Reader Question: Marriott Reforma Mexico City Check-in Woes?

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a rather long email about the check-in issues they had experienced at the Marriott Reforma hotel in Mexico City.

Reader Question Marriott Reforma Mexico City Woes

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You can access Marriott Reforma Mexico City’s website here.

Here’s the email from the reader:

We had a very unusual check in at the Marriott Reforma Mexico City we’d like to share. Have you ever experienced a check-in like this?

We have earned Marriott Lifetime and last year were appointed to the Elite 3% guest level.

Last week we arrived at 5:30pm and Fernando the Bellman took our luggage from the taxi inside. There were two idle receptionists behind their respective counters. We asked him to show us the Platinum desk. He led us to a desk where the staff was chatting with another staff, then he went behind it for a piece of paper. Unusual but we thought ok, a desk staff will come or we will go up to the executive lounge for check-in. But the bellman continued while no desk staff came to assist.  We were confused.  We have never ever checked in with a bellman at any Marriott hotel or any brand.

We asked him if he was taking us to the executive lounge.

He said he first needed to verify us and insisted to see our credit card. We presumed for security and ID he needed that first before bringing us up.  But then he handed us the elite members room card with no room number. We thought he was giving us the key to go up. He said it was the room look inside for the number. We asked if we had been given a good room as an Elite member and Fernando the bellman replied that we were upgraded to a suite. All very confusing, but ok, we proceeded to our room.

On our arrival to the room on the 10th floor by ourselves, there was more confusion as it was a regular king bed room. As well it was looking directly to rooftops with lots of generators and machines. We have had prior experiences with generator noise disturbing us during the stay. Our luggage had not arrived so we thought to head to the executive lounge for a room change. At the elevator we met Fernando and told him we are going to the executive lounge for assistance. He insisted on coming with us but leaving all our luggage on the 10th floor corridor unattended. We asked him if it would be safe unattended and he need not come with us to the lounge. He said don’t worry we have cameras and adamantly came with us. Seriously, we couldn’t imagine this being a full run Marriott.

At the lounge we met Monica. She called downstairs to a manager for a room on a high floor. Presumably she did not have authority to change rooms. Then she called the front office manager.  Still no word on the room, we sat to wait and have a beverage. A few minutes later we got word there was a room on the 15th floor available, the exec lounge was the top at the 16th. She explained they needed a few minutes to set it up.  We said fine and continued to rest in the lounge.

The next event to happen did not need to happen. To the lounge came Salvador Gaytan director of rooms and Mireya Padilla the Front Office Manager. They gave us their name cards. They wanted to know what happened. We explained it all once again. However and to our surprise, Salvador went on to tell us that he had thousands of Platinum lifetime members coming in monthly and he checks them ALL in by the bellmen and we are the first and only to make a complaint about it.

Firstly we never like hearing that, it is not friendly, but he was quite aggressive. We asked him if all his guests were Lifetime Platinum and Elite 3%? He said yes. Well, not believable but he insisted it was yes.

We asked for the GM’s name card and he outrightly refused to give it to us. Then in a dictatorial manner he said that he is the general manager. We looked at his card and it says its room division manager. He had already raised the temperature of a situation that was already solved, but he did not know it was solved that because he didn’t bother to find out before meeting us what his staff was doing. We said alright, we understand you are the manager on duty. We asked him if our room was ready as we realized he was only making the situation more unproductive. He stated that our room was on the 10th floor and you can go there now. We were again surprised by this. We replied that we were waiting for a room on the 15th floor that was being prepared and already promised to us. Salvador got very angry and said “NO, you only can go to 10th floor as I said”. (Presumably you may be laughing about the ridiculousness of this),  but he then went on to say “I Am In Charge, I am the GM here and what I say is what you do”.

As we began to walk away from him, we said  “we do not pay money to be treated that way”. We told him he is completely inhospitable and we may need to leave the hotel now.

We walked over to the desk and Monica said that the 15th floor room is now ready. He was speechless and dumbfounded.

