Aegon Mykonos Responds To My TripAdvisor Review With Lies

Aegon Mykonos Responds To My TripAdvisor Review With Lies

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Read the full saga:

The Aegon Mykonos just keeps digging itself a deeper hole. If it digs any deeper, maybe it can just bury those power lines that it photoshops out of pictures?

My Aegon Mykonos TripAdvisor review

Yesterday I decided to write a TripAdvisor review about my four-hour stay at the Aegon Mykonos. Here’s what I wrote, for context, which I think is fairly measured (given the ridiculousness of this all):

Where do I begin? First of all, the hotel isn’t quite what it looks like in pictures. The power lines above the pool are photoshopped out on the hotel’s website, there’s no beach club (instead the hotel seems to use pictures of the nearby Lohan Beach Club), the “beach front access” suites don’t have beach front access, and the hotel faces a dirt road with five dumpsters, and there was a general sewage scent throughout the exterior of the property.

Unfortunately the physical aspects of the property are still better than the service from senior management here. The GM Pavlos was unhelpful, to be polite — the hotel refused to honor the suite that was confirmed for me, and kept blaming Marriott for the problem. And he was the more professional of the two employees I interacted with — another unhinged hotel employee (who may have been one of the owners) confronted me about writing negative things about the hotel online, suggesting I had bad energy.

I ended up checking out the same day I checked in, because I felt so unwelcome. For what it’s worth, I heard that other staff at the hotel are well intentioned but not very polished. Sadly I didn’t have a chance to interact with them.

And here are the pictures I included:

What the hotel’s pool really looks like
A better sense of the location & view
A beach club, but not the hotel’s

Let me clarify upfront that this is the only review I wrote on TripAdvisor. Some people have written other TripAdvisor reviews pointing to my story, while others have tried to impersonate me and Ford, but those aren’t us. Since you can only write a TripAdvisor review if you’ve actually had an experience at a hotel, I’d encourage those who left negative reviews without staying there to withdraw them.

The Aegon Mykonos’ response to my stay

I figured at some point the hotel would try to deescalate the situation, but nope, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. The hotel responded to my TripAdvisor review, and it’s full of outright lies.

Here’s the hotel’s response:

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback.

It is regrettable that we were unable to accommodate your request upon arrival.

The day prior to your arrival during your online communication with our guest experience team, they mentioned to you that for your first reservation there was no availability for the specific suite and we could either upgrade you to an Aqua Suite Revive or to a Horizon room Revive with a sea view and for your second reservation we did confirm the upgrade to the Infinity Suite Revive. These are 2 different upgrade options both of which you refused. We also proposed to return your SNA, include breakfast which was not in your reservation and give you points. Your partner’s reply to our suggestions was that they were “ridiculous” and used sarcasm to verbally abuse our associates.

Upon your check-in we showed you all the available rooms, however you chose not to accept any option we proposed and when we asked what we could do to make your stay better, your reply was that in case we do not grant your first reservation as complimentary as well as offer you more points as compensation, you would write a bad review.

Regarding the powerlines, we have to point out that Mykonos has a fast pace construction development that is why you may see those differences – we are working with the municipality for their subterranean deployment. As far as the hotel beach club is concerned, it will be opening in a couple of weeks as all beach usage permits were delayed due to COVID restrictions. We would also like to clarify we do not use others beach clubs pictures as our own and that this comment of yours is false and has no basis.

The mentioned trash bins and the dirt road are part of a public area and are located on the side of the road as placed by the municipality way before the hotel was built. The hotel guests have no direct view of those which you could also realize if you had used our pool, restaurant and lounge area which you did not, since you, unfortunately, never actually stayed with us.

We remain at your disposal.

Before I address these points one-by-one, let me note that management at this hotel isn’t just incompetent, but they’re outright liars. Not just, like, slightly stretching the truth, but shamelessly dishonest. For example, I pointed out to the GM that perhaps the hotel was having some issues with inventory management based on the property selling lots of suites in a portion of the hotel that isn’t even open (suggesting that perhaps this was part of the problem, rather than just “Marriott”).

I pointed out the Aegon Suite was for sale the night before, and he vehemently denied it and said that was impossible. Guess what the hotel is once again selling for tonight? The Aegon Suite, in a wing that isn’t even open, and won’t be open for months. I thought it was impossible for that to happen, no?

I’ve had several people who work in operations at Marriott properties reach out to me regarding this, and across the board they’ve said that the revenue management of a hotel (or their regional revenue management) control inventory, and that once a suite night award is confirmed, it’s confirmed. They’ve all claimed that this likely wasn’t Marriott’s fault. Of course I’m also reaching out to Marriott corporate to clarify.

Responding to the Aegon Mykonos’ points

TripAdvisor lets hotels respond to guests, but doesn’t let guests respond back to hotels (which is fair enough), so I’ll take the opportunity to do that here. Let’s go through the hotel’s response line-by-line.

The day prior to your arrival during your online communication with our guest experience team, they mentioned to you that for your first reservation there was no availability for the specific suite and we could either upgrade you to an Aqua Suite Revive or to a Horizon room Revive with a sea view and for your second reservation we did confirm the upgrade to the Infinity Suite Revive. These are 2 different upgrade options both of which you refused.

The first part we can more or less agree on. Well, except for the fact that I wasn’t offered my pick of two upgrades, I was offered my pick of two downgrades compared to my confirmed reservation.

We also proposed to return your SNA, include breakfast which was not in your reservation and give you points.

Yeah, not quite:

  • Of course I’d get my suite night awards back if I didn’t get what I had confirmed
  • I am certain that breakfast was never discussed
  • I could be wrong, but it’s my understanding that rates here include breakfast (Marriott’s website is unclear in some cases, but online travel agencies show breakfast included with all rates); even if it weren’t included, as an elite member I could select breakfast as my elite welcome gift, so that’s not much of an offer as well
  • I was offered 750 points for each of the first two nights (which I value at ~$5 per night), which simply isn’t a reasonable offer, especially when there wasn’t even a real apology or acknowledgement of this being a problem to go along with it

Your partner’s reply to our suggestions was that they were “ridiculous” and used sarcasm to verbally abuse our associates.

That is partially correct. When their best and final offer was 750 Bonvoy points, no apology, and blaming Marriott, Ford did say the offer was “ridiculous.” They’re really grasping at straws if that’s what they’re trying to point out.

At the end of our interaction we explained that we were very unsatisfied, and the GM responded “we strive for customer satisfaction.” At that point Ford did call him incompetent, because, well… he was. Using “sarcasm to verbally abuse our associates?” Yeah, no.

Upon your check-in we showed you all the available rooms, however you chose not to accept any option we proposed and when we asked what we could do to make your stay better, your reply was that in case we do not grant your first reservation as complimentary as well as offer you more points as compensation, you would write a bad review.

No, no, no, no. This hotel is straight up lying, it’s unbelievable:

  • The absolute most I would have ever expected the hotel to do would be to refund the points for the first two nights, I never in any way suggested the first reservation should be “complimentary” and that I should get points as compensation on top of that, that’s ridiculous; and at the end of the day my record reflects that, as I haven’t requested any compensation from any Marriott property in a very long time
  • Or maybe this is the GM again talking about how points stays are “complimentary” to him?
  • I never have and never will tell a hotel that I would write a bad review if they don’t do what I want, and it’s just not in my nature; I swear on my life I never said that

The hotel suggesting that I wanted all my points back and more compensation on top of that, all while suggesting that I blackmailed the staff with a negative review, has no basis in reality. In the posts prior to arriving at the hotel I didn’t even mention the hotel by name so that I wouldn’t get on their radar, and clearly throughout my initial interaction they had no clue I was a blogger (which is my goal when I travel). Clearly the hotel is grasping at straws to defend itself here. The staff only caught on after I checked in, which was the point at which the person we believe to be the owner aggressively approached us.

Regarding the powerlines, we have to point out that Mykonos has a fast pace construction development that is why you may see those differences – we are working with the municipality for their subterranean deployment.

To be clear, this portion of the hotel is brand new, and opened for the first time two weeks ago. But the hotel is claiming that these power lines suddenly appeared due to the “fast pace construction development” in Mykonos?

A reader pointed out that the power lines have been there since at least 2011. Seriously, how much more shameless could a hotel be with blatantly lying? Does management at the hotel really think “okay, we’re in a bad situation, maybe if we lie about the power lines we’ll make it all better?”

I keep thinking “well, they can’t possibly be this dumb,” but unfortunately it seems they are. For example, someone at the hotel left a negative comment on my blog telling me to get a life while I was on property without using a VPN. As I’ve investigated this more, I have reason to believe that the person even left the comments with their real initials.

As far as the hotel beach club is concerned, it will be opening in a couple of weeks as all beach usage permits were delayed due to COVID restrictions. We would also like to clarify we do not use others beach clubs pictures as our own and that this comment of yours is false and has no basis.

So I’m sure people can appreciate my confusion here, and perhaps this is an area where I was somewhat wrong. Check out the picture on Marriott’s website of the hotel’s alleged beach club, which is described as “a cosmopolitan beach experience offering a range of bespoke VIP services.” Meanwhile below is what the beach actually looks like.

A fairly nice beach, but there’s no club

I suppose a beach club may be coming in the future, though I’m curious about the two week timeline, and that doesn’t seem like great managing of expectations.

The mentioned trash bins and the dirt road are part of a public area and are located on the side of the road as placed by the municipality way before the hotel was built. The hotel guests have no direct view of those which you could also realize if you had used our pool, restaurant and lounge area which you did not, since you, unfortunately, never actually stayed with us.

I’ll give it to the hotel for the well played sass in this part at least. For that matter, this level of smugness is exactly what I would expect from the management here.

What’s missing from the hotel’s response

Other than the truth, there are a couple of things missing from the hotel’s response.

First of all, I love how the hotel addresses most of my points, except the unhinged owner (or whoever she is) who lashed out at us in front of the hotel. Minor detail to overlook, no?

Equally interesting, and sadly not at all surprising, is that there’s not a single “sorry,” or “we realize you had a bad experience,” or “this is a learning moment for us.” It’s nothing but lying and blame shifting, which exactly matches my experience on-property.

The hotel acknowledges that it is “regrettable” that they weren’t able to accommodate my “request” (which wasn’t a request, but a guarantee). The hotel also states that they remain at my “disposal,” other than to, you know, actually resolve issues.

How about just saying sorry? Sorry for the initial mistake (regardless of whether it’s the fault of Marriott, the hotel, or an outright lie on the hotel’s part, which I’m increasingly starting to think is the case), and sorry for the abysmal response?

Nope, instead the hotel is just doubling down and justifying everything. And I suppose that’s not surprising when you consider that the owner’s response (or whoever she was) to finding out I was writing negative things online about the hotel was to confront me, tell me I have bad energy, and tell me I was doing illegal things.

This hotel thinks it can bully guests into submission, and I’m here to say that’s not going to happen. I want to be clear — I don’t want anything tangible from Marriott or the hotel. I just want to know what’s going to change so that other people don’t have to deal with this.

I literally feel like I’m on the “Amy’s Baking Company” episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” (like, I’m having flashbacks 15 seconds into this video).

I know some people have said “well what do you expect in Greece?” Greece gets a bad rep for service, but I don’t find that to consistently be the case. I’ve had some of my best service ever in Greece, and some of my worst service ever in Greece. The hotels we stayed at before and after the Aegon Mykonos were both exceptional, and offered flawless service.

Bottom line

The Aegon Mykonos is continuing to double down, and at this point is just making stuff up. Apparently I wanted the entire stay comped and points on top of that or else I threatened blackmail with a bad review, apparently the power lines have appeared in the past few weeks (even though Google Images shows them as far back as 2011), and apparently Ford “verbally assaulted” staff by calling their offer “ridiculous” when their best offer was 750 points in compensation.

Yet the hotel continues to take zero accountability. Oh, and you know what the kicker is? Looking at FlyerTalk, the hotel did something very similar to someone else over the same dates, and of course also blamed Marriott. I look forward to hearing about her stay, because she claims she has been “scooped” by me and is “warming up [her] typing fingers.” VickiSoCal, we’re ready to hear your story!

I understand it’s the general manager’s first job as a general manager, but perhaps he needs a bit more training, and/or should work at a hotel that doesn’t have anything to do with a loyalty program, or perhaps work in a position where he doesn’t have to provide customer service?

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  1. Eugene

    Fast pace and Greece are not compatible loooool

  2. Yazan

    This is so Mykonos, they don’t give a damn about your opinion. For them, customer is always wrong! You spend an arm and a leg and you get treated like shit…honestly! I would rather go to Italy or Spain where they know how to treat and appreciate a customer!

  3. THEsocalledfan

    Ben,

    Did you try putting it in fakespot.com? I just did. They gave it a B for review quality. No idea how accurate this is.

  4. adrienne Foran

    It was a dreadful experience and hope they rectify it at some point.
    However, you noted that you had a lovely experience at another hotel and you failed to mention the name of that hotel.
    That is upsetting to me as I might want to stay there.

  5. Molly

    I similarly had an awful experience with Marriott in Texas. For a place known for friendliness, this Marriott was anything but.

  6. Alex

    Had a 5 night award at Aegon Mykonos Suite night upgrade confirmed 4 days before arrival however 10 days before arrival hotel was pushing very hard to pay an extra 400 euros per night for an upgrade. Revenue manager on this hotel communication . To me hotel is fighting to survive and I had to cancel my reservation . I am still in Mykonos until June 11- I did not post anything because I never...

