No mention that room had stairs

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May 3, 2020
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My family and I stayed at the Steamboat Springs Sheraton in February. While I do not need an ADA accessible room, I do have a lot of trouble climbing stairs. I made a reservation for a suite on the Marriott website. There was no mention of any stairs on the room description. Yet, when we arrived we found that the bedrooms were located up a flight of steep stairs. The hotel could not make any alternative arrangements for us. I had to sleep downstairs on a sofa for the entire time. I contacted Marriott and received a brief note from the general manager of the hotel who said he wanted to speak about the experience. I have been unable to get in touch with him. I certainly understand that the pandemic has created a lag in communications.

However, I recently received an e-mail from a "guest experience assistant" who said that as a "gesture of good will" she would deposit a nominal amount of points in my account. I believe a "gesture of good will" should be reserved for making up for an unforeseen mishap like a problem with the heating. An accurate room description would have prevented this issue. Further, the "guest experience assistant" said Marriott would "grow" from this "one-time experience." I checked the website and the room description still has no mention of stairs. I understand that this situation has slowed everything down. However, I do not appreciate insincerity.
 

Neil Maley

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The site says the sofa is a sofa bed. Was that the case since the room apparently sleeps four people?

If you aren’t happy with their offer, tell them what you want but keep in mind it won’t be a free stay because you did stay the entire time and had a sofa bed.

But you are right- their room description says nothing about stairs and I would not have expected stairs either- it was a but deceptive.
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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I have stayed in rooms with interior stairs, such as the Sheraton Pasadena (entrance and bath at top of stairs, room down below), and the Las Vegas Venetian (two steps down from sleeping area to living room area.) At the Venetian, there's a light permanently on to illuminate the stairs. To someone with no mobility problems at all, these stairs are annoyances and safety hazards when you get up in the middle of the night. To folks with mobility problems, you need to know in advance what the issues are.
 

jsn55

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The population is aging and that needs to be taken into consideration everywhere. Steps in a hotel room, bathtubs that are 8" too high, yellow print on white paper, instructions that are in 2pt type, and my all-time fave: medium blue print on pale grey background .... it's just ignorance. People need to start thinking and educating their employees. The steps in the Marriott room should have been disclosed and the other examples need to be addressed. Even companies who cater to older folks are guilty of producing information that is unreadable and items that are unusable. On the opposite side, everything is so loud now that someone with a slight hearing loss is unable to decipher words in the ambient noise around him. It's disheartening that a Marriott so-called guest-care professional can't be bothered to read a complaint and respond appropriately. I think I'd post your story on social media.
 
May 30, 2019
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If you hadn't inquired about the room and made the hotel aware of your abilities or lack thereof in advance or while making the reservation, the hotel does not have an obligation beyond providing the type of room you requested. Noting that, the hotel not offering the support you need when you arrived lacks goodwill. On the other hand, it would be hard to accommodate you after arrival if you stayed at the hotel during a peak period when it may have been sold out.

If you remained at the hotel for the entirety of the reservation, then you received the services of the hotel and the hotel made good on the reservation requested. In other words, no refund would be due.

Just curious, as based on the layouts on this site ...
... all room types appear to be on the same level.
Specifically, what type of room was it?

Making other people aware of the issue regarding inclusion of stairs in room on social media would be appropriate, however if you get nasty the hotel chain could get nasty in return (revoke points, remove you from program, etc.) Stupid approach on their part? Yes. Possible? Yes.
 
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Barry Graham

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For me rooms with stairs are quaint. Unless you specifically told them in advance that stairs were an issue, they might have thought they were giving you a nice surprise rather than the nasty one it turned out to be. I agree they should say in the description that there are stairs. If you don't get a good response please use the link above to find our company contacts for Marriott, and write to them using our instructions in the list.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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Unless a room is specified as ADA - or, with a description of features included in the room for those with disabilities, I don't expect to see this type of description.

When I had injured my back years ago just before an overseas trip, I checked with each accommodation re: steps or stairs and found one of the hotels had to be changed as it had a lot of steps to enter the hotel.

It definitely would be better for the hotel to provide a full description and provide photos as well. It doesn't take much of anything for the hotels to provide that detail.

In future, you might want to confirm when booking accommodations that there are no obstacles you might encounter that would make your stay less than satisfactory.

I didn't see a "suite" on the hotel website, just rooms and villas. I presume the OP stayed in one of the villas?
 
