I Received An Apology From The Aegon Mykonos…

I Received An Apology From The Aegon Mykonos…

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Read the full saga (and before you read the below post, you’ll absolutely want to read these posts):

In my situation with the Aegon Mykonos, I know a lot of people have been wondering what Marriott corporate has had to say. Marriott reached out to me shortly after the incident to say that the incident is being investigated and taken seriously.

Up until now there hasn’t been an official update. That’s fair enough, if you ask me — I can appreciate that a lot of investigating needs to happen, and also that any interim statement would be nothing more than generic corporate speak. While I don’t have anything official from Marriott corporate to share, I did have an interesting letter emailed to me yesterday directly from the hotel.

The letter I received from the Aegon Mykonos

A letter was emailed to me by someone I believe to be one of the owners of the Aegon Mykonos (he signed it with his name, but didn’t put any title to go along with it, though Google suggests he has some sort of ownership stake in the hotel). Here’s the letter in full:

I am writing in response to your recent stay with us and to apologise for the experience that you had. As a valued Marriott Bonvoy member, the service and hospitality experience failed to meet the level that we strive for.

Having fully reviewed the issues and the interactions that you had with our team during your stay, we acknowledge that these should have been handled in a more professional and constructive manner from the outset.

We have investigated the original issue with the Suite Night Awards. Our team incorrectly excluded the room pool due to misunderstandings about how this process works at the hotel level. We are working with the Marriott Bonvoy team on providing further guidance and training for our team to avoid a repeat of this situation.

In terms of your concerns regarding the images and descriptions of the property on the website, we are in the process of reviewing the website content in order that it accurately reflects the current status of the hotel location and facilities. In addition, we are working with Marriott to address the discrepancies in the images you highlighted.

We understand that Marriott Bonvoy has compensated you for your stay and for your experience at our hotel. We hope that this gesture along with our apology and steps taken to avoid this issue from happening in the future demonstrates how seriously these issues have been taken.

Before I share my take on this, just one quick point of clarification. Marriott Bonvoy has “compensated” me with 100,000 Bonvoy points and four suite night awards, which essentially just made me whole, since that was the cost of my stay that I didn’t complete (since I checked out the same day I checked in, but it was within the cancelation period at that point).

I’ve made it clear I’m not looking for any compensation here beyond that, I’m just looking for Marriott and the hotel to take action so that other Bonvoy members don’t have similar experiences in the future.

A guest room at the Aegon Mykonos

On the one hand, I’m really impressed

Credit where credit’s due — this is a legitimate apology. It’s not an “I’m sorry if you were offended” apology, but rather the hotel is acknowledging that:

  • The service and hospitality experienced weren’t acceptable, and the situation should have been handled more professionally from the onset
  • The hotel made the mistake with suite night awards, and not Marriott corporate, which was being scapegoated the whole time
  • There’s a “discrepancy” when it comes to images on the hotel’s website, which is being addressed

I would have expected to receive an apology like this from Marriott corporate, but I’m impressed that this apology is coming directly from the property. Now, in fairness, this apology has Marriott corporate written all over it, in the sense that I think the hotel was strongly encouraged (forced?) to write this. And if so, well played, Marriott corporate.

Hopefully the hotel follows through on this and removes the misleading pictures, stops selling rooms that aren’t open, stops referring to some suites as having “beach front access,” and stops talking about a beach club until one actually opens. So far it looks like the hotel has removed suites from inventory in the closed building, and has also lowered its rates for the rest of the month by around one-third — the cheapest nightly rates used to be around 450 EUR, while rates are now under 300 EUR.

View from a guest room at the Aegon Mykonos

But then there’s what isn’t being said

The above is a great apology for the initial issue that unfolded, which is the hotel’s general lack of understanding of how Marriott Bonvoy is supposed to work, as well as the hotel trying to get “creative” with how it markets itself.

However, it does nothing to address what really turned this stay from just disappointing but tolerable to completely unacceptable, in my mind.

For one, the letter doesn’t take accountability for the hotel’s endless lying:

  • The hotel lied at check-in about the rooms they were selling, with the general manager claiming it was impossible that they were selling rooms in the other building (even though that’s exactly what they were doing, and what they continued to do, even after telling me it was impossible)
  • The hotel lied about photoshopping pictures, claiming it was due to the fast pace of construction in Mykonos (which we proved to be a lie — those power lines were there a decade ago)
  • The hotel lied in response to my TripAdvisor review about what I said at check-in, claiming I threatened to write a negative review, that they offered me a “complimentary stay” and points, that they offered me breakfast, etc., none of which was true

Then there’s the biggest issue of all, which is what made us so uncomfortable that we decided to leave. That’s the person who approached me in the driveway of the hotel, told me my energy was bad, that the hotel was all about good energy, and accused me of illegally stealing the hotel’s intellectual property by posting Marriott’s picture of the hotel with the power lines photoshopped out. And then a few minutes later someone with an IP from the hotel left a comment on the blog telling me I “have issues” and to “get a life.”

Some readers have tipped me off on a few things since the incident, and to the best of my knowledge:

  • The person who confronted me in the driveway of the hotel is the wife of the person who sent me the apology email
  • While I can’t say with certainty who left the blog comment telling me to “get a life,” the person left the comment from an IP address at the hotel, and left the comment using the initials of the person who had approached me just minutes earlier telling me that the hotel is only about good vibes (I’m amazed that someone would do such a poor job covering their tracks?)

So yeah, none of that is in any way acknowledged, but then again, I also wasn’t expecting it to necessarily be acknowledged.

View from the pool at the Aegon Mykonos

Bottom line

I got an apology directly from the Aegon Mykonos, and a pretty good apology at that, even if it has Marriott corporate written all over it. The apology addresses most of the initial issues and takes accountability for what happened, and I’m impressed.

