From the “Holy Shit I Haven’t Even Packed Yet” and the “There Goes My Hopes of Traveling Carry-On Only” department comes Louisa Edwards’ account of pre-conference mishigas at the San Fran Marriott. Honestly, this does not bode well.
So, looking for alternate accommodations that are walking distance from the hotel? Good luck with that. There’s the Four Seasons across the street but if you’re not familiar with the Fo-Sea, every one of those seasons is damn hell holy shit outta your budget expensive. Same with the St. Regis.
If you’re feeling the first stirrings of a need to make backup reservations, there is a Hilton (which is great if you have points, which I do not) and there’s a few other major player hotels a few blocks from the Marriott. There’s also a feature on hotels.com that will allow you to search for hotels using the Moscone center as your home point – which is next door to the Marriott.
Are you already at the Marriott and having a hell of a time? There’s a comment form on the Marriott website, but my best advice to you is to Document Everything. Every thing that goes wrong, every time you see something beyond the pale in terms of service crap badness, WRITE IT DOWN. Name names. The people who do things excellently right? Name them. The people who don’t? Name them, too. Then, send a letter (not an email, a letter) to every person whose name and address you can find in control of the Marriott Corporation. If I have an experience equal to Ms. Edwards’, you can bet I’ll be posting mailing addresses and contact info here. Start with the general manager of the San Francisco hotel, and CC as many people as you can. Document everything that went wrong (if anything did – I’m not usually such a glass-half-full-of-crap person but the initial account is alarming). Because let me be honest with you: RWA’s conference committee spends a buttload of time researching these hotels, and to my understanding the hotels court the conference like broke Regency heroes court rich ingénues. If you’re like me, this is a big chunka what-what out of your budget, and if the hotel isn’t up to snuff, complain. Capital-C Complain.
Note: this is not a diss against RWA. Y’all know I am a fan of the RWA. RWA, you, me, and the rest of us conference folks deserve better than a hotel that isn’t getting the job done in terms of service. So if your conference experience doesn’t get better from the account that’s been linked to, take note. Take copious notes. And complain. Tourism in the US is at a record low. The use of the word “staycation” is in every major publication because people just plain cannot afford travel this year. So? Any hotel and every hotel should be actively courting business, and any problems should be addressed promptly. If that is not your experience, take notes.
(But try not to cross the line in to douchebaggery. Please. As someone who used to work the front desk of a hotel, there’s stating your problems reasonably, and there’s abusive yelling. Please try to stay on the reasonable line, even if the problem isn’t reasonable.)