Tag: Hotel Hell

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Drink Your Own Water In Your Room, Pay A Corkage Fee At The Fairmont Monte Carlo

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  Site Where: 12 Avenue des Spélugues, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 98000
October 15, 2014 at 8:58 AM | by | Comments (3)

Charges for keeping your own stuff in the hotel minibar – that’s so Vegas. Our sister site VegasChatter spotted a $50 “restocking fee” at MGM Grand last year, and the story went round again last month at MGM’s sister property Mandalay Bay.

But a “corkage fee” for merely having a bottle of water in your room? Now that’s a new one.

This was a note we saw in the info book at the Fairmont Monte Carlo when we stayed earlier this year. The Fairmont is one of Monaco’s iconic hotels, right on the Mediterranean. At check in, we were impressed that staff went out of their way to tell us that we should sign up for the President’s Club in order to get free WiFi (if you can’t be bothered to do it now, do it at some point during your stay and we’ll take the charge off at check out, they said, which was awesome).

And then we stumbled upon this note. This penny-pinching, parsimonious note. “A corkage fee will be charged on an item purchased outside and consumed at the hotel”, it said. €15 for champagne and spirits. €10 for wine. €5 for soft drinks and water – water! Not bottles illicitly stored in the minibar, remember – bottles merely kept in the room.

There are so many problems with this. For starters, the sign wasn’t prominent – it was buried in the info guide, which is only read properly by geeks like us. Not a peep on the minibar, not a squeak on the bedside table.

For another, how can the hotel distinguish between drinks consumed in-room and bottles from drinks you bought earlier and didn’t bother to throw away? Chuck out that empty bottle of water in your bag you’ve been carrying around all day, and suddenly it’s chargeable.

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13 Hotel Trends We Wish Would Die

October 13, 2014 at 3:13 PM | by | Comments (4)

It's time for another epic Hotel Rant! Got a hotel rant you want to share? Let us know!

In the spirit of both Monday, October 13th and Halloween, here are 13 Hotel Trends We Wish Would Die.

1. FRIENDING: We blame the Millennials for this one. To all the new hotels out there, and all the hotels considering a rebrand, we don't want to be friends. Yes, we like friendly faces at check-in and peppy voices answering the phone, but we don't need to be reminded constantly to "Friend" you on social media or tag our photos with a ridiculous hashtag that you made up.

2. ANNOUNCING OUR ROOM # AT CHECK-IN: Yup, we've griped about this one before but seriously, STOP DOING THIS.

3. MINIBAR SENSORS: Nothing says "Relax! Enjoy our hotel" like a minibar security sensor just waiting for you to touch an item in the minibar so it can ring up a $8 bill for Pringles on your folio.

4. PEEK-A-BOO BATHROOMS: How many more times do we have to say this? No one wants to watch someone else go to the bathroom. If that were true, then we'd just stand outside of the Meadowlands watching people who've been tailgating too long pee into a bottle instead of spending money on a hotel room.

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Is It Farewell Or Good Riddance To Scotland's Most Expensive Hotel?

September 16, 2014 at 8:23 AM | by | Comments (0)

In two days time, Scotland will go to the polls to decide whether it wants to become an independent state or remain part of the United Kingdom. Politicians and business people are tussling over what would be better for the country.

In the meantime, Scotland’s most expensive hotel ever – the first to charge £1000 a night – has quietly closed its doors.

The Atholl, in the West End of the city, opened in 2012 after a £5m conversion project. And now, according to owner Alison Davies (and the Daily Mail), it’s closed for good. No more Hermes wallpaper, no more Albert Roux restaurant, no more “award-winning garden”. The hotel will be converted into apartments.

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Well, This Is A Novel Type Of Room Category...

September 12, 2014 at 8:21 AM | by | Comments (0)

Dar Ayniwen, in Marrakech, looks like a beautiful place to stay.

Surrounded by two hectares of grounds in the modern Palmeraie district. A beautiful hammam. Eight beautiful suites, including some freestanding ones in their own pavilions. Like the Pavillon à la Rotonde, which is “romantic and secluded”, “ideal for an intimate getaway” with its “private garden and jacuzzi”. How glorious! Until you come to the booking page, and it describes it as “Poo Suite: Rotonde”.

