Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber spends a lot of her time on the road less traveled. From street markets in Venice, Italy to great BBQ in Lockhart, TX Felber shares her special destinations with you.

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Manager at Westin Downtown Austin Goes Too Far

Summer is here! If you travel as much as we do you can see more families in the airports and hotel lobbies, and this seems like the perfect time for us to talk about how different hotels treat their guests, and what a hotel staff can do to create a memorable experience for their guests.

We are so fortunate to be able to stay at the Hammocks Communities when we travel as often as possible to the Finger Lakes region of New York. When we stay at one of the larger brands, our loyalty has been changing on who is our first choice, especially after an experience that my niece had Memorial Day weekend.

We wrote about the experience a group of young professional women had at the Westin Downtown Austin on our Lifestylist Advisory page, and I'm still really disappointed that Marriott International (who purchased the Starwood group) chose to ignore our requests for information on this incident, and in fact gave the manager who caused the issue our information. The more he writes things that are blatently not true, the more upset we get.

I love watching Below Deck on Bravo because I appreciate their attitudes (usually) towards their guests, and we live vicariously watching others experience their top shelf service. Words can be the biggest diffuser of a situation, or can work like pouring gasoline on dry wood.

Accusing a guest of something - especially before you have facts will never end well, and will quickly eat away at any loyalty the customer may have had to your brand. Embarrassing a guest in front of her friendswill create a story that will be told over and over, and people will remember the ridiculous actions of a manager over and good things the hotel may have done. This includes sending a bottle of "champagne" to a guests room that you have accused in front of other guests of using a fake ID and never acknowledging in fact it was a legal form of ID.

We used to love staying at some of the bigger brands because they offered conistency no matter where we stayed, unfortunately that sense of security no longer seems to be the case.

We would love to hear about what hotel brands have given you the best customer experiences, especially if they are a smaller brand that we don't hear about all of the time. We just know that this Westin will be one that we avoid unless changes are made.