No matter what type of business you are starting, customer satisfaction is the key to long term success. Short cuts are never worth the risk or the money. This point was made perfectly clear recently when my husband, grandchildren and I were on our way home from a South Carolina vacation.
After getting a flat tire while traveling south on I-95 we were forced to find refuge for the night. There were 3 buildings off the exit we took (as if we had a choice!) two hotels and a gas station. We made it to the gas station where it was confirmed the tire was flat and irreparable (we did not have a spare). After much discussion with the proprietor of the gas station, a very pleasant and helpful gentleman, we walked to the motel. We were not greeted as we entered the door and upon my initiating a conversation with the person at the desk (presumably the owner) who was replaced by an unsmiling woman. I suggested to my husband (who did not listen to me about the spare tire) that we check out the hotel next door.
For purposes of this discussion I will be using a star system. We will start with 5 stars.
My husbands’ first impression: irritation. On the door of the lobby was a note that stated: “If you would like a room please call…” As we were getting ready to return to the unsmiling couples motel a smiling young man in a t-shirt pleasantly greeted us while unlocking the door and escorting us into the lobby. I knew this hotel was under renovation and there were signs of remodeling in the enclosed area opposite the lobby.
-1/2 a star
The gentleman was very professional as he researched on his computer were we could get a spare tire in the morning of course prior to accepting payment for the room. Satisfied with the un-named man’s service after the door was opened, my husband began to negotiate the $55 a night room fee. The pleasant young man, whom I learned was the new owner of this establishment, did not give discounts for AAA members or government workers (retired police) but he was willing to give my husband 10% off the bill. As my husband’s was paying for the room, I gave the lobby area a quick over view. On the counter of the hotel registration desk was a postcard, on one side it advertised the newly opened tiki bar and on the other side it cited the name and address of the hotel we were at and a notice that read: “20% off for New Guest”.
-1/2 a star
The name of the hotel is: “Florida Hotel” it is located in Yulee, Florida. If you are exhausted and do not believe you can make it to another town then go ahead and check in otherwise drive on. (As I said the hotel is under renovation so things could improve by the time you get there.)
Our room number was 207 and we stayed the night of July 3. As my husband opened the door and let me in I reached for the light switch which, like most hotels, was at the entrance however it did not work. I had to walk to the opposite end of the room and turn on the light from a stand-alone lamp. My next order of business was to adjust the room temperature. Usually, when I check into a hotel room during the summer the room is very cold, this room was just a degree below warm, I had difficulty maintaining the room temperature throughout our brief stay.
- 1/2 a star
Things did not get any better from there so let me just share with you some of my other observations:
- Refrigerator door open- After closing the refrigerator door and adjusting its’ thermostat it became apparent that it was broken. I did not try the micro-wave.
- Menu typo- The hotel owner was kind enough to give me a photo-copy of the menu for a restaurant that delivers. Unfortunately, I discovered there was a typographical error and my 12 chicken wings for $6.99 was actually 10 chicken wings for $6.99.
- The Walls -nails for fixtures exposed, in addition to a brown stain on a wall next to a hole. The curtain over the window lacked a few hooks but was fixed to maintain privacy.
- The Floor- though it appeared clean later while looking under the bed for my grandson’s toy I discovered a piece of trash. In addition between the bed and the night stand there was a pair of sunshades.
- Lighting- the lighting was adequate.
- Beds – The beds were neatly made without the traditional bedspread which could have hidden the exposed box frame. The standard mattress was comfortable.
- Linen and the Vanity area- we were given two towels, two wash cloths and 1 hand towel, there were 2 adults and 2 children. (Fortunately we did not bathe while there, more on that later) The standard toiletries of soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion were provided. As well as a n area map courtesy of “Days Inn”.
- Television -This would have been a biggest disappointment had it not been for something else. To cut down on words let’s just say: the there was enough space in the armoire for two televisions of the same size, there was no remote and dust could be found under the television. The Direct TV channels were the worst! Neither I nor my 5 and 9 year old grandchildren could find something worth watching. With no internet this is a problem.
- Once our food had arrived I discovered another problem. There was no place to eat except sitting on the beds. There was not a desk nor a table and only one chair for a room with two beds, a minor problem that became major when added to the other issues.
I may not have even written this review except for one thing: the water. When I turned the faucet on to brush my teeth that night the water stank. I cannot describe the smell because I have nothing to relate it to. Had I smelled the water first we would have walked the distance to the unhappy couple’s motel.
We were not given a paper print out of our bill, another negative. In the morning, with a new tire on the car, we drove to the lobby (the owners car still parked directly in front of the entrance) to request a printout of our bill, it was my intent to share my observations with the owner. The building was locked, it was 9am.
- 1/2 star
Being generous this hotel is not worthy of any stars in its’ current state.