Yes, of course this is an extremely juvenile thing to be giggling over. But it’s also a serious reminder to hotels to check through every page of your websites, and to keep names uniform across the site – because even if it said “Pool Suite: Rotonde”, we’d be wondering whether that was in fact the Pavillon à la Rotonde we’d so wanted to book.

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All Those Hidden Hotel Fees are Adding Up

August 27, 2014 at 12:04 PM | by | Comments (5)

Every so often, the mainstream media gets fired up about hidden hotel fees. This usually happens when it's revealed how much hotels are making off these miscellaneous yet maddening fees. This year it will be about $2.25 billion, according to a new NYU report.

Us, being both regular hotel guests and hotel trend watchers, have become somewhat accustomed, but no less outraged, to the random fees that pop up during a hotel stay.

Back in 2010 we detailed 10 Most Ridiculous Hotel Fees, included the heinous WiFi charges, the confusing room service charges and the annoying resort fees.

The next year, we followed that up with 5 Hotels That Are Acting Like Airlines with Extra Fees and made it clear we did not like the fees for making a reservation over the phone, nor the early check-in fee and certainly not the baggage storage fee.

Just last year, we uncovered more hidden fees, including the fee for the bottled water on the night stand, the towel at the pool and the safe in the closet. And soon after that, we were blindsided by a random newspaper charge. #GRR. Most recently, we uncovered another sinister type of fee creeping around London, the minimum spend fee during peak hours at the bar.

But hotels want to make money, so fees for things you would expect to be free have long been how they do business. The only way to avoid these fees is to assume that everything you use inside your hotel room, save for the water, towels, and toiletries, will cost extra. Study the little notes placed around the room by the hotel, whether it be the mini-bar menu, or the note about WiFi placed on the desk, to see if there is a charge and how much it will be.

And of course, if a fee pops up unexpectedly on your bill, head right down to the front desk to dispute it. Just make sure you know how to effectively complain to them.

[Photo: Cynthia Drescher/HotelChatter]

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The 5 Worst Celebrity Hotel Guests

August 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

The types of crazy demands celebrities make when staying in hotels are tales as old as time, or as old as the hotel business. But requesting white tea candles and expensive linens are small-time compared to the outrageous behavior demonstrated by these 5 Worst Celebrity Hotel Guests. Here's who they are and why we hope they start using AirBnB more often:

LINDSAY LOHAN: Aside from ignoring a hotel's no-smoking rules, Lohan uses her guest room as a mini-storage space, carting in tons of clothing and jewelry that she probably won't wear but thinks she needs to wear to keep the paparazzi from catching her in the same outfit twice. Yet the smoke damage and the hoarding can be dealt with. Even the security logistics she requires can be managed. Lohan's biggest problem is that she doesn't have much money yet books suites at nice hotels and is known to run up the tab without ever paying it. And no hotel needs the "exposure" that badly.

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This Hotel Will Charge You $500 for Writing a Negative Review

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  Site Where: 345-349 Union Street [map], Hudson , NY, United States, 12534
August 4, 2014 at 10:34 AM | by | Comments (2)

UPDATE: The hotel told CNBC the policy was a joke and "It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced." We say, "That's convenient."

UPDATE, 8.6.14: The owner has posted this apology and update on the hotel's Facebook page. While the negative review policy may have been a joke gone wrong, the hotel still has a bunch of other ridiculous policies. Be sure to read those in our story below.

Hotels have been striking back at online guests reviews over the past few years in various ways. The most popular and most sensible way is the constant responding of management to all reviews--good and bad (so long as you aren't a dick about it.) Then, there's the requesting of really bad reviews to be removed from the site, which TripAdvisor has agreed to recently, especially if the property has been renovated since the negative note. Hotels have also gone straight to the guests, bribing them offering them perks during their stay or discounts for future stays if they write a positive review.

But this one hotel in Hudson, New York now has the audacity to charge wedding guests $500 for writing a negative review. Here's the controversial policy in place at the Union Street Guest House:

"There will be a $500 dollar fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH place on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding even if you stay here to attend a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a negative review on any internet site you agree to a $500 fine for each negative review.”

The policy is in effect for wedding guests in the area and wedding parties at the Inn, not regular guests (although this a strange distinction to make.) The hotel will also refund the $500 if the review is taken down.

Um, yeah, well now that this policy is being condemned on the news, we can safely say this has back fired for the hotel.

