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Friday, March 02, 2007

Where I Will Never Stay Again

I was in Tucson, AZ, the first part of this week for a work conference. My company insists that all business travel be booked through their online travel system, which usually isn’t a problem. For the AZ trip, I booked a room at the Best Western Las Brisas Hotel, as they are one of the company’s preferred hotels (read: we get a discount). Unfortunately, the information the travel site had wasn’t quite up to date, so I blame both the company and the hotel for the annoyances I had to tolerate.

My plane was about 2 hours late getting in, so I was already tired and grumpy. When I got to the hotel, I found out that, not only did they not have room service (which I live on during business trips), they didn’t even have a restaurant on site. This is where the outdated information comes in to play, because I never book a hotel that doesn’t at least have a restaurant. Turns out they’d been doing some remodeling recently, and their restaurant wasn’t quite done yet. After finding this out, I asked for the menus and phone numbers of some places that would deliver to the hotel. Turns out they don’t keep any of that handy, although they were able to give me the names of two Chinese places and a couple of pizza places that deliver. Neither Chinese place had a menu in the phonebook or online. By the time I’d done all that, it was well past my bedtime on the east coast, so I just ate some crackers I had with me and went to bed. The next night, though, I ordered pizza from Papa John’s (and was fed very well for breakfast and lunch at the company site).

The food thing was bad enough, but there were a lot of little annoyances that bothered me. And they probably wouldn’t have so much, if I weren’t already annoyed about the food thing. Gotta love those vicious circles... The only accessible power outlet was in the bathroom. Not exactly close enough to the bed to plug my laptop in, so I ended up having to pull the bed away from the wall to get to the plug behind it. There was no desk or table to sit at while working. Of the 10 available channels, I could actually see 5 of them well enough to be entertained. The ironing board didn’t open all the way. Again, just little annoyances.

The kicker was Tuesday afternoon, when I got back to the hotel from my meeting. I always put my “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door when I’m on business trips. Sometimes I have messages from housekeeping telling me they couldn’t change the towels because I had the sign up. That’s fine, it’s there to keep housekeeping out. And yet, on Tuesday, that’s not what happened. I walked into my room to discover that housekeeping had come in, done their thing, and MOVED MY PERSONAL BELONGINGS. I find that very annoying. I called the front desk to tell them what had happened, and to politely express my displeasure. The guy I spoke to acted like it was no big deal, and told me that since a lot of flight crew stay in that building – and apparently forget to take the DND sign off the door - the housekeeping policy is to just go on in anyway, assuming it’s a crew member’s room. I informed him that: A) I thought that was a stupid policy; B) housekeeping should be informed as to which rooms are being used by paying guests; and C) as soon as they saw my belongings, they should have immediately turned around and left. He told me again that it was really no big deal, and besides, now I had fresh towels for the next morning. Sooooo the wrong thing to say. Prior to leaving the next morning, I filed a complaint with the hotel manager about both the housekeeping incident and the desk employee. I’ve also filed a complaint with their corporate office, and sent a message through the company travel site informing them that they needed to update their information. Never mind that scorned crap; Hell hath no fury like a hungry woman with low blood sugar who has to move furniture to get to power outlets, can’t watch the shows she likes because the channels aren’t available, and finds out that strangers have been messing with her stuff...

3 comments:

Marie said...

Oh man. If housekeeping always ignores the Do Not Disturb sign, I can't imagine the situations they have walked in on. I can't believe they touched your stuff. I would have been furious!!!!

John said...

That's why I didn't hear from you much during the trip...sorry it was so frustrating...and now a cold to boot...ugh...

Sam K said...

Luckily, the staff at the hotel where I'm staying right now obeys the DND sign.