Would I stay at the hotel again? No, absolutely not. Not as long as the general manager is working there (he’s dishonest and has no customer service skills), and not as long as the current owners are on-property in the way that they are. Then again, I’m guessing I wouldn’t be very welcome here again either, and that’s totally fine, as there are plenty of other great places to stay in Mykonos.

For the sake of other Bonvoy members and guests, I do hope the property improves…

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  1. mark nissel

    Every single hotel has fake pictures that don't reflect its current state. Which cancun or Miami hotel shows the seaweed across the entire property? Writing a negative review instantly upon check in is just basically pathetic. Talk to people and solve problems instead of dramatizing for click bait. If that woman in the drive way is the scariest experience you ever had you are a child of privilege. When hotels have hundreds or thousands of...

    Every single hotel has fake pictures that don't reflect its current state. Which cancun or Miami hotel shows the seaweed across the entire property? Writing a negative review instantly upon check in is just basically pathetic. Talk to people and solve problems instead of dramatizing for click bait. If that woman in the drive way is the scariest experience you ever had you are a child of privilege. When hotels have hundreds or thousands of reviews and anyone listens to a blogger who makes money complaining how his privilege wasn't privilege enough it's a sad state of affairs. Read reviews and decide.

    1. Elsa

      I live in South Beach. No seaweed at all, we don't even get much here and they drag the beach at night. Silly to suggest everyone should expect to be scammed.

  2. Mario

    Is it possible to setup a "subpar" hotel review list when doing reviews, as I personally like to cross reference online reviews and trust your opinion.

  3. PeteX

    Thank you for your relentless efforts to keep hotels honest. I best most members with status do not have the time and energy let alone the knowhow to keep pushing (me included). In the back of my mind i'm sure that being such a valuable travel blogger, someone at corporate definitely nudged them a bit.

    Just be careful and dont leave bad reviews in thailand, haha.

  4. erie

    I truly appreciate your honest reviews, Lucky! I hope Marriott (or any hotel groups in general) would give more efforts to screen who is carrying their name. Many of us book the hotel based on brand not just because of accumulating points but also for its republicans and basic expectations of what kind of service we would receive, which is pretty important to me when I travel overseas especially. Based on your previous post, I...

    I truly appreciate your honest reviews, Lucky! I hope Marriott (or any hotel groups in general) would give more efforts to screen who is carrying their name. Many of us book the hotel based on brand not just because of accumulating points but also for its republicans and basic expectations of what kind of service we would receive, which is pretty important to me when I travel overseas especially. Based on your previous post, I am glad that you had much better experiences at the new accommodation.

  5. Debbie

    Having been a GM of a Choice Hotel, I can with confidence say it is very possible for the owner and /or GM to write an apology such as the one received. There were many times over my 10 years with Choice that my staff and owners acted this stupid without my knowledge, thus causing me to step in with just such an apology. Marriott, and Choice Corporate have very little to do with franchise...

    Having been a GM of a Choice Hotel, I can with confidence say it is very possible for the owner and /or GM to write an apology such as the one received. There were many times over my 10 years with Choice that my staff and owners acted this stupid without my knowledge, thus causing me to step in with just such an apology. Marriott, and Choice Corporate have very little to do with franchise owners or GM's in an advisory manner. Having worked with both companies I will say Choice enforces Guest Agent training above and beyond Marriott. Improper training is where this all came from.

  6. Dirk

    Unacceptable behavior by Aegon management, confirming a suite was available for all four nights in order to sucker you into staying there and then taking it away for the first two nights when you are staying on points. Others both here and on Flyertalk experienced similar deceptive tactics by the hotel. The hotel's false claims to have beachfront rooms as well as infrastructure on the beach that it does not have amply demonstrate this is...

    Unacceptable behavior by Aegon management, confirming a suite was available for all four nights in order to sucker you into staying there and then taking it away for the first two nights when you are staying on points. Others both here and on Flyertalk experienced similar deceptive tactics by the hotel. The hotel's false claims to have beachfront rooms as well as infrastructure on the beach that it does not have amply demonstrate this is intentional conduct by management and not an accident. Frankly, all of this smacks of a hotel desperate to get tourist dollars in, no matter what it takes.

    Who wants to deal with this kind of upsetting non-sense on holiday? That one of the owners thought it appropriate to confront Ben and accuse him of illegal activity for posting the Marriott website photo next to his own on this website indicates this bad attitude towards their guests comes from the top. Postings and photos on Flyertalk about this hotel indicate that the owner's dogs are free to roam through the dining room, begging for food from diners or sitting on the banquette at an adjoining table, and that business meetings with the owners are held in the area where breakfast is served while guests are there. These activities, condoned by the owners, is not consistent with the kind of environment expected by guests to a "five star" resort charging 1000 Euros per night.

    Best to avoid this place until they bring in new management and/or new owners take over.

    Great work, Ben! Please keep us posted if Marriott corporate responds.

  7. Jen

    I think that how a company handles a problem is often exponentially more important than the problem itself.

    Some thoughts:
    1. A hotel can't "lie", it's an inanimate object. Someone there "lied". I think the owner did explain the reason for the room mixup and provided a plan for fixing it in the future. They are also working with Marriott on the picture and description issue Your concern was validated.
    2. A...

    I think that how a company handles a problem is often exponentially more important than the problem itself.