    Had a 5 night award at Aegon Mykonos Suite night upgrade confirmed 4 days before arrival however 10 days before arrival hotel was pushing very hard to pay an extra 400 euros per night for an upgrade. Revenue manager on this hotel communication . To me hotel is fighting to survive and I had to cancel my reservation . I am still in Mykonos until June 11- I did not post anything because I never actually made it to the. Hotel . But as titanium elite I never had this kind of experience before and hotel is trying to avoid points stay and SNA .. email me if you have any questions but again I was shock - stay suppose to be fromJune 6-11.

  7. Roberto

    Ghastly! Google review even removed Ben's orginal review and now the hotel is back to a 4.5 rating!

  8. Daniel

    Certainly, they have promised much more than they could ever handle, but i dont understand why you need to make it personal and call the manager incompetent and raise your voice, why just not vote with your wallet and leave and write this review.
    And you also resort to the trivial accumulating complaints regardless of severity , you have a lot a good reasons with missing beach club, no suites etc., but a visible...

    Certainly, they have promised much more than they could ever handle, but i dont understand why you need to make it personal and call the manager incompetent and raise your voice, why just not vote with your wallet and leave and write this review.
    And you also resort to the trivial accumulating complaints regardless of severity , you have a lot a good reasons with missing beach club, no suites etc., but a visible powerline is relevant?, how can he hotel be responsible for its surroundings in terms of trash on other grounds? -come on.

  9. Experience_the_cultures

    Hi there! As a greek person, I think I have the lived experience to explain the fast pacing development part to you. I am fairly center that you got this backwards, assuming that Greece is a western country with normal bureaucracy. It is not. I believe the manager meant that the power line was photoshopped out of the picture, because it will be removed soon. The same way you may run a fashion campaign and...

    Hi there! As a greek person, I think I have the lived experience to explain the fast pacing development part to you. I am fairly center that you got this backwards, assuming that Greece is a western country with normal bureaucracy. It is not. I believe the manager meant that the power line was photoshopped out of the picture, because it will be removed soon. The same way you may run a fashion campaign and retouch the model's pimples because it is not a permanent part of their face. It will not be there soon. It can be easier to obtain a building permit and build a hotel somewhere than to remove and replace a piece of infrastructure that has been in place for ages. Having the experience of expeditious public services, I get why you did not understand what he said. But in a country like Greece, the whole investment may never happen, or you can loose a lot of money if you wait for the municipality to replace infrastructure. That is a big risk for investors. Imagine being promised that the line will be removed by may for example, and then that never happens. You have prepared your promotional material and business plan with the premise that this will happen. You also need to open in June to have revenue to pay off the loans. What do you do? I understand that you want to vacation carefree, but people in the service industry have worries too. Please be mindful that when your enjoyment is at stake, someone's else's livelihood may be at stake at the same time. When you go to Greece you are served by employees paid minimum wage, WAY BELOW THE LIVING WAGE. Maybe you did not get treated like royalty, but you were not discriminated against either. Same goes for the bins it sucks they are allover the place, it sucks that they are ugly and it sucks that they stink in the hot weather. But the municipality decides where they are placed, not business and home owners. A decision to move them can take years. If your only concern is to have a good time and be served immaculately, maybe you should try other places. In Greece we view tourists as guests. This means that you get treated like our own and a little better than that. Understanding the struggles can make the travel more meaningful. If you want the royal, master's treatment, there are places where service people have servant attitude. In Greece this is not widespread, but as a Greek person I am sad to see it becoming a trend in places. In some countries a power line can ruin a day of your holidays. In others the possibility of an arrest at the hotel where you are a guest because of the colour of your skin. In others the realisation that all the friendly staff you encounter live under extreme poverty half an hour drive away from your holiday paradise. elsewhere it is just gloomy weather and dirty freezing seas. The choice is yours, but there is no such thing as perfect unproblematic holiday destinations. Self-centred attitudes and self imposed blindness makes it seem like there are.

  10. Mario H

    Hi there,
    I have had two separate stays-issuess at a Holiday Inn Express in Windsor, CA. I would like to know if you would like me to post it here before I go on to Trip advisor. ....I have dealt with totally incompetent managers and overall lack of respect from the hotel and IHG which this hotel happens to be affiliated it.

    When it comes to Marriott and their affiliated hotels; I have...

    Hi there,
    I have had two separate stays-issuess at a Holiday Inn Express in Windsor, CA. I would like to know if you would like me to post it here before I go on to Trip advisor. ....I have dealt with totally incompetent managers and overall lack of respect from the hotel and IHG which this hotel happens to be affiliated it.

    When it comes to Marriott and their affiliated hotels; I have ran onto two separate issues within the last 2 months at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix and the JW Marriott Cherry Creek in Denver, CO. I think Marriott has really gone down and management could care less since they keep making money with points.

  11. Jackson

    really? you are dealing with Greeks what do you expect? horrible people who will lie and try to rip someone off any chance they get.

  12. Stanley

    So, I am quite confused here or they have a lot of friends/colleagues post excellent reviews for them. How is it that on Trip Advisor, the Aegon Mykonos has 41 excellent ratings and one very good rating? No one else rated it as good or average and so then only Lucky gave it a terrible rating?

    This must be some real false advertising here. Is Ben the only real and honest reviewer on TA...

    So, I am quite confused here or they have a lot of friends/colleagues post excellent reviews for them. How is it that on Trip Advisor, the Aegon Mykonos has 41 excellent ratings and one very good rating? No one else rated it as good or average and so then only Lucky gave it a terrible rating?

    This must be some real false advertising here. Is Ben the only real and honest reviewer on TA for this hotel? It is just completely fishy to see how a Marriott branded hotel (independent collection) only gets mostly excellent reviews and no critical feedback?

    If you read the reviews, it is all about how the service and management team are so great including the owner’s wife. More than half were all about thanking Manos. Very short reviews and specific targeted replies so you know there was an agenda to this approach. Almost all of the hotel’s feedback were the same or similar, so they just copied and pasted the replies?? Thank you Lucky for your honesty. @Lucky Your and Tiffany’s @Tiffany honest reviews keep me reading your posts.

    1. Bao

      Someone in FlyerTalk stated that Manos, the GM, is no longer there. That may explain all the positive reviews from pre-pandemic.

  13. Pedro

    Ben, I've been a fan of your website content for a long time now.
    I throughly enjoy reading your reports, finding out about news in the aviation industry and more.
    However I must agree with Regis.
    I know our brains usually take a bit of a time to get used to some changes in general (especially when it comes to layouts, templates...) but as it is right now, I feel your new...

    Ben, I've been a fan of your website content for a long time now.
    I throughly enjoy reading your reports, finding out about news in the aviation industry and more.
    However I must agree with Regis.
    I know our brains usually take a bit of a time to get used to some changes in general (especially when it comes to layouts, templates...) but as it is right now, I feel your new layout is missing that organic and exciting look from the previous version where it was much easier and pleasant to find what you need.

    Having said that, good luck with this story with the MYK hotel. Hope it doesn't turn out to be a headache - more than it's already been ;)

  14. jeffers

    Where is the Michael Jackson popcorn meme when you need it.

  15. Roberto

    @ Ben:
    on booking.com the hotel has as premier picture the pool without the flagpoles!

    https://www.booking.com/hotel/gr/aegon-mykonos-autograph-collection.en-gb.html?activeTab=main

    Is there no shame at all in their devious malpractices?

  16. George Booth

    While I believe the management at this hotel fabricated most everything, placing the blame on you...
    Only one person should speak with the hotel, to avoid confusion in the future. Hopefully Marriott corporate management will investigate this horrible experience and compensate you appropriately even though I know that's Not what you were asking for.
    I'm sorry that you had such a horrendous experience to disrupt what should have been a wonderful vacation.

    george

    While I believe the management at this hotel fabricated most everything, placing the blame on you...
    Only one person should speak with the hotel, to avoid confusion in the future. Hopefully Marriott corporate management will investigate this horrible experience and compensate you appropriately even though I know that's Not what you were asking for.
    I'm sorry that you had such a horrendous experience to disrupt what should have been a wonderful vacation.

    george
    San Antonio

  17. Aaron

    Looks like all of y'alls negative reviews were removed from their Trip Advisor page lol

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      And Ben has been strangely quiet for the last two days. Hopefully, Greek police didn't arrest him!

    2. Tahsin

      1/5 Google reviews kept coming and brought the rating down to 2.7. But now all the negative reviews are gone, and it's back to 4.5/5...

  18. NY501

    Hi Ben, what a terrible situation. This experience was a nightmare for you but I can guarantee it certainly also is for the hotel. In fact what is transpiring here on your blog and the waves it is making elswhere on the internet is the absolute worst thing that can happen to a hotel, especially one that is starting up. Powerlines, denied upgrades, lies about inventory and 'unhinged' owner apart, this hotel certainly seems to...

    Hi Ben, what a terrible situation. This experience was a nightmare for you but I can guarantee it certainly also is for the hotel. In fact what is transpiring here on your blog and the waves it is making elswhere on the internet is the absolute worst thing that can happen to a hotel, especially one that is starting up. Powerlines, denied upgrades, lies about inventory and 'unhinged' owner apart, this hotel certainly seems to have what it takes to become an appreciated place on a beautiful island. I hope this 'fight' stops by a resolution that will make this experience something to learn from. The most reasonable and realistic way out would be for Marriott corporate to step in and mediate. I am afraid the only right thing for them to do is pressure the hotel to let the GM go. They should formulate a direct response to you and ask for that to be shared here on your blog. In that response they should show they have investigated and take the hit for every aspect of your experience where the hotel dropped the ball. You should be compensated for the agony you went through with a certificate or vouchers or whatever and there should be an invitation for you to return to the hotel for a complimentary stay once this has blown over. I think it's difficult and after your experience I realize you are not willing to, but it should be your responsability to calm down the crowds so that no more damage is done. The hotel's owners have invested tremendously and this episode could seriously damage the hotel's chances to survive. Is it worth it? I feel you have reached a level as a blogger where you have become so influential and I don't think anyone is served by situations like this spinning out of control. The thing is, this stay is about you and those travelling with you. Having gone through this drama may have 'ruined' your experience and that is the biggest loss. You deserve to enjoy your stay no matter what. I hope this will not escalate any further.

    1. Phillip

      I’m not getting involved in the who wronged who bit here, but let’s just say we have a GM who doesn’t know how to do his job, whether it’s because he is new or whether it’s because he just isn’t GM material. Why is it acceptable to just expect him to be fired just like that?
      In all these exchanges I’ve not read anyone anywhere recommending (more) training or ways to improve matters. Similarly,...

      I’m not getting involved in the who wronged who bit here, but let’s just say we have a GM who doesn’t know how to do his job, whether it’s because he is new or whether it’s because he just isn’t GM material. Why is it acceptable to just expect him to be fired just like that?
      In all these exchanges I’ve not read anyone anywhere recommending (more) training or ways to improve matters. Similarly, everyone seems to want Marriott to step in and fix things for Ben but no one has said anything about Marriott helping improve the hotel. The general attitude is “let’s burn this hotel down because it’s an abomination to humankind”. What about the livelihoods of so many people working at the hotel who never had a say in all this and just want to do a good job, earn a living and go home at the end of the day?

    2. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      Marriott doesn't help "fix" hotels unless it manages the property. They have standards. It's the franchisee's responsibility to operate the hotel to the standards or hire a third-party management company to do so. Presumably, Marriott could compel a management company change but I do not believe Marriott could come in and fix things operationally without being paid or asked to come.

  19. Joe1293

    wow
    I love Marriott Bonvoy
    So many comments

  20. GS Guy

    The first mistake is to plop down $1000/night on a place in Greece -- that sets you up to have absurdly high expectations and makes you behave like a prima donna (as you did). It is the complete wrong way to visit Greece, a country of exceptional warmth and hospitality.

    Instead, stay at a place that costs $150, be friendly, try to learn some Greek phrases, and tip everybody generously. You'll probably find yourself enjoying...

    The first mistake is to plop down $1000/night on a place in Greece -- that sets you up to have absurdly high expectations and makes you behave like a prima donna (as you did). It is the complete wrong way to visit Greece, a country of exceptional warmth and hospitality.

    Instead, stay at a place that costs $150, be friendly, try to learn some Greek phrases, and tip everybody generously. You'll probably find yourself enjoying nights with the owner treating you to rounds of Metaxa and boisterous Greek songs, instead of exchanging nasty comments on the Interweb.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      Interesting point. I probably agree that for $1,000 per night there are other destinations with better service cultures than Greece. $1,000 a night would get exceptional service just about anywhere in Southeast Asia. Staff were probably jump off a building to get things right. If this experience had happened in Japan (it never would!) the general manager would commit ritual suicide.

  21. Robin McCarthy

    This story keeps popping up in my news feed on my phone. Its a good read. I travel mostly in the states, but I wouldn't be surprised if this story hasn't reached thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people. What a fail in the customer service business. This hotel probably does this often and karma is knocking. As my Mom likes to say, "You messed with the wrong one today!"

  22. Franklin

    This is a scandal of scandals, and the only thing that lets me continue to sleep soundly is the knowledge that one brave travel journalist (travel journalism being the fifth pillar of democracy) is fully committed to rooting out truth at any cost. Following.

  23. Ariga

    I don't understand why this hotel didn't want to allow the upgrade. It's pandemic time, all Marriott hotels in Indonesia are really generous with suite upgrades now.

    I'm sorry Ben, I quite don't like the new website .

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      Probably because they are selling suites that don't exist so probably figured they could re-sell this suite for extra money.

  24. Blaz

    This is a common issue...it is like a bad restaurant ...it is all about the management. If the manager doesn't ask for or responds aggressively to simple criticisms, you know that they are on a downhill ride to oblivion. The great thing about reviews is that we know that some people are just fussy or expect too much, but if complaints are consistently bad, then the management needs to take a good look at themselves....