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Hotel Majestic Barrière in Cannes is Far From Majestic These Days

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  Site Where: Cannes, France
May 14, 2014 at 1:49 PM | by | Comments (2)

It's time for another Hotel Rant! Today, a reader tells us about a horribly disappointing stay in Cannes. More like can't. Har har. Got a hotel rant you want to share? Let us know!

Today all eyes are on the opening of the 67th edition of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera. And where better to stay than right across the road at the five-star Cannes Majestic Barrière Hotel whose rooms have an unobstructed view of the red carpeted stairs so many have dreamed of ascending?

That’s what we thought too, until we actually stayed at the hotel and witnessed how its low standards are making an utter mockery of the luxury hotel industry.

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A Sign of The Times: The Hotel Carter May Finally Get Cleaned Up

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  Site Where: 250 W 43rd St [map], New York, NY, United States, 10036
April 10, 2014 at 5:42 PM | by | Comments (0)

As long as it's still operating under this name, The Hotel Carter in Times Square will never be able to shake its reputation as The Dirtiest Hotel in The World, a dishonor bestowed on the hotel in 2008 by TripAdvisor. Yet we had heard horror stories from the Hotel Carter for a few years before that.

Put it this way, a "good" review from 2005 went like this: "Didn't Get Killed Mugged or Infected."

But now, The Carter might get a new life. The WSJ says the building is on the market and several buyers have been interested. As soon as next week a new owner could be announced. Which has us wondering, what hotel brand could be put in? Well, the way the hospitality market has been going in NYC and especially near Times Square, the possibilities are probably endless.

That said, the Carter is going to need to be closed and renovated. An analyst told the WSJ that at least $125 million was needed to bring it up to a 3-star level. Yowza.

If you want to stay at one of the last shitholes semi-affordable hotels in Times Square, the Carter is currently going for $209 (#thatsnotok) for a double room on Sunday night.

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Surprise in Sochi: Journalists Find Their Hotel Rooms Still Under Construction, Take to Twitter

February 5, 2014 at 12:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

Well, while we certainly feel for them having had our fair share of bad experiences, this is definitely a case of "it's funny because it's not us."

Media covering the Winter Games landed in Sochi this week to find that their rooms weren't ready for check in. Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with delayed room turnover. No -- the rooms really weren't ready, as in still under construction.

Social media is dangerous enough when it comes to the everyday person, let alone when a group of American media encounter a problem. Tweets from reporters, some hilarious and some sad, have been the talk of the town as they attempt to settle in before the opening ceremonies on Thursday. We've embedded a few of them below for your reading pleasure, and it won't take you long to find others from various news outlets via a quick Google search. And of course, Twitter itself.

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The Beverly Hilton Quickly Recovers from Golden Globes Red Carpet Disaster

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  Site Where: 9876 Wilshire Blvd [map], Beverly Hills, CA, United States, 90210
January 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

Just hours before the Golden Globes red carpet walk was to start at the Beverly Hilton, a sprinkler malfunctioned raining down not just water, but according to witnesses, some smelly black sewage as well. Billy Bush tweeted this about the incident:

The hotel was quick to call the fire department and clean up the mess. They also released an official statement about the leak on Facebook which stated that it was a sprinkler malfunction. There was no mention of sewage and the carpet received "one last wash before it opened" for all the celebs. Cue new tweet from Billy Bush:

Indeed, nothing seemed amassed when the red carpet walk started:

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Worst Hotel Hell: A Rat In The Room

December 30, 2013 at 12:02 PM | by | Comment (1)

It's that time of year again: the 2013 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...

Really, if you've found any of the 13 things of this list in your hotel room this year, then they could be a contender for the Worst Hotel Hell award. Yet, we forgot to add "Vermin" to that list. More specifically, "Vermin who chew through your take-out box while you are sleeping." So when a reader submitted this story to us recently, we knew right away this was the winner.

Here's how it went down. The HC reader checked into a new hotel in NYC this past fall and went out to dinner. He took some food to-go, kept it on the dresser in his hotel room and awoke to this scene the next morning. In his own words, he wrote us:

Here is take out container from Cookshop the night before. Found it in the morning with a little hole in the container with shredded bits. Sadly no picture of the mouse. Saw this, packed up and left right away. Hoping that no rat poop in my open luggage set beside the table. Will have to check later.

Eeeee!

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