    Some thoughts:
    1. A hotel can't "lie", it's an inanimate object. Someone there "lied". I think the owner did explain the reason for the room mixup and provided a plan for fixing it in the future. They are also working with Marriott on the picture and description issue Your concern was validated.
    2. A hotel cannot control the activities of an individual-employee, non-employee,family of employee. After a horrible thing like this happens, they can certainly do something then for an employee, but the other two categories are out of the hotel's control. And being in HR, I can tell you if an employee was reprimanded or fired, etc, many countries (and places in the US) have laws about releasing that information. So they aren't going to give specifics about that.
    4. You impact people's livelihoods with everything you say. By generalizing about "the hotel" based on your experience (terrible one), your amplified voice on this blog could impact people staying at the hotel and ALL of the employees. Is this issue big enough for that?
    5. IP addresses and lookups are not at all reliable, especially when you look at dynamic IPs. By stating with surety that it came from inside the hotel, it's possible... But not definitive. Assuming it's a 100% lock that someone from inside did it there are hundreds of people on that server. Could be a guest who read it, could be a visitor to the restaurant. You don't know, the hotel doesn't know,so what do you want here? To destroy the place and people's livelyhoods?

    I guess what I am saying, is post-COVID, grant some grace and consider the full impact and power of your platform. Marriott, the hotel and the owner will make it through this, but if a bad few hours gets posted to your audience, it's the waitstaff, kitchen staff, buspeople, housekeeping,guest service people who lose their jobs or get a reduced schedule because people don't book it.
    Is maybe resolving this privately a better thing to do for the travel industry.
    And..you can check my IP- mobile phone in Austin, Texas. OMAAT regular reader, this one happened to strike me, as someone who loves to travel and would be as furious as you are... But I'm trying to give my own grace as the travel industry finds it's feet again.
    -Jen

  8. ECP

    We just canceled our reservation here for July. This review literally came out as we booked it with the Bonvoy program. We wondered why it was so few points and the pictures looked amazing. I would have kept our reservation if there appeared to be efforts to address concerns on the listing plus many reviews looked scripted. Tons of the reviews use “attention to details” and focus on the staff, with very few describing the...

    We just canceled our reservation here for July. This review literally came out as we booked it with the Bonvoy program. We wondered why it was so few points and the pictures looked amazing. I would have kept our reservation if there appeared to be efforts to address concerns on the listing plus many reviews looked scripted. Tons of the reviews use “attention to details” and focus on the staff, with very few describing the facility. We wanted to love this place but can’t take the risk on a splurge vacation. Thanks for writing it!

  9. love-greece

    I work in comms (not hotel, not Marriot, not hospitality) and this letter is 100% written by Marriot Corporate. The sentence about "working with the Marriott Bonvoy team on providing further guidance and training for our team to avoid a repeat of this situation." is a "dead giveaway". That's the type of sentence a professional comms team would use. Not a hotel owner.

  10. Dave

    They should have just said: Please come back, stay in the Aegon suite for as long as you please compliments of the manager. But obviously they haven’t realised what being part of an American chain means in terms of customer service, and that Lucky/OMAAT has massive reach. Even forgoing 2 weeks of revenue on the Aegon suite is worth it to repair the reputational damage this hotel has suffered as a consequence of 10 posts and counting.

  11. SullyofDoha

    +1 as @Luke said!
    This absolutely came from the US corporate office.

  12. Jared

    Looking at the hotel pics, it isn’t somewhere I’d want to stay. Thus, I wonder if the “issue” with the suite was just a pretense to get out of staying there. I’ve had some really serious issues happen with hotels... and didn’t air the problems publicly, let alone ruminate about those problems for weeks on end in multiple posts. And then, if I got compensation or an apology, not accept the apology. Here are some...

    Looking at the hotel pics, it isn’t somewhere I’d want to stay. Thus, I wonder if the “issue” with the suite was just a pretense to get out of staying there. I’ve had some really serious issues happen with hotels... and didn’t air the problems publicly, let alone ruminate about those problems for weeks on end in multiple posts. And then, if I got compensation or an apology, not accept the apology. Here are some recent examples, high level elite at all of them:

    At a real luxury hotel (5*) , there was a burst water pipe, and it caved in my bathroom ceiling in the middle of the night, getting my Dopp kit soaked etc. Was moved to a non view room; had points refunded. Never told anyone. Staff could have handled it better. No other compensation.

    Showed up at a resort (4*) at midnight; no rooms, though I had already checked in on the app, and had been charged for the full stay. Had to stay the night at a nearby hotel (they paid) that wasn’t as nice. No offer of a ride to new hotel they picked. Didn’t charge me for the first night, but no perks rest of the stay. Never told anyone.

    At a luxury ski resort (5*) was served a used jam condiment during COVID— opened it up and was half full, and had bread crumbles in it. Breakfast was comped (I got free breakfast anyway with FHR). Never told anyone about it until now.

    Was given an SNA “downgrade” at another luxury ski resort (5*) to a dark basement/ground floor room with no view. No compensation of any kind. Wasn’t the room I wanted, but was happy to be there. Didn’t call anyone incompetent. Didn’t blog about it.

    The list goes on. I enjoyed my time on all of these trips and felt blessed to have the means to take them. No one ever kissed my feet. I’ll continue reading these articles because I appreciate the latest air/hotel reviews, and luxury hotel insight. But, this latest thing or whatever they are doing to this hotel is just petty. He said he doesn’t want anything else— they gave an apology, and identified issues that will receive remedial measures. At some point you have to wonder if you’re really mad at this hotel or mad for other reasons. Peace.

    1. reddargon

      You didn't tell anyone about these incidents? Do you also run a widely-read travel blog, of which one of the primary purposes is to review hotels? This is Ben's job, and as far as I can tell it's just an accurate recantation of what happened at this hotel.

      It's great that you don't complain when slighted. If you're not comfortable doing so, or don't mind when you don't get everything you paid for, that's your...

