Putting on the Ritz (Or When a Luxury Hotel Disappoints Then Makes it Up)

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne This past weekend, I headed to the Mom 2.0 Summit in Key Biscayne, Florida with two fellow Boston Parent Bloggers.  Because there were three of us, and the hotel (the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, FL) was a bit pricey, we decided to all share a room.  Charlene is pregnant, and the hotel only has double beds (not queen) so I requested a rollaway online.

Two days before I arrived, I received an email asking if I needed anything – extra pillows, etc.  I replied asking them for a rollaway and requested them to add my two roommates to the room.  I didn’t receive a response.  The day before I left, I called, and spoke to someone who agreed to add the two names to the room and ensured me that the rollaway would be in the room.

Then we arrived.  We’d all had a long day, and our cab driver accidentally thought we’d said “beach” and not Ritz, so we’d been given a 60 minute tour of Miami.  As I checked in, we were told they absolutely couldn’t put a rollaway in the room due to fire restrictions.  We asked for a king bed room with a rollaway, but none were available.  We were offered an upgrade for $150 per night.

Since we were already late, we raced to the first event of the conference, a White Party by the pool.  At the party, I found out that other guests with two double-bed rooms were given rollaways.  So, we called back, and were offered a mattress on the floor, which we accepted.

Housekeeping knocked on the door, and had a comforter.  Yes, they expected a guest at the Ritz to sleep on the floor on a comforter.  We insisted this wasn’t what we wanted, and he left and returned with an old mattress – but no comforter.  Finally, I settled in on an old, thin mattress on the floor for an uncomfortable night.

The next morning, we discovered that the other guests had received room drops from the conference, but we didn’t.  Frustrated, I made a comment on Twitter, and received a response.  Eventually, the front of the house manager agreed to supervise the room drops and went into the room with housekeeping and rearranged our room to accommodate the rollaway.  But, when we returned to our room, there was only one room drop – not three.  One more email later and we had our three room drops.

In the end, we received the rollaway bed and the three room drops.  The manager also gave us a nice cheese plate to apologize and left a present of pregnancy creams for Charlene.  But it was frustrating to get to that point.

So, what are the takeaways from this?  If you talk to someone on the phone, get their name.  Also, do not accept the first answer – make sure you talk to the person who can deal with your issues.  And don’t assume that you’ll get perfect customer service at a luxury hotel.

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Comments

  1. Its interesting to see that while staying at a luxury hotel in a brand family that has been built on all the little touches and amenities that can set them apart you could possibly have so much trouble. I’m glad they made it right after so recently spending time at a Walt Disney Resort where every request is tended to, its eye opening about the true ability to teach customer service and make sure it sticks.

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