Lisa 🐝 Gallagher en Bee Stories In English, Lifestyle, beBee in English Brand Ambassador • beBee 5/10/2016 · 4 min de lectura · 3,4K

Sub-Standard Hotel Room- Should Hotels Hire Under Cover "Guests"?


We just returned from Ironman Augusta Georgia last week which my son competed in. I want to use my bragging rights first and say, he rocked the race. My son placed in the top 13% overall. Now onto our hotel at the Hampton Inn, I have been hesitant about writing another blog about our hotel experience in particular. I decided tonight that I would share our experience in more detail. 

I am a Hilton Rewards Member and Marriott Rewards Member and with that said, I try to always book a room at a Hilton property or Marriott Property. Being a rewards member means you can accumulate points fairly fast if you travel a lot. Both Hilton and Marriott Brand hotels offer bonus rewards too. I have used points to travel free or book a room with points plus cash numerous times. Accumulating and using your points does save you money. I didn't mention being a rewards member as bragging rights, it's very beneficial to become a rewards member with hotels you stay at frequently- if you do travel a lot. 

I booked a room at a Hampton Inn in Augusta Georgia for the Ironman Event

The particular Hampton Inn I booked our room with had a Certificate of Excellence on Trip Advisor along with a 4.5 star rating. The reviews weren't bad, most of them were great reviews. I should have paid more attention to the poor reviews. I'm beginning to realize the poor reviews carry  a lot of weight, especially if they are recent. 

When we walked into the lobby for check-in, the lobby was very dated but I was hoping that's where my impression ended. Wrong!

Our Room

As soon as we walked into the room it felt muggy and a bit warm. The thermostat was set at 70 degrees, so I thought no big deal, I will just turn it down. I pushed the down arrow to cool our room more and it would only go as low as 68 degrees. That would be great if you aren't prone to hot flashes when sleeping and the temperature outside wasn't 95 degrees. I was told that's the lowest their thermostats go. I found out the next day from other guests this wasn't true. They were able to turn their thermostats as low as 64 degrees. 

It gets better!

  • Our toilet bowl had mold under the rim
  • A wooden vanity in the bathroom had dirt, dust, and hair all over it- yes I did a kleenex test
  • There was dirt in the corners of the room, molding was chipped, stains on wallpaper and fingerprints on the door.
  • The coffee maker was in the bathroom- Do you think we used it?  
  • Fingerprints on microwave and TV
  • Dirt, stains and garbage in corners of the hotel room.
  • Had to run to Walmart and spend 20.00 USD on a fan to cool room more
  • I used 12,000 points plus 50.00 USD for 2 nights- paid AAA price totaling 153.00 for 3rd night
  • In total, I used 24,000 Hilton Rewards points plus paid over 300.00 if I include the fan

A few photos of our bathroom & toilet bowl- Yes, there are rust stains too.

Sub-Standard Hotel Room- Should Hotels Hire Under Cover "Guests"?Corner of Bathroom and dirt/hair on kleenex from wooden vanity in bathroom:

Sub-Standard Hotel Room- Should Hotels Hire Under Cover "Guests"?Sub-Standard Hotel Room- Should Hotels Hire Under Cover "Guests"?One corner of our hotel room, they were all bad, but here's a photo:

Sub-Standard Hotel Room- Should Hotels Hire Under Cover "Guests"?

I did call the front desk and went down to express the issues and it appeared they weren't concerned at all. In my mind, I sort of got the impression, Oh geez, ANOTHER guest with nothing better to do than complain. We checked in on a Friday Evening and there is not a manager on duty from Friday Evening- Sunday. The Manager returns on Monday and I did once again share all the issues we encountered with the front desk gal because the Manager was in a meeting. I received an email back from the manager offering me a free night to any Hampton Inn of my choice. That was nice but I stayed 3 nights, used 24K points and paid over 300.00. The situation is still unresolved. I plan to contact Hilton Customer Service about my points and our stay. 

Hilton's Vision & Mission Statement: 

To fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality –by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. (Vision Statement)- Hilton

To be the most hospitable company in the world – by creating heartfelt experiences for Guests, meaningful opportunities for Team Members, high value for Owners and a positive impact in our Communities. ( Mission Statement) -Hilton 
Yes, yes... the vision and mission statement were clearly in order at this particular Hilton Brand Hotel. Maybe it would be wise of Hilton to hire 'moles' who can take photos of their properties, write up reports and communicate with their 'undercover moles, if they want their brands to reflect their vision and mission statements. I'd be happy to help them or any hotel who does not want their brand name ruined. No one should have to stay in a dirty room. I was actually afraid to hit the bed on my first night. 

I will end this on a positive note

We stayed a Fairfield Inn on our way to Georgia in Princeton, West Virginia, I would highly recommend this hotel. It's been updated, the room was extremely clean and the staff was polite and the view from our room was gorgeous. We had a Mountain View room. I also stayed on points- I paid nothing for my room.