    This is a common issue...it is like a bad restaurant ...it is all about the management. If the manager doesn't ask for or responds aggressively to simple criticisms, you know that they are on a downhill ride to oblivion. The great thing about reviews is that we know that some people are just fussy or expect too much, but if complaints are consistently bad, then the management needs to take a good look at themselves. They are probably incapable of seeing it though...however, the staff usually do.

  25. Peter G

    The goggle rating at aegon Mykonos continues too fall. Currently at 2.7 at this rate it should be below 2 by end of the day.
    Lets keep it going everyone.

    1. Phillip

      And when this is all forgotten in two weeks’ time, somehow it will be back up to 4+?!

  26. Peter Simon

    AT the end of the day, why in the world is Marriot Bonvoy teaming up with such lousy hotels. This issue at its root DOES go to Marriot and their lack of quality control.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      It started under Arne Sorenson. Quantity, not quality. Room keys, room keys, room keys. Property flags, property flags, property flags. Greece has been a hot market for several years. Mykonos has starred in Bonvoy promotional videos. Marriott is desperate to have a flag in Mykonos and get 2-5% of revenue from bookings at this property. That's the Marriott model these days. Outside of a small minority of hotels managed by Marriott, Marriott is no longer...

      It started under Arne Sorenson. Quantity, not quality. Room keys, room keys, room keys. Property flags, property flags, property flags. Greece has been a hot market for several years. Mykonos has starred in Bonvoy promotional videos. Marriott is desperate to have a flag in Mykonos and get 2-5% of revenue from bookings at this property. That's the Marriott model these days. Outside of a small minority of hotels managed by Marriott, Marriott is no longer a hotel company. Rather Marriott is a hotel marketing company with a worldwide reservations platform.

    2. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      This is partly why some owners have left Marriott and de-flagged their property or in the case of some 5-star Thailand hotels, sued Marriott. How can Marriott promote their property when they add a new property 1 mile away? Don't forget. Some owners had contracts that prohibited Starwood (pre-merger with Marriott) or Marriott (pre-merger with Starwood) from opening a similar hotel within a certain geographic radius of the hotel. Sometimes the contract only prohibited a...

      This is partly why some owners have left Marriott and de-flagged their property or in the case of some 5-star Thailand hotels, sued Marriott. How can Marriott promote their property when they add a new property 1 mile away? Don't forget. Some owners had contracts that prohibited Starwood (pre-merger with Marriott) or Marriott (pre-merger with Starwood) from opening a similar hotel within a certain geographic radius of the hotel. Sometimes the contract only prohibited a competing Westin or a competing Marriott. So what has Marriott done? They have allowed a competing hotel under a different brand to open. That's technically allowed but it certainly is against the spirit of the agreement since neither Starwood nor Marriott had 30 something brands at the time these agreements were signed.

  27. nyctraveler

    I have had this happen, I have had the room type I had confirmed with my CC not available due to overbooking etc. I have never had such an unsympathetic and unrealistic hotel. They are fighting an unwinnable war of words and will most probably end up going down the "Tourgroup" route as anyone who googles this hotel is going to bring up this ugly history. These experiences are where I wish someone from Marriott...

    I have had this happen, I have had the room type I had confirmed with my CC not available due to overbooking etc. I have never had such an unsympathetic and unrealistic hotel. They are fighting an unwinnable war of words and will most probably end up going down the "Tourgroup" route as anyone who googles this hotel is going to bring up this ugly history. These experiences are where I wish someone from Marriott would actually "Help"....the situation is bad, frequent traveler is exasperated and they have hit a brick wall.....It makes one uncomfortable to stay at a property after this and imho you were "forced' to move by their treatment and attitude. The phone should ring and a high level Marriott person should be on the other end offering immediate reparations. Not because you are OMAT but because you are a loyal customer. Flip side is there are so many high level Marriott people out there now and many of them are NUTS....and from Marriott's point of view.....how to analyze each story and see where the faults really are? Not an easy undertaking. I am sure you will get well compensated for this, a free suite for a week at the Prince De Galles perhaps or in Sardinia at the Hotel Pitrizza ? all Beautiful properties and incomparable to the dumper where you were staying...I feel your pain and this is shameful. Hopefully Marriott steps up. Better trip wished ahead.

  28. Randy

    (repeat - looks like you have to sign in first).

    First of all - why did you even stay WAY OUT there in the first place? You want to be close to the old town - with all the restaurants and shops (you can go to the beach in FL). I know you don't like bars, but Mykonos is a gay hot spot - but in the old town.

    The PLACE to stay is the...

    (repeat - looks like you have to sign in first).

    First of all - why did you even stay WAY OUT there in the first place? You want to be close to the old town - with all the restaurants and shops (you can go to the beach in FL). I know you don't like bars, but Mykonos is a gay hot spot - but in the old town.

    The PLACE to stay is the Santa Marina (regardless of any kind of upgrades or price). We had a MegaDo event there a few years ago. Beautiful beach, bar, and beach club area. You can take the boat over to the best beach - Super Paradise.

    Before going to any of these islands - consider the location. You always want to be close to the old town area of an island with all the benefits it offers.

    Drop the issue, just stop staying at remove places. Many of these new (REMOTE) places sign up for Marriott to get customers - but if don't check it out via google maps and if you don't know the area - ask for advise. Some of us that used to JetSet around in our younger years - know all these places. BA Tours used to fly non-stop from LGW to Mykonos.

    1. Bao

      Ben's Mom and her partner was on this trip with them so maybe he wanted somewhere more quiet for her to relax.
      Also he has stayed and reviewed the Santa Maria before so he wanted to use this opportunity to review this new Marriott property? It's his job to scoop out new hotels after all.
      I'm sure Ben has his reasons.

  29. Randy

    First of all - why did you even stay WAY OUT there in the first place? You want to be close to the old town - with all the restaurants and shops (you can go to the beach in FL). I know you don't like bars, but Mykonos is a gay hot spot - but in the old town.

    The PLACE to stay is the Santa Marina (regardless of any kind of upgrades or price)....

    First of all - why did you even stay WAY OUT there in the first place? You want to be close to the old town - with all the restaurants and shops (you can go to the beach in FL). I know you don't like bars, but Mykonos is a gay hot spot - but in the old town.

    The PLACE to stay is the Santa Marina (regardless of any kind of upgrades or price). We had a MegaDo event there a few years ago. Beautiful beach, bar, and beach club area. You can take the boat over to the best beach - Super Paradise.

    Before going to any of these islands - consider the location. You always want to be close to the old town area of an island with all the benefits it offers.

    Drop the issue, just stop staying at remove places. Many of these new (REMOTE) places sign up for Marriott to get customers - but if don't check it out via google maps and if you don't know the area - ask for advise. Some of us that used to JetSet around in our younger years - know all these places. BA Tours used to fly non-stop from LGW to Mykonos.

  30. John

    Why did Ford go at it with them? Why couldn’t he just keep quiet and not antagonize the staff?

    1. KEVIN

      Maybe if the unhinged owner didn’t antagonize them, then Ford wouldn’t have to go at it with them? I fully support Ford taking them down! They deserve it then some. I will make sure my travel agent read this article and spread it to their travel agent friends that this property is not touchable.

  31. VickiSoCal

    As both Ben and others have mentioned I have posted my review and SNA experience on Flyertalk. We were also downgraded at Aegon Mykonos after a confirmed SNA to an Infinity Suite. Unlike Ben we chose to stay. Based on a picture of our rental car in the lot I believe Ben arrived just shortly after us on the same day. I am not sure the woman he interacted with was the owner, based on...

    As both Ben and others have mentioned I have posted my review and SNA experience on Flyertalk. We were also downgraded at Aegon Mykonos after a confirmed SNA to an Infinity Suite. Unlike Ben we chose to stay. Based on a picture of our rental car in the lot I believe Ben arrived just shortly after us on the same day. I am not sure the woman he interacted with was the owner, based on what I saw over the next few days there are several possible owners/investors or their family members who are on property throughout the day with their dogs.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

  32. Luxury Power Lines

    I'm so sorry this nonsense is happening to you guys but I gotta say, I'm LIVING for the drama. Can't make this stuff up....

  33. Ted

    Good for you Ben to stand your ground and call out these shysters! You are always very fair and level headed in your reviews. You are not some dramatic VSCO Instagram girl. You have survived some hairy situations in your years of world travel and I’m sure that “positive energy” woman was every bit as vicious to you (a paying guest with elite status) as you say. Just inexcusable.

    Hopefully Marriott corporate will come down...

    Good for you Ben to stand your ground and call out these shysters! You are always very fair and level headed in your reviews. You are not some dramatic VSCO Instagram girl. You have survived some hairy situations in your years of world travel and I’m sure that “positive energy” woman was every bit as vicious to you (a paying guest with elite status) as you say. Just inexcusable.

    Hopefully Marriott corporate will come down on them like a ton of bricks and force them to clean house.

    I hope you and Ford and your Mom had better experiences elsewhere in Greece.

  34. Matt

    Read post 6+ on this thread...

    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g189430-i401-k12600923-New_Hotel_Marriott_s_Aegon_Mykonos_Or_Palladium_Hotel-Mykonos_Cyclades_South_Aegean.html

  35. michael

    Ben,
    This has been a very interesting story (and the ongoing discussions on FT). I can clearly appreciate your experiences as I have had similar at various 'resorts' in that part of the world in which cultural expectations are different than other areas of the world. By no means am I excusing the SNA snafu (and we all acknowledge this is an example of a BONVOY-property SNAFU and the problem Marriott has with their...

    Ben,
    This has been a very interesting story (and the ongoing discussions on FT). I can clearly appreciate your experiences as I have had similar at various 'resorts' in that part of the world in which cultural expectations are different than other areas of the world. By no means am I excusing the SNA snafu (and we all acknowledge this is an example of a BONVOY-property SNAFU and the problem Marriott has with their program) but I would also not be surprised if this is all blown off as another "noise around the edges" experience that is magnified by social media and a high-profile blog.

    Unfortunately, also as a "high-profile" individual in the travel space - and by no means am I advocating this other than we have all seen (and experienced at times similar circumstances) - all of this might come back to bite you in the behind.

    good luck....but you might have opened pandora's box

    -m

  36. Mike

    One google map satellite close up of the property as well as the google drive by photos on the road, would have probably prevented Ben from trying this property.

  37. C. Weston

    Love it Ben!

    Keep em honest

  38. Mike

    I've looked over the responses here and something stands out. The responses defending this property go from one nuanced topic to another looking for a way in to make Ben look bad. When one doesn't work, off they go to the next. The Amy's Baking Company comparison appears to be appropriate. What could have been deflated easily and quickly by working to improve a customer's experience has become a doubled down nightmare for them. Wrong...

    I've looked over the responses here and something stands out. The responses defending this property go from one nuanced topic to another looking for a way in to make Ben look bad. When one doesn't work, off they go to the next. The Amy's Baking Company comparison appears to be appropriate. What could have been deflated easily and quickly by working to improve a customer's experience has become a doubled down nightmare for them. Wrong century to get away with this behavior.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

  39. Alan

    I must confess I'm sorry you had a bad experience but I'm absolutely loving the saga & your coverage of it! The way the hotel doubled down is just hilarious and I can't wait for the next instalment :)

  40. SINJim

    In terms of "safety," after the pre-arrival "debate" with the manager I would have worried about what was in my food since not all of it is prepared in front of guests.

    From other readers' comments, some may not realize that when applying for a Suite Night Award (SNA), Marriott shows the customer the specific types of suites that the customer can apply for. The customer can waitlist for one or more specific types...

    In terms of "safety," after the pre-arrival "debate" with the manager I would have worried about what was in my food since not all of it is prepared in front of guests.

    From other readers' comments, some may not realize that when applying for a Suite Night Award (SNA), Marriott shows the customer the specific types of suites that the customer can apply for. The customer can waitlist for one or more specific types of suites. Naturally, the value of the suites can vary tremendously. Here in Singapore, the W Singapore is offering different suites for next Saturday night at prices of $560, $1,400, $1,700 and $2,500. Their square footage ranges from 860 to 2,100. Before check-in, Marriott will send an email confirming the exact suite that has been confirmed (or apologize that none of the waitlisted suites cleared). This is the crux of Ben's concern. He was confirmed for a specific suite using his SNA certificates. The hotel claimed that he never was confirmed (for the first two nights) but that they would "upgrade" him from the standard room that he booked to a lower category suite that Ben had not waitlisted for.

  41. Benjamin Kozlowski

    I’m over Marriott. They claimed I selected 5 elite nights not 5 SNAs. Hyatt is better. Heck, Hilton is better.

    Check out Jackie O’s! And Super Paradise Beach!

    The new site is not great. I get you need to feature more marketing but it’s not usable. Don’t turn into annoying and bridge burner Brian Kelly…a drag on Red!

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      Hilton is not better than Marriott. Hilton's CEO is actively encouraging properties to no longer provide housekeeping. Hilton gives its top status away with credit cards.

  42. Sexy_kitten7

    Wow. This is ridic. I don't think I can read any more bc it's making me so angry. You don't deserve this. I hope this hotel burns to the ground :)

  43. PM1

    Hi Ben, thanks for posting this series of reviews and interactions with the hotel. Don't back down. Their behavior is beyond appalling. I for one will never stay there after your experience. Just like you, I spend a lot of money on paid travel and credit cards and accumulate points as a byproduct. If Marriott hotels don't like the "freeloaders" who are booking with points, perhaps they should stop awarding points. Let's see how many...

    Hi Ben, thanks for posting this series of reviews and interactions with the hotel. Don't back down. Their behavior is beyond appalling. I for one will never stay there after your experience. Just like you, I spend a lot of money on paid travel and credit cards and accumulate points as a byproduct. If Marriott hotels don't like the "freeloaders" who are booking with points, perhaps they should stop awarding points. Let's see how many people will frequent their hotels then.

