A reader shares her experience with a hotel.
When I make a reservation at the Element hotel - part of the Marriott chain - at Miami International Airport, I am unaware that it is an airport hotel without curtains and sound insulation. After arrival I walk to the hotel shuttle area as the shuttle picks up customers every 30 minutes. I am lucky because I need to wait just 10 minutes until the shuttle arrives.
I am a gold member of Bonvoy, the new name for Marriott's loyalty program. The front desk agent is nice and checks me in quickly. But when I arrive in my room it appears to be a connecting room.
I don't like to hear what happens in the other room. Thus, I return to the front desk and the agent quickly assigns a non-connecting room.
Difference in customer-friendliness
Customers of Hilton can simply include a preference for a non-connecting in the booking. However, Marriott doesn't allow its customers to do so.
When I search for a hotel I often want to sort the search results by price. But Marriott does not allow customers to do so either. They do not want you to know the lowest rate available.
Obviously, Marriott is less customer-friendly than Hilton. Therefore, I stay more often in Hilton properties. This is the reason why I have diamond status in Hilton Honors, Hilton's loyalty program.
As the Element hotel doesn't have a restaurant, I go out for dinner. On return I notice that there are no curtains in the room, only unmovable transparent window shades.
As a result, it is equally light in the room as outside. Fortunately, I have an aid: a mask preventing me from waking up immediately at sunrise. But having to sleep with a mask is unpleasant.
No sound insulation
Also disturbing is that the hotel doesn't seem to have noise isolation, which is quite amazing for an airport hotel. Close by planes, trains and cars make deafening noises.
Moreover, there is also noise being produced inside my room. When I go to sleep, I hear in the sleeping room a loud noise from a machine hidden behind a wooden partition. There is no sign explaining what it is.
Due to all the noise inside and outside I cannot sleep without a second aid: earplugs. Fortunately, I also have them in my bag. But it is inconvenient that I can only sleep in the Element hotel by using a mask and earplugs, as if I am traveling in a plane.
Thus, I will not stay for a second time in this hotel.
Tags: Element hotel, Bonvoy, Marriott, sorting search results, Hilton
Related: "For which hotel is this reservation?"