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Category Archives: Hotels

Review of the Element hotel Miami

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.

Connecting room

I am a gold member of Bonvoy, the new name for Marriott's loyalty program....
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Hotels follow in airlines’ footsteps

hotelA reader has a reservation for a Miami hotel. At check-in she learns about undisclosed hotel fees: a resort fee and a parking fee. The reservation does not mention any of those fees, it shows only the room rate and taxes. She asks us whether hotels can charge fees on top of the room price.

Unbundling services

The short answer is: Yes. Hotels have virtually unnoticed followed in the footsteps of airlines by "unbundling" services. In the case of fees, however, they don't always refer to concrete services. When they do, they often cite local...
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How important is your privacy to Marriott?

Marriott StarwoodThe data breach at Marriott is not the biggest. The Yahoo breach in 2013 was larger. Yahoo lost data of 3 billion users, whereas the Marriott case involves 500 million customers. Since 2014 (!) there has been unauthorized access to the Starwood network.

Stolen data

For approximately 327 million guests, the information includes some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, date of birth, and gender. For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and expiration dates. Although the card numbers were encrypted and 2...
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It takes time, but Hilton responds positively

A reader's Swiss flight from Zurich to Newark is canceled after takeoff was aborted. Due to a bird strike, an engine is damaged such that the plane cannot fly over the Atlantic Ocean. Swiss is not able to rebook him the same day, so he has to stay the night over in Zurich.

Vouchers

Swiss gives him vouchers for Hilton Zurich Airport, which runs an airport shuttle. The driver has a friend or relative in the vehicle with whom he is all the way talking in a...
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Marriott’s website of little use

After Marriott took over Starwood it took a while before both chains would merge their platforms. Although Marriott introduced the single platform in August, it seems the integration is a failure. In particular Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members are facing many problems, but also Marriott Rewards members are sometimes having hard times. It seems that Marriott did not work hard enough to integrate Starwood hotels into Marriott's website and SPG into Marriott Rewards smoothly. SPG members report a multitude of problems and some Marriott...
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A B&B experience

A reader shares his experience with Fado Bed & Breakfast - Santos in Lisbon, Portugal: I booked the B&B through Booking.com and could cancel it until 3 weeks before arrival, when the rate was charged to my credit card. B&B prices in Lisbon can be as low as €20 ($23) or even less. However, I selected the Fado B&B with a room rate of €55 ($64) hoping the quality would be acceptable.

Airport transfer

I also ordered a roundtrip airport transfer for €45 ($53), which the B&B outsources to...
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