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jsn55

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Unless a room is specified as ADA - or, with a description of features included in the room for those with disabilities, I don't expect to see this type of description.

When I had injured my back years ago just before an overseas trip, I checked with each accommodation re: steps or stairs and found one of the hotels had to be changed as it had a lot of steps to enter the hotel.

It definitely would be better for the hotel to provide a full description and provide photos as well. It doesn't take much of anything for the hotels to provide that detail.

In future, you might want to confirm when booking accommodations that there are no obstacles you might encounter that would make your stay less than satisfactory.

I didn't see a "suite" on the hotel website, just rooms and villas. I presume the OP stayed in one of the villas?
Ah, a "villa". Anything out of an ordinary hotel room needs to be investigated if you have special requirements. While it would be great if the hotel described the accommodation, I wouldn't expect it. I would have read TripAdvisor reviews and called the hotel to get the particulars.
 
Sep 27, 2018
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The population is aging and that needs to be taken into consideration everywhere. Steps in a hotel room, bathtubs that are 8" too high, yellow print on white paper, instructions that are in 2pt type, and my all-time fave: medium blue print on pale grey background .... it's just ignorance. People need to start thinking and educating their employees. The steps in the Marriott room should have been disclosed and the other examples need to be addressed. Even companies who cater to older folks are guilty of producing information that is unreadable and items that are unusable. On the opposite side, everything is so loud now that someone with a slight hearing loss is unable to decipher words in the ambient noise around him. It's disheartening that a Marriott so-called guest-care professional can't be bothered to read a complaint and respond appropriately. I think I'd post your story on social media.
The "improvement" I despise particularly in newer properties is in the name of greenness is the glow worm led lights installed in the rooms. Cant even read a newspaper or shave in the bathroom without maiming yourself. On roadtrips I'm ready to pack a desklight.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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The "improvement" I despise particularly in newer properties is in the name of greenness is the glow worm led lights installed in the rooms. Cant even read a newspaper or shave in the bathroom without maiming yourself. On roadtrips I'm ready to pack a desklight.
I so agree. I've been pitching fits in hotels for years. If the cooperation seems a little stuck, I just glare at them and say "I realize that most people watch TV and don't read ... ". To me that's insulting, to a hotel person it's enlightening and they finally get it.
 
Sep 18, 2014
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I so agree. I've been pitching fits in hotels for years. If the cooperation seems a little stuck, I just glare at them and say "I realize that most people watch TV and don't read ... ". To me that's insulting, to a hotel person it's enlightening and they finally get it.
My husband has been griping about this for years.

When we travel, we stay mostly in mid-priced properties (Comfort Hotels/Suites, La Quinta, etc.). He swears we need to bring our own set of light bulbs along, because the lamps never seem to have anything brighter than 25-watt bulbs in them. We can turn on every light in the room and it's still dim.
 
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Aug 29, 2015
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Tell them what you think is appropriate.
I've stayed in a lot of hotels, and a lot of suites over the years. I've only had one that had stairs, and that one was disclosed up front. Not to disclose stairs, and not to offer a substitute without them seems crazy.

These days, I end up reserving ADA accessible rooms regularly due to my own mobility issue. When I reserved one that included a roll in shower, but the seat wasn't in the shower, I demanded compensation, and they credited me back half of my stay. In that instance, they agreed that the shower seat was supposed to be in the shower, and they had neglected to get it installed after a refurbishment, but had opened the room prematurely. Apparently the fold down shower seat was back-ordered and due in about a month after my stay.
 

Neil Maley

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Tell them what you think is appropriate.
I've stayed in a lot of hotels, and a lot of suites over the years. I've only had one that had stairs, and that one was disclosed up front. Not to disclose stairs, and not to offer a substitute without them seems crazy.

These days, I end up reserving ADA accessible rooms regularly due to my own mobility issue. When I reserved one that included a roll in shower, but the seat wasn't in the shower, I demanded compensation, and they credited me back half of my stay. In that instance, they agreed that the shower seat was supposed to be in the shower, and they had neglected to get it installed after a refurbishment, but had opened the room prematurely. Apparently the fold down shower seat was back-ordered and due in about a month after my stay.
I think that is key if you have a mobility issue. It doesn’t mean you have to be in a wheelchair- many people can’t lift their legs over a tub anymore. I hope our OP will seek that type of hotel room going forward. But this is a good post for others to learn from- never assume. Call the hotel and ask.
 

Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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Unless a room is specified as ADA - or, with a description of features included in the room for those with disabilities, I don't expect to see this type of description.

