Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Sleep=No Good. Our Experience at Days Inn Orlando/UCF

Typically on 4BabyAndMom you see pleasant or positive reviews on products we want to share with you because we think that the items or services we received rock. I hate writing about products I have a negative experience with, and try very hard to find both the positive and negatives to share with you all. If I have a product or service that I had mixed reviews about, I typically share it. This review is quite different, because I had such a horrible experience, and am so disappointed that I do not want any of my readers to ever have an experience like we did last Friday night.

Florida State Odyssey of the Mind Competitions were held in Orlando at UCF, so needless to say there were a ton of hotels for our group to choose from. Unfortunately, we had to choose from a list of approved school vendors. We compared prices and amenities and for what it’s worth, when the purchaser scoped it out online everything looked great at the Days Inn and Suites Orlando/UCF Research Park. I took it upon myself to check it out online, and when I searched, there was no real area to check out reviews on the Days Inn site, and the googled reviews were mixed, and many were old reviews. I did read some good reviews, so I was hopeful.

The kids were excited, the parents wanted the best experience for their children. We couldn’t wait to get to the hotel, unpack, grab dinner and maybe take a dip in the pool.

We hit a ton of traffic on our way out, and checked in about 7:45 at night. We peeked our head into the room, and changed really quickly. There was a bug in the bathroom and the room smelled musty and closed up. We put the air on, so when we came back it would be cooler, then we went to eat. We went to Friendly’s and had a great time. When we got back to the room, the air conditioning was off; the room was humid and stagnant. We had to put shoes up on the window sill to hold the curtains back so the air would kick on, even then it turned on for about 5 minutes, got the area right in front of the bed super cold, and then turned off. It would get hot and humid, and then to get the air to go back on again we’d have to lower it down to 60 and try again. The furniture in the room looked worn.. The carpet was filthy and stiff, (not comfortable to a bare foot at all), one of our towels had a black curly hair in it, another had a dirty foot print stain; the coffee pot in the room did not function properly, and the TV in the room was set in an armoire at the end of one bed, so only that bed could watch it. It was extremely awkward, especially since we used both beds. The beds- dear God, the beds- were the most uncomfortable things I have ever laid in in my life, and the pillows were like cinder blocks. Seriously, I would have had a more comfortable and more sound sleep on I-4 during rush hour. It was horrendous!

The location of the hotel was great; convenient to a lot of the places we were going, near almost every restaurant under the sun, and easy to get to, however, the neighboring property was a nusiance. We should have known from the name “University Inn” that we were in for it. Honestly, I am not “old” but God Almighty, I aged this trip-mostly thanks to this hotel. The party started about 11pm, and continued until 2:30am when we called down and the concierge said that the police had already been notified. The police showed up, and threatened a group of the kids with going to jail but literally after they left, it began again.. And lasted until about 5:30am. The seal around our door was basically non-existent, so if you stood in our room with the lights out, you could see light around three sides of the door. The car alarms, bass, motorcycles zipping in and out of the parking lot sounded as if they were in the room with us. Not to mention, the music, yelling, and curse words, (which kept the kids up until almost 12am) made for a pretty restless night for me! 

The other families were originally planning on staying for two nights, thankfully we only had to put up with one night of hell. We complained in the morning, (WE meaning I, and the other mothers in our group), because unfortunately everyone’s room was disgusting, and everyone was kept up with the noise from the neighbors.

The manager in the AM refunded $20 from the nights stay to our account, and apologized saying that they really had no control over the other property and that she’d call over there some time that day. She “couldn’t believe” that all of our rooms were inadequate. I suggested walking through them again, the younger desk attendant tried to apologize by telling me of her previous experience staying at the hotel, but it was not our experience., not even close. I would have expected that type of experience from a Hooker Hotel, or a $40/night or below hotel, but not for almost $90 a night (yes, $90 included a discount from the school!).

The worst part is that our group- our very small group compared to other groups in the area- was not the only one that complained that morning. While I waited my turn to speak to the AM manager, four other people had the same, if not similar complaints.

I am extremely disappointed in Days Inn, and would not ever recommend anyone to stay at that location ever. If their life depended on it, never. I would recommend sleeping in your car before staying at that facility (or the neighboring University Inn, for that matter!).

What happened to the saying, “The Customer is Always Right” and “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. My advice for Days Inn at UCF- Invest in a retaining wall to block out your neighbors, update your rooms, and get better washing machines for your towels. Also tell your staff to be a bit more pleasant and not to act in disbelief at the entourage of guests complaining of similar inconveniences, and perhaps pay the cleaning staff a little bit more. They have the toughest job of anyone, especially at your facility. My advice for my readers- invest in a better facility, the $20-40 bucks extra is TOTALLY worth it.

I do hope that someone from Days Inn reads this, and if so, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at 4BabyAndMom at gmail dot com.



2 comments:

Xmas Dolly April 14, 2010  

I read this entire post, & let me tell you I totally understand. I think maybe it's DAYS INN is going down a slippery hill really fast. I won't go into too many details, but I too made reservations on line at a DAYS INN in Tennessee when i went to visit my granddaughter. The picture was beautiful on-line, but when we got there I thought the place was bombed. Our room was on the 1st fl, but it had a mattress by the window & we couldn't get in. They apologized & the only room had was on the 2nd fl. I couldn't walk up the stairs due to a disability & their elevator was broken. Their gorgeous pool on-line turned out to be a hole in the ground - what a nightmare. I complained loudly & wrote a letter to the management. They wouldn't give me back my money even though we didn't stay there. I took pictures too & told them if they didn't refund my money I was going to take my story to the press with pics. I did get my money. Very bad. Yes, I totally understand.

ValGal May 10, 2010  

Yep I agree, the whole Quality Inn/Days Inn/Sleep Inn chain has really gone down hill. I'm a travel agent and I really try to steer people away from them but sometimes their prices are just too alluring! lol Sorry for your bad experience!!

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