As you’ll recall from my recent, disappointing experience at The Laylow Waikiki, Marriott’s guaranteed benefits aren’t always guaranteed. That’s the impression I got from this particular property, anyway. So I reached out to Marriott to express my concerns to them. And it appears that Marriott does not guarantee their guaranteed benefits.
Let me just say this before we get into this post. I realize I’m complaining about a very first world issue, that it wasn’t that big a deal, that I could have been more firm in how I handled the issue, and that I shouldn’t expect much from Marriott. But when you say in your Terms & Conditions even that a benefit is guaranteed, then it damn well better be guaranteed. Right? I mean, it’s one of the benefits that people say Marriott does better than Hilton.
Anyway, for those that didn’t read my stay review, I’ll do a brief recap. Ultimately, I requested late check-out the day before my departure at The Laylow Waikiki. And, in response to my request, I was informed that they could only grant me a one-hour extension to 12 pm noon.
Marriott Rewards stipulates that pre-integration Golds and post-integration Platinums will receive guaranteed 4 pm late check-out. Of course, this doesn’t apply at conference hotels and resorts. The Laylow, by the way, is none of these things. They charge a Destination Fee because they’re not a resort, nor do they have conference facilities. So, technically, they should not have been able to deny my request. And, likewise, I should have been more firm with the property and demanded they honor the guarantee. But, what happened happened, and here we are.
Eventually, I sent a formal complaint to Marriott regarding both the joke of a “Concierge Lounge” the property offers, as well as the denial of my late check-out benefit. Then, about a week later, I received a canned response from Marriott apologizing for my experience and saying that my complaint will be used as a “learning opportunity.” It further went on to say that “as a one-time gesture of goodwill” I’d receive 2,000 points. Seriously?!
I’m not expecting the world here, but that’s a feeble response. This is a benefit that’s supposed to provided whenever requested and without question or having to negotiate. But, no. Marriott thinks that 2,000 points are all a failure to deliver on a guaranteed benefit is worth. That’s really sad if you ask me. And it’s also indicative of how little Marriott cares about the enforcement (or lack thereof) of their elite benefits. Especially since The Laylow isn’t some crappy airport hotel; it’s a nice, Category 6 hotel, requiring anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 points per night!
Marriott Does Not Guarantee Their Guaranteed Benefits, Final Thoughts
My experience with The Laylow and Marriott’s response is why I drew the conclusion that I did. Marriott just doesn’t care and doesn’t back benefits they say are a guarantee. It’s yet another case of Marriott making promises and failing to deliver. Yes, this case was caused by the individual property and not Marriott themselves, but Marriott’s response was anemic at best. And Marriott is the one allowing The Laylow to call their sorry excuse for a lounge an elite benefit too. I mean, it isn’t even a lounge! There’s no seats or anything.
But, hey. If Marriott wants to be cheap, let them be cheap. Hilton has shown that they’re willing to provide benefits Marriott decided it would no longer offer members. And while Hilton’s own benefits are similarly weak, at least they don’t guarantee late check-out.
No, I’m not defecting yet, but Marriott hasn’t been on my good side for a while now. But Marriott’s unwillingness to stand behind its elite benefits, as well as the issues and reduction in service I’m continuing to experience as a result of the integration, more and more I’m considering making a switch. To what program? I’m still not entirely sure. It is, however, something I find myself thinking of more and more. And will Marriott care? Nope. They’re a big company with hundreds of millions of members. Losing me, a lowly Platinum, won’t hurt their feelings one bit.