January 29th, 2012

Mulder & Scully

Bad hotel service (but with some good at the end)

I went with my folks to Philadelphia this weekend (Thursday to Sunday)--me for a conference, them to have a little mini-vacation. I should've had a feeling things would be a little off, because in the past, this conference has always been at the same hotel chain, and this year it was at a different one.

They had Internet access available in the rooms at a rate of $12.95 for 24 hours. Definitely higher than I've seen anyplace else, and especially so for this particular chain. It would've been worth paying for if the service had been acceptable; unfortunately, it wasn't. It was extremely slow, and most webpages weren't loading properly--some, I couldn't load at all.

This one is minor, but still kind of a bummer: I had a martini at dinner at the restaurant in the hotel last night that was very good, and then went to the bar afterward to have another one of the same cocktail. Maybe it was cause someone different made it, but it was nothing like the one I'd had in the restaurant--it was terrible. For $12, one would hope that it would be a few steps above rubbing alcohol, but...sadly, it was not.

A more significant suck occurred later last night, when I was trying to go to sleep (to get up for today's 8am workshop). There were very loud people in the hallway outside my room--kids running up and down the corridor playing what sounded like tag, and adults talking loudly as well. My father couldn't get to sleep because of the ruckus, and almost called hotel security, but it seemed like someone else did, because we heard someone tell them that they had to "take it inside."

Well, things certainly were calm after that...until the hotel fire alarms went off at 6:00am. This was an extremely loud blaring noise, coupled with a recorded announcement that repeated three times. Then hotel security came on over the P.A. and announced that there was no emergency...and that was repeated three times, too. I mean, not for anything, but we were paying $179 a night to stay there and last night was probably the least restful night I've ever had at a hotel.

The "good" part came today when we were checking out, and the clerk asked how everything was. I explained about the noise, the alarm, and the Internet issues, and as a result, he took half the Internet charges off of the bill. I'm not normally one to speak up about any sort of things like that (I couldn't even tell the bartender that the martini he made me last night was bad), but given the cost of the full bill today, I felt like I had to say something.