Submitted on 18-07-2016
Arriving at the hotel after a horrendous fight with construction traffic, we were tired and confused. How to deal with the parking is not well marked (By the way, we speak French). The outside attendant, however, was very nice and helpful. He turned out to be the only member of staff during our 3 night stay who was, however. At check-in (and this is important to anyone who books through a 3rd party, including Tripadvisor) the staff was curt. There were 3 staff behind the desk. I was the only...
Arriving at the hotel after a horrendous fight with construction traffic, we were tired and confused. How to deal with the parking is not well marked (By the way, we speak French). The outside attendant, however, was very nice and helpful. He turned out to be the only member of staff during our 3 night stay who was, however. At check-in (and this is important to anyone who books through a 3rd party, including Tripadvisor) the staff was curt. There were 3 staff behind the desk. I was the only person checking in. They looked at me like I had three heads, and finally, one of them said "yes"? as though there could be any other reason for me standing with my son and luggage than checking in. Both of the others just looked sour. I had booked through Expedia, and I guess I did not check it carefully, because the first adult on the reservation was my husband, who had to cancel at the last minute for work. We have the same last name, share an account (and the credit card used) and this has never been a problem before. BUT it seemed to be one for this staff member. She frowned and asked for my husband "it is in his name". I said, yes, but mine, too, and took out my credit card and driver's license. "Can you call him to authorize you? in a bored unfriendly voice. I brought the reservation up on my phone to show her (prepaid, all the names etc.). She sighed, and said "I guess I can do it". This has NEVER happened to me before, with or without my husband. I do all the travel arrangements, and often the first name is his. I have checked in while he waits many times under these circumstances (he's shy) and no one has ever thought anything about it. I was perplexed, and tired (a 6.5 hour drive from Boston had turned into a 10.5 hour ordeal) and my son was extremely hungry, so we really needed to get into our PAID FOR room. The woman then asks me if I am an HHonors member (which, both my husband and I are) so she looks it up and finds me. (The last Hilton G. Inn I stayed in, in NYC, no less, was wonderful, friendly staff, gave me extra HHonors perks, and a superior room. Which was also booked on a travel site, I might add). Then she says "well, if you didn't want any problems, you should not have used a 3rd party website to book, and I can't give you HHonors points for this stay because you did that." What? Ok, maybe Hilton has change its policy, or maybe it is different in Canada (doubt it) or maybe the NYC people were just actually HOSPITALITY professionals, but why bother to look me up if you are just going to reprimand me for not booking directly? And what business is it of hers, especially to tell me that I "shouldn't " have done something. I was nice and polite, and I am not in the "hospitality" business, as her name tag suggested she was. It was weird. She sighs again and gives me a room key, and when I ask for the wi-fi password (advertised as free) she says "I put it on your phone when I looked at your husband's reservation". Ok. I just needed to get my son to a room, so I thanked her (for what?).
Then the room. I open the door, and am immediately hit by a strong chemical smell. Not cleaning smell, but something like epoxy. My son goes to the window to see that we are facing the garbage, the steam from the laundry, and several other buildings. There is one window, small, which does not open, so I tell my son to into the hallway, and not to touch anything, (so he doesn't get sick, or dizzy--no kidding, it was very strong, and I knew there was no way we could stay in this room for 15 minutes, let alone 3 days. Even without the smell, it was not really a good room, and the hotel was far from sold out. I don't like to think she was "teaching me a lesson" about daring to book with a 3rd party, but the tiny room with gloomy view outside the one window alone suggested something. I called down and I don't know if it was the woman who was so unfriendly at the desk or one of her colleagues, but the first thing she said when I told her about the epoxy smell was "Did you touch anything, or turn anything on?" Again WHAT? Even if I had, what could I possibly have touched in their hotel to cause this smell? I said, no, I'm sorry, but my son and I can't stay in this room, in fact, it would probably be good if you guys got someone up here to check it out, because it is very strong, and I am starting to feel dizzy, so I don't think you want to have any guests in here". I was extremely polite, apologized for the inconvenience (even though it was not my fault). She just said "we will change you. Stay there". and hung up. no apologies, just blame. No mention of how long it would be. Nothing. Fortunately, the young man from outside was the one who came up with our new keys, and took us to another room. This was not an upgrade (which many hotels would do, in this situation) but it was a room that did not smell, and it was larger, had 2 windows, and faced the street (still on a low floor, but fine. I was just glad to be able to put our stuff down and use the bathroom. I thanked the young man and tipped him generously. I did not know at that time that he would be the only person working in that place who was friendly at all.
This review is already too long, but to summarize the rest of our stay, I went down to the restaurant to get a burger and a salad (thinking it would be better than seeing what their idea of "room service" would be) He finally came over--only on party seated, and one more person at the bar, but it still took him 10 minutes to come over. I ordered the food and a drink while I was waiting. The food took 45 minutes. And the bartender let it sit in the window for another 5. Crazy. I had waited for the shift change at the front to ask about parking and the wi-fi again (as it was spotty) and they were just as unhelpful as the first group. There is a nice pool and spa area, but threatening signs about pool towels, and how "you won't get any more". Though the new room was fine, and as described and photographed for their website, my son and I felt extremely uncomfortable for our entire stay. With one exception, the staff were awful. And I am not a super demanding customer. I expect a 3 star place to be a 3 star (not 4). I would even have stayed in the first, tiny room (that felt like a punishment) if it had not been for the smell. I tipped, I was polite. But I was treated like an errant child by the desk staff, and the word "Hospitality" does not seem to be in this property's lexicon. I know others have had better experiences, and I can't imagine that all of them had good experiences because they knew not to "book with a 3rd party website". I would not stay here again, and I would not recommend it. The only reason I gave it a 3 is because of the one nice (actually, simply appropriate for a hotel employee) and the fact that the pool really does have a nice view. Honestly, though 3 days of curt disinterest is enough. I wonder what Hilton would think of this experience.