Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Mismanagement of the Buffalo Marriott Niagara on Millersport Highway

The general manager of the Buffalo Marriott (the one on Millersport Highway near SUNY Buffalo's Amherst campus) needs to go to hotel school or something because he is running a wreck.

Here are the facts:

1) His front desk staff quoted my family and I $140 (per room, per night) but charged us $180 without verifying the charge. Worse, they did this on a LATE NIGHT check-in. I did not discover the over-bill until it was too late. I cannot prove that the hotel regularly takes advantage of weary travelers but it certainly did in this case.
2) The manager's staff did not advise us that the hotel was doing construction on our floor or that the hot tub was out of order. They also promised to send around a luggage cart but never did, forcing me to walk through the construction zone to retrieve it myself.
3) Two huge spiders and webs awaited us at the exit door upon our departure at 11 am the next morning. I have spent maybe 1,000 nights in hotels during my lifetime and do not recall seeing any spiders, even in cheap-o hunting lodges much less ones charging almost 2 bills a night in backwater Buffalo!
4) The room appearance and smell, TV, bathroom etc. were no better than $100/night hotels and my room was considerably noisier than most, perhaps due to the undisclosed construction activity.
5) When I called the GM to advise him of the dreadful experience we had, he:
a) got back to me some 24 hours later without researching my complaints;
b) acted very defensively and twisted everything I said;
c) refused to offer ANY compensation for our troubles.

Facts 1-3 could have been a string of bad luck, as the GM weakly claimed, but there is no excuse for 5 and I suspect 1-3 would not have occurred under better management. 4 is simply the state of the hotel and should be sufficient to prevent any but the most desperate souls from staying at the Buffalo Marriott Niagara on Millersport Highway in Amherst, NY (near SUNY Buffalo), even if management improves.

And one last thing: the website describes the hotel as "minutes away" from Niagara Falls but that is disingenuous as it suggests that most people would measure the time in minutes (say, 5 or 10) instead of fractions of an hour (half to three quarters depending on traffic unless you want to risk a speeding ticket on Grand Island).

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