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.
Hotels are starting to to hit smokers with hefty fines for violating their no smoking policies. Take Dan Cole. He didn’t light up in his non-smoking Marriott room, honest. Those butts in his garbage can? Um, he smoked them somewhere else and threw them out in the room?
Reader Allan stays at Marriott hotels a lot. He has platinum status, meaning that he stays at Marriott hotels for more than 75 days a year. One might think this level of loyalty would mean that he’d get a response to his complaint letter.
“I got married over Labor Day weekend in North Chicago, Illinois. We did a lot of advance legwork to set up a hotel for our guests that was close to the venue and convenient. Our wedding venue recommended the Marriott Courtyard in Waukegan/Gurnee. It was more expensive then the other hotels in the area and a bit further away, but they offered something irresistible– a free shuttle to and from the wedding venue for all of our guests staying there. Since we had been contemplating hiring vans to shuttle our guests around so no one would drive drunk, this was a no-brainer. Plus, the Marriott has a good brand name and we felt confident things would go smoothly.
Inside, an interactive Googlemaps Mashup showing the most popular hotels from the DC Madam’s phone records.
If you want to have sex with a prostitute in Washington D.C., try the Marriott.
When Will changed around the server settings to use a public DNS server instead of Marriott’s, the problem disappeared, leading Will to think someone had “poisoned” Marriott’s DNS servers to drive traffic to their casino scam page(s). He then reported this to Marriott’s techs. We’ve spoken ourselves with Marriott’s server people and they confirm that the secondary DNS is wacked but they need to investigate further.
Hotel Chatter has unleashed their yearly survey of that most elusive of perks, free wifi! We don’t know if any hotel executives read this blog, but if you do, put free wifi in your hotel. Do it right now. Then call your friend Bob who works at an airline and tell him to put free wifi in his terminal. The Jenny who works at the library and Peter who works at the Parks District…