On our way home we stayed at a Courtyard by Marriott and again, impeccable hotel. The hotel is about 1.5 years old but appears brand new STILL. They do not use air freshener in this hotel. That's another gripe of mine. My husband has severe Asthma and scents can send him to the ER. My philosophy has always been this- if the room is cleaned properly each time there should not be a need for air fresheners in hotel rooms unless someone requests it. 

I am Grateful, despite our disgusting room in Augusta
  • We weren't in our room much. My son rocked Augusta Ironman.
  • We had running water and a bed to sleep in. 
  • I didn't see any cockroaches [insert some laughter] 
  • I'm thankful we were able to go watch our son participate in Ironman Augusta
  • I'm grateful for the clean rooms we had on our way down to Georgia and back home. 
  • I was grateful we arrived in Georgia and back home in Pennsylvania safely. 
  • I was very grateful to have time alone with my husband since it's rare he's able to get away.

I took a Few photos of our room at the Courtyard in Morgantown for comparison's sake, here they are:

Sub-Standard Hotel Room- Should Hotels Hire Under Cover "Guests"?

Sub-Standard Hotel Room- Should Hotels Hire Under Cover "Guests"?

Note how clean the bathroom is above, not one spec of dirt and we only paid 99.00 for the night.

Sub-Standard Hotel Room- Should Hotels Hire Under Cover "Guests"?

Sub-Standard Hotel Room- Should Hotels Hire Under Cover "Guests"?

Every corner in this room was free of dirt, lint and stains. The coffee maker had been placed in the room away from anything that might contaminate it. I think it's time all hotels moved their coffee makers OUT of bathrooms. 

All I ask for is a clean room, is that asking for too much, considering the prices we pay for staying at a hotel? I understand there are many of you who travel and end up in rooms that are probably much worse than what I've shared above, especially if you are staying in a poor area in any country, including the US *I edited my original text which just stated poor country)*. I'm curious what your experiences have been? I love hearing travel tales, even those which include seedy hotel experiences. I'd also like to know how you would have handled this situation (or would you have just ignored it?) if you booked a room at a Hilton Property? I understand they all differ but I'm still curious. 

Bernard Poulin 27/12/2016 · #63

Should hotels hire secret reviewers? ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!

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Lisa 🐝 Gallagher 5/11/2016 · #62

#61 Sorry I missed your comment @Stephane Fenner, good point about the reviews. I noticed there were many level one contributers for this particular hotel after I returned and posted my own review. I see this on sites like Amazon too. Reviews can be deceiving.

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Stephane 🐝 Fenner 13/10/2016 · #61

#59 Good point @Lisa Gallagher .
Despite TripAdvisor is a good way to collect different points of view, I am personally very careful: some hotel / restaurants pay to have good reviews. Also bad reviews can be posted by competition. I always look at the contributor's profile before taking his comment into consideration. A user with only 2 or 3 reviews : warning...

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Lisa 🐝 Gallagher 13/10/2016 · #60

Thanks for the share @Donna-Luisa Eversley, your a doll! Hugs

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Lisa 🐝 Gallagher 13/10/2016 · #59

#58 Couldn't agree more, great point about their ROI @Stephane Fenner. And now with hotels publishing their reviews and Tripadvisor, people are paying attention to negative remarks, specifically the most recent, even if there's only one or two. I wrote the manager again at the Hampton Inn, Augusta because I haven't received the gift certificate for one free night's stay yet, even though I told her it would be nice to at least receive 2 nights & I shared that Hilton Headquarters asked if their hotel told me about Hampton Inn's 100% money back guarantee policy. This was the third email I sent the manager at that hotel and she only responded to my first email. Another telling sign: Watch if the hotel responds to their customer's personal ratings and what the response is. The managers response will also help me to make my decision.

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Stephane 🐝 Fenner 12/10/2016 · #58

#57 That's exactly the point : loosing trust. Such a big hotel chain should care for customers' satisfaction (and retention) and not only for cost cutting or ROI. At the end they loose tons of money with this strategy.
It is impressive that in 2016 companies have not yet understood that acquiring new clients costs much more than holding existing customers...

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Lisa 🐝 Gallagher 12/10/2016 · #57

#56 No, they didnt mention the property at all, which was disappointing @Stephane Fenner. It leaves me with a lack of trust if they are not holding each property they own to the same standard. I was asked if The Hampton Inn told me about their 100% money back guarantee, and I told Hilton no. That question was asked when I called to document my complaint.

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Stephane 🐝 Fenner 12/10/2016 · #56

#55 Thank you for the update, @Lisa Gallagher. As you posted a part of their email, may I ask if they did mention any action to solve this particular property problem ?
Once again, free point. Do they believe it can change customers' mind?

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