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Experiences with Bonvoy properties not taking Covid seriously

Experiences with Bonvoy properties not taking Covid seriously

Old Aug 6, 20, 9:01 am
  #1  
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Experiences with Bonvoy properties not taking Covid seriously

I'm currently staying at Le Meridien Bodrum. I'm shocked to see the property acting as if Covid doesn't exist:
  • Self-service buffet: The hotel has a self-service breakfast buffet with no gloves and people using their hands to take fruit and pastries. For hot items served by kitchen staff, a staff member took my plate from me and used her hand to put food on the plate.
  • No Masks: At least half the staff, including all the chefs I've seen, as well as some waitstaff and spa, housekeeping, and maintenance staff, including staff who entered my room, are not properly wearing masks (at best their mouths are covered). 95% of guests are not wearing masks (including at the buffet).
  • No social distancing: Indoor and outdoor dining tables and beach chairs are not distanced and people are crowded together in the buffet area, with distancing floor markers ignored. There are signs in the lobby saying only one person is allowed on each sofa.
  • Ignoring no-housekeeping requests: I had the do-not-disturb sign on my room yesterday and housekeeping still serviced the room. A friend had the same experience a couple of weeks ago and notified management at the time. I asked to have the GM call me when I returned to the room and found housekeeping had come. After 18 hours with no one reaching out, I chased down a different hotel manager to relay my concerns.
  • No procedures for guests who may have Covid: Ignoring the DND sign was particularly concerning as I had a fever of 102.9 yesterday after arriving from the US and was concerned I might have Covid. I immediately notified the hotel and suggested they activate their isolation procedures. They seem to have no clue what to do and suggested a staff member could come to my room to take my temperature. They did contact a doctor and called hospitals for me, but otherwise seemed to have no procedure for handling this and isolating guests who may be Covid-positive and their rooms.
I recognize that the Covid outbreak isn't as bad in Turkey as it is in the US, but this property is part of a US chain and Turkey is one of the few countries allowing Americans in with no Covid testing. I'm concerned that hotels acting like this will prolong any travel recovery. The manager I spoke with seemed to recognize my concerns, but I continued to see him walking by staff with no masks on without saying anything.

Any similar experiences?


Guests taking fruit from buffet


Outdoor kitchen staff not wearing masks
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Old Aug 6, 20, 9:42 am
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I think we have seen in a variety of situations during Covid-19 that a large subset of travelers an consumers are drawn to locations with fewer Covid-19 restrictions. As Turkey is more welcoming to international guests, you will see many guests that want a lower restriction environment, and often the staff will react to that. All travelers in the current environment risk facing situations where Covid-19 protocols may not be to their liking. If you donít want to face that risk, then donít travel. Honestly, not to be too judgmental, but flying from the US to Turkey, then coming down with a fever, and being unsure of the protocols or asking for a hotel to activate their own protocol, illustrates the risk of traveling right now that you personally took on
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Old Aug 6, 20, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I think we have seen in a variety of situations during Covid-19 that a large subset of travelers an consumers are drawn to locations with fewer Covid-19 restrictions. As Turkey is more welcoming to international guests, you will see many guests that want a lower restriction environment, and often the staff will react to that. All travelers in the current environment risk facing situations where Covid-19 protocols may not be to their liking. If you donít want to face that risk, then donít travel. Honestly, not to be too judgmental, but flying from the US to Turkey, then coming down with a fever, and being unsure of the protocols or asking for a hotel to activate their own protocol, illustrates the risk of traveling right now that you personally took on
Along with the alleged fact that their "friend" had experienced these same complaints two weeks ago.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 10:11 am
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Then stay somewhere else.

(ETA: thanks for the heads-up. Maybe we need more threads like this, I've got a bunch of miles and points and need to get the hell outta of locked-down CA!)
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Old Aug 6, 20, 11:19 am
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I think we have seen in a variety of situations during Covid-19 that a large subset of travelers an consumers are drawn to locations with fewer Covid-19 restrictions. As Turkey is more welcoming to international guests, you will see many guests that want a lower restriction environment, and often the staff will react to that. All travelers in the current environment risk facing situations where Covid-19 protocols may not be to their liking. If you donít want to face that risk, then donít travel. Honestly, not to be too judgmental, but flying from the US to Turkey, then coming down with a fever, and being unsure of the protocols or asking for a hotel to activate their own protocol, illustrates the risk of traveling right now that you personally took on
I think there's a happy medium. I recognized that guests may not be wearing masks (though it is technically required in Turkey) and may engage in behaviour above my personal risk tolerance. That does not excuse the property ignoring Turkish law requiring property staff to wear masks at all times. Associates wearing masks provides some increased protection for guests without any inconvenience to them. Nor does it excuse ignoring a DND sign, which should never happen independent of Covid. I don't know whether Marriott has a global ban on self-service buffets, but Turkish law does. It's entirely reasonable for me to have expected the hotel to follow the local law. It's also in both the hotel's and broader tourism industry's best interest for providers to take reasonable precautions to both avoid an outbreak that could suspend travel again and to make as many people as possible feel safe traveling again. I say this as someone who's worked in the travel industry for 15 years.