      You didn't tell anyone about these incidents? Do you also run a widely-read travel blog, of which one of the primary purposes is to review hotels? This is Ben's job, and as far as I can tell it's just an accurate recantation of what happened at this hotel.

      It's great that you don't complain when slighted. If you're not comfortable doing so, or don't mind when you don't get everything you paid for, that's your own prerogative. Many others though do care about getting value for their money, and in particular they want to receive what was promised to them in exchange for their hard-earned money.

      Not sure why I'm defending Ben against these types of post, but I really just don't understand this attitude. You're essentially suggesting that Ben is acting entitled for simply asking to receive what he paid for, and then when he was treated incredibly rudely/unprofessionally he reported that here, on his blog which is meant to provide this very type of feedback.

    2. Jennifer Hill

      I have to agree with what Jared said. To your point, Ben has great reach, which holds great power and thus responsibility. I get this is his job, but I think that a professional review should weigh a lot of other factors and not make assumptions or quote unknown sources about who was who and said what. The hotel can only have accountability to a point and it's all after the incident happened. So, a...

      I have to agree with what Jared said. To your point, Ben has great reach, which holds great power and thus responsibility. I get this is his job, but I think that a professional review should weigh a lot of other factors and not make assumptions or quote unknown sources about who was who and said what. The hotel can only have accountability to a point and it's all after the incident happened. So, a little patience and the full story without assumptions and "tips" from readers would have displayed a higher bar for a professional travel blogger.
      I love this site, but I want the full review and facts. This blog thread does go way to far into the personal details and depletes the brand.

    3. Jared

      There was a time in my life I would rant and rave, and ruminate, and fixate, and seek vengeance. That’s what these posts are, vengeful. These guys have to win— it’s black and white thinking. Pool suite=win; anything else = lose. It’s highly toxic behavior, and isn’t healthy. I’m especially troubled by the way Ford treated the hotel staff. My theory on what happened is: this hotel is new to Bonvoy. They weren’t fully informed...

      There was a time in my life I would rant and rave, and ruminate, and fixate, and seek vengeance. That’s what these posts are, vengeful. These guys have to win— it’s black and white thinking. Pool suite=win; anything else = lose. It’s highly toxic behavior, and isn’t healthy. I’m especially troubled by the way Ford treated the hotel staff. My theory on what happened is: this hotel is new to Bonvoy. They weren’t fully informed or misunderstood how SNAs work; they had defaulted so ALL suites were available for SNA; for whatever reason the coveted “pool suite” was released; they wanted to clawback, either because they had a paying customer, or the owner figured it out and said “we can’t offer that suite for SNA.” They had no idea who they were dealing with. These top tier level suites are rarely available for SNA use. I side with the guys if they truly only picked this hotel to stay in that particular suite. Which, by the way, is a stupid reason to pick a hotel, unless you plan to never leave the room.

      Anyway, good to know there could be SNA issues at this hotel; but I’m just saying this is an overreaction, and not normal behavior. There is a sense of entitlement in all these articles that is difficult to read. Because it was win or lose for them, and nothing aside from a time machine that gets them walking down a red carpet to that pool suite will EVER rectify this. They lost. No amount of phone calls, escalating, drama, ranting, threats (real or imagined by the hotels) got them into that pool suite. That’s a huge ego blow. Especially after spending so much mental and physical energy trying to get in the suite. Instead of compromise, they walked away. Now, a week later, nothing the hotel can say or do will rectify this situation.

      Mistakes are made; things don’t always work out; somewhere someone is having a worse day. The groupthink convergence that has now swarmed this hotel over a —petty— issue, the hotel attempted to remedy is just incredulous to me. Time to move on. That is all.

    4. Elsa

      So you're a weak willed chump who lets hotels use him for a doormat and never complains. Slow clap for this simp

  13. Jim

    Marriott Bonvoy compensates when white elite members get treated the way you were treated. I was treated so much worse at JW Cancun a few days ago and Marriott Bonvoy just ignored me. And I am Titanium Elite. I am done with Marriott!

  14. UA-NYC

    This was barely an apology letter - it actually is just about the most Marriott letter one would expect (half-hearted, perfunctory, nothing beyond a base refund)

  15. Dan Nainan

    There's something I find quite hilarious about a hotel employee who does the same thing every day telling a guy who travels the world first-class and five-star to "Get a life"! I daresay that Ben already has one! Hahahaha!

    If you want a fantastic hotel in Mykonos, check out the Rocabella. They upgraded us to a room with a Jacuzzi on our outdoor deck. It was astoundingly beautiful. And the breakfast buffet was to die for.

    1. JorgeGeorge

      Product placement alert!

  16. Tad B

    Thanks for sharing your experience with this hotel. You obviously went through hell in that crxxpy place, which is so poorly managed by Marriott. I was thinking about visiting Mykonos and, as a Bonvoy (and SPG before) longtime member, typically stay at the Marriott properties. Your experience will keep me away from Greece. So many other beautiful places to enjoy that I know which are just nice, beautiful and much more friendly.

    1. Dre

      I read that someone was involved in a car crash. Sounded like a bad experience so I’m never going in a car again.

  17. Iman

    I think it's important to recognize that the only reason you got an apology letter is because of who you are and your reach. Your experience is telling of how much this property is willing to walk all over its customers with impunity. In my mind, the only resolution would be for Marriott to cancel its relationship with this property and use it as an example to other hotels of the standard they want to...

    I think it's important to recognize that the only reason you got an apology letter is because of who you are and your reach. Your experience is telling of how much this property is willing to walk all over its customers with impunity. In my mind, the only resolution would be for Marriott to cancel its relationship with this property and use it as an example to other hotels of the standard they want to set. Since Marriott botched the rollout of Bonvoy, this step would be a demonstration that they don't condone that behavior.
    The owners and manager of that property are not going to change just because they sent you an apology (which was likely forced upon them). They are not interested in customer service, and should not have access to Marriott's customers.
    Like many others, I too have ended my loyalty to Marriott and use Hotels.com to find the best properties because I've been Bonvoyed too many times.