    On a separate note, thanks for doubling the width of the conversations window. Why not make it even wider? Or even keep it at the bottom of the page like you had it on the old website? The helpfulness score is easy to manipulate - I personally prefer to read all the comments on certain posts.

  44. Ehch

    You had a bad experience but reviews before your stay were overwhelmingly positive. Now your Internet brigade has trashed them with 0/1 star reviews.

    You have a platform to thousands. With that, you have a responsibility to be objective and fair, getting the full picture from all parties before publishing a trash piece. Instead, you have affectively used your platform, name, and readership to 1) bully a property that seemed to have decent (and legitimate...

    You had a bad experience but reviews before your stay were overwhelmingly positive. Now your Internet brigade has trashed them with 0/1 star reviews.

    You have a platform to thousands. With that, you have a responsibility to be objective and fair, getting the full picture from all parties before publishing a trash piece. Instead, you have affectively used your platform, name, and readership to 1) bully a property that seemed to have decent (and legitimate it seems) reviews and 2) churn out some highly engaging reader content.

    1. The nice Paul

      “you have a responsibility to be objective and fair, getting the full picture from all parties before publishing a trash piece”

      But that’s exactly what he has been, so far as I can tell — objective and fair.

      He did not publish a trash piece; if anything, it is the hotel which has done that, apparently launching attacks from sock puppet accounts.

      All that is clear. Which makes me think you are likely to be posting on behalf of the hotel, too.

    2. 23H

      Is it legitimate activity to sell rooms in a compound that is actually closed? Because that is what the hotel is doing...

  45. Jay Brown

    Many Greeks are unscrupulous and will rip off their own guests as shown here.
    I don't believe any of the hotel's slander after having seen similar situations play out so many times in Mykonos and surrounding areas. You would think they would understand how to welcome tourists by this point.

  46. Peter G

    I wouldn't even bother with that hotel anymore Ben. Let them continue digging their own grave. Interestingly your loyal followers are reviewing this business on goggle and its rating is dropping by the minute!

  47. John K

    I am really interested in how Marriott Corporate respond to this. And adding the suite which is in a closed portion of the hotel again for sale is odd. I'm glad you are fighting this one Ben, people plan holidays and work hard to earn points to travel and if a suite upgrade was guaranteed you have every right to be disappointed and disputing their account of events.

    Look forward to the follow-ups.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

  48. Bao

    Looks like VickiSoCal and Ben both arrived on the same date. She posted her experience and pictures over at FlyerTalk and it shows the same red car in the parking lot. In Ben's picture, her rental car is the black one parked behind the dumster.

  49. Happy Flyer

    Ben, keep up the fight! I will really like to hear what Corporate has to say.

    About the new web-site, I like it! You know people, they hate the way things are and they hate change.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

  50. Paul

    Wow the Aegon Mykonos hotel customer service is a dumpster fire.

  51. lamphstravels

    -I'll be curious as to the Marriott corporate response.
    -With reservation details, including confirmed SNAs, I either have a printer copy in hand or a PDF saved on my phone in case Internet is not readily available. I do not depend on the 'app' for this information.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

  52. Mike

    Seriously, the hotel offered you many options.

    It is very obvious that you called them all not acceptable in the hopes of getting your whole stay comped.

    Ridiculous is what I am reading you expected.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      No, they didn't. He booked 2 nights on points and 2 nights on cash. He used 4 suite night award certificates to confirm an upgrade into their best suite category, not their lowest entry-level suite. The hotel downgraded him for the 2 nights on points.

    2. Ben

      GM Pavlos? May you explain your touchy intensions? In what capacity will you be part of future trip reviews?

  53. Ben

    I myself had a similar story years ago with Accor and a property on Bali. In the end the wife and I settled over to the St Regis and Accor in the end refunded not only the aborted stay but paid for the St Regis room altogether.

    This is what I'd expect here as well. A full refund of any cash and points spent + covering the bill at whatever hotel you found refuge now. Throw in a complimentary stay in the future once they replaced owner and management.

    1. Andrew

      Accor is usually pretty solid. I agree.

  54. echino

    VickiSoCal just posted her story on FT. A very similar story.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      Links:
      https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/33306222-post111.html
      https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/33306306-post116.html

  55. David P

    This hotel is digging themselves into a hole by posting comments and responses. I always read owner responses to reviews on Google and TripAdvisor to see how professionally a place is managed and clearly this property needs to hire a social media strategist who understands the long tail of combative responses like these.

  56. Anonymous

    It appears that Lucky has the power to single-handedly put a hotel anywhere in the world out of business, whether they deserve it or not.

    1. Phillip

      This is a small hotel on one of the most expensive/celebrity islands in Greece. Given that they only tend to be open during the summer season and only work half the year, I doubt they will struggle to fill up rooms beyond this. The owners/managers clearly value the many local and other cash paying customers above anything that Marriott sends their way which goes some way in explaining (but of course not justifying) their poor...

      This is a small hotel on one of the most expensive/celebrity islands in Greece. Given that they only tend to be open during the summer season and only work half the year, I doubt they will struggle to fill up rooms beyond this. The owners/managers clearly value the many local and other cash paying customers above anything that Marriott sends their way which goes some way in explaining (but of course not justifying) their poor behaviour. You also need to remember that outside America, Marriott does not have as much hold on people being loyal because it’s not as engaging a programme - earning opportunities other than staying at Marriotts are far less and let’s be honest, many people accrue status and points without actually being frequent hotel guests.

    2. Matt

      Not sure I agree with this! If the hotel didn't value what it was getting from Marriott and could rely on local/cash money then why would it sign up to Marriott distribution and pay the high fees...

      It seems in this case that the hotel had a higher revenue opportunity to sell the suite to another guest. Or perhaps the owner was using it?

      The hotel has handled the aftermath very badly. However it seems...

      Not sure I agree with this! If the hotel didn't value what it was getting from Marriott and could rely on local/cash money then why would it sign up to Marriott distribution and pay the high fees...

      It seems in this case that the hotel had a higher revenue opportunity to sell the suite to another guest. Or perhaps the owner was using it?

      The hotel has handled the aftermath very badly. However it seems the suite had gone, so Lucky staying in it was not an option. I do wonder what Lucky was willing to accept given it was gone.

      I can see the hotel's point that Lucky was trying to extract significant compensation for very little cost--he would have kept his SNA, he would have a better room than originally booked, etc. Yes 750 points may have been low, but what level would have made him happy?

    3. 23H

      I imagine the hotel taking accountability for the error, apologizing, and offering a comp dinner, wine, activity something would have gone a long way to rectifying this.

      But it may not have even taken that: it appeared that Ben was going to stay at the property even without them doing the right thing until the owner freaked out on him about his energy and accused him of illegal activity.

    4. Phillip

      It’s a new hotel which started as a Marriott brand so whether the revenue stream is significant enough, will be demonstrated in due course. And don’t forget that for last year, the vast majority of clients would have been locals or Europeans due to Covid restrictions. That said, that was also the main market of tourists in Greece pre-Covid - only a small proportion was non European.
      My comments are more regarding the general...

      It’s a new hotel which started as a Marriott brand so whether the revenue stream is significant enough, will be demonstrated in due course. And don’t forget that for last year, the vast majority of clients would have been locals or Europeans due to Covid restrictions. That said, that was also the main market of tourists in Greece pre-Covid - only a small proportion was non European.
      My comments are more regarding the general attitude of hotels towards loyalty programmes in certain markets than just specific to this case. In the last five years there have been a number of Greek hotels that have associated and dissociated from Marriott in a short space of time.

  57. Jay Jay

    Well, I did not think I would ever post another reader's response to this site, since my last comments were deleted apparently by Tiffany... But: welcome to Marriott Europe and our regular experiences here!! Marriott is simply not worth anything to any European member, and their hotels are not honoring our status most of the times anyway.

    I gave up on them, now hoping that Hyatt is going to be better somehow to someone...

    Well, I did not think I would ever post another reader's response to this site, since my last comments were deleted apparently by Tiffany... But: welcome to Marriott Europe and our regular experiences here!! Marriott is simply not worth anything to any European member, and their hotels are not honoring our status most of the times anyway.

    I gave up on them, now hoping that Hyatt is going to be better somehow to someone who spends most of the year in hotels. As a Centurion Amex member, it is ridiculous that they would not even give us more than Marriott Gold status....! Thank you, Marriott! :((

  58. Matt

    This post does nothing to help the situation & creates drama , paints it like neither party willing to take the high road .

    The way this is written, it makes you seem high maintenance as a guest.

    1. Ben

      Oh please. This is drama gold and the hotel brought it on themselves. Lucky is never trying to insist on what he can reasonably expect, so let him go for it this time at least!

  59. DN100

    Isn’t there a rule that if you have two back to back reservations at the same hotel you can’t use SNAs or something similar?

  60. ffi

    Ben, your reviews are spot on in general.
    We get it - do not go to Greece expecting to be treated as Royalty.
    Like any argument this will go on and on.....
    We understand from this that
    - Many "Marriott" properties will not honor Bonvoy rules
    - Do not expect Marriott to worry about guests much. As Gary put it, Marriott's customers are the Hotels and their owners - we...

    Ben, your reviews are spot on in general.
    We get it - do not go to Greece expecting to be treated as Royalty.
    Like any argument this will go on and on.....
    We understand from this that
    - Many "Marriott" properties will not honor Bonvoy rules
    - Do not expect Marriott to worry about guests much. As Gary put it, Marriott's customers are the Hotels and their owners - we are the product they convey to them.
    - A regular guy like me will likely be treated worse and has a very low chance of a resolution if things are not as promised by Marriott
    - Trip Advisor is junk and can be manipulated
    - Don't believe all you read on the internet ...

  61. Miller508

    Thanks for your writing, your review of mystique in santorini made us reserve a room for a few nights, you were spot on with the description of service (seasonal employees are sometimes hit or miss) these folks were aces (confirmed) great hotel, great service like they felt proud being there almost, I’m short my family likes to read about your recommendations and experiences, please keep it up

  62. JeffFromSD

    Ben, glad that you are pointing out how the hotels are mistreating their customers and how Marriott is doing nothing to protect its best customers. It is really a big shame, but I am glad that I know to avoid this hotel in the future.

  63. skimegheath

    FYI the link to the other post, was posted on the Marriott Bonvoy Insiders FB group. Marriott responded and said they are “looking into this”. That was Friday for me. It’s now very early Sunday for me.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

  64. Cristoffer

    They are down to 3,1 on Google Maps Review now haha

  65. view

    I actually enjoyed this little series og Greek drama, or is it a Greek tragedy? Looking forward to hear what corporate has to say.

    1. Pences

      Close, but there's also a farcical element to the story....in Greek: it's a " tragikocomedia".

  66. Sally traveler

    Glad to grab the popcorn for this one --- great content Lucky.

    BTW, the redesign sucks. You should treat whoever did it like you're treating this hotel ;)

  67. Antonis

    I encourage you to keep us updated on this. I looked at the prices this hotel charges, and you have every right to expect better treatment and more accurate photography at that price point.

  68. Marriott Marty

    The hotel management is getting what they deserve. Negative reviews for a new hotel are devastating as there are not so many reviews. Based on following your blog for years and your initial blogs I certainly believe you. However Ford’s saying 750 points was ridiculous (it was) could reasonable interpreted that you wanted more points… if you are not going to request point compensation (I would from Marriott) then you don’t need to respond to...

    The hotel management is getting what they deserve. Negative reviews for a new hotel are devastating as there are not so many reviews. Based on following your blog for years and your initial blogs I certainly believe you. However Ford’s saying 750 points was ridiculous (it was) could reasonable interpreted that you wanted more points… if you are not going to request point compensation (I would from Marriott) then you don’t need to respond to any points offer except to say my complaints are not made to get points (rather than saying 750 points are ridiculous).

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      If the hotel keeps the Marriott flag, they will probably just rename themselves to wipe the slate clean. I am willing to bet Marriott that will keep them if they fire the GM, put in practices to stop the owner from being involved in operations (that's what a GM is for, after all), stop selling rooms that don't exist, and use real photos. But if Marriott was serious they would de-flag this property. There has...

      If the hotel keeps the Marriott flag, they will probably just rename themselves to wipe the slate clean. I am willing to bet Marriott that will keep them if they fire the GM, put in practices to stop the owner from being involved in operations (that's what a GM is for, after all), stop selling rooms that don't exist, and use real photos. But if Marriott was serious they would de-flag this property. There has to be consequences. Too many properties are rogue because Marriott is doing nothing. Like properties providing a voucher as the "breakfast benefit" that doesn't even cover the cost of toast, coffee, orange juice, tip and tax.

  69. Gcw

    Keep up the good fight! I check your reviews before I book and they surely need to learn from this instead of doubling down.

    Just a tip for the hotel, you can probably bribe the points guys into writing a good review. Treating your customers right ultimately costs less.

  70. Luis

    I don't care what anyone says. This is some good content!

  71. Sean

    The new format makes me less interested to visit this site daily. This is not a dig, it’s just kind of messy with all due respect.

  72. brteacher

    I am really amused by all the comments from "people" saying that this makes Ben look bad and he shouldn't post anything else about it.

    It's obvious that some of them are from the owners of the hotel and their associates.

  73. Donna

    This place is toast, even in spite of the management’s attempt to blunt your review with it’s fiction. This isn’t some cheap stay place where one can expect it to be hit or miss without much harm to one’s pocketbook. Most of us who travel frequently and particularly those of us who travel for a living are disgusted with this type of misrepresentation which, prior to platforms like TripAdvisor was rampant and which today, unfortunately...

