Tag: Hotel WoesView All Tags
Citing an inefficient use of resources, Massachusetts has decided to phase out its program that puts homeless families in hotels and motels if there's no room at a local shelter. It's expected to end by June 2014. The reasons make sense. The lack of kitchens and play spaces for children in most hotels and motels was an issue, as well as the safety risks and liability involved in housing large families in a single room. Regardless of your political stance, the announcement has created an interesting limbo situation for many properties that invested in the program.
The Quality Inn in West Springfield, for example, chose in 2011 to only offer its rooms to people in the transitional housing program. Understandably, they didn’t want to clash clientele and have leisure travelers mixing with homeless families and social workers. Assistant Manager Ron Teji looked at it as a business decision. The program kept the hotel at 70 to 80% occupancy, and it pretty much took all the work out of filling his rooms.
“It was more about the economy,” he said. “You sell all your rooms out; it’s fixed revenue and higher occupancy.”
There’s nothing more beautiful than a wedding and we’ve covered many a good story here at HC. But then comes the tales of nuptials that go oh-so-wrong. And stories of nakedness. And when they mix? Whoa, daddy.
Take this OTT “Wedding Crashers”-like episode that occurred at a Charleston, South Carolina DoubleTree Hotel. 20-year old Samuel James Dengel was arrested and charged with indecent exposure after he flashed his genitals to the bride and groom during their ceremony this past weekend, according to the Daily Mail and Philly.com stories.
The mother-of-the-bride told officers she saw a naked man in the window of the hotel room at the DoubleTree Hotel where the wedding party had assembled. Dengel was apparently easy to identify due to a large tattoo on his back which he’d been showing guests earlier that day, even though he supposedly wasn't a guest of bride or groom. Written in Latin, the tattoo "Vi very veniversum virus" supposedly translates to 'By the Power of Truth, I, while living, have Conquered the Universe.' Mmkay. But, wait, there's more.
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In honor of St Patrick's Day coming up this Sunday, we thought we'd take a look back at a few hotels that just can't seem to catch a break. If any leprechauns are reading this right now, take note. You've got your work cut out for you!
#7: Le Parker Meridien.
We thought it was bad enough when a random construction accident managed to flood the entire Knave Cafe at LPM. But it turned out the hotel had more bad luck coming, when Hurricane Sandy tore through Manhattan, toppling a nearby crane, and causing Le Parker Meridien to be evacuated. Here's to a cheerier 2013.
#6: JW Marriott Chicago.
The JW Marriott Chicago made plenty of headlines (though not the good kind) this past fall when an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease claimed the lives of three guests who stayed there over the sumer. The Chicago Dept of Public Health reported that the hotel "fully cooperated with the ongoing investigation," and concluded by saying there was no further health threat at the hotel. Still, we're probably going to lay off those hot tub parties for a while.
#5: Revel Resort.
This $2.6 billion resort was supposed to be the saving grace of Atlantic City, but after barely a year of being open, it announced it was planning to file for bankruptcy. Ouch! Hurricane Sandy couldn't have helped things either. We feel like they need a lucky charm or something to bring them back from the dark side, but then again, if a four-night Beyonce run during opening weekend didn't manage to do it, we're not sure what will.
Four more unlucky hotels after the jump!
Seems like the Fairfield Inn & Suites Brooklyn is having neighbor issues lately, as a NY Times article this weekend spotlighted a noise dispute going on between the hotel and an arts organization located across the street.
According to the article, Fairfield guests have repeatedly complained about "late night drumming" being heard up until 2am. Ugh. On the other side of the argument, the Gowanus Arts Building claims that Fairfield is acting too high and mighty—the hotel opened just last year, while the Gowanus Arts Building's been around since 1985.
Understandably, Fairfield fears losing valuable guests due to ongoing complaints, yet they're up against an important neighborhood cultural institution. So, who's right?
Well…we're not really asking. We'll leave it up to the city to sort through all the legalities and decide.
In the meantime, we wanna know: have you ever stayed at a noisy hotel? Did it keep you from sleeping through the night? Or, even worse, make you never want to return as a guest?
Last week, we looked at a number of hotel projects that we fear may have little hope of ever being completed, from Fontainebleau Las Vegas to Pyongyang’s Hotel of Doom. This got us thinking about the long-running plans for Art’Otel Hoxton, over in London’s artsy but increasingly (some will say mostly) gentrified Shoreditch neighborhood.
Way back in the summer of 2010, we reported on protests taking place against the demolition necessary to make way for the hotel on the corner where Great Eastern, Rivington, and Old Street intersect. At the time a 2013 opening seemed ages away, but here we are today, with the hotel still being in planning phase and no projected completion date.
Given how excited we get for new hotels and how annoyed we become at delayed openings, you can understand how abandoned hotel projects -- that is, those that have been indefinitely placed on the shelf post construction but pre completion -- tug at our heart strings. It's no good for us as consumers, and it's certainly no good for the cities who have to live with their fallout.
Some abandoned projects end up working out for the city (like the Ambassador Hotel project in Los Angeles that turned into a school), but most don't sit so pretty, becoming eyesores or, worse, stagnant reminders of what could have been, as in the case of Vegas' Fontainebleau.
As we look around the world at some of the unfinished hotel business, we really get a sense for how hard the economy has been over the past few decades for the hotel industry, even for established and successful brands like the Ritz Carlton. Below, we've put together a list of examples. We'll keep an eye on these suckers, but we don't advise getting your hopes up.
