Daily Archives: December 8, 2013

Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort a big disappointment – but lessons can be learned

J Willard Marriott Barbados

J. Willard Marriott wouldn’t have let this happen!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner.

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner.

I cannot think of many, if not any, more important aspects of the hospitality industry than constantly listening and responding to your guest’s comments, whether negative or positive. The customer is king.

I recently stayed at two ‘4 star’ hotels in the Florida Keys. The first, Hawks Cay was excellent and met every expectation. The second, a major branded hotel, fell dramatically short and I thought that it was only constructive and objective to report our experience.

Sadly, while staying at the hotel, management did not respond to concerns raised and as I had pre-paid in full weeks prior to arrival, we felt we did not have the option of moving to another property.

Hotel’s Misleading website

Even though the nightly rate was close to US$200, I made the mistake of booking a standard room – largely based on the individual property’s own website description which, included ‘153 oversized rooms’ and ‘most with balconies’.

It transpired that well over 40 rooms did not in fact have balconies and to describe the two rooms we saw or occupied as being ‘oversized’ must border on misuse of the English language. There were other issues, including the level of noise during the night, non-smoking areas that effectively were not and sliding doors that would not lock.

Customarily following a hotel stay, especially for the first time, I posted a review on TripAdvisor and only then noticed that this particular property had not responded to a single one of over 900 postings by previous guest’s comments (good or bad) since July 2002! It seems inconceivable in these days, considering the power of social media, that any major brand could consider this best practice.

Undaunted I then contacted the Corporate Headquarters and finally received the following email from them, some 16 days after check-out…   Continue reading

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