    This place is toast, even in spite of the management’s attempt to blunt your review with it’s fiction. This isn’t some cheap stay place where one can expect it to be hit or miss without much harm to one’s pocketbook. Most of us who travel frequently and particularly those of us who travel for a living are disgusted with this type of misrepresentation which, prior to platforms like TripAdvisor was rampant and which today, unfortunately still exists but on a much smaller scale. They forced your hand and deserve the scathing review. I would have done the same thing.

  74. Rich L

    Marriott needs to step in and rectify this. Not only would I never stay at this hotel, I would think twice about staying at ANY Marriott in the future. All this bad exposure will simply tarnish your readers' opinion of the Marriott brand in general.

  75. Safety Card

    I think you’re right to call this out as much as you have been. I’ve been in these situations and the simple thing that would help you move on is someone saying sorry. The fact they haven’t even apologised is disgusting.

  76. Greg

    Did I miss something, but if you book 2 rooms as an Elite do you get free breakfast for both rooms? I don't think that if you are using points that you necessarily get a free breakfast even if paid rates include breakfast. I remember even Hyatt who has an awesome program and paid rates in Mallorca include breakfast, if you weren't Globalist and booked on points no breakfast. So I am wondering that them...

    Did I miss something, but if you book 2 rooms as an Elite do you get free breakfast for both rooms? I don't think that if you are using points that you necessarily get a free breakfast even if paid rates include breakfast. I remember even Hyatt who has an awesome program and paid rates in Mallorca include breakfast, if you weren't Globalist and booked on points no breakfast. So I am wondering that them offering you breakfast was considerable compensation. It didn't seem clear the breakfast benefits offered to you at checkin.

    Also good post as I didn't know you could apply SNA to Xtra rooms. I thought only the members room could have SNA attached. So good to learn this tip.

    Sounds like this whole experience had some miscommunication. I don't quite understand the extent of how you feared your safety from your original post. But I know from your blog that you are a level headed person and very reasonable and respectful to others so I tend to believe that you truly feared staying there.

  77. JDAventura

    I really appreciate the report, and the continued follow-up. This is precisely the type of info we need from this site. Anyone who spends a good part of their lives in hotels (at least pre-COVID) would agree.
    Thanks!

  78. Unbelievable Obsession

    I think you are way too invested in bashing this experience. You didn’t even stay so why multiple bitter articles and reviews? Sure you claim those reviews aren’t yours but, be honest, you inspired the bashing.

  79. John Thompson

    Time to move past this flame war. No winners here, everyone loses.

    Honestly, I don't think this reflects well on anyone.

    I would suggest taking down your comments from every forum and just move on.

    1. Dre

      Disagree. If anything it's making Aegon look terrible, and Marriott to some extent. I think we'll all be avoiding that hotel.

  80. Keyser Soze

    Ben, FYI about the embedded video, as viewed via Comcast in the U.S.:
    “Video unavailable This video contains content from AdRevEnt_managed, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.” (In short, no VPN or similar games on my end.)

  81. Chuck

    Stand your ground. Don’t let bullies win! Good work.

  82. Brian

    Just noticed that on google map the hotel is labeled with free WiFi and free breakfast (I think those labels are selected by business owners). So either they’re making false claims about breakfast not included on TA or that’s more false advertising!

  83. iv

    Ben, thanks for the additional information. Having been a frequent reader of your blog for many years, You have demonstrated that you are a level headed and fair individual.

    I appreciate you calling out BS and holding people accountable!

  84. Mike Riess

    The multiple posts are deserved - it's an interesting story and the hotel is lying.
    It's not like "there was hair on my pillow" but "the owner and management lied to me in person and lied about me online"

    They've got it coming to them, and if you deceive customers you deserve a full on multi post roast.

  85. Nick In Chicago

    Get Marriotts attention by posting to their Facebook page

  86. JJH

    This has gone too far, and you no longer come across as the more reasonable party. Ford’s comments do sound verbally abusive. There are lots of incompetent people in the world; most of us are polite enough not to point that out to their face when we interact with one.

    Moreover, it sounds like your numerous posts on this have instigated some readers to make false submissions to TripAdvisor. I don’t see any acknowledgement above...

    This has gone too far, and you no longer come across as the more reasonable party. Ford’s comments do sound verbally abusive. There are lots of incompetent people in the world; most of us are polite enough not to point that out to their face when we interact with one.

    Moreover, it sounds like your numerous posts on this have instigated some readers to make false submissions to TripAdvisor. I don’t see any acknowledgement above that it was your posts that riled those people up and led them to post false reviews.

    It’s time to move on. You should explicitly ask all readers who submitted false TripAdvisor posts to withdraw them — and then drop the matter.

  87. John D

    Ben,

    I can’t even believe this hotel. Make sure to follow up with Marriott corporate. There MUST be accountability. I would also email the hospitality company CEO as delta-diamond suggested.

    Also, forget the trolls on here that are likely connected to the hotel, or just don’t really understand the situation. You did the right thing every step of the way.

    The hotel should have made things right, so many times. Instead, they continue to...

    Ben,

    I can’t even believe this hotel. Make sure to follow up with Marriott corporate. There MUST be accountability. I would also email the hospitality company CEO as delta-diamond suggested.

    Also, forget the trolls on here that are likely connected to the hotel, or just don’t really understand the situation. You did the right thing every step of the way.

    The hotel should have made things right, so many times. Instead, they continue to repeat their failures. No lesson learned for them.

  88. Malc

    @Lucky

    "Other than the truth, there are a couple of things missing from the hotel’s response." I laughed out loud at that line.

    This is your most compelling series in years, Lucky – although I'm sure you'd rather not have gone through the experience.

    A couple of possible typos:

    "I just want to know what’s going to change so that other people don’t have to deal with." Is there a word missing here?

    ...

    @Lucky

    "Other than the truth, there are a couple of things missing from the hotel’s response." I laughed out loud at that line.

    This is your most compelling series in years, Lucky – although I'm sure you'd rather not have gone through the experience.

    A couple of possible typos:

    "I just want to know what’s going to change so that other people don’t have to deal with." Is there a word missing here?

    "The hotel we stayed at before and after the Aegon Mykonos were both exceptional, and offered flawless service." I think that should be "The hotels we stayed at..."

  89. meta

    Had a similar issue at a Domes property last year, but they handled it so much better. Basically they downgraded me from prepaid room a day before arrival. I complained and said I’d like to get some of my money back. In the end I got the room type I booked for cash (had to wait a bit longer for check-in), they threw in half board in compo and apologised several times, showered us with...

    Had a similar issue at a Domes property last year, but they handled it so much better. Basically they downgraded me from prepaid room a day before arrival. I complained and said I’d like to get some of my money back. In the end I got the room type I booked for cash (had to wait a bit longer for check-in), they threw in half board in compo and apologised several times, showered us with freebies throughout the stay from spa to free drinks during meals, including dinner in top restaurant in town nearby. I’d go back in a hearbeat.

  90. ZymmMobile

    On Chrome desktop there is no way for me to add a new comment. Writing this on my phone as a result. Whoever you hired to build the new site did not spend adequate time testing across platforms, or they would have caught such an egregious bug

    1. Zymm

      Or rather, no consistent way. Turns out the comment box appears after I refresh the page, so not as bad as I originally thought, but still pretty annoying.

    2. Zymm

      Looks like you're using WordPress, so it's probably just a matter of tweaking the settings on the commenting plugin

  91. Jay

    Thanks for sharing. Sometimes we need to expose the hotel for their lies and luckily you have a platform to inform the world about their lack of service and lies.

  92. derek

    This is a case where Ben has much more power than they do.

    In history, there have been wars that one side is much more powerful than the others.

    As far as the power lines, Instagram has made people very spoiled. The view is good but not perfect.

  93. Bonvoyed

    How is this bullying? Seems like Ben and his family was being bullied to me

  94. John

    I, for one, find this exceptionally helpful. I had been looking at this property for a family vacation, and I was about to book. This clearly solidified that I won't step foot on the property, so please be sure to tell Marriott that unless there is a response - I'm sure there will be others like my who follow my lead. Thanks for this review!

  95. Brian

    This whole story reeks of entitlement. There are 3 sides to every story. The truth is somewhere in between. I actually don’t think the hotels response is bad. It addresses the concerns.

    1. 23H

      I totally disagree. The hotel pulling their response down from TripAdvisor likely means that they (or Marriott corporate) disagree as well.

      At this point, the hotel needs to stop digging. Their response should go something along the lines of:

      Prior to the arrival of Mr. Schlappig and his family at the Aegon Mykonos, we made an error in inventory management, which resulted in his confirmed suite not being available at check-in.

      We did...

      I totally disagree. The hotel pulling their response down from TripAdvisor likely means that they (or Marriott corporate) disagree as well.

      At this point, the hotel needs to stop digging. Their response should go something along the lines of:

      Prior to the arrival of Mr. Schlappig and his family at the Aegon Mykonos, we made an error in inventory management, which resulted in his confirmed suite not being available at check-in.

      We did not take ownership of this error as we should have, which resulted in a number of uncomfortable interactions between this group of guests and members of our team. These interactions did not demonstrate the levels of hospitality that our guests should expect, and led to Mr. Schlappig's early departure.

      We unreservedly apologize to Mr. Schlappig and his family for their negative experience. We have refunded Mr. Schlappig his suite night awards and waived all early departure charges. In addition to providing a generous number of points as compensation, we have invited Mr. Schlappig to return to the hotel as our guest for a stay or a meal, providing us an opportunity to demonstrate the high levels of Myconian hospitality to which we strive every day.

      We have also used this unfortunate incident as a learning opportunity, and have engaged with our partners at Marriott International to ensure that we provide full benefits to Marriott Bonvoy members in the future. Specifically, we have provided enhanced inventory management and elite benefits training to members of our front desk and reservation teams.

      Our entire team at the Aegon Mykonos remains committed to providing each one of our guests an excellent stay.

      With kind regards,

      [General Manager]

      Were I the GM, I'd also find out where Ben was staying and send flowers, offer to comp dinner at wherever they plan on dining one night etc. The hotel is damaging itself badly and needs to step back, think, and de-escalate.

      Then go to TripAdvisor and Google get them to clean up the fake reviews.

  96. Mattux

    What I find slightly incredible is that Marriott as a group doesn't have Ben's name flagged on all reservations. He is the most *credible* hotel / airliner reviewer out there, trusted by thousands of frequent, experienced and affluent travelers. (I also massively respect how he isn't after the freebie as so many bloggers / influencers are and uses his own cash / points).

    Wouldn't it make sense for the Marriott's PR people to have his...

    What I find slightly incredible is that Marriott as a group doesn't have Ben's name flagged on all reservations. He is the most *credible* hotel / airliner reviewer out there, trusted by thousands of frequent, experienced and affluent travelers. (I also massively respect how he isn't after the freebie as so many bloggers / influencers are and uses his own cash / points).

    Wouldn't it make sense for the Marriott's PR people to have his name flagged and reach out to the hotel prior to his arrival to ensure a best foot forward is presented? It just seems so obvious as VIPs are flagged all the time in the hospitality world. Beyond the power of the pen, his VIP status is also earned through his lifetime status. This experience represents so many failures from a property and corporate management perspective. And I think why so many folks are reacting to this story, aside from the drama, is that it is a symptom of the larger "bonvoyed" problem Marriott loyalists are so frustrated with.

    I am glad you stood your ground and didn't let them push you around.

    1. jcil

      My suspicion is that many hotel and airline companies do have Ben's accounts flagged, but not for outright freebies. Rather, he is allowed to book awards at saver rates for the exact dates and the exact properties or airlines, and also for business class or suites upgrades that are almost never available to the average Joe. No matter where or when he wants to fly, he can find multiple business class seats available.

    2. Tiffany

      @ jcil -- This is not a thing, at all. Rather, Ben (and many of us who have been doing this for decades) plan our travel around what award availability is there.

      This gets talked about a lot in the intros to trip reports; how there is maybe a goal for a trip, but a stopover gets added or a destination changed based on availability, or how something "opens up" and Ben shifts everything...

      @ jcil -- This is not a thing, at all. Rather, Ben (and many of us who have been doing this for decades) plan our travel around what award availability is there.

      This gets talked about a lot in the intros to trip reports; how there is maybe a goal for a trip, but a stopover gets added or a destination changed based on availability, or how something "opens up" and Ben shifts everything around.

      Or, in this case, how he booked the hotel *specifically because* he was able to confirm in to a suite.

    3. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      I don't know how that would work. That would take a lot of algorithm overriding.

    4. Pences

      "frequent, experienced and affluent travelers", wouldn't set foot in a place like
      Aegon Mykonos.

  97. Kathleen Pollard

    I appreciate your in-depth review and think it was warranted. I've also had issues such as yours and our family almost exclusively stays at Marriott properties. Your pictures are worth a thousand words! I'd be upset, too, if that's what I paid for

  98. dhammer53

    The writer, Coins, has written reviews for many years. These are reviews that I trust. Even if he's a bit more critical than most of us, there's still basis in what he wrote.

    Blame goes to Marriott for not having their regional people on the ground checking things out.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

  99. Regis

    Keep up the fight Ben. This is site for sophisticated travelers. For us, being given what we were promised matters!

    Your site's redesign, however, is a failure. The font, the colors, the layout, the commenting section, you managed to get just about everything wrong. The old version was dated and in need of an improvement, but this is definitely not it!

    1. Briggykins

      It's fine. Especially like the new commenting system, it was impossible to keep track of the threads before. I've never seen a site change that was well-received initially!

  100. Tommy L

    FYI - your review is now removed but "Ford's" is still up there...

    1. 23H

      I still see it there: but its pushed down to Page 3.

