The not-so-brave new world regarding travel is prompting the increased frequency of Inn Credible New England posts on this site. These articles also are reflecting the cited principles in the first "Avoiding Getting Inn Trouble" musings in this ongoing series. The awful truth is that business, personal, and mixed-use travelers all are going to reduce their trips for the foreseeable future; this makes choosing wisely more important than ever before.
One huge spoiler is that aggressively bullying me into deleting my Trip Advisor review and making blatant threats of civil and legal proceedings in response to being vocal about my horrific experience is behind being this post being purposefully vague. Ala who dun Carly Simon wrong back in the day being convinced that they inspired "You're So Vain," guests who experiences mirror those described below surely will speculate as to the identity of the culprits.
The abundance of proof as this company having no business operating hotels is that a recent online "out of curiosity" search revealed the name of a new ownership company. The joy on discovering this was short-lived.
I quickly learned that the new company had the EXACT same leadership and owned the EXACT same properties as the place that caused extended trauma and drama. My conclusion is that the name change is to represent to folks who (as documented in Trip Advisor reviews) had