I had personal reasons for needing to be in Turkey and am staying here for a couple of months. I took all reasonable precautions getting here, including flying business class with a row to myself (my first time flying since mid-March), distancing from other people, and wearing a KN95 mask for the entirety of all flights. Under Turkish law, and I believe Marriott policy, every hotel is required to have a protocol for dealing with potentially Covid-positive guests to isolate the guest and avoid the spread of Covid. I was simply fulfilling my ethical obligation to alert the hotel that I may have Covid to enable them to minimize the risk of staff or other guests contracting it if I did have it. I called all hospitals myself and ultimately drove myself to the hospital that houses the only lab in the state, 90 minutes away, rather than following hotel doctor's suggestion, to get results faster.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by BigJC View Post
Along with the alleged fact that their "friend" had experienced these same complaints two weeks ago.
I'm not sure what you're insinuating with your use of "alleged" and putting "friend" in quotes. A Turkish friend stayed here a couple of weeks ago and had the same issue with housekeeping staff cleaning his room despite his DND light being on. I only learned about this when I mentioned my experience to him today. At the time he stayed here, hotel occupancy was low and the hotel was not operating a buffet. I've been an active Flyertalk contributor for close to 20 years, as you can see from my profile, so I don't appreciate you suggesting I'm lying. And there wouldn't be any reason for me to do so.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 11:29 am
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Flies to country whose entire current tourism strategy literally consists of "Not taking COVID seriously".

Complains about people there not taking COVID seriously.

lol.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by merrickdb View Post
I'm not sure what you're insinuating with your use of "alleged" and putting "friend" in quotes. A Turkish friend stayed here a couple of weeks ago and had the same issue with housekeeping staff cleaning his room despite his DND light being on. I only learned about this when I mentioned my experience to him today. At the time he stayed here, hotel occupancy was low and the hotel was not operating a buffet. I've been an active Flyertalk contributor for close to 20 years, as you can see from my profile, so I don't appreciate you suggesting I'm lying. And there wouldn't be any reason for me to do so.
Not saying you are lying, saying that your original post implied that you had advance intel regarding the lack of Covid precautions being taken at that property yet you still chose to stay there.
I left out the fact that you had a high fever yet chose to run around the property taking pictures of the "violations". Doesn't make sense to me. Sorry if you find that offensive.
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Last edited by BigJC; Aug 6, 20 at 11:38 am
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Old Aug 6, 20, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by BigJC View Post
Not saying you are lying, saying that your original post implied that you had advance intel regarding the lack of Covid precautions being taken at that property yet you still chose to stay there.
His response shows he didn't have advanced info. I understand that it wasn't clear on the initial message. I understand the concern being expressed by the traveler. They certainly shouldeshould that all hotels would have written procedures in how they will deal with potential covid guests. He is simply giving others a warning. I appreciate that.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 11:47 am
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Originally Posted by BigJC View Post
Not saying you are lying, saying that your original post implied that you had advance intel regarding the lack of Covid precautions being taken at that property yet you still chose to stay there.
I left out the fact that you had a high fever yet chose to run around the property taking pictures of the "violations". Doesn't make sense to me. Sorry if you find that offensive.
I appreciate your clarification. When I had a fever and thought I could have Covid I was incredibly cautious and didn't go near the restaurant or any other hotel facilities, staff, or guests. Photos were taken this morning, after my temperature had returned to normal and the hospital advised I do not have Covid. This feels like a personal attack, and once again an inaccurate one.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 12:31 pm
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I stayed in some hotels across the US in late June and at the time very few guests wore masks. Some hotels were taking things seriously with mask wearing by all staff and in some(more) hotels, it was obvious that the management did not take covid restrictions seriously and were at best playing lip service to the rules their chain was mandating. I saw more housekeeping staff with no masks or with masks around the neck than actually wearing masks.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 12:34 pm
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If the chain or local rules require masks but hotel staff are wearing theirs like necklaces, report it to management please.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 12:41 pm
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Local regulations, culture and paranoid are exactly that. "When in Rome act like a Roman"

Some countries are doing well, some are paranoid and people and business follow the rules more than not, and in others leaders and people are polarize the whole matter.

I behave as what I think is right/safe, and if the business doesn't make me feel comfortable I'd take my business else where.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 12:53 pm
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However, it's not always that easy. When a hotel chain advertises their safety policies, by the time you arrive and see the total lack of enforcement, it's too late to cancel. I can perhaps understand local customs making hotel staff reluctant to enforce mask policies for guests (although IMO this is still a bad idea, given that chain hotels are posting signs saying that masks must be worn), but if an employee refuses, the ultimate response would be to invite the person to work elsewhere.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 1:00 pm
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Let me get this straight. You travel from the most Covid-19 infested place on earth to place which doesn't take Covid-19 seriously, then complain about a hotel not taking Covid-19 seriously? Let me turn the question around and ask you why you think it's okay to travel half-way around the world to find a beach?
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