What a shameful attitude and a disgrace to hospitality at the Marriott Reforma Mexico City !!

However, he really shook us to the core. We have not witnessed this type of behaviour from a Marriott manager ever. We are spent one night cancelled the balance and moved to another hotel in the morning.  We genuinely did not feel safe, welcomed or valued to stay at this Marriott. We called to Marriott that evening to enter a complaint. She called the hotel and Salvador would not pick up the call. The safety concern was, when a management person demonstrates reckless disregard for hotel brand’s procedures and ethics, that uncertainly left us feeling unsafe under that type of management control.

We entered as a couple from the airport, mid 50’s, fairly well dressed.

After leaving we contacted Marriott again by email and they sent our complaint back to the hotel to answer and thus far we have received a reply thanking us for pointing every thing out.

Have you ever experienced such hostility?

I have not stayed at this hotel in Mexico City. Off the top of my head, I have been to Hyatt, JW Marriott, InterContinental and W all right next to each other in Polanco plus St. Regis, Sheraton Maria Isabella and Hampton Inn Historic City Centre in Mexico City.

Seems that something went terribly wrong at the check in and it taints the stay. Usually, when this happens, I simply cancel my stay on the spot and move to another hotel. This happens a few times a year.

I have never had a bellman trying to check me in. Could be that this specific property is trying to cut corners and combine functions?

The reader should follow up with Marriott Customer Service regarding the issues faced and make sure that Marriott properly follows up with the hotel.

Conclusion

I believe that the reader made the right call when they decided to move to another hotel. I would have, however, canceled the stay on the spot, fired up my laptop, booked another one and simply left.

There seem to be personnel issues at this hotel based on a quick look at 1 – 3 star reviews on TripAdvisor. I would assume that the hotel General Manager is incompetent. Usually issues such as this demonstrate unwillingness to listen to guest feedback.

I recently had an issue with an InterContinental property in China and getting the issue resolved appeared to be impossible. I google the GM’s name and picked up the phone. The call was transferred to someone pretending to be the GM, but wasn’t (GM was female and the person pretending to be one was male). I dropped her an email and received a reply back within a few minutes.

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  • Felix

    Sounds like a strange encounter. However, having stayed at Marriott for hundreds of nights as a Plat the way the commenter seems to insist on their ‘status’ and telling people they’re the top 3% (an assumed criteria) seems a bit over the top. Why not go to the first available receptionist but demand to be taken to the ‘platinum desk’?

    • cscasi

      I can agree with what you said here. But, since I was not there and privy ot how things really happened and exactly what was said by each person, I only have what is written here to go by. it is a s, but sometimes the way certain people communicate cause others to react in a certain manner. Again, I am not sure what happened here. But, if Trip Advisor is showing low ratings for this hotel, something is wrong and Marriott needs to get a handle on it.
      Finally, I am not sure what Lifetime Platinum top 3% means. I know recently Marriott added a new category of Platinum Elite to Platinum Elite Plus, but I have never heard of this 3%.

  • Rocky

    Call Marriott CEO, you will get the executive secretary, explain the situation, that you want 500, 000 points as recompense, and go from there.

  • Austy

    What is top 3% status?

    • Platinum Premier is the official name; it is a mostly unpublished level in the Marriott Rewards program that is awarded to the top 3% of Platinum members each year based on revenue. I don’t believe the criteria used for this has anything to do with lifetime spend, just previous year spend. There are no official additional hotel benefits for this level (although most full service properties will reserve their best rooms for these members including suites and/or offer additional food and beverage amenities). There was a recent post on Flyertalk, however, noting that Platinum Premier members can now get free United Premier Gold status as part of the RewardsPlus partnership; “regular” Platinum and Gold Marriott customers are only eligible to get Premier Silver status from this partnership: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marriott-ritz-carlton-rewards/1745974-platinum-premier-level-2016-present-12.html

      • Felix

        The United Gold Premier deal was scrapped, the 3% is the rumor on the street. I’ve yet to see the official statement from Marriott about the criteria.