Tag: Hotel Hell

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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

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  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 Barričre in Cannes is Far From Majestic These Days

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  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 Barričre 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

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  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

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  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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Now, This is Definitely a Hotel to Avoid

Where: Germany
December 9, 2013 at 12:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

Over the weekend, some new information came to light about a suspect in a case of cannibalism in Germany. Aside from being a police officer (a handwriting analyst, actually), he also engaged in online cannibalism fantasy forums and is supsected of murdering a victim who he met online. He then allegedly buried the body in his backyard and pieces of the body have yet to be found, leading police there to believe...well, you know what they're thinking.

But most frightening of all, he ran a bed and breakfast out of his home.

The website has been taken down but ABC News reports that Pension Gimmlitzal boasted of a "generous outside area, surrounded by woods, which is ideal for an evening of grilling." Oy. On the plus side, rooms were only 13 Euros a night and included breakfast. Eeeee.

[Photo via AP]

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This Is Kind Of Your Worst Nightmare: A Rat in Your Hotel Room

October 28, 2013 at 5:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

Earlier this month, we wrote about 13 Things You Wish Didn't Happen in Hotel Rooms and now just in time for Halloween, here comes another hotel gross-out: a rat found its way into a guest room and chewed a hole in a take-out box.

A terrified NYC hotel guest sent us this picture, saying:

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.

The guest alternated between telling us it was a rat and a mouse. But given that NYC has a rat problem, we're gonna go with that.

We're working on confirming the authenticity of this story, just in case this isn't some creepy Halloween prank but until then, stay safe in your hotel rooms. Perhaps, don't leave any food out overnight.

[Photo: HC tipster]

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You May Want to Avoid This 'Hotel' in San Francisco

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 310 Columbus Ave [map], San Francisco, CA, United States
October 25, 2013 at 3:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

When folks ask us to recommend a hotel in San Francisco, there are so many options to give them as San Fran has a crazy diverse hotel scene--from fancy luxury (St. Regis, Mandarin Oriental) to cool boutique (Vitale), or just plain friendly and happy (any Kimpton or Joie de Vivre Hotel) but here's one hotel you should seriously avoid--The Europa Hotel.

SFist has combed through some of the online reviews from TripAdvisor and Yelp for the hotel where rooms are incredibly cheap (about $36 a night) but often come with baggies of drugs, bed bugs, cigarette butts, sheet stains and the smell of urine and feces. (That's the official picture above from the hotel. You should see the ones posted by travelers on TripAdvisor.)

We didn't have the stomach to read through all the reviews as the first two literally turned our stomach but we did enjoy this line from SFist:

Curiously, on Google Plus, we'd like to point out that the hotel has 3.5 stars, because why? No one uses Google Plus.

And other hotels to avoid in San Francisco? Let us know in comments below.

[Photo: Europa Hotel]

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13 Things You Wish Didn’t Happen in Hotel Rooms (But They Do)

October 1, 2013 at 10:04 AM | by | Comments (3)

It's not always fresh towels, room service and chocolates on the pillows at hotels. No, there's a darker side of hotels you don't want to think about when you hand over your credit card at the front desk. But in the spirit of all things spooky this month, here's our list of 13 Things You Wish Didn’t Happen in Hotel Rooms (But They Do) .

1. Sex: No surprise here. People have been trysting in hotel rooms since hotels were invented. Business men, business women, politicians, actors, athletes, marrieds, not marrieds, married but not to each other, prostitutes, gigolos, gay, straight, bondage enthusiasts, bronies, furries, plushies. Really, everyone is having sex in hotel rooms. Everyone. Oh and let's not forget about sex with yourself. That's what all those on-demand movies are for. The best you can hope for is that housekeeping manages to clean up anything, um, left behind.

2. Drugs: Not only are people taking booze from the minibar but they are also smoking, snorting and yes, even shooting drugs all over the hotel room. Heck, some people even use hotel rooms as meth labs. And it doesn’t matter the class of hotel. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear that more people do heroin in a luxury hotel where rooms cost $600 a night rather than a motel by the highway.

3. Guns: You often hear of passengers getting stopped at TSA for attempting to bring guns on board but there aren’t any metal detectors in hotels (that we know of anyways) so guests and their visitors are free to roam the lobby and the hallways carrying their firearms, unbeknownst to the rest of us. And as we learned from Walter White in season 4 of Breaking Bad, black market gun dealers sometimes make their transactions in hotel rooms. For “defense” purpose. Right.

4. Smoking: We understand that some folks need to light up and don’t want to have to go all the way downstairs to do it. But please, keep the smoking to a smoking room. There’s nothing worse than walking into a supposedly non-smoking room that smells as if someone has been chain-smoking in there for a month.

5. Murder: It’s bad enough when someone kicks the bucket in a hotel room due to natural causes, but it’s way worse when someone is stabbed, shot or suffocated in a hotel room. Sadly, this happens regularly at hotels. We just hope whichever unfortunate hotel employee who found the body got some extra vacation time and a nice bonus.

Still brave enough to plow through the rest of the list? Keep reading after the jump. It gets better. Ok, not really.

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