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No One Had Ever Heard of My Hotel — Reader Mistake Story

June 03, 2019
4 min read
No One Had Ever Heard of My Hotel — Reader Mistake Story
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Today, I want to share a story from TPG reader Tania, who got an unwelcome surprise upon arrival in Hawaii:

I’m a fan of using apps to book any and everything, especially hotel reservations. In May of 2015, I used Marriott’s iPhone app to find a hotel for the trip my boyfriend and I were taking to Maui. The app showcased a few properties and I picked one that best fit our travel needs. The next month we set off, and after landing and claiming our checked luggage, we excitedly went to the taxi stand and asked the driver to take us to our hotel. There was just one problem: the driver never heard of it!

He asked other drivers nearby, and they too had never heard of the hotel. Totally confused as to why an airport full of taxi drivers were unfamiliar with a Marriott hotel on an island, I proceeded to call the hotel directly. It turns out the hotel wasn't on Maui at all; my reservation was for a hotel on another island, but the Marriott app showed it in the wrong location as if it were an option! Horror set in, as all the Marriotts in Maui were sold out.

Fortunately, the Wailea Beach Resort spared a room even though they were sold out, and they saved the day. I spoke to several representatives from Marriott, who committed to fixing the proximity issues on the app so it wouldn’t happen again to another traveler. Since that experience, I have never used a hotel’s app to make a hotel reservation — it's the trusty old desktop version for me.

Hotel apps are handy for browsing nearby properties and monitoring your accounts, and can help with tasks like checking in, selecting your room or even unlocking your door, but I don't think they're ideal for deciding where to stay. You can tell a lot about a hotel from pictures, but apps tend to be light on details about the surrounding area — they might not mention that a hotel sits on a busy street or is far from public transportation, for example. Before you book, I recommend you check out the neighborhood on Google Maps and read a few reviews to paint a more complete picture of where you might be staying.

Reading up on your hotel can also help you avoid experiences like Tania's. I haven't encountered similar complaints about the Marriott app, but I've heard other stories of guests arriving to discover their hotel isn't where they thought it was, is undergoing massive renovations, has changed ownership (so elite benefits won't be honored), or has closed its doors entirely. Even if the hotel is operating as expected, a little research can spare you from your own mistakes (like mixing up one hotel with another or forgetting to check local events). I don't think you need to swear off hotel apps; just make sure to do your homework before you book.

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Related: Which Hotel Programs Offer Guaranteed Availability Benefits?

I appreciate this story, and I hope it can help other readers avoid making the same mistake. In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending Tania a $200 airline gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I'd like to do the same for you. Please email your own travel mistake stories to info@thepointsguy.com, and put "Reader Mistake Story" in the subject line. Tell us how things went wrong, and (where applicable) how you made them right. Offer any wisdom you gained from the experience, and explain what the rest of us can do to avoid the same pitfalls.

Feel free to also submit your best travel success stories. If your story is published in either case, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can't respond to each story individually, but we'll be in touch if yours is selected. I look forward to hearing from you, and until then, I wish you a safe and mistake-free journey!

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Wailea Beach Resort)

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
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  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023