A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a message reading an unfortunate SNA bait and switch situation at the Le Meridien hotel in Vienna.
You can access Marriott’s page for Suite Night Awards here.
READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points Offers
I booked to stay 2 nights at the Le Meridian Vienna. I stayed 75 nights at Marriott last year and I applied 2 of my hard earned Suite Night Award vouchers to this booking. When selecting the rooms you wish to be upgraded to, I selected several room categories from Executive Suite down to Studio Suite.
I received an email a few days before the stay from Marriott with a confirmed upgrade to a Studio Suite.
This was also reflected in the Marriott app.
On the day of arrival I noticed I had been assigned a Corner Guestroom. I queried this on checking in and asked them to confirm my SNA’s were attached to the booking. I was told this was the case and I had been assigned a fantastic room.
I was really upset with this room for various reasons but the primary reason it was not the studio which had been confirmed.
I chatted to the hotel who told me the move was in my best interest because the regular room has a view of the park. I couldn’t see much of a view and this certainly isn’t something I value over a studio.
We then agreed that the next day I would be moved to the originally confirmed room type. I would be refunded the SNA.
The next day I visited the front desk to be moved. The agent told me they had no rooms of that type available since they need to be cleaned (I presume from this comment the hotel sold the rooms the previous night) and decided to downgrade me.
Later that day I was moved to the originally confirmed studio suite and it was much better than the corner room.
Since the hotel was being extremely difficult and non customer focused, I took the liberty of taking photos of the floor plans.
Room 335 was the corner room I was assigned and had to spend the first night in. The hotel tried to argue this was the same level as a studio room.
This was the studio room I moved to the second night and was originally confirmed:
It’s been a few days since the stay and I’ve asked Marriott Bonvoy for an update on my case to get at lease one SNA back but they haven’t replied.
I completed the post stay survey and received this reply from the Front Desk Manager.
Dear Mr. REMOVED,
Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience while staying with us. Your experience is below our standard.
Providing the highest level of hospitality is our number one priority and I sincerely apologize for failing to meet your expectations.
I would like to inform you that you have stayed in one of our Junior Suites, which was also confirmed to you via E-Mail from Marriott Bonvoy.
Please note that the hotel is not giving away SNA Vouchers as Marriott Bonvoy is accpetiong or declining them.
It is very unfortunate that you did not enjoy your stay at all as my team and me are giving their best every day to make our guests as happy as possible.
Dear Mr. REMOVED, I want to thank you again for taking the time to review your stay with us.
This is deeply frustrating because the hotel are implying I stayed in a junior suite (which I didn’t) and also they are not going to refund the SNA having previously said they would.
I am not a compensation chaser but I feel this whole experience really ruined my weekend away in Vienna and is not an experience as a Marriott titanium member should experience.
It turns out that I stayed at this hotel a week earlier, and my SNA was cleared to an Executive Suite, which I also stayed at.
There are numerous issues with Marriott’s Suite Night Awards, and one of them is that properties sometimes downgrade reservations and pretend they didn’t do anything, like what appears to be happening here.
The unfortunate truth is that Marriott has hardly any customer support for issues that guests face at their affiliate hotels.
If you call them, they merely open up a case (there must be millions of open cases) that the property should act upon. They can, however, simply mark the issue resolved and close the case without doing anything. When you contact customer support again, they will just open another case without.
Marriott Bonvoy customer service has become button pushers that merely open cases without resolving any issues, and properties take advantage of this.
It is even more frustrating when the hotel first promises something (to refund the SNA) and later backtracks it like nothing ever happened.
It is a deplorable state for Marriott’s customer service when they merely open case after case and properties close them as resolved without doing anything.
I believe that the only way to change anything is to leave appropriate review scores on Google and TripAdvisor and book away with chains that value their guests.
The reader can use Google to find the name of the General Manager of this hotel and drop them an email. Marriott’s emails are usually in the format of email@example.com.
When I was leaving the property, I saw a confrontation at this hotel’s front desk that I believe that they could have handled much better. A French-speaking guest (non-white) had issues with a credit card or couldn’t remember the PIN, and the front desk manager was extremely aggressive and didn’t appear to be solution driven.
I had a good, but not great, stay at this hotel. I’m not sure if I’ll ever return, considering all the options in the city.