    2. echino

      No, the real Ben's review is still on TA. Under lucky9876coins.

  101. John

    I agree that you can and will get exemplary service in Greece and your assessment is spot on. It ranges from incredible to incredibly bad. Although this occurs in any country, it seems like the “ delta “ in Greece is much greater than most countries. You have to do your research, rely on word of mouth , and in the islands I would give the independent hotels the nod. If you end up in...

    I agree that you can and will get exemplary service in Greece and your assessment is spot on. It ranges from incredible to incredibly bad. Although this occurs in any country, it seems like the “ delta “ in Greece is much greater than most countries. You have to do your research, rely on word of mouth , and in the islands I would give the independent hotels the nod. If you end up in Santorini the Absolute Bliss hotel was great for customer service. The basic rooms are small but the honeymoon suite next to the pool was incredible

  102. Bernie

    Who would have guessed. Ben is a true drama Queen.

  103. Michael Feinberg

    These reviews are so important in holding these people accountable. Kudos!

  104. Andy

    Kudos for holding the hotel accountable, maybe this will help future guests that don't have the knowledge or determination to stand up for themselves when a hotel has wronged them.

  105. Pences

    Humorous bordering on the hilarious.
    A 21st century digital age parody of Mark Twain's best selling travel book,
    "THE INNOCENTS ABROAD" also known by its
    subtitle "The New Pilgrim's Progress".
    Starring, Ben as the pilgrim.

  106. Roberto

    It is obvious that they did something intentionally wrong at the very beginning. Then they behave extremely rude and unprofessional. And now they are doing everything to discredit you. I am following this blog since years and I think you are completely right to uncover how they started and how they continue with this story. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      Maybe it will come down to Ben filing a defamation or impersonation lawsuit against the hotel in Florida and getting a court order against them. That could be fun.

  107. Mr Alexis Papas

    Actually how cab I privately contact you and send you an enlightening pic and info?

  108. john

    I am also confused as to why you made 2 reservations? why not just make 1 reservation? If cannot make 1 combined reservation, I would think the Marriott Call Center people could combine the points stay with the cash/money stay, if you were to call them? This confuses me.

    thank you.

    1. Phillip

      My experience with multiple Marriott reservations has been very disappointing…

      I recently booked 5 nights at a St Regis hotel. Due to flight changes, we were arriving a night early so when I called Marriott to add a day they took the easy road and created a new booking for the first night. All 6 nights were award nights.
      Further schedule changes resulting in us having to reduce our stay down to 5 days,...

      My experience with multiple Marriott reservations has been very disappointing…

      I recently booked 5 nights at a St Regis hotel. Due to flight changes, we were arriving a night early so when I called Marriott to add a day they took the easy road and created a new booking for the first night. All 6 nights were award nights.
      Further schedule changes resulting in us having to reduce our stay down to 5 days, no longer needing the last sixth night. When I asked for an amendment or, if you like, cancellation of the last night, Marriott put it in the hands of the hotel who simply said that there is no longer new award availability in the room type I had confirmed and therefore they were unable to make any amendments to my booking. Their recommendation was to just cancel and book the lower level room that was available as a redemption and pay 5*$200 to upgrade to the room type I had originally booked as an award. No amount of reasoning helped. I had already confirmed the room type I wanted for the dates I wanted, I just needed one night cancelled! Computer says no!
      I cancelled my entire stay and booked another property!

  109. Ben

    @Lucky can we get an update on what went down with GM Pavlos and the reported toucheroo?

    1. Bao

      I'm pretty sure he addressed this in the article.

      "Some people have written other TripAdvisor reviews pointing to my story, while others have tried to impersonate me and Ford, but those aren’t us (and we certainly don’t condone what they say, especially the post written with Ford’s name that makes some incorrect allegations)."

      I understood it as the "inappropriate touching" did not happened.

    2. Ben

      Maybe but why would anyone say it if there isn't some truth to it? Maybe GM Pavlos, who surely reads here, can chime in and explain his intensions? Lucky certainly is an attractive young man, so there is that for now...

  110. Tony

    This is absolutely horrific. I can't imagine what I would have done in your situation, but it seems to me you have handled it reasonably well. I wish we all had this type of platform to inform when we get wronged. Keep us updated!!!

  111. john

    I am very confused here, on the 2nd reservation were they going to give you the suite that they were not selling before? how could it be open on for the 4rd and 4th nights but not the 1st and 2nd nights? was it the same suite that you wanted and confirmed?

    also, what was so bad about the suites that they wanted to put you in for the 1st and 2nd nights? is not...

    I am very confused here, on the 2nd reservation were they going to give you the suite that they were not selling before? how could it be open on for the 4rd and 4th nights but not the 1st and 2nd nights? was it the same suite that you wanted and confirmed?

    also, what was so bad about the suites that they wanted to put you in for the 1st and 2nd nights? is not a suite a suite? unless it is say the ' Presidential Suite" ? and what is the big deal about suites anyways? I am happy with a normal room, and what is most important to me, is breakfast and late-check out , early check out, this seems as if ben is being/acting like a spoiled rotten rich kid/man.

    it is a foreign country with different laws, customs, and perhaps somewhere in there there were some language issues? but it is never good to be lied to. but what is the big deal? why could you just not have taken the room they put you in, and chalked it up to a mistake on their part on corporate part, etc..etc...

    this gets back to the fact that ben will not fly coach overseas or barely fly coach in the usa, has to always be premium... ben, not all of life is champagne and caviar......

    1. echino

      Apparently nights 1 and 2 were booked with points, while nights 3 and 4 were booked with cash. SNA applied and confirmed for both reservations. Then the hotel apparently took away the confirmed upgrade from nights 1 and 2 because it was booked with points. Hotel views points booking as "free" and apparently downgraded a points booking because of that, but kept a cash booking upgrade intact.

    2. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      All while they are selling suites in a wing of the hotel that is closed.

  112. Stuart

    Being as well in a business that provides luxury items to people who really don't need them I am fascinated with both the hotel's handling of this and the sheer escalation.

    Every business owner gets into situations with customers that can escalate. The problem nowadays is that, in many ways, Ol' Arne was correct, it really is noise around the edges. I say this not because Ben isn't fully justified in some areas, but because...

    Being as well in a business that provides luxury items to people who really don't need them I am fascinated with both the hotel's handling of this and the sheer escalation.

    Every business owner gets into situations with customers that can escalate. The problem nowadays is that, in many ways, Ol' Arne was correct, it really is noise around the edges. I say this not because Ben isn't fully justified in some areas, but because the internet is so overwhelmed with complaints for one reason or another that the reality becomes distorted and no one knows what's true anymore. It's almost all out war now between consumers who want to blackmail companies for whatever reason vs companies taking the "we don't negotiate with terrorists" stance.

    To me, the most egregious part of this experience of Ben's is that the property is clearly deceiving people as to its services and location. I am really surprised that this has not been called out in other reviews. Seems odd. I would have been furious to check in to find that the "Beach Club" is just an empty stretch of sand and the photos used were of a neighboring beach. That is just not a "he said she said part" of this. It's concrete and real and the hotel should absolutely correct its listings and photos. You can't argue this.

    As for the rest, there is an art to standing up to a customer while also being gracious. The hotel clearly failed in this. Yes, there are cultural differences for sure. And that is an underlying part of this whole scene. Entitlement vs. stubbornness never ends well. However, with that said, if you are going to be in the hospitality industry stubbornness is never a good quality.

    1. miamiorbust

      So seeking out a customer and confronting them with abusive language fits into your narrative, how? It does not. How does standing around talking with your friends represent customer entitlement? It does not. That you seem to condone abusive behavior as poor customer management strategy is sad. It's not that it is a bad strategy. it is wrong. Your statements imply anything is OK if it meets the manager's goals. May be it is attitudes...

      So seeking out a customer and confronting them with abusive language fits into your narrative, how? It does not. How does standing around talking with your friends represent customer entitlement? It does not. That you seem to condone abusive behavior as poor customer management strategy is sad. It's not that it is a bad strategy. it is wrong. Your statements imply anything is OK if it meets the manager's goals. May be it is attitudes like yours that lead to so many customers coming in ready for battle. Just be nice.

    2. Stuart

      You completely misunderstood my thoughts. But that's ok, not taking the time to explain it if you are unable to read with comprehension.

  113. FFT

    While there seems to be a lot of problems here, and I can definitely understand the disappointment (having been in a similar situation myself with a Marriott hotel) I think telling the GM he is incompetent is going to far. There are polite ways to express frustration and/or disappointment but this is starting to sound a bit more like you chose the "brash entitled American" variety.

    1. JJH

      Agree with this. You can be forceful in pushing what you believe you’re entitled to as a matter of policy or norm. Resorting to name-calling demeans you.

      “But it’s accurate!” is not really a defense either. On that theory it would be OK to call someone a “fatso” if they were, in fact, fat. There are certain words that are just insulting and demeaning and should not be used in a confrontation, whether accurate or not.

    2. Commenting Commenter

      Hardly an equivalent…

    3. JJH

      Just to be clear, I was responding to this line in Lucky's original post: "At that point Ford did call him incompetent, because, well… he was."

      I don't accept Ben's response there. While you can certainly quibble with the specific example I used above, my point is just that it's not appropriate to insult someone to their face (whether you call them dumb, fat, incompetent, stupid, slow, or any other derogatory term) simply because you...

      Just to be clear, I was responding to this line in Lucky's original post: "At that point Ford did call him incompetent, because, well… he was."

      I don't accept Ben's response there. While you can certainly quibble with the specific example I used above, my point is just that it's not appropriate to insult someone to their face (whether you call them dumb, fat, incompetent, stupid, slow, or any other derogatory term) simply because you believe the insult is true. The manager may or may not be incompetent -- I don't think Ben or Ford can really judge that based only on one negative incident -- but regardless, basic norms of civility and decorum would dictate that they not insult him or resort to name-calling.

      I can understand Ford losing his temper in the heat of the moment, but I would hope that it wouldn't take Ben and Ford long to realize that, even if they are right on the overall dispute, it was wrong to insult the manager--and apologize at least for mishandling that aspect of the dispute. Instead, Ben is defending the insult, and essentially repeating it again on his blog.

  114. Josh

    You new site design is absolutely brutal. Please change it back. It's honestly so bad I don't want to use it anymore, and I've been coming here for many years.

  115. Greekguy

    I know Greeks well (I'm Greek - my family is Greek!). You can bet the GM/owner there got everyone in his mother, brother, uncle, neighbors, to come post a comment on this site defending the place. Guaranteed!

  116. Todd

    I am still waiting for the review of the motel6 in Parker Arizona. You are a SNOB, Sh*t happens, like confirmed upgrades on a airlines if you wanted you should have paid for it. Anyways cant wait to hear Marriotts response

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      He did pay for it with upgrade certificates. Those aren't free.

  117. Peter

    It seems that a significant part of the problematic situation is related to Bonvoy. No surprises here. Regarding the real condition of the hotel vs hotel uploaded pictures, well that’s a rookie traveler’s mistake...and Ben is a travel guru....
    On last point @ Ben, if not mistaken you’re traveling in Greece to spend some quality time with your mother. Highly recommending to continue doing so...this back and forth with the hotel is at the...

    It seems that a significant part of the problematic situation is related to Bonvoy. No surprises here. Regarding the real condition of the hotel vs hotel uploaded pictures, well that’s a rookie traveler’s mistake...and Ben is a travel guru....
    On last point @ Ben, if not mistaken you’re traveling in Greece to spend some quality time with your mother. Highly recommending to continue doing so...this back and forth with the hotel is at the verge of being “a bit too much” and I humbly believe that you start to lose your right...You have always been more rational and objective in your reviews and by far less emotional, which was probably the reason of your success. Keep it like that :)

  118. Jessica

    It's absolutely the owner's wife. If you read through past reviews on tripadvisor, she's mentioned as such in a few of them.

    1. miamiorbust

      Why should he move on? The hotel continues to add new information. The conduct is horrible and Marriott still has not responded. I and some other commenters do want to understand if Marriott is going to hold its affiliates accountable or not. If they will not, what is the point of a hotel loyalty program?

    2. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

    3. KEVIN

      Nah, this is great for OMAAT's google algorithm. More comments there on this page, the better it is for OMAAT! I'm sure Lucky will want to drag this on longer and I'm all for it! Where's my popcorn again?

    4. Kama'aina

      If you're not interested in this saga, how about you just skip the articles involving it instead of feeling the need to read and comment on them?

      Many of us are interested in how this thing plays out.

    5. Kanaka

      Or you can skip the articles that don't interest you instead of feeling the need to read and comment on them.

      Some of us are interested in how this crazy ordeal plays out.

  119. Ed

    Long time follower - 1st time commenter. I was going to book this hotel as part of my honeymoon and thank you for helping me avoid this LANDMINE!

    This is disgusting and i am so sorry you had to go through this. Going forward i will tell all friends and family to avoid this hotel like the plague.

  120. Sel, D.

    Forget Mayweather vs. Logan Paul tomorrow, I want to see Lucky vs. Pavlos.

    1. Joe1293

      Who are those two
      Logan Paul v Mayweather

  121. previous-traveler

    Having read the whole saga, I guess I'm wondering why this stay was booked as two sets of two nights?

    As a long time Marriott visitor and Starwood holdover, I gotta say if you start out with the mentality of gaming the system (which this sure looks like), you don't have much of a leg to stand on if the system bites back occasionally. It's the game you are playing, after all.

    I have much...

    Having read the whole saga, I guess I'm wondering why this stay was booked as two sets of two nights?

    As a long time Marriott visitor and Starwood holdover, I gotta say if you start out with the mentality of gaming the system (which this sure looks like), you don't have much of a leg to stand on if the system bites back occasionally. It's the game you are playing, after all.