  18. ooyaboon

    Ben,

    Its great that you got an apology letter from the hotel / Marriott. They listened to your complaints and acted on it.

    Now, for the love of god, will you please listen to our complaints and fix this website. It drives me nuts with the UI. I love your blog and you are the only blogger I have followed for the past 8 years.

    But this monstrosity of a website gives me epileptic...

    Ben,

    Its great that you got an apology letter from the hotel / Marriott. They listened to your complaints and acted on it.

    Now, for the love of god, will you please listen to our complaints and fix this website. It drives me nuts with the UI. I love your blog and you are the only blogger I have followed for the past 8 years.

    But this monstrosity of a website gives me epileptic seizures. It looks like a volcano high on LSD just shat out colors everywhere., and not good soothing pastel colors.

    Please fix it.

  19. Blaz

    This is what happens when a hotel places too much focus on the bottom line, and to be fair, they are probably struggling because of the present Covid situation, so that doesn't help. However, penny pinching especially in a "luxury" hotel does no-one any favours... nothing leaves a more bitter taste than a mean spirited manager. I am amazed that these people don't understand that it is often the little things that have the greatest...

    This is what happens when a hotel places too much focus on the bottom line, and to be fair, they are probably struggling because of the present Covid situation, so that doesn't help. However, penny pinching especially in a "luxury" hotel does no-one any favours... nothing leaves a more bitter taste than a mean spirited manager. I am amazed that these people don't understand that it is often the little things that have the greatest benefits. It is difference between leaving with a bounce in your step or knowing that you will never return . Word of mouth is both the cheapest and most effective form of advertising.

  20. Joe

    I gotta say long time reader don't post much. Just spent the last hour reading ALL the posts. That was entertainment in itself, fascinating.

    Gotta say I do agree you give us good insight and not that I'm traveling to Greece anytime soon, this can happen anywhere. I thought it was handled just fine and those who were exposed deserved it. If I were going to Greece this whole story would be invaluable.

  21. Joseph r woehrle

    I have stayed there and it was a fabulous experience.... dont know what happend here.... and someone posted a picture that says view from pool that overlooked a dirt parking lot and garbage. One would have to climb up the pool wall to view any negative external view. So I have to wonder.......

  22. Eskimo

    I don't think what you got was compensation.
    "100,000 Bonvoy points and four suite night awards, since that was the cost of my stay"

    To me this seems more like they return what should still be yours.

    I would expect compensation to be nothing less than,
    $200 USD and 90,000 points for the Ultimate Reservation Guarantee. - They didn't honor your reservation
    $100 USD for the Guaranteed Platinum Elite/Titanium Elite Welcome Gift....

    I don't think what you got was compensation.
    "100,000 Bonvoy points and four suite night awards, since that was the cost of my stay"

    To me this seems more like they return what should still be yours.

    I would expect compensation to be nothing less than,
    $200 USD and 90,000 points for the Ultimate Reservation Guarantee. - They didn't honor your reservation
    $100 USD for the Guaranteed Platinum Elite/Titanium Elite Welcome Gift. - They didn't welcome you
    $100 USD for the Guaranteed Room Type - They didn't have your room

    So yes, $400 and 90k points is the minimum not accounting for my troubles, for my time, and, (an American favorite) pain and suffering. All those PTSD bills are expensive these days.

  23. Hotel employee

    I am a hotel employee (not of Marriott or the hotel), the behavior of the hotel staff is absolutely out of line, but so was yours. You acted like an entitled and snobbish person, which (while I do not condone this behavior) in turn, the hotel staff acted in kind. Next time you have an issue, contact your elite tier staff at corporate and let them handle it.

    1. JorgeGeorge

      Forget it Ben.....they're.....Greek!

    2. JorgeGeorge

      Uh, what!!?? I can tell you should find another career, like, in the meat packing industry. You would be perfect for the job of ramming the metal bolt into the cows skull.....

  24. Jen

    That letter came from Marriott lawyer department

  25. Carl WV

    I don't think your average traveler would have gotten the "apology" or the "compensation". Your having low expectations of the hotel and Marriott should not cause any praise of the hotel's eventual weak response,

  26. Nick

    TripAdvisor also really ought to take action against them. That's outrageous

  27. Mark G.

    Glad you got a sufficient apology. Let's get on with the rest of your trip.

  28. Vincent

    Tripadvisor may errase our reviews but the Facebook site of them not....

  29. Chris

    I do hope that the hotel handles their personnel matters and disciplines both the manager(s) and duty staff for their abysmal, insulting customer service. I've suffered through several customer-facing jobs and I am absolutely NOT of the opinion that "the customer is always right." In fact, I recall attending a training where I reminded the trainer that, "sometimes, the customer is flat-out wrong." Obviously, there was no discussion of that little bon mot and the...

    I do hope that the hotel handles their personnel matters and disciplines both the manager(s) and duty staff for their abysmal, insulting customer service. I've suffered through several customer-facing jobs and I am absolutely NOT of the opinion that "the customer is always right." In fact, I recall attending a training where I reminded the trainer that, "sometimes, the customer is flat-out wrong." Obviously, there was no discussion of that little bon mot and the trainer moved on to synergizing corporate paradigms.

    However, to outright call _any_ customer a liar to their face AND on a review site is despicable and no apology could possibly make up for that, especially one that doesn't acknowledge the slur in the first place. I cannot say that I have high hopes for any workplace discipline being meted out since, as has been noted, one of the employees is the owner's wife.