It's one of those nightmares you pray will never happen to you. You swear it could never happen to you. Ever.
Then you discover it can and does happen--accidentally locking yourself out of your hotel room while you're naked.
That's exactly what happened to the young man in the video above. Trying to quickly dispose of his room service items outside his hotel room door (he obviously wasn't in a hotel that supplied robes!) he UNDERESTIMATED the POWER of a hotel door and it slammed behind him, leaving the chap in the hallway with nothing but a tray to cover up with.
After you finish watching the YouTube clip that's gone viral, find out what he did next to solve this mortifying problem.
Lately, we've been reading about real macabre stuff going down at hotels, some involving guests. Seriously, it's all starting to feel like one long episode of Unsolved Mysteries: Special Hotels Edition . As far as hotels go, we're not quite sure the whole "no such thing as bad press" rule applies. Especially when it comes to grisly crime scenes, so we figure we should fill you in on what's going on out there.
Here are some recent events:
Here are some recent events:
On February 15th, security cameras at a Marriott in Tarrytown, New York caught a 30-something, tattooed, Carhartt-wearing man, fleeing the scene of a date rape. Unfortunately the cops haven't caught the perp yet.
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Guests at the historic Cecil Hotel in downtown LA had been complaining about low water pressure in their rooms. Eventually the cause was discovered---a body was at the bottom of the water cisterns, blocking water flow.
On Tuesday, a hotel maintenance worker discovered the body of 21-year old Elisa Lam inside a tank that helps provide water for the hotel after guests, according to CNN, complained that the water also "tasted funny" and had a "black color" when you first turned the tap on. The Canadian woman had been reported by missing by her parents a week ago. She was apparently staying at the $65-a-night hotel located near Skid Row, but hadn't been seen since the last week of January.
The hotel's cistern tanks supply water for room bathrooms, and are a washing and drinking outlet. The water is also used for cooking in the hotel--therefore the coffee shop has been shut down and is also under orders to sanitize its equipments before it reopens.
When the body was discovered, the hotel relocated guests of 27 rooms to another hotel, and for the others that chose to remain, the hotel made those guests sign a waiver that they acknowledged being informed of the health risks and were provided bottled water. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's Terrance Powell, a director coordinating the department's response, said "Our biggest concern is going to be fecal contamination because of the body in the water," Powell said. He said the likelihood of contamination is "minimal" given the large amount of water the body was found in, but the department is being cautious.
[UPDATE: We received an email from Revel's public relations firm who has asked us to reword our story to indicate that the hotel "plans to file a consensual prepackaged chapter 11." ] Things just keep getting worse for the Revel in Atlantic City. On Tuesday, the most expensive casino ever built in New Jersey announced that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
While it is a shame to see, we suppose it doesn't really come as a surprise as Revel's performance has not only been under tight scrutiny since its opening last spring, it has also been pretty poor, consistently at the bottom of the rankings when it comes to gambling revenue in Atlantic City. A lot of that disappointment and inability to attract a wide variety of clientele has been blamed on the hotel's non-smoking policy and high-priced restaurants.
Apparently, the house doesn't always win.
According to a New York Times story, NYPD spokesman Paul J. Browne said last weekend two dapper dons (one sported a trench coat) walked into the hotel's lobby at 2 a.m. and while one distracted a member of the staff, the other took a sledgehammer and smashed a jewelry display case. He grabbed $167,000 million worth of goods, from watches to chains, all from Jacob & Company, aka "Jacob The Jeweler" as Mr. Arabo is known in the hip-hop community. Initial reports from the New York Post stated the value of the stolen goods was close to $2 million. When interviewed, Mr. Arabo, who has spent some time himself on the other side of the law, wondered why his jewelry was targeted with this statement
"This is small-time, running into a hotel, smashing things with a hammer. Unfortunately, it happened to me. How come it was my window, when there were other windows with jewelry in the hotel?”Jacob thinks he's special, obvi, but then he must have contemplated it more and answered his own question with this lightbulb thought: “I think they would recognize my name more than anyone else’s, from the magazines,” he said. Indeed, Jacob has been mentioned in many songs from Notorious B.I.G. to Kanye West to 50 Cent. The beloved provider of all things ice, whether tasteful or OTT is now considering putting future jewelry displays behind bulletproof glass, though we're not sure that will help with, you know, sledgehammers.
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The other day, we were meeting friends for brunch and settled on a restaurant in a Brooklyn hotel which shall remain unnamed*. We'd heard nice things, and having popped inside the lobby once or twice, we figured it would be an opportunity to soak up the vibe, relax, and eat good food.
It all started when the hostess refused to seat us until the rest of our party had arrived, even though we could see plenty of open tables. Fine. We told them we'd wait in the lobby and order some tea. Well, we had to elbow our way to the bar to get that done. And after one barista impatiently took our order, we lingered for ten minutes waiting for the tea to materialize (how hard can it be? You fill a pot with water and stick a teabag in it) before giving up and heading back to the lobby.
Five minutes later, another grouchy barista tracked us down in the lobby to inform us our tea was sitting at the bar—in other words, he could have brought it out to us, but didn't. OK, we said, we'll come get it. On the way back to the bar, we requested that the tea just be added to our brunch bill since we'd already put our names down for a table.
"Fine," he said, as if we'd just asked him to commit adultery.
Evidently, this was not off to a good start.