in part because they are so generous with the upgrades. She refused to budge. I explained that I was very disappointed with this very recent change, especially considering that it had not been communicated to their repeat customers. The change was two weeks old apparently. Again, she refused to do anything. At this point, I was visibly upset with the situation, but the front desk clerk did not even think it wise to maybe get her manager to defuse the situation. Instead she continued to check me into the garden view room.

On my way up the elevator I was no longer in a mood to spend money. I considered how I was going to "show them" and not spend a dime on the property. Then I started thinking about how little fun that would be, and really the best thing for both me, and the Marco Island Marriott would be to check out. The Hilton down the street (yes, technically an inferior property to the Marriott) was offering the same rate and a Gulf Front view, so I proceeded to check out.

This time, the same clerk who checked me in finally seemed to care that this was a big deal to me. She asked if she could chat with her manager to see if there was something they could do. She came back and said that this time they would provide a complimentary upgrade for me, but in the future their policy was that I would have to pay.

I'm not sure if this only affects silver elites, or if this new policy extends to golds and plats too, but either way, I was very disappointed.

I know that a complimentary upgrade should not be expected as a silver elite, but it had previously been policy at this particular hotel, and to change that without any kind of heads up leads to a great deal of disappointment at check-in. Furthermore, a great number of their guests are repeat customers, and I wonder how many of them will feel when they find out about this new policy at check-in.

Maybe a comp room upgrade isn't a deal breaker for most people, but for me it was a small token that they provided that ALWAYS put a smile on my face and a good deal of extra incidental money in their pocket. I understand that all guests aren't like me, but I'm still sad to see the comp upgrades go.

I know there are many Marco Island Marriott fans on this board, so just a heads up guys!

By the way, I intend to write the GM before I leave to let him know how I feel about this policy. I encourage anyone else who feels similarly to do the same.
matthew gulino is offline  
Old Aug 20, 10, 7:46 pm
  #2  
 
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Gosh...
dd992emo is offline  
Old Aug 20, 10, 7:54 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by matthew gulino View Post
So, one of the major reasons I choose to vacation year after year at the Marco Island Marriott is the fact that they have, without fail, always upgraded my room view to a "gulf front" upon asking at check-in. This is something like 6 years in a row. It isn't something that I "expect" if they're full, but given the availability, they have always been generous with these rooms. This time, I'm here in August (pretty much their lowest season) so I expected it to be easy...not so much.

At Check-in I was informed that an upgrade to the gulf front view would be an extra $69 a night. A suite would be $129 a night extra. I explained that, even as a lowly silver elite, I had always been comped the view upgrade in the past. She admitted that this had previously been the policy, but stated that the policy had changed and refused to provide a complimentary upgrade. I further explained that I return to this hotel year after year in part because they are so generous with the upgrades. She refused to budge. I explained that I was very disappointed with this very recent change, especially considering that it had not been communicated to their repeat customers. The change was two weeks old apparently. Again, she refused to do anything. At this point, I was visibly upset with the situation, but the front desk clerk did not even think it wise to maybe get her manager to defuse the situation. Instead she continued to check me into the garden view room.

On my way up the elevator I was no longer in a mood to spend money. I considered how I was going to "show them" and not spend a dime on the property. Then I started thinking about how little fun that would be, and really the best thing for both me, and the Marco Island Marriott would be to check out. The Hilton down the street (yes, technically an inferior property to the Marriott) was offering the same rate and a Gulf Front view, so I proceeded to check out.

This time, the same clerk who checked me in finally seemed to care that this was a big deal to me. She asked if she could chat with her manager to see if there was something they could do. She came back and said that this time they would provide a complimentary upgrade for me, but in the future their policy was that I would have to pay.

I'm not sure if this only affects silver elites, or if this new policy extends to golds and plats too, but either way, I was very disappointed.

I know that a complimentary upgrade should not be expected as a silver elite, but it had previously been policy at this particular hotel, and to change that without any kind of heads up leads to a great deal of disappointment at check-in. Furthermore, a great number of their guests are repeat customers, and I wonder how many of them will feel when they find out about this new policy at check-in.

Maybe a comp room upgrade isn't a deal breaker for most people, but for me it was a small token that they provided that ALWAYS put a smile on my face and a good deal of extra incidental money in their pocket. I understand that all guests aren't like me, but I'm still sad to see the comp upgrades go.

I know there are many Marco Island Marriott fans on this board, so just a heads up guys!

By the way, I intend to write the GM before I leave to let him know how I feel about this policy. I encourage anyone else who feels similarly to do the same.
Personally think you over-reacted and acted like a 2-year who didn't get his/her way. You remind me of Delta DM that whine when they don't get there 1st class upgrade comp. If you want 1st Class pay for it. If you want Gulf Front View...pay for it.