    In conclusion, good for the hotel. They did 5% more than the minimum. Still not good enough, though.

  30. Johnbear

    It is time for the service industry to wake up you can't be rude to your customers. And treat them like they don't matter. What has happened to the world thinking it's ok to treat a customer like crap and not care. It's like take what they want to give you and say nothing, no more you are paying to stay, fly or dine. You deserve to receive great service and a great experience. This...

    It is time for the service industry to wake up you can't be rude to your customers. And treat them like they don't matter. What has happened to the world thinking it's ok to treat a customer like crap and not care. It's like take what they want to give you and say nothing, no more you are paying to stay, fly or dine. You deserve to receive great service and a great experience. This is not what I am finding with Marriot. I travel often and I use Marriot. And the service is not what it used to be. Just said.

  31. BCT

    I guess being “made whole” is a type of compensation. But true compensation for time and trouble should have been provided.

    I love the look but not the experience of the site these day.

  32. Paul

    If this is the way they treat Platinum and famous bloggers, I really cant imagine how they would treat normal guest :|

    1. Reno Joe

      Paul, as a multi-year Ambassador, it would be no different for me. In my experience, loyalty to Marriott is of little significance to an individual hotel owner. What matters to the individual hotel owner is repeat business with them. This is the take-away.

  33. Don

    Ben, thank you for providing an update on your horrible experience. As a result of your courage, you are helping other guests from being subjected to similar appalling and terrifying experiences. Marriott Corp should understand the tremendous risk and degradation to their brand. Hopefully they will rectify or remove the Marriott license name from this property. Lies and actions like those you experienced can not continue within the Marriott brand!

    1. Reno Joe

      Well said. As another person wrote, one of the purposes of the blog is reviews -- reviews of a specific property and of its hotel network as a whole. Ben, you are a journalist. Your blog and those of others are not simply gossip columns. I'm not certain your audience fully understands this.

      In the same way that journalists covering other matters are able to help make people and companies accountable, you help make...

      Well said. As another person wrote, one of the purposes of the blog is reviews -- reviews of a specific property and of its hotel network as a whole. Ben, you are a journalist. Your blog and those of others are not simply gossip columns. I'm not certain your audience fully understands this.

      In the same way that journalists covering other matters are able to help make people and companies accountable, you help make hotel owners and hotel networks accountable. You are an advocate for travelers.
      The PR people at the hotels know this and react. So, you just keep reporting fairly and accurately. If someone criticizes you as being "too much," disregard it. CNN, Fox, MSNBC, the NY Times, etc. have their share of "too much" in their reporting.

      I spend 130 to 140 nights a year in hotels. Your blog and those of others have helped me shape and reshape my hotel strategy. How Marriott responds to your present situation speaks volumes and I want to know. Thanks.

  34. CHRIS

    Its a nice gesture but all know that you only got that "apology" because of the blog and the influence that you have. If I or anyone else were to experience something similar, we would have been cheerfully told to pound sand. They made an operational decision to apologize to you. It was nothing more.

  35. Paolo

    I’m glad you got an apology. It was entirely warranted; no one should subjected to that kind of harassment when they’re meant to be enjoying a significant and expensive vacation ( or even an insignificant and cheap one...)
    But one hopes the clueless attack dogs posting fake negative reviews ( never having been near the hotel, and probably never in Greece) will now cease and desist. Readers of TA rely on hotel reviews (...

    I’m glad you got an apology. It was entirely warranted; no one should subjected to that kind of harassment when they’re meant to be enjoying a significant and expensive vacation ( or even an insignificant and cheap one...)
    But one hopes the clueless attack dogs posting fake negative reviews ( never having been near the hotel, and probably never in Greece) will now cease and desist. Readers of TA rely on hotel reviews ( wisely or otherwise) and need to have faith in the integrity of the process.

  36. Malc

    I'm impressed with the apology letter. Yes, it could have gone further – if only to acknowledge that things got out of hand. I don't think it's fair to speculate about the corporate angle – we can't know, and it seems uncharitable for commenters to claim otherwise without evidence. Ultimately, it's professional and takes some responsibility. At some point, everyone needs to move on.

    1. Andrew

      I agree with you. "Needs to move on" seems to be a lightening rod for the bloodthirsty masses in this comment section, but I agree that an apology and refund of points was appropriate. The hotel has been identified and thoroughly publicized. Time to continue the travels.

  37. RF

    This is a start but it's not good enough. The Aegon Mykonos is a dumpster fire of a hotel. More change needs to happen before they regain the trust of their customers.

  38. Edgar Lepe

    This is a typical response from Marriott Headquarter, and they must have most probably told the hotel to respond to you, Ben.
    I have been through somewhat similar incidents where the response of the hotel admin was lukewarm, and it was only when I wrote directly to Marriott HQ that the hotel would change their attitude and get back to me the way they should have done in the very first instance. I am happy for you!

  39. Matthys Goosen

    I for one are grateful that you shared all of the experiences. Having gone through several disappointing experiences, we have learned that customer experience is the only real info to go on. I applaud you for helping us.

  40. daniella williams

    It is very difficukt for the wealthy to get value from people ,hotels and retreats.
    The mighty dollar means so little to so many. Why bother to be rich if nobody cares ? bummer.

  41. RCB

    A few years ago I was staying at a very fancy Marriott property outside the U.S. and one of the employees used his master key to let himself into my room with the intention of raping/sexually assaulting me. Marriott investigated and fired the employee, but they seemed SHOCKED when I asked for my points back for the stay. Not additional points or any other form of compensation, just literally the points I spent on that...

