The Best Laid Plans….

I missed my day to blog last Saturday because 1) I forgot and 2) my hubby and I went out-of-town for the holiday weekend and by the time I realized I hadn’t written my blog I wasn’t anywhere near a computer. However, the weekend didn’t go quite the way we planned and we ended up cutting our trip short. It was the REASON we cut the trip short that I am writing about today.

If any of you are friends with me on Facebook you have probably read about the debacle that was our Memorial Day Weekend, but for those that aren’t so privileged I would like to share with you what occurred.

First let me just say that we were supposed to go to a friend’s very interesting wedding reception. It was an Alice In Wonderland themed party, and she wanted everyone to come in costume. Now I am not one for dressing up, and I am really not one for costumes, so the whole concept made me a little jittery. I looked at several costume ideas, but as the date grew closer I found that I was really dreading going. Since it was an afternoon/evening affair and it was about an hour or so away from home, I booked my husband and I a room in Roseville, a town outside of Sacramento, that was fairly close to the reception and would be easy to get to afterwards. On Friday my husband declared that he wasn’t feeling well–he’s been fighting a really nasty cold–and that he didn’t want to go to the party, but that we should still go out-of-town and visit our friends who lived near there any way and go to the flea market and just relax.

I signed up for extra work on Saturday, packed a bag when I got home and we took off. We arrived at the Heritage Inn Express (why yes, I AM going to name names!) a little after 8 pm, only to find the evening manager on her knees behind the desk. Apparently their computer system had gone down and she was frantically trying to figure out how to fix it. She asked us to come back a little later and it should be back up and she could check us in. My husband was irritated, but I shrugged and we took off and went to the store to get a couple of things we had forgotten at home.

We got back to the motel around 9 pm. This time the actual manager was there and the computers STILL weren’t working. There was a huge party going on in the reception hall–mariachi bands and the whole nine yards–and every time someone went in or out of the doors I lost half of what the woman was trying to tell me. I finally pulled my reservation up on my phone, since I use Booking.com for all my motel/hotel stays, and showed her that we had booked a King Spa room for two nights.

This is where things really began to go downhill. She informed me that the spa in the rooms didn’t work so did I still want one of those rooms or would any king room do? My husband said it didn’t matter and asked about the hot tub, only to be told that apparently the hot tub wasn’t working either.

At this point I would have just left but it was going on 930 at night, I had worked all day and driven an hour and a half to get here–I just wanted a bed and a shower and to go to sleep. She finally just wrote my phone number and name down and handed us keys to a room.

Since Luck obviously wasn’t on our side, the room turned out to be an upstairs unit. We had an ice chest with us so between the two of us we managed to grunt and shove the heavy thing up the stairs to our room. It was hotter than hell in the room, since no one had turned the AC on for us, and I hit the “high cool” button and flopped down on the bed. I decided I may as well take a shower and headed to the bathroom, only to discover, after I had stripped down, that there were NO TOWELS IN THE ROOM!!

I brought this to my husband’s attention immediately. He laughed and said he would call the front desk, and then he and I looked around the room for the phone. There wasn’t one. There was a Gideon’s Bible and a phone book in the drawer, but no phone. By now my husband is just shaking his head and laughing. “Well of COURSE there isn’t a phone! Why would there be a phone when they don’t even have TOWELS in the room?!”

We found the number to the motel and he called down to the desk and told them about the no towels and no phone. They seemed genuinely surprised about the phone, but told him that they were washing the towels and would have them up to us as soon as they were done. Seriously? What kind of motel runs out of towels, for Pete’s sake?!

Fortunately my husband is always prepared, and he ran down to our truck and brought up a beach towel he keeps in it for just such emergencies. I got my shower and we kicked back and watch TV and chatted. About 1130 I called down to the desk again and asked about towels, since it had been over an hour and we still hadn’t gotten any. I was told the same thing, that they were being washed and we would get some soon.

12:44 am there was a knock on the door. We were still up and my husband answered the door. There wasn’t anyone there, but there was a clear plastic bag outside our door with two towels. Two. That was it. No wash clothes. No hand towels. Just two skimpy towels that would have barely been big enough to wrap around my 4-year-old grand-daughter!

The next morning we decided to just check out of the motel, even though we had it reserved for two nights. I saw no reason to stay, since the amenities we wanted to use either didn’t exist or didn’t work. We hadn’t been able to get ahold of our friends, so we couldn’t visit with them, and there was no reason to stay another night. We quickly packed our stuff up, grabbed the ice chest, lugged it down to the truck and headed to the front desk where we told the day manager our reasons for leaving and cancelled the rest of our reservation.

We went to breakfast and I decided to call Booking.com and complain about the horrendous service and accommodations we had experienced at this motel. The woman I talked to was appalled and put me on hold while she called the motel herself and talked to the manager. The manager admitted to the fact that everything I said was true and agreed to not only cancel the reservation but to waive any charges and that we were not to be billed at all.

Have you ever had a bad experience at a hotel/motel? If so, what did you do about it? My family and I have traveled quite a bit over the years, and now that the kids are grown the husband and I like to get away for little weekend trips about once a month. I was disappointed in the service we received from the motel but Booking.com really stepped up and took care of us. Do you use any online booking sites and if so how do they stack up? I am hoping this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience but if not I know that Booking.com values their customers and really makes sure that they are treated right. However, I am pretty sure I won’t be staying at the Heritage Express Inn in Roseville again any time soon!