Just a week after Marriott buckled under backlash from the public by saying it would no longer block guests from using their personal WiFi devices, the company announced a plan that just might persuade customers from streaming content to their personal devices via WiFi: Offering in-room entertainment access to Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and other streaming services. [More]
Last fall, Marriott got in trouble for jamming the signals from users’ portable hotspots in one of their conference centers. That’s illegal, and the FCC fined them big bucks for it. Now the hotel chain is trying to make it legal, which has gone over very poorly in the public eye. But wait, Marriott says — we don’t want to stop you from using personal hotspots in your room! We only want to block you from using them in shared spaces where you could actually benefit from having them. [More]
Hotel wifi really sucks sometimes: it can be expensive, insecure, and slow all at once. When there’s a convention in town, the network’s so overloaded you can’t connect at all. So travelers bring their own mobile hotspots. It’s a win for the consumer, but not for the hotel that suddenly loses the ability to charge you more fees. And that’s the core issue behind a regulatory fight that has hotels and tech firms arguing over what consumers are allowed to do. [More]
Consumers used to having the ability to make hotel cancellations the day of arrival for free had better get their wallets out next time they try to do so at Hilton or Marriott hotels. The two chains are apparently taking a lesson from the airline industry and implementing a fee for last-minute reservation cancellations. [More]
When a major hotel chain makes money by charging a fee for in-room Internet service, it might be tempted to do something that makes it difficult for visitors to use their own WiFi hotspots so that they have little choice but to pay up for the hotel’s Web access. Thing is, that’s against the law. [More]
If you’re staying at a Marriott-branded hotel this week you may notice a new addition to your guest room: An envelope encouraging you to tip the housekeeper. The gesture is part of a new initiative at the hotels to recognize the work that housekeepers often do behind the scenes. [More]
After a long day at an out-of-town work conference, it might be nice to enjoy a drink and casual conversation at the hotel bar. Now, instead of taking the chance that your fellow guest will drone on and on about their love for all things animal print, consumers can find like-minded guests they actually want to talk to connect with, but not in the “let’s take this to your room” context. [More]
With the Supreme Court and a growing number of states giving the OK to same-sex marriages, the hospitality industry is quickly realizing there is money to be made from a segment of the population that had long been underserved. Not to be outdone by smaller hotel chains that openly welcome business from the LGBT community, the folks at Marriott are spending a lot of money to try to win over these consumers. [More]
For years, some have accused America’s largest hotel chains of colluding with travel booking sites like Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline to make sure that the room rates offered to consumers on these sites are the same. This practice, claimed plaintiffs in various lawsuits, effectively allowed the hotel chains to determine their own prices and kept the booking sites from competing against each other; meaning consumers could be paying more than they should. But a U.S. District Court judge feels differently. [More]
Hey, you. Yes, you, the guy with the piles and piles of hotel rewards points stacked up nice and neat. Might want to think about booking a vacation and using up those points soon, as most of the major hotel chains have either already devalued their points or will do so pretty darn soon. [More]
IKEA announced last year that it wanted to build a bunch of hotels across Europe, right around the time it unveiled plans for its own district in Hamburg, Germany. And now the company is one step closer to its dream but it needs Marriott’s help. Ostensibly even it can’t decipher those wordless instructions sheets. [More]
Hotel chain Marriott is no longer taking reservations for the Waikiki Edition hotel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a room. In a late-night raid last weekend, the chain was kicked out by the hotel’s owners, who changed the locks and brought in new management without even calling to say goodbye first. [More]
After it broke last week that Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa was claiming it was the fault of the victim and her two toddlers that she was raped in their parking garage, the hotel has decided to withdraw the claim. They also apologized for the rape in a general sort of way—but not for subpoenaing her friends and professional acquaintances who otherwise would not have known about the crime.
[Update: Marriott has dropped the appeal.] If you want to live dangerously, why not try an unrelaxing visit to the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa? It features a game room, a BBQ/picnic area, $10 a day Internet access, and the occasional mentally unhealthy transient wandering for days around the parking garage waiting to attack you. Best of all, if you are attacked Marriott will let you take all the credit for it, and then subpoena your friends and professional contacts, thereby permanently ruining any anonymity you hoped to maintain. Because at Stamford Marriott, if you’re raped in our parking garage by a guy our security should have noticed and kicked out, don’t come crying to us!
Reader Stephen writes in to let us know that the Marriott Residence Inn in Boulder, CO was nice to him when some random jerks charged food to his room.
Marriott really wants to know what you think of their hotels. Unfortunately, they don’t have permission to solicit your participation in surveys. The solution? They email you to let you know that you asked them not to email you.
Much like that nasty little gas station problem we talked about awhile back, hotels just love to slap holds on your debit or credit card accounts for “incidental charges.” There’s nothing wrong or uncommon about the practice, but its difficult or impossible to tell exactly how much the hold might be — and for some consumers who aren’t expecting it, the holds can cause big problems. Reader Eric recently got slapped with a $253.13 hold from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kansas City, and he’s a little irked because they didn’t disclose the hold when he was checking in, and they only refunded $160 of it when he checked out.