Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hotel Trials and Tribulations with EconoLodge and Holiday Inn

I've managed to get through all my more-than-I-care-to-mention years with no real problems with hotels.  I've been in a few that were shabbier than I might have liked, but I never left one until I saw the EconoLodge on Boundary Street in Beaufort, South Carolina.  Ironically, the photos we had seen online were streaming on a small screen in the lobby.  They actually show you the glaring contrast between the online photos and reality. 

I hadn't even reached the room when I was having serious doubts about the cleanliness of the place.  As it turned out the room was dirty, had a serious musty odor, outrageously loud air conditioner, and a slit of daylight that reached at least an inch  under the door.  Vermin could have stood up proudly and walked right in.  With the conditions I had seen outside the room, vermin were a strong possibility.

I will tolerate a lot, but it was either sleep in the car or find another hotel.  We couldn't get a refund, but decided we'd deal with it at a corporate level later.    Corporate response:  We'll let you know within 72 hours.  Seventy-two hours later:  We've turned it over to the place that turned you down for a refund. 

Was that enough abuse?  No.  On the way home we stopped at the Holiday Inn Express on Boydton Plank Road in Petersburg, Virginia.  It was a nice place.  We were happy with it.  However, we arrived home to find a bill for a pillow we've been accused to STEALING from the Holiday Inn!  I don't know if a pillow was missing when we arrived.  Being a bit OCD about symmetry, though, I think I would have noticed an uneven number.  I've never thought to count hotel pillows on arrival.  The only thing I'm sure of is that we don't even take the free toiletries from hotels let alone pillows.

The charge for the pillow is $25.  We stayed at a total of four hotels on this trip.  Not once do I recall thinking, "Wow, these pillows are great!"  In fact, I do recall thinking that hotel pillows kinda suck and I missed my own.  My pillows didn't cost me $25.  Holiday Inn corporate response:  the manager--who has never gotten back to us as mentioned in our email to corporate office--will get back to us. 

Sorry to be whiny, but I had to vent.  Yeah, I know, we need to start staying at better hotels.


  1. Ugh. I hope you at least get the ridiculous pillow situation sorted out. I can't imagine why an sane person would want to keep a pillow from a hotel. Unfortunately, I too have had a similarly terrible experience with a chain hotel with a room so dirty and run-down I wasn't able to sleep more than two hours that night. If the hotel hadn't been in such a seedy-looking area (obviously this feature wasn't mentioned on the hotel's website but the bulletproof Plexiglas in front of the check-in desk was a good hint) I would have gone and sat in the car for the rest of the night. Only a good book helped me get through the night. Make sure you leave an appropriately negative review somewhere like Tripadvisor. It helped me not only vent but also feel like I'd done something to keep others from making the same mistake in booking that dump. Better luck next time!

  2. Oh Baye, I'm so sorry!! Remind me to tell you the horror story of staying at a hotel in New York with Greg, our 3 little kids and my mom and dad! We were there for less than an hour!!