Last edited by bdschobel; Aug 23, 10 at 7:43 am Reason: removed political comment
MSPDeltaDude is offline  
Old Aug 20, 10, 8:47 pm
  #4  
LKO
 
Join Date: May 2004
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I'm sure this previous "upgrade policy" wasn't in writing so how do you expect them to communicate this change to prospective guests? Send an email to everyone who makes a reservation...."if you received an upgrade in the past please be aware we no longer provide complimentary upgrades"?

Sorry, but just because for 6 years you were lucky and received a free upgrade doesn't mean you have any reason to complain now. This Marriott property has changed their policy. If you don't like it you can always stay elsewhere.

We have all stayed at a property where things are different than they were on a previous trip (maybe they used to have a free airport shuttle but discontinued it, maybe they offered free breakfast coupons on the weekend but don't anymore). It happens and you can either pay for the upgrade or stay somewhere else. You can also let the manager know why you have decided to stay somewhere else. This hotel might decide to go back to the old policy if they realize they are losing business. Or the new policy might produce enough new revenue that they decide to keep charging for upgrades. In these tough economic times it's not surprising that they would try to get some extra $$ for an upgraded room.
LKO is offline  
Old Aug 20, 10, 8:50 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
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It does suck when something you are used to is taken away but I think it is simply amazing what you got in prior years being SILVER, which is absolutely nothing but marketing try-to-make-you-feel-good.

That said, its sad when good or better rooms go empty rather than handing them out to guests who actually make the effort to visit in low season, then get a parking lot view...
joshua362 is offline  
Old Aug 20, 10, 8:58 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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If I had been upgraded to a Gulf view room seven years in a row, without any extra cost, I'd be writing the GM to thank him, not to complain. My personal opinion is that your level of disappointment is unreasonable. But you obviously feel differently. In any case, I hope you are able to relax and enjoy your vacation.
Hazen is offline  
Old Aug 20, 10, 9:09 pm
  #7  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 91
Yes, I was lucky all these years. I have always said that the Marco Island property was special for several reasons. Their staff is top notch, the beach is incredible, and they have been, traditionally, VERY generous with upgrades. I did state that I know I am not "entitled" to these upgrades, but have become accustomed to them over the years, and have never been denied a room that would otherwise go empty, with the perfectly reasonable exception of suites!

Yeah, of course I understand it would be impossible to communicate this change to all previous guests, but given that, I think they should try to help this transition by being lenient to those of us who are used to the old policy by providing a one time courtesy. This is what they eventually did for me, I just wish I didn't have to almost walk to another resort for that to happen.

Furthermore, if there are other Marco Island guests like me who have become accustomed to their generous upgrades in the past, then this post is here to provide warning to them so they do not get hit with the unwelcome surprise I found at check-in.

Of course it is their right to change how they do business, and it is my right to go to another property, and that was the choice I had made. I never stood there and said "give me this upgrade or I'm going elsewhere". When I made the decision to leave, I had called Hilton, checked their rates, and I was actually ready to go. This was not a "head fake". It was their decision to attempt to retain my business, and they were successful. Nothing about this back-and-forth was anything but polite and respectful, on both sides.

I'm not saying their position is unreasonable. Simply undesirable. You're right, they may very well make more money with this policy, but not from someone like me. You give me a room upgrade, and trust me, I'm in the mood to SPEND on incidentals.

One more interesting point - if the original, lowest available rate I had booked had been $69 more expensive per night, and I got the upgrade, I would have been thrilled (even though I would be paying EXACTLY what they asked me to pay extra at check-in). There's just something about that feeling of being upcharged at check-in that rubs me the wrong way.

And yes, I HAVE written the GM in the past to thank him for how well his staff has treated me, at the front desk and throughout the property. I'm not ungrateful.
matthew gulino is offline  
Old Aug 20, 10, 9:09 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by MSPDeltaDude View Post
Personally think you over-reacted and acted like a 2-year who didn't get his/her way. You remind me of Delta DM that whine when they don't get there 1st class upgrade comp. If you want 1st Class pay for it. If you want Gulf Front View...pay for it.
+1

the OP has clearly lost it here

Last edited by bdschobel; Aug 23, 10 at 7:44 am Reason: edited quote
cfischer is offline  
Old Aug 20, 10, 9:36 pm
  #9  
 
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I would suggest that there was no "policy." There may have been a "practice" but that is entirely different. One of the themes that comes up over and over on FT is consistency. Marriott's policy is that silver does not qualify for auto upgrades. You benefited from the practice of a specific property and now are upset because they are following policy. If policy had been consistently applied from the beginning, this would be a non-thread.
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Old Aug 20, 10, 9:47 pm
  #10  
glg
 
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I booked a one night reward there back in January (my parents live by Naples, left the kid w/ them for a one night escape). I got upgraded to a beachfront suite. Among the most amazing rooms I've ever had. Would I expect it again if I went back? No.
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Old Aug 20, 10, 9:50 pm
  #11  
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I agree with you that the Marriott policy states that silvers are not auto-upgraded. To be clear, I was never auto-upgraded. I simply asked if they would be willing to put me in a gulf front room, and they always said yes.

