We stayed at a hotel that was so far off brand that we checked out before our luggage arrived from the bell staff. Without cheating, can you identify this bad hotel room’s brand?
The hotel itself might have been acceptable if the price point had been lower, or the brand had been different than the one we expected to find, but it was so bad that we just left. First things first, I am a top-tier elite with this chain holding more than a million points in my account currently, and have re-qualified for status with the brand before the end of April.
The “upgrade” was to an ADA room with an ocean view walk-out. Perhaps this was an upgrade for someone with status, and perhaps it wasn’t. Personally, I don’t consider a room with a view to be a status upgrade because though it may be better than staring at the parking lot, anyone that complains or requests it will get one. Plus it’s more or less luck of the draw. If you were to arrive early in the day perhaps you get a room with a view, versely arriving last could give you the room they have been holding back all day.
Here’s the view, and yes, it is the best part.
4PM Checkin Denied
You’ve heard of the 4PM late checkout being denied right? How about a 4PM checkin? At this particular property, checkout is 11AM and checkin is 3PM for any guest. We arrived at 4:40PM and were told the room was not yet ready. The property offered us a very generous allowance at the hotel restaurant and apologized. The front desk agent took my cell phone number and said she would call me as soon as it was ready which should be any minute. Fair enough.
Over an hour later, we still hadn’t received the call and I thought that it was worth returning to the front desk to make sure that they hadn’t forgotten about us. They had, and once I was checked in to the room I received a text stating my room was ready. The time was 5:55PM.
The room was about as plain Jane as it gets.
Avoidable Issues Go Unavoided
I spoke with my brother who used to work in the hospitality business and defended the property first stating, “It’s Key West” meaning that allowances should be made. He used to say the same thing for places like New York City where rooms are very small, rates are still high, and service can be hit or miss. But service wasn’t the issue at this property. While island time might have had a little bit to do with our late checkin, others weren’t having the same problem so it’s hard to suggest that the issue was widespread. I don’t expect the rooms to be different sizes or shapes, but that’s not really an avoidable or easily corrected issue.
The wall-mounted 32″ TV seemed really small and upgrading those are really inexpensive even for larger properties. There was no desk in the room either, and while I understand the property is in a resort destination, they had the space to offer one and again, it’s a cheap and easy thing to do.
But perhaps the most egregious is the below. Check out this little chair. Stained and tired, I wouldn’t want to site there anyway. But the pillow you see has been attached by elastic string to the couch so it isn’t removed from its place. I am 100% certain that this is an adaptation by the property and it’s pretty insulting to guard against the theft of a pillow from your customers.
Given that the housekeeping staff had seven hours to clean the room, it should have been impeccable, but as you might have guessed, it wasn’t. In fact, we aren’t entirely sure it was cleaned at all aside from the bed being made. Here are some highlights:
Who Could It Be?
For the avoidance of doubt, googling what this property could be isn’t fun for anyone. It’s not even that the property looks like the brand, it’s that it’s so out of character for the brand you wouldn’t believe it. I’ve given you some hints, let’s review before the final question:
- It’s in Key West, FL
- It’s a brand from a major chain (Wyndam, Best Western, IHG, Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, Marriott, etc.)
- Check out is at 11, checkin is at 3PM
- I am so shocked to find the hotel like this that we checked out before our things arrived from the bell staff.
What’s your best guess? What brand was this property?