Hotels and all hospitality sector businesses have been greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, the occupancy rates are slowly creeping up, although it will be several years before they reach the peak of 2019.
Many readers have reported being surprised that when they book a hotel close to a regular price before the Covid-19, they arrive at the property only to find out that most of the services have been significantly curtailed or temporarily suspended without any advance notice or communication.
Here’s a comparison for two Marriott and Hilton hotels in London:
Both London Marriott Hotel Country Hall and W London have the following statement: “Please note-Due to COVID-19, some hotel facilities or services may not be available to guests for a while” without spelling out what is and what isn’t.
Both Conrad (formerly InterContinental) and Waldorf Hilton (uses Waldorf for historical reasons – not associated with the Waldorf-Astoria) have a note up what services they do and don’t have available.
I would probably choose Conrad because it appears that they have most of the services up and running compared to the Waldorf Hilton, although I do like and have stayed at the latter many times.
I was in touch with the Marriott, and the spokesperson told me that they plan to have better information available at the full service and luxury hotels by the end of the month:
“and it sounds like we will have the services updates up for most of our premium and luxury hotels by August 30. “
I have mostly not been affected by the Covid-19 related service downgrades and suspensions, although I have spent the entire time at full-service hotels, due to being in Japan, where some hotels closed but others just weathered the crisis through.
When I was executing searches for hotels in Europe this September, I came across the issue and differences between chains what information is displayed and what not.
Most of the guests could understand service limitations and suspensions, but those need to be communicated clearly at the time of booking. Why would I book a Marriott affiliated hotel in blind when Hilton hotels list what is and isn’t available?
There is considerable variability between Hilton’s luxury and full-service hotels too. Why would I choose a hotel that doesn’t have executive lounge and fitness centers open, if those are important to me when similar other one does?
Let’s hope that Marriott can get this information up on its website by August 30. It would give us more confidence to book their hotels instead of competitors.