Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Stardate 59818.04 - Hotel Rant

Here I go, complaining again.

In the past 4 years I have spent a lot of time in hotels. Although my travel schedule has slowed down recently (especially the international travel), I still spend a lot of time going back and forth to McLean for work. I have stayed at everything from the Ritz to Howard Johnson, and many places in-between. Right now, I am at one of those in-between places, the Doubletree. This is a hotel that I have never really been happy with, but they have a corporate rate that is within the per diem for this geographic location ($159).

The Doubletree is pretty mediocre, and I almost put it on my “no-fly zone” because their normal rooms don’t even have closets. They have this odd piece of furniture when you come into the room that is a small built-on closet like piece of furniture that says, “this is a cheap room!” Now, $159 per night is a lot of money to pay, in my opinion, for a mediocre hotel room. But amazingly I have stayed at Hilton’s and Hilton properties (like the Doubletree) so often this past year that I achieved “Gold” status in their club. So just as I was about to stop using the Doubletree, I hit gold and the next time I checked in they put me on the special floor for gold and above members, and the room was so much nicer than their normal rooms! It had a real closet! And a nicer bed! And nicer furniture! So I decided that I’d keep using the hotel.

Now you may find this hard to believe, but I get pretty aggravated if things don’t go smoothly when I’m staying at a hotel. Especially when I have hit their higher level status in their little clubs – if they want my loyalty, they need to keep me happy. The last time I stayed here I had my card key fail on the last day. It just stopped working. And of course it was about 11 PM, and I had my suit on a hanger and my laptop and no hands free and it was incredibly annoying to have to drag everything back down to the front desk to get a new card. Now that may seem a minor inconvenience, and indeed it did not stop me from using the hotel again (on my present trip).

But today they have me a crappy room. Not only did it smell like body odor, but it was on their normal floor. Crappy furniture, crappy bed (I didn’t even get a King like I requested), and no closet. My clothes are hanging out for anyone to see. And I’m too passive-aggressive to go back down and demand a new room once I have checked in (unless the room smells of cigarette smoke…for that I will demand a new room). And I am just staying the one night.

So I have to say, it is no-fly zone time for the Doubletree. Not sure where I’ll go now, as I don’t like the Holiday Inn (only $159 but really, really cheap furniture) and the regular Hilton seems to have a rate that keeps creeping upwards (about $179 these days). The Ritz is my favorite, but it is very hard to get an inexpensive rate there.

There are just so many business travelers that they can charge whatever they want for bad service and still remain fully booked.

Ok, end of rant.

Oh, and do yourself a favor and go buy Jessica's book.

1 comment:

BullBunky said...

Well, how about the insane, spotty wireless coverage in that Doubletree :) (FYI, I still go for the cookies.)