    A few years ago I was staying at a very fancy Marriott property outside the U.S. and one of the employees used his master key to let himself into my room with the intention of raping/sexually assaulting me. Marriott investigated and fired the employee, but they seemed SHOCKED when I asked for my points back for the stay. Not additional points or any other form of compensation, just literally the points I spent on that specific stay. So, for those of you surprised that all he got was his points back, that's actually a huge step for Marriott.

  42. Creditcrunch

    Time to draw a line under the whole sordid affair, you got an apology (granted it does not cover all your gripes) you have received some compensation and Marriott Commercial I am sure will be watching this property like a hawk.

  43. Jay Brown

    This hotel is definitely dishonest and the silver lining here is that they have been forced to admit their routine practice of scamming Bonvoy elites. The GM, management, and owners should be ashamed of themselves

  44. Steven E

    It’s at least a positive step to have received an apology no matter how it was generated. I’m assuming now this matter has been put to bed, I’m not sure people will want to keep hearing about this as most sensible individuals would no doubt give this property a wide berth by now, as you say, there’s lots of other perfectly nice properties to stay at.

  45. Brant

    First, let me commend you for taking action on these matters on behalf of yourself, readers of this blog and Marriott guests at large. You and your blog do have influence and given your depth of experience and access to resources which we, as readers, rely on, it only seems fitting that you’ve shown some spine here. Secondly, while it may just be my personal perception, it does seem the you’ve softened up a bit...

    First, let me commend you for taking action on these matters on behalf of yourself, readers of this blog and Marriott guests at large. You and your blog do have influence and given your depth of experience and access to resources which we, as readers, rely on, it only seems fitting that you’ve shown some spine here. Secondly, while it may just be my personal perception, it does seem the you’ve softened up a bit in the years since I first started following your writing. No shame in that. You’ve settled into your current life situation and you’d like some peace. However, if you lose your edge as a travel blogger, you’ll lose readership. I read many travel blogs and I develop opinions about the writers. This fact causes me to focus my time where it seems most productive for my travel needs. I hope you enjoy your career. Like many, I wish I could travel the world and be paid well for doing it.
    That being said, if the information being conveyed is not practical and useful to the readers of a travel blog, likely as not, they’ll read elsewhere. In short, I hope this recent episode with Marriott and your reader’s reaction to it is a wake up call. Your new internet format is only as good as the content. I like look forward seeing some great things here!

    1. Darin

      Have you also noticed that there is much more content available on this blog? Don’t like the “personal” content? Don’t read it. Don’t like following threads of a terrible hotel experience? Don’t read it. Guess what, there is still just as much “useful” information as there was before. Some of us like the additional context and personal insight, if you don’t, ignore it, and I think you’ll find not all that much has changed.

  46. VÍTOR SILVA

    Truth prevails and, due to my personal experience, things shall change and the hotel did get a slap on the bum, which is good for guests after all!

  47. Mark Hoch

    I left Marriott Hotels system 8 years ago when they stole my points.
    Company is too aloof for me. Too much of a hassle.
    I appreciate your comments and your tannacity.

  48. FNT-Delta-Diamond

    This was probably written by a lawyer or PR agency for the hotel. It isn't perfect English, which it would be if Marriott wrote it. Marriott may have said it needs to say X, Y and Z.

    1. Mp

      So true, the UK spelling is a total giveaway!

    2. Dr Rodrigues Pereira

      I am sure that even costs-cutting Marriott can afford a decent English laywer to write an aplogy in plain, decent English. This is Europe, not America ;-)

    3. Mark

      But he didn't pay for anything. He was using free upgrades to a suite. Personally I feel this is blown out of proportion for something that is a perk and free.

    4. Charles

      @ Mark using points for things does not make them "free'. points are EARNED. they aren't free, they have value.

    5. Wrong!

      You are about 50% correct….just like the (at least) 50% of people who accumulate this number of points and status level do not achieve it on their own dime, but rather their company’s dime. Many people on these upper-tier loyalty levels travel for their companies and either have a corporate card, or are completely reimbursed by their company for travel expenses. Let’s be real here.

      Personally, I’ve never spent a dime of my own money...

      You are about 50% correct….just like the (at least) 50% of people who accumulate this number of points and status level do not achieve it on their own dime, but rather their company’s dime. Many people on these upper-tier loyalty levels travel for their companies and either have a corporate card, or are completely reimbursed by their company for travel expenses. Let’s be real here.

      Personally, I’ve never spent a dime of my own money when I was in a sales capacity and traveling weekly yet my company let me keep all the points I accumulated even though they paid for all of my hotel stays. This is not that uncommon so don’t let all these blowhard comments fool you into acting like there was a criminal act committed against this entitled little social media influencer and blogger.

      So back to the original point and semantics of your comment…yes points are “earned” but for many they are still “free”

    6. Arthur

      Mark, I would like to buy all your points and upgrade instruments for $5. Since you didn't pay anything for them, this is an extremely generous offer. Deal?

  49. Pences

    "Forget it, Jake....It's.....Chinatown"

  50. Luke

    I would bet money that the apology was written by Marriott corporate communications. They gave him that text and said, “send this.” There’s no way that writing style corresponds with the speaking style and mannerisms of anyone you interacted with, and I have a hard time believing the owner by himself would be of a completely different temperament from everyone around him.

    1. MP

      As a corporate communications professional myself, I would also make that bet

  51. John

    I have to say I am still disappointed that you posted about your experience here and also on at least one other forum, Trip Advisor. I call that a flame war. Yes, the hotel made some mistakes and you checked out and moved on and now you have an apology that seems to me to be genuine. I consider your articles and opinions to be a little over the top in this case, too emotional. Don't turn this forum into a bully pulpit. Enough is enough.

