Hotel problems - the good and the bad!

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Strategies' started by Gagravarr, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Gagravarr

    Gagravarr Active Member

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    Tonight, I'm in a hotel near work's main office, which is quite some distance from home (hence the need for a hotel!). It's somewhere I stay moderately often, so I have a good idea of what it ought to be like!

    A couple of weeks ago, I was upgraded to a slightly larger room, but one of the wall lights was broken. In the day, it's a pretty bright room, so I can see how housekeeping might not have noticed. Reported it to reception, who offered to move me to another room or bring up another light (no maintenance at night). I didn't need either, so declined, and was fine with that.

    Today, I've got a different room, with two minor problems - desk light won't turn on, and shower door won't close properly (but you can only see why when you're in the shower, not outside). Reported to reception, who again offered to move me, but by then I'd unpacked + it's not a major issue. As I had two issues today, they comp'd me a nice large drink at the bar to go with dinner :)

    I'm back here in a few weeks, and I'd pretty much bet that if I got one of those two rooms again, everything would be fixed, as it seems like it's somewhere that cares about these issues.

    Last year I got a room elsewhere with no working internet, and a window that didn't close properly in winter! That one I asked to move, but didn't get anything else (but they got a kicking in the post-checkout guest survey....)

    Last year I also had a stay with about 4 different minor things wrong in the room. I suggested they might want to throw me some extra points in their loyalty program, instead they offered me a free night for another time at the same hotel, which I ended up using on a weekend for a mini-break, so not all bad.

    I do sometimes have issues with hotels which don't understand the difference between leisure stays and work-funded stays. For me, on a leisure stay where I'm paying, discounts are good. For me, for a work-funded stay where I've hit minor problems, a free drink (which I might otherwise pay myself) is nice, for more major things I'd probably rather points (since I won't really see much benefit if work gets a discount!).

    How do other people feel about hotels trying to make good on problems? What's your personal threshold for when something stops being a "when you've a minute you might want to fix", and starts being an actual problem worthy of resolution? What do you prefer to get for major problems?
     
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  2. litefoot

    litefoot Active Member

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    If I can't get a good night's sleep, the hotel has failed its function.

    Twice that has happened to me, and twice they both involved air cons that weren't working properly. I had the full cost refunded for each.

    Anything else, I'm not so bothered about.
     
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  3. Ian

    Ian Member

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    I'm with you on the work vs. leisure stays, and have no use for a discount on something I shall be expensing. I once stayed in a hotel where they had not emptied the bathroom bin after the last guest. I won't go into detail, but I suspect SHE might not have been in the best of moods that week! That I was not particularly pleased with, and accepted a number of points as an apology (and insisted the bin was emptied while I had dinner).
     
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  4. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    How I feel depends a lot on the circumstances - minor things don't bother me at all most of the time as I'd rather just get on with enjoying wherever I'm visiting, but if I've spent a lot (of Points or cash) or it's a special occasion and I've let the hotel know that (particularly if I've booked something as a present for other people), I do expect things to be right or made right.

    If there's something that does need sorting, my preference is to always just get whatever the issue is sorted out while I'm there as quickly and hassle/stress free as possible. That normally works fine, and I leave it up to the hotel to offer any compensation or not.

    The exception, as litefoot says, is if you can't sleep or are uncomfortable in the room, or if I feel a senior member of staff has been dishonest. In those circumstances, I normally ask for the Points equivalent of a free night. Given that I get a lot of use/value from Points and rarely pay expensive cash rates, it tends to make the most sense for me.

    The 'best' I can think of was at a Radisson in Brussels where I'd paid for 2 rooms for 2 nights on the 241 cash rate. Brussels tends to be pretty cheap at the weekends, but the hotel Category was quite high. The complaint was entirely fair as there was very loud building work going on in the hotel from the very early morning all day, which hadn't been advertised or warned about on the website. On the first morning I asked when it would stop, was lied to, asked the manager if it was going to be happening the next day (we would have moved hotels) and was lied to again. There were some other service issues too, but I'd probably normally have overlooked them. No attempt at any service recovery at all during the stay. Club Carlson ended up refunding the whole stay for both rooms in Points (nearly 200,000), and I think I only paid about about £50 per room per night, so I suppose it sort of worked out ok. I'd much rather we just had a nice stay though!
     
  5. Gagravarr

    Gagravarr Active Member

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    Ah, the Radisson Blu in Brussels. I've had a refund of a 2 night stay from them after a stay where almost everything went wrong... Slightly annoying as I'd rather have had the points for an equivalent free stay though!
     
  6. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    Yes, it's a shame because I seem to remember the 'bones' of the hotel were fine. I think I ended up using the compensation Points at the Park Plaza Westminster, which I rather like. Sadly since Club Carlson devalued, it rarely makes sense to stay there anymore.
     

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