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'Bad Actor at the Hotel': Marriott Customer Warns Guests About a Scam They Think Could Be an Inside Job The alleged victim has all of the communication in writing.

By Amanda Breen Edited by Jessica Thomas

Key Takeaways

  • A guest made a prepaid reservation at a Design Hotels partner of Marriott in Mexican resort town Playa del Carmen.
  • When they called ahead to confirm, they were told it didn't exist — despite a digital trail that allegedly proves otherwise.

One guest's stay at the adult-only Hotel La Semilla, a Design Hotels partner of Marriott located in the Mexican resort town Playa del Carmen, took a turn for the worse before it began when the hotel couldn't find the reservation — that was prepaid.

The guest, a Reddit user with the handle "turtlerush," claims that they got an email from the hotel giving them the option to prepay with PayPal to receive a slightly discounted rate and welcome drink upon arrival, TheStreet reported.

Related: 11 Strategies for More Efficient Business Travel | Entrepreneur

There was no record of that reservation when the guest called to confirm. When they forwarded the email chain with proof of pre-payment to the hotel, the hotel said they were hacked, then stopped responding altogether after multiple follow-ups, according to the user.

Digital travel scams are on the rise. In 2022, there were 65,135 reports of travel-related scams in the U.S., which cost people $105.1 million in losses, according to Fodor's Travel.

More details about the alleged victim's experience came to light when the travel site View From the Wing followed up: "The guest booked a room on Marriott's website. They also made a second reservation at for a lower rate, and emailed the hotel asking them to match the price for their 'book direct' reservation." That's when the guest received the hotel's offer and made the $505.95 pre-payment on PayPal.

Related: This Is What Travel Will Look Like in a Post-Pandemic World

"I'm inclined to believe that there may have been a bad actor at the hotel, possibly even someone at the front desk," the guest wrote on Reddit.

Because the guest has all the communication in writing, they'll likely get their money back, per View From the Wing.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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