    I have much more sympathy for the irritations of the regular traveler who isn't looking to exploit point and awards structures to maximize benefit to themselves. Acknowledging that you come across as a Karen doesn't make it better, it just means you should know better.

    1. miamiorbust

      You do understand the point of this blog is.....gaming the system. I will never understand people who defend truly horrible and abusive behavior because the recipient of abuse didn't play by rules you approve of. Woman has too many drinks you seem to argue she deserves what she gets. That is basically the logic you are using. Abusive language is wrong and should never be defended or put in context.

    2. Mattux

      This is not really gaming the system. Using points to book rooms is what they are designed for. And using a mix of cash for some nights and points / free night certificates for others is in no way unusual. Points are earned not a charity.

    3. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      Maybe he didn't have enough cash for four cash nights? Maybe he didn't have enough points for four nights of award redemptions?

    4. EC2

      Utilizing a reward program to it’s fullest is far from “gaming” a system. I recently booked 3 nights at a Marriott resort as 3 separate stays as one was points, one was a free night certificate and one was cash. Got free drink coupons for each “stay”. Hotel knew we were there for 3 continuous nights and why it was booked that way. Definitely wasn’t “Bonvoyed”.

  122. David

    Yawn! I often enjoy your hotel and airline reviews but this whole article just seems to make the issues far greater than the reality. Also referring to the manageress as unhinged is highly inappropriate/misogynistic!

    1. Megan

      I'm baffled by people like you. A spade is a spade. If she was unhinged, she was unhinged. This is Ben's experience with her. Not yours.

    2. cahbf

      You can't reason with woke millennial, they are on the lookout for received slights 24/7

    3. Commenting Commenter

      Stop using words you had to look up on Google. Sit down, child.

    4. Malc

      I'm curious how this comment has -22 next to the Helpful option. Is there a way of indicating you don't like a comment?

  123. Tahsin

    Recent Google reviews are tearing them a new one! At some point they gotta stop their pride getting in the way for the sake of their business, otherwise they're gonna lose out on a lot of money.

  124. Aaron

    So was the TR review from "Ford" about the GM touching you inappropriately a fake review as well?

  125. Lorraine

    You should mention in your article that the hotel created a fake profile with your name Ben Schlepping @Onemileatatime1234 (albeit spelled incorrectly) and wrote a glowing 5 star review giving accolades to the hotel and the GM. That is next level crookedness. There are no boundaries to their level of deceit.

    1. Marc

      I doubt this was written by the hotel. More likely someone random who think it’s funny.

  126. Andres

    Hey Ben! I just wanted to stop by and quickly say kudos to you for standing your ground! Many times it's easier to just ignore bad service or 'forget about it.' I hope you sharing this experience leads to better management at the property. Thank you!!

  127. Ben

    I too pray that Marriott will arrange a sit-down between Lucky and the owners wife, over tea, to clear the air. By now that is the only way to resolve this mess.

  128. John

    Shame on Marriott. And for not stepping in to rectify this ASAP. The head of loyalty for Marriott should resign for letting these things become the norm. I was at Marriott lately they had a standard basic suite available at check in and wanted me to pay $200 upgrade fee as a titanium because they “May” sell it throughout the day. Outrageous. Marriott needs to tell hotels they are watching and tracking things.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

  129. Gerard

    @Ben, given the hotel staff’s demeanor warranted that you leave four hours after arrival, it maybe not the best idea to post about another guest that may still be there...

  130. jcil

    Don't they know who you are? That's the first impression I had reading this.

  131. Ivanbou

    This is insane. It’s like the opposite of the Al Pacino character in ocean’s 13 that was trying to impress the hotel reviewer and find out who he was. These guys probably would just torture if they had a chance. The smart thing for them would have been to cut their losses on their lies and just give you a refund and let you leave but they are such assholes they figured that just lying harder would fix it? What idiots and crooks.

    1. Paolo

      We all have our foibles; one of yours appears to be a borderline obsession with moronic, contrived, vulgar, nasty ‘reality’ tv shows, the insertion of which into your story detracts from, rather than adds value/clarity to, the piece. This is a recurring theme and is a major turnoff to anyone uninterested in such cretinous crap. What next? Positing on how Kim Kardashians might have reacted in these circumstances? Your readers may not be the most...

      We all have our foibles; one of yours appears to be a borderline obsession with moronic, contrived, vulgar, nasty ‘reality’ tv shows, the insertion of which into your story detracts from, rather than adds value/clarity to, the piece. This is a recurring theme and is a major turnoff to anyone uninterested in such cretinous crap. What next? Positing on how Kim Kardashians might have reacted in these circumstances? Your readers may not be the most sophisticated in the travel world, but surely we’re sufficiently mature to read a story without these references to real housewives, drag performers, ‘entertainers’ of dubious quality, psycho chefs/ restaurant owners ( and all of zero relevance).
      I don’t doubt for a minute your denial of the claim of threatening a bad review ( or the other issues of ‘fact’). It does not have a ‘ring of truth’ ; indeed, the opposite based on your long history of independence and high integrity. But it’s a crafty claim by the hotel, because they know it will resonate with some TA readers unfamiliar with your ethics/site. I’ve seen similar put-downs ( no right of reply) work before.

    2. Paolo

      Well, that comment was meant to be to Ben, not in reply to Ivanbou. I find this new site/system very confusing indeed.

    3. Megan

      Why yes Paolo, hitting reply is most definitely confusing.

  132. panda

    They’ve lied every step of the way so why stop now.

  133. Stephen

    Almost as shocking as the hotel's treatment of what should be highly valued guests is that Marriott has not made any response and TripAdvisor has left blatantly fake reviews up for days.
    This has trashed the reputation of the particular hotel, the Marriott brand, and TripAdvisor.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

  134. LiuX

    The hotel industry needs to adopt zero tolerance policies towards abuse of associates much like the US airlines have. It is the only way to protect associates from verbal assaults and de-escalate these types of situations. Marriott needs to protect its owners and franchisees if it wants their continued investment and commitment to the brand.

    1. Chuck

      Hahaha, I thought you were serious for a split second. Great sarcasm!

    2. miamiorbust

      Lol, funniest. comment. ever.

  135. Francis

    I'm so vested in this saga! I hope you keep updating us about the whole situation: Marriott's response, Aegon's eventual departure from Marriott, the unhinged wife coming to the US to give you a piece of her mind, Aegon's collapse and becoming a Covid quarantine facility, etc! Oh the potential!

  136. Steven E

    I’m not sure what real previous experience youve had with Greece ,but they are well known for “stretching the truth” ( being kind ) and plain liars - The country is a complete bankrupt mess and has been for many years. Customer service is just two words strung together in English - it means nothing to them. ( generally ) .you like it good ..you don’t - dont care ! The sad thing is there...

    I’m not sure what real previous experience youve had with Greece ,but they are well known for “stretching the truth” ( being kind ) and plain liars - The country is a complete bankrupt mess and has been for many years. Customer service is just two words strung together in English - it means nothing to them. ( generally ) .you like it good ..you don’t - dont care ! The sad thing is there are many beautiful islands and tourist places of significant interest - their problem is the arrogance - service to Greeks is like the ruins that surround them- they are there but non functioning , I think you’re wasting your energy with finding a kind resolution, good luck Ben dont have a conniption over it all

    1. Pences

      It's their country, their culture..if you don't like it, stay home and head to Myrtle Beach or the Redneck Riviera (FL) for culture and "customer service".

    2. Dre

      Well that's not true at all is it... You get bad eggs everywhere. Do your research and book accordingly.

  137. Kat

    I would love to know the hotel you transferred to, just so that I plan to stay there vice here!!

  138. Commander707

    We are on your side Ben! I hope a Marriott representative does something about this. I will NEVER visit this hotel!

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

  139. BW

    I like the fake good reviews the hotel (presumably) is trying to put on TripAdvisor. A review by "Ben.s" and then the hotel response is "Dear Dinos S." They can't even lie well.

    1. Paul

      Lol, they hotel can't keep their lies straight.

  140. William

    IHG is kicking out hotels that don't follow brand standards.

    It's time for Marriott to do the same.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

  141. Dan2222

    This is bad enough for the hotel but they are clearly not social media savy. These articles are going to dominate their google search results for years.

    But Marriott corporate has to step in and end this. If Marriott had any control of their franchise they would get this hotel to apologize and end this bad publicity. You are shouting to the rooftops how little Marriott promises mean to a huge audience. Corporate should...

    This is bad enough for the hotel but they are clearly not social media savy. These articles are going to dominate their google search results for years.

    But Marriott corporate has to step in and end this. If Marriott had any control of their franchise they would get this hotel to apologize and end this bad publicity. You are shouting to the rooftops how little Marriott promises mean to a huge audience. Corporate should just pay the hotel whatever it takes to get them to provide you a pre-written apology as well as pass on compensation to make Marriot seem like they realize they made a mistake.

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

    2. JewJetter

      The guy who oversees FRANCHISES is named John Licence? Is that all it takes to become a VP at Marriott now FFS.

  142. VÍTOR SILVA

    Don't give up, truth is on your side!
    I recall three major incidents with hotel managers, one of which I am suing and my other situation was so appalling, that the unit was listed off the Accor portfolio about a month after the incident!
    Present facts/reality in a neutral way and the truth prevails, we are here with you!

  143. Shawn

    Ben - All hotels photoshop their pics to a degree. I hate saying this because per you, you usually never complain. But I also think this might be because you’re OMAAT and never need to, but you’re coming across as a Karen.

    The hotel offered to upgrade you. Yes something happened to the initial upgrade but it’s still an upgrade from your original room. But heaven forbid there isn’t a private pool.

    Should...

    Ben - All hotels photoshop their pics to a degree. I hate saying this because per you, you usually never complain. But I also think this might be because you’re OMAAT and never need to, but you’re coming across as a Karen.

    The hotel offered to upgrade you. Yes something happened to the initial upgrade but it’s still an upgrade from your original room. But heaven forbid there isn’t a private pool.

    Should they photoshop pictures? No. Should they approach you in the lobby? No. But had you just taken the upgrade and then approached Marriott (who might have made it right) you get your BP all elevated over something which ultimately is petty. It’s a hotel. Go enjoy Mykonos and not sit in your hotel room.

    These posts come across as a petulant blogger used to being babied.

    1. Miamiorbust

      @Shawn, you are really defending a hotel approaching a guest and arguing with them about whether they are going to say nice things about the place? Hotels take in every imaginable personality type. You might handle check in different than Ben but we all would/should agree that confronting a paying guest is unprofessional. Full stop. If this happened in a different country and a manager took this approach with me, I would have called the...

      @Shawn, you are really defending a hotel approaching a guest and arguing with them about whether they are going to say nice things about the place? Hotels take in every imaginable personality type. You might handle check in different than Ben but we all would/should agree that confronting a paying guest is unprofessional. Full stop. If this happened in a different country and a manager took this approach with me, I would have called the police. Asking a guest to leave if they don’t like the experience is the professional experience. Confronting them and threatening them is wrong. That simple. Taking their money and insulting them - not right. don’t get to have it both ways.

    2. Zip Silver

      I'm a hotel GM in an upper midscale property (think Hampton/Fairfield), and while I've never had a guest interaction go anywhere near what Ben experienced, I have had guests call the police on me for various reasons (generally dumb disputes or I was asking them to leave for various reasons). In every case, I've refunded the guest and the police escorted them off the property and gave them a trespass warning.

      I'm not saying Ben...

      I'm a hotel GM in an upper midscale property (think Hampton/Fairfield), and while I've never had a guest interaction go anywhere near what Ben experienced, I have had guests call the police on me for various reasons (generally dumb disputes or I was asking them to leave for various reasons). In every case, I've refunded the guest and the police escorted them off the property and gave them a trespass warning.

      I'm not saying Ben was out of line at all, I'd reckon he'd have a completely different experience at an American resort, but calling the police never ever works out in the guests favor.

    3. miamiorbust

      I never said US is one of the countries I would call the police. In some cultures the police do not assume that being on your property gives you special rights to abuse people. Inflammatory or antisocial behavior is not protected as a property right in many countries. You should limit your comments to country/state in which you work. Try taking your stance in Thailand when speaking to a public official and let me know how it works out.

    4. Alonzo

      You could have called the cops if you wanted. At the end, you would have been the one exiting the property with your bags looking for a new place to stay. It's their hotel and their property, regardless of the country, you would have lost. They could simply cancel your reservation, say you were trespassing and that would have been the end of it. Unprofessional for sure, but don't underestimate hotels power on domestic or...

      You could have called the cops if you wanted. At the end, you would have been the one exiting the property with your bags looking for a new place to stay. It's their hotel and their property, regardless of the country, you would have lost. They could simply cancel your reservation, say you were trespassing and that would have been the end of it. Unprofessional for sure, but don't underestimate hotels power on domestic or foreign soil. Sometimes it's best to take one on the chin and fight another way.

    5. miamiorbust

      See prior statement, you are taking a US view of the world. Much of the world does not worship property rights over all else. Threatening and antisocial behavior is not protected. Yes, the guest will be leaving but in many cultures and manager may well charged for menacing behavior. This idea that you can treat other people horribly with zero legal considerations seems normal in the US. That is not the case everywhere - Thankfully.

    6. Shawn

      Where in my post did I defend the hotel
      For arguing with him? In fact I said they should not have. With that being said, yes had Ben just taken the upgrade and not been a Karen for complaining the upgrade wasn’t good enough the second incident would not have happened.

      It’s Marriott. Be glad you get an upgrade at all.