When I had injured my back years ago just before an overseas trip, I checked with each accommodation re: steps or stairs and found one of the hotels had to be changed as it had a lot of steps to enter the hotel.

It definitely would be better for the hotel to provide a full description and provide photos as well. It doesn't take much of anything for the hotels to provide that detail.

In future, you might want to confirm when booking accommodations that there are no obstacles you might encounter that would make your stay less than satisfactory.

I didn't see a "suite" on the hotel website, just rooms and villas. I presume the OP stayed in one of the villas?
If that's the case, then my opinion of the OP's case changes. I would NOT expect a suite (which implies, to me, connected rooms, ala "Master suite") to have stairs or more than maybe 1 platform step. BUT, a "Villa" I would expect to be an upstairs/downstairs situation.
 
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Apr 1, 2019
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As a hotel manager and a hotel management company I think the properties offer was fair. I would have done the same. If a hotel lists absolutely everything about a room and it's property in a popup or window on a reservation-- the hotel will be told, "I didn't see your cancellation policy because I had to read five paragraphs about the steps and bed size." It becomes clutter in the middle and causes more than it achieves.

I also do not know why this is deceptive. I am not told when making reservations that a room doesn't have steps, or not often.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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As a hotel manager and a hotel management company I think the properties offer was fair. I would have done the same. If a hotel lists absolutely everything about a room and it's property in a popup or window on a reservation-- the hotel will be told, "I didn't see your cancellation policy because I had to read five paragraphs about the steps and bed size." It becomes clutter in the middle and causes more than it achieves.

I also do not know why this is deceptive. I am not told when making reservations that a room doesn't have steps, or not often.
Thank you for the input, but a listing of all the amenities can be posted on a separate link on the hotel's website. It depends on the type of hotel, I'm sure. I don't see much detailed room descriptions on the Best Western site, for example. This is information I always want to know before booking. I've been a Hilton & IHG person for years and Hilton does a great job with the details. IHG not so much. Our OP's situation didn't involve something minor; stairs in a hotel room happen to be something completely out of the ordinary.
 
Apr 1, 2019
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Thank you for the input, but a listing of all the amenities can be posted on a separate link on the hotel's website. It depends on the type of hotel, I'm sure. I don't see much detailed room descriptions on the Best Western site, for example. This is information I always want to know before booking. I've been a Hilton & IHG person for years and Hilton does a great job with the details. IHG not so much. Our OP's situation didn't involve something minor; stairs in a hotel room happen to be something completely out of the ordinary.
I respect your opinion. I still feel that the OP has received a satisfactory solution. If this hotel receives more than 7-8 sincere complaints per year about this that are not able to be resolved during a guests stay then it could probably be listed on the GDS and info screens that would be seen online.

We would never want a guest to be unhappy. If one brought a complaint to us we would assess it and make a reasonable good will gesture. If that wa not acceptable to the guest it would come back to the hotel and the executive committee. As a committee, from Engineering to Housekeeping, to the General Manager we would discuss it and contact the guest again with our final decision. It is complaints like this that "sometimes" get blown way out of proportion that make me just rubber stamp things NO sometimes. I am not saying this is always the correct thing but after hearing about the steps, the lighting, the bed height, the room color, the linen choice, etc, when a complaint that deserves a empathetic ear , it doesn't always get the attention it deserves.

So, I think the OP takes the points and maybe asks that the same number of points be donated to a charity.
 

Neil Maley

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Thank you for your insight into this- we always need to hear from all sides and hearing from someone in the industry is important.

The other issue that our OP never addressed was that the room had a sofa bed- which changed my vision of “sleeping on the couch”. In my head I saw an unacceptable sleeping situation. And then read the room description which made me look at it a little differently.

This is a good post for anyone who has any type of mobility issue to ensure they call a hotel and ask about any impediments in a room or to ensure they book an accessible room.
 
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jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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Thank you for your insight into this- we always need to hear from all sides and hearing from someone in the industry is important.

The other issue that our OP never addressed was that the room had a sofa bed- which changed my vision of “sleeping on the couch”. In my head I saw an unacceptable sleeping situation. And then read the room description which made me look at it a little differently.

This is a good post for anyone who has any type of mobility issue to ensure they call a hotel and ask about any impediments in a room or to ensure they book an accessible room.
This is EXACTLY the point we need to get across, Neil. If I had a disability that made it difficult to use stairs, I'd never rely on a website or booklet for information, I'd call the hotel.