I chose the word "policy" specifically because this was the word the front desk clerk used. Whether it was "practice" or "policy" it was something that this resort consistently did for the past 6 years, and now they're not doing anymore.

I also don't think they were ever in violation of the Marriott policy by upgrading silvers, they simply were choosing to go above-and-beyond the bare minimums required by Marriott Rewards. I think resorts that choose to do that should be encouraged, not punished!

I think there was a post a while ago about how Marriott was cracking down on Concierge Lounges that were offering breakfasts that were too elaborate, or something to that effect, forcing individual properties that WANTED to exceed the standards to scale back their efforts. I think everyone here was pretty upset by that move in the name of consistency.
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Old Aug 20, 10, 9:57 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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MG - you got the UG, you are beachfront in Marco Island, It is Friday night - get off FT and go have some fun....

My comments on consistency are not directed at your or the Marco Marriott directly - just a general comment.

Enjoy the beach!
brobab is offline  
Old Aug 20, 10, 10:03 pm
  #13  
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haha, and the view over my laptop IS lovely

I'm actually writing a research paper for school in the background ...so paradise will have to wait until morning, unfortunately.

off to bed soon though...promise!
matthew gulino is offline  
Old Aug 20, 10, 10:21 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by matthew gulino View Post
Yes, I was lucky all these years. I have always said that the Marco Island property was special for several reasons. Their staff is top notch, the beach is incredible, and they have been, traditionally, VERY generous with upgrades. I did state that I know I am not "entitled" to these upgrades, but have become accustomed to them over the years, and have never been denied a room that would otherwise go empty, with the perfectly reasonable exception of suites!

Yeah, of course I understand it would be impossible to communicate this change to all previous guests, but given that, I think they should try to help this transition by being lenient to those of us who are used to the old policy by providing a one time courtesy. This is what they eventually did for me, I just wish I didn't have to almost walk to another resort for that to happen.

Furthermore, if there are other Marco Island guests like me who have become accustomed to their generous upgrades in the past, then this post is here to provide warning to them so they do not get hit with the unwelcome surprise I found at check-in.

Of course it is their right to change how they do business, and it is my right to go to another property, and that was the choice I had made. I never stood there and said "give me this upgrade or I'm going elsewhere". When I made the decision to leave, I had called Hilton, checked their rates, and I was actually ready to go. This was not a "head fake". It was their decision to attempt to retain my business, and they were successful. Nothing about this back-and-forth was anything but polite and respectful, on both sides.

I'm not saying their position is unreasonable. Simply undesirable. You're right, they may very well make more money with this policy, but not from someone like me. You give me a room upgrade, and trust me, I'm in the mood to SPEND on incidentals.

One more interesting point - if the original, lowest available rate I had booked had been $69 more expensive per night, and I got the upgrade, I would have been thrilled (even though I would be paying EXACTLY what they asked me to pay extra at check-in). There's just something about that feeling of being upcharged at check-in that rubs me the wrong way.

And yes, I HAVE written the GM in the past to thank him for how well his staff has treated me, at the front desk and throughout the property. I'm not ungrateful.
While I'm w/ the others that I think you were lucky to get an upgrade for multiple years running as a silver, I also understand your disappointment when it didn't happen.

I also appreciate you not doing histrionics in your original post or subsequent posts. Whether we agree w/ them or not, the tone is not the typical DYKWIA (granted, hard to do that w/ Silver, but you know what I mean).

And unlike others I give you a bit of credit of saying, hey this is enough of a dealbreaker for me I'll check out & head down to the Hilton where I can get something better for less $$. It's actions like that (especially if communicated - as you did) to the hotel management that will let them gauge the outcome of the decision on their policy. Now the management may say, screw it, we'll make more out of the upsell than we'll lose to the Hilton - fair enough. They might say maybe we'll reconsider. But they won't know if someone doesn't provide the feedback.

FWIW - I know folk who own some condos down there but have a lot of family who visit quite a lot & usually stay at the Marriott & get upgraded. Granted, these folk could probably afford to buy the hotel (I am not kidding!!), but weirdly enough upgrades still mean something to them. I'll let them know of the recent change in policy.

Thanks for posting, be aware of the policy in the future - now get off the computer & enjoy the view!

Cheers.
SkiAdcock is offline  
Old Aug 21, 10, 5:10 am
  #15  
 
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If you want an ocean-view room, why not book it in the first place?
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