    7. TAMRA HANSEN

      @Shawn. I'm really tired of all these Karen comments and this isn't even the same context as those. Why is it when customers stand up for themselves they are the bad guy?...in the hotels or other service provider eyes anyway? If they had decent customer service and competent people in place this wouldn't have been an issue and escalated like this.

    8. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      Remember, he had two nights paid with points and two nights paid with cash. He applied four upgrade certificates and selected a certain category of suites. The hotel gets paid for points and they also get paid when an upgrade certificate is redeemed. This isn't a free stay. But what did the hotel do? They downgraded him only for the two nights he used points because they wanted to sell that suite to someone else.

    9. KEVIN

      It was not an upgrade. It was a downgrade. There is a difference.

    10. reddargon

      It's not an upgrade over his initial room, it's a downgrade. He had a CONFIRMED suite upgrade upon booking, meaning the original room was the suite he booked (not a base room). So he was being downgraded, even with the other suite they offered him.

    11. DCA Will Always Be "National"

      Shawn, you didn't even read the full post/history, did you? And no, it's NOT okay to clearly photoshop out an eyesore that's been present since before the hotel was built and detracts from the atmosphere/ambiance of the pool area. It is blatant misrepresentation of the hotel grounds and could be construed as false advertising. Modified pictures completely modify or influence a person's perception of that hotel and whether or not to stay there. If they're...

      Shawn, you didn't even read the full post/history, did you? And no, it's NOT okay to clearly photoshop out an eyesore that's been present since before the hotel was built and detracts from the atmosphere/ambiance of the pool area. It is blatant misrepresentation of the hotel grounds and could be construed as false advertising. Modified pictures completely modify or influence a person's perception of that hotel and whether or not to stay there. If they're expecting an ideallic poolside experience with unfettered views - as the hotel claims - they'll be in for a rude awakening. Please go back and re-read the article then get back to the front desk at the Aegon.

    12. JayWA7

      Shawn--it's not "karen" to go after properties that don't give you the benefits to which you're entitled. Just because some of you are fine getting screwed doesn't meant the rest of us are.

  144. Hsw25

    Funny enough, I just canceled my (cash) stay for July a couple of days ago. Looks like I made the right decision. It’s pretty ironic after making Lifetime Titanium a couple of years ago I’m actively avoiding Marriott properties these days.

    Also some feedback, Ben: the new look/format of the site is kinda awful.

    1. Andrew

      Most chains are routinely failing at proposed for elite members these days. Hopefully things get restored later this year so that loyalty makes sense. Otherwise AirBNB and Vrbo will have a field day.

  145. Creditcrunch

    Cool heads prevail, I think deescalation is the key here, the whole Tripadvisor episode is frankly unbelievable and unacceptable to be sure.

    1. Sir Walter Raleigh

      Typical brit... tell Mad King George to deescalate these

  146. Antonios Pagkoutsos

    Well done. Unfortunately these things can happen even in Myconos that to my opinion is largely overrated. But if you want to live a better experience less fancy - fortunately it unfortunately - the Cyclades and Greece can offer much better.

  147. ANI

    Looks like the Trip Advisor response by the hotel to your post is now removed! And their response to your "impersonators" still remains! Hilarious

    1. Ben

      @ ANI -- Oh my goodness, that was a quick removal...

    2. alinsfca

      Management team of this hotel is very savvy with TA. I don't remember there were hotel responses to the two reviews posted in front of yours by RP and DS that were written on the same day as yours. Now there are long responses and basically pushed your review down to page 3. In fact, to think of it, I thought these two reviews were after your review yesterday but now they are in front...

      Management team of this hotel is very savvy with TA. I don't remember there were hotel responses to the two reviews posted in front of yours by RP and DS that were written on the same day as yours. Now there are long responses and basically pushed your review down to page 3. In fact, to think of it, I thought these two reviews were after your review yesterday but now they are in front of yours.

      Crazy that they still have a 5.0 rating on TA today. I found that TA is more and more unreliable nowadays.

    3. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      They probably paid some "reputation management" contractor to create a bunch of reviews.

    4. mike

      TA always takes about 24-48 hours to update the summary reviews numbers and rating. Just like it only shows 41 reviews when it fact within the past day there are actually 50+ now… Google Reviews however looks real time and the property appears to take a beating there as well.

    5. KEVIN

      I'm waiting for few days to post a review for them on TA. They can try to post more positive reviews to "drown" out Lucky's but bad reviews will keep dripping onto them via social media/online until they apologize and change their attitude.

  148. MRR

    Not sure it's worth going full out against a hotel over some slights that weren't outright hostile, especially when the tourism industry is still decimated. And blanket labelling a female owner as unhinged comes across as sexist ala the stereotypical "hysterical"

    1. Ben

      @ MRR -- I wouldn't call these "slights." It's one thing if we were just talking about the initial issues, but the hotel keeps digging itself a deeper hole, and is lying to no end.

      And I completely understand how in theory calling a woman "unhinged" could come across as sexist. However, I'm not using that term lightly. In the 15 years that I've frequently been staying in hotels, I've never had a hotel owner...

      @ MRR -- I wouldn't call these "slights." It's one thing if we were just talking about the initial issues, but the hotel keeps digging itself a deeper hole, and is lying to no end.

      And I completely understand how in theory calling a woman "unhinged" could come across as sexist. However, I'm not using that term lightly. In the 15 years that I've frequently been staying in hotels, I've never had a hotel owner address me that way. Ever. I would have called a male owner the same.

    2. Ivan X

      I get that you weren’t *being* sexist in intent when you called her unhinged, and it might have even been an accurately chosen word. However, accurate or not, it’s a word with sexist connotations, so if you want to don’t want that to come across inadvertently, you might choose different phrasing. But it is your blog, I don’t want to tell you how to write; I’m just sharing my reaction.

    3. NYGuy24

      It's not. It's just the woke folks looking for something to scream about.

    4. cahbf

      Oh FFS the woke fragile millennial are checking in. You can call an unhinged woman unhinged. Sit down.

    5. Heretostay

      You do realize that what you refer to as woke fragile millennial comments or feedback is going to be norm right? Millenial and Gen Z make up a higher pop percentage and the majority believe in basic human decency. So get used to it.

    6. Francisco C

      Unhinged was a recent movie starring russell crowe

    7. Efer

      No Ben, it is not sexist. A fact is a fact. Dont let those kind of comments hijack the central point.

    8. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      Ben had two reservations. One for two nights on points. One for two nights with cash. He used four suite upgrade certificates. The certificates confirmed. The hotel then downgraded him for the two nights on points but kept him upgraded for the two nights paid with cash. That's the big issue, besides the fact they are SELLING rooms that do not exist because that section of the hotel is closed.

    9. Sel, D.

      Unhinged isn’t a sexist remark and it accurately describes the situation. Contrary to current beliefs, it’s okay to negatively describe someone other than a straight white male. I do find it rich to see Ben getting called out by his own camp though.

    10. Peter Simon

      Unhinged is a perfectly fine word to use. Every word that implies negativity has been used poorly or badly in some instance. But to make a word off limits to an entire gender seems a bit extreme. If she was acting unhinged, you're allowed to describe her as such.

    11. Meghan

      Female here! Calling someone justifiably unhinged is in no way sexist.

  149. Andy

    I guess there were several issues with your stay, some of which are Bonvoy related, some are related to the management of the property and - frankly - also some to the lack of knowledge about the situation in Europe and Greece in particular. Firstly Bonvoy: It is fairly common that “guarantees” are not honoured, this starts with “guaranteed bed types” and goes to suite upgrades and breakfast benefits. Secondly the issue of management is...

    I guess there were several issues with your stay, some of which are Bonvoy related, some are related to the management of the property and - frankly - also some to the lack of knowledge about the situation in Europe and Greece in particular. Firstly Bonvoy: It is fairly common that “guarantees” are not honoured, this starts with “guaranteed bed types” and goes to suite upgrades and breakfast benefits. Secondly the issue of management is obvious dealing with the allegation of the owner. Finally, you caused some issues by not knowing European laws and customs: You are not allowed to post photos from other websites unless you have a copyright agreement and garbage bins on neighboring lots are out of legal reach.

    1. Miamiorbust

      @Andy, you do realize posting comments like this, particularly to a site loaded with Americans, is bound to blow back in your face. Regardless of whether any of what you wrote is accurate, the standards you are defending are objectively ridiculous and worthy of the mocking they undoubtedly will receive. If the EU commission wants to fine Ben, go for it. That’ll do wonders for international tourism. Whether we like it or not, online we...

      @Andy, you do realize posting comments like this, particularly to a site loaded with Americans, is bound to blow back in your face. Regardless of whether any of what you wrote is accurate, the standards you are defending are objectively ridiculous and worthy of the mocking they undoubtedly will receive. If the EU commission wants to fine Ben, go for it. That’ll do wonders for international tourism. Whether we like it or not, online we all live somewhere between national law and international norms. To hide behind claims of local norms and laws while collecting international tourism dollars just doesn’t fly. Just makes EU look utterly clueless to exactly the people they want to fleece to tourism dollars

    2. bj

      There is no such law in the EU. You are allowed to post anything as long as you properly credit it which Ben did.
      However there is a law against false advertising and misleading the customers.

    3. Andy

      @Miamiorbust, I didn't say anything against Americans ... I only highlighted that the copyright laws in Europe are very restrictive and that there is nothing you (or in this case a hotel) can do, if there are garbage bins on a neighboring lot. Both is factually correct.

    4. Andrew

      We have an armchair lawyer here. In the EU, copyright law is a member state matter. the EU only provides a framework for recognition and enforcement. And there's something called "fair use" that cover these use cases. Copyright doesn't protect against criticism.

    5. Tom H

      I assume you don’t live in the EU or are not familiar with EU law? There is no such legislation. And Ben credited appropriately. Please keep your posts factually aviary even if just opinion

    6. Andy

      I don't live in the EU, but am familiar with their copyright legislation, based on my own experience. My employer also used to use pictures from publicly accessible websites, obviously crediting them appropriately, exactly the same way Ben did. Unfortunately, we then received something called "Abmahnung" from German lawyers, even if the website the pictures had been taken from, was neither owned nor hosted by/in Germany. My employer took some of the cases to (German)...

      I don't live in the EU, but am familiar with their copyright legislation, based on my own experience. My employer also used to use pictures from publicly accessible websites, obviously crediting them appropriately, exactly the same way Ben did. Unfortunately, we then received something called "Abmahnung" from German lawyers, even if the website the pictures had been taken from, was neither owned nor hosted by/in Germany. My employer took some of the cases to (German) courts - and always lost the cases ...

    7. reddargon

      @Andy I think based on very limited knowledge that Germany doesn't have fair use the same way the US does. That being said, the problem with the initial comment is that it tries to say there is some uniform "EU copyright law" when there is not.

      Also, I believe all of this is moot because the photos are on Marriott's website. Marriott is a US company, so I imagine these fall under US copyright law, in which case it is legal to use under the fair use doctrine.

    8. Jay Brown

      Andy, clearly you have no idea what youre talking about. Ben wasnt in Germany. He was in Greece. There is no "pan-EU" copyright law, just a framework.
      Please stop talking about things for which you are ignorant about

  150. FNT-Delta-Diamond

    At what point does Marriott International respond? Yes, it does not own the hotel in question. Yes, it does not manage the hotel in question. But Marriott International licenses the hotel in question and allows it to affiliate with Bonvoy by flying the Autograph Collection flag. As far as I can tell, John Licence oversees this franchise as Vice President of Premium and Select Brands at Marriott International. [email protected]

    1. UA-NYC

      It's Marriott - sweep it under the rug, noise around the edges. What have you seen in the last couple years that suggests Marriott will take the side of "us" (the end consumer)? They have lost control of their properties, are actively downgrading the SNA benefit & don't seem to care.

    2. Peter Simon

      Agree totally... essentially Bonvoy has become Walmart.

  151. FNT-Delta-Diamond

    This hotel is managed by SWOT Hospitality Management Company. https://swot.gr/

    The CEO is Panos Constantinidis and his email is [email protected]

  152. Doublejade

    Yeah fire it up baby. This is the most exciting thing ever happened on all travel blogs since pandemic. We all loved it! Unbearable!

    1. Rk

      We don’t all love it and it is embarrassing. The TripAdvisor activity is horrible and those who contributed should be ashamed of such behavior. That is not the way to resolve problems. Ben went beyond normal response I can’t wait to stay at the hotel and hope all you followers looking for freebies around every corner will cancel, as proclaiming, so I can enjoy a property that is free of cheap Americans looking for compensation angles.

    2. JK

      Guess we found one of those Aegon Mykonos employees guys.

    3. Josh G

      I bet that reads a lot better in the original Greek.

    4. Endre

      Ah, another hotel employee displaying their hatred for guests

  153. Steve

    Don’t worry, their behavior will alienate more customers in the future and will be properly trashed on more review sites. Karma always wins.

  154. Mitch Cumstein

    You're an absolute legend, mate. Keep fighting the good fight.

  155. Mike

    Your posts helped me avoid this hotel because I was about to book it for an upcoming Mykonos stay. Thank you!

  156. ABC

    This is the most exciting thing to happen in travel in a long time we are all hooked

    1. FNT-Delta-Diamond

      It's like a Penthouse letter except with a horrible commenting system and unreadable font

Featured Comments Load all 306 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.

ABC

This is the most exciting thing to happen in travel in a long time we are all hooked

Regis

Keep up the fight Ben. This is site for sophisticated travelers. For us, being given what we were promised matters! Your site's redesign, however, is a failure. The font, the colors, the layout, the commenting section, you managed to get just about everything wrong. The old version was dated and in need of an improvement, but this is definitely not it!

Doublejade

Yeah fire it up baby. This is the most exciting thing ever happened on all travel blogs since pandemic. We all loved it! Unbearable!

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