A year and a half into the plague, travelers say they repeatedly come across false promises or misleading information on hotel websites. They complain that the buffet for high-class room occupants, breakfast or “happy hour” of the bar are not available – sometimes even when the hotels claim to have returned them.

Some of the experienced “road warriors” say that they now communicate in advance as a matter of routine in order to find out exactly what the hotel has cut from the standards during the corona time. Often, hotel guests receive compensation for benefits that are only cut after they complain about it.

The biggest difference between business-class hotel rooms and regular rooms at the Radisson hotel chain is breakfast. At the business level it is included and at the normal level it is not. But the thing is, many of the chain’s hotels have not reopened their restaurants, so all guests get the same breakfast from a buffet they go through to grab something and go.

“The business level is for when the restaurant is open and you get a cooked breakfast, but not now,” said a receptionist at the Radisson Hotel in Shaumburg, Illinois, close to Chicago.

Someone needs to notify Radisson’s website and the reservations department. The chain still sells business-class rooms at higher prices as of Tuesday afternoon. A one-night stay this week costs $ 5 more. For the price difference, what you actually get is bonus points and drinks coupons.

Bardison did not respond to a request for comment.

“We are now after the point where the plague has become a temporary excuse”

It is not always clear when discontinued services have been cut because of corona-related precautions or simply to save costs. Some hotels do not offer a hot buffet on weekends, when they are full, but on the other hand also do not give a hot breakfast on weekdays, when occupancy is low due to a small number of business trips.

Roger Husson, a city planner who recently retired from the San Francisco Bay Area, called the Hyatt Regency Hotel in St. Louis. At the hotel he was told that the restaurant had reopened and that he would receive free breakfast, as he was at the highest level in the chain loyalty program. Earlier this month he was told that indeed, the restaurant has reopened, but will not be open on days he stays at the hotel.

“It’s like capturing a moving target,” he says. A Hyatt spokesman says hotels are trying to find alternatives for members of the Hyatt World when the hotel’s free breakfast is not available.

Almost all hotel chains have posted messages on their websites that some of the services will not be available in some of the branches due to the plague. But if you look for details about specific branches, almost nothing has been updated.

“We are now after the point where the plague has become a temporary excuse,” said Jay Sorensen, a consultant to tourism companies on branding and loyalty. “In today’s environment, it should be so simple to convey a message about what is happening or not happening in detail about each branch, and the chains are not doing that.”

Sorensen thinks many hotels are undermining the credibility of their websites and apps as a source of reliable information about the branches – and also about how people see the brand. If your brand includes a free hot breakfast and you do not consistently provide them, you have a problem.

Hotel sites are misrepresenting

Sorensen himself recently stayed at a Staybridge Suites hotel near Minneapolis. The brand, a subsidiary of IHG, is famous for its hot breakfast buffet and Happy Hour in the evening with appetizers that can replace a light dinner for guests. The benefit is called The Social, and Staybridge’s website is still proud of it. It is also still listed as a benefit at the Staybridge Suites branch in Minneapolis-Bloomington. But there is a problem: it is not served.

In a written statement, IHG said it continues to work with hotel owners to regulate the provision of services while monitoring corona limitations. The hotel’s flagship programs continue to operate all the time, the statement said. “The vast majority of our hotels are owned and operated independently, and we work with them to make sure that any offer or service offered to guests who book rooms through our channels is indeed given,” IHG said. “If guests see that they are not getting the experience and services as advertised, they can contact us and we will work with the hotel to rectify the situation.”

Several Staybridge executives have responded to complaints on Tripadvisor and said the full breakfast buffet and evening reception is currently delayed and will be back soon. But they did not upload this information to the branch’s own order site.

Tourist Laura S. was one of many Tripadvisor users who complained about the lack of breakfast at the Staybridge Suites branch in Florence-Cincinnati: “There was no breakfast at all, no eggs, no bacon, no sausage – nothing !!!!”

On the IHG website, the page of this branch shows photos, rates, directions and details of services, which reads: “Enjoy a hot buffet breakfast every morning of your stay and welcome in the evenings between Mondays and Wednesdays with a light starter / appetizer, beer and wine in our great hall “. At the top of the page it says: “Important notice. You may receive various services and other benefits as more branches open.” An IHG spokeswoman says the company is trying to get the hot breakfast back wherever possible.

The industry has lost $ 49 billion in revenue from business travel

The losses of hotels during the plague were enormous. Properties suffered from a shortage of manpower that made it difficult to provide services such as daily cleaning or benefits of the hotel trustee club. The U.S. Hotels and Hostels Association estimates that the industry lost $ 49 billion in business travel revenue in 2020 compared to 2019. Also this year, the industry is on track to end the year with a $ 10 billion decrease in business travel revenue compared to 2020.

People who travel often fear that many of these standard services will soon disappear forever.

Carl Chang of Richmond, Virginia, who retired during the plague but continues to travel frequently, says he has avoided full-service Marriott hotels because his titanium status no longer gives him benefits like a free breakfast or a lounge for chain loyalists. The breakfasts you make often involve high-calorie snacks and processed foods.

Instead, start using limited-service hotels that have free breakfast for all tenants, though it is usually less luxurious.

Some hotels compensate guests for reducing services by offering bonus points or even a gift card for a future stay.

“It’s something that needs to be specifically asked for,” Chang says. “Hotels may not voluntarily volunteer these additional benefits.”

By Editor

Leave a Reply