Hoping to share my experiences whilst visiting a number of properties in CA over the past few weeks.
Before I start, it's important I explain a little about me. I am a platinum member based in Australia; I travel extensively for both leisure and business every year (around 200 nights/year), globally. In the past 12 months I have stayed in Marriott properties in South America, USA, Australia, Asia and Europe. Whilst I am very loyal to Marriott, I also have elite memberships with Hilton, Accor and SPG- simply because Marriott do not have properties everywhere I visit.
I feel it is well-documented by now that the service and quality of Marriott properties (over all brands) in the US are well-below of what you generally find elsewhere across the world, especially compared to Asia.
As mentioned I stayed at 6 different Marriott properties over 11 days (Marriott, JW Marriott, Autograph Collection); and on the whole the level of service I received as an elite was very low. Ranging from having to ask for upgrades, chasing owed points, discounts not being applied, lounge closures, and general issues such as overcharging etc- Not one of the properties I stayed at did it go smoothly- and I am a pretty easy-going traveller.
Compared to staying in properties in other parts of the world, where being an elite makes you feel special, makes you feel like you're actually valued; in those which I stayed, this was by far the opposite.
I have stayed in US properties in the past, and cannot seem to understand how US travellers come to just accept that this level of service, lack of attention to detail, or even feeling welcomed, is the norm. Or perhaps it isn't he norm, and I just experienced a run of really bad (you wouldn't hope so, given at some of the ones I stayed at)?
Why is there a massive divide in the quality of these properties in continental US compared to the rest of the world? In your experiences, have you seen Marriott properties improving (specifically those who have travelled abroad a bit)?
I am genuinely intrigued by this. Marriott is a brand or more so, a group, which I promote to my friends and colleagues, but after my experiences in CA recently, Marriott, at least in that state, is an embarrassment.