    1. reddargon

      A flame war? One of the primary purposes of his blog is reviewing hotels and airlines. He got verbally harassed at the hotel, among other things, and relayed his experience here. Unless there's evidence that he exaggerated his claims, which I have not seem, it hardly seems over the top.

    2. cahbf

      Today I learned that a person whose job is to post trip reviews can't post bad ones because it's a "flame war."

    3. Marc

      Well John, I hope your days are filled with not getting what you paid for and being defrauded. Then maybe you will appreciate what Ben has done here to help travelers. We are going to Greece this summer and as a Bonvoy titanium member I would have looked for Marriot hotels. Now I know not to waste my money where I will be scammed for a property that doesn’t meet expectations. I honestly don’t understand...

      Well John, I hope your days are filled with not getting what you paid for and being defrauded. Then maybe you will appreciate what Ben has done here to help travelers. We are going to Greece this summer and as a Bonvoy titanium member I would have looked for Marriot hotels. Now I know not to waste my money where I will be scammed for a property that doesn’t meet expectations. I honestly don’t understand people like you who think it’s ok for people to get scammed and not receive what they are entitled to. Maybe you practice the same behavior in your business life… just saying

    4. Rich L

      @Marc, I agree w/ you completely. From now on, it's unlikely I will book a Marriott-branded property in Europe.

    5. JorgeGeorge

      It's mind blowing when "Bonvoyed" has become a verb with negative connotations.....

    6. JR

      John you should be ashamed of yourself for defending these dishonest scammers at the Aegon Mykonos. Shame on you

    7. khatl

      I don't get your comment. You're basically saying that someone shouldn't talk about bad experiences publicly even if that's their chosen job/career. Would you say the same thing to a Michelin reviewer if they received a terrible meal?

    8. John

      I thought that with the recent changes everyone posted comments under a unique name? I don’t won’t to be associated with this poster, will use a different name going forward.

  52. Pences

    Dude..you got an apology...now just let it go.

    1. Zweral

      one of your customers in suite 3 is reporting an issue with water; can you check on it or advise a member of the staff?

    2. Marc

      “Now let it go” … what a stupid comment - do you work for this hotel?!? More articles and follow up like this need to happen. The average traveler has no recourse when deceived and defrauded. Which is exactly what happened here. While the service was deplorable what’s worse is not getting what you paid for! And honestly I consider paying with points more valuable as you spend months and years collecting them for just...

      “Now let it go” … what a stupid comment - do you work for this hotel?!? More articles and follow up like this need to happen. The average traveler has no recourse when deceived and defrauded. Which is exactly what happened here. While the service was deplorable what’s worse is not getting what you paid for! And honestly I consider paying with points more valuable as you spend months and years collecting them for just this special vacation. These companies make a fortune selling their loyalty programs and selling the dream of a special vacation. Now [email protected]&king honor it!

    3. Jay Brown

      Im glad these scammers from Mykonos are being exposed

    4. KK13

      Wait and watch what we can do to your property! This is not the first time, so yeah, NO WE WILL NOT LET IT GO.

      Let it Begin!

    5. Elsa

      Funny how you write the same comment over and over with a different fake name. Wonder what the ip of these Let it go comments are?

  53. mauriciomatos

    They are now starting to realise that they messed with the wrong person...and that's good. If it was any other person, that person would be screwed and nothing would happen. That's why I think you should always do what you did this time when the quality of service sucks. In this day and age, the most efficient tool against poor service is to expose these properties on social media...and only people who have the reach can do it for all of us.

    1. Endre

      Let it go, you got compensated, they apologized. Now move on

    2. Jay Brown

      Im glad these Mykonos scammers are getting exposed for their fraudulent practices

    3. Charles

      @Endre They didn't get compensated, they just got a refund.

    4. Tad B

      Hehe, you don’t learn Endre, do you? Hope this place will be removed from Marriott chain soon.

  54. Mike

    Fully agree on the contents of the letter, no sincerity and openess to what happened. I am sure that they were forced by Marriott Corp to rectify the situation as much as possible. Also I am sure that if you had not been a blogger, no letter would have been received, heck the " compensation" you received might have not even been that generous.
    Good to see that you have taken the stand to...

    Fully agree on the contents of the letter, no sincerity and openess to what happened. I am sure that they were forced by Marriott Corp to rectify the situation as much as possible. Also I am sure that if you had not been a blogger, no letter would have been received, heck the " compensation" you received might have not even been that generous.
    Good to see that you have taken the stand to avoid this property and I do hope more will do until serious concrete steps are taken to fix all the problems.

  55. Tahsin

    This hotel was getting killed with 1/5 star reviewed on Google Maps, and then seems like all of them were removed within a few days later. I guess the property complained and Google removed the recent negative reviews.

    1. shane

      Removing the fake reviews is fair but it seems the Hotel reported all low-star reviews, even Ben's review and another 2-star review from last month was removed..

    2. Phoebe

      Flyertalk thread has also been closed by Moderators which includes...Marriott Bonvoy...so my bet is that Marriott Corporate has stepped in on the hotel's side to remove bad reviews everywhere online and keep this property as 4.8-star in their portfolio

Featured Comments Load all 95 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

reddargon

A flame war? One of the primary purposes of his blog is reviewing hotels and airlines. He got verbally harassed at the hotel, among other things, and relayed his experience here. Unless there's evidence that he exaggerated his claims, which I have not seem, it hardly seems over the top.

cahbf

Today I learned that a person whose job is to post trip reviews can't post bad ones because it's a "flame war."

Luke

I would bet money that the apology was written by Marriott corporate communications. They gave him that text and said, “send this.” There’s no way that writing style corresponds with the speaking style and mannerisms of anyone you interacted with, and I have a hard time believing the owner by himself would be of a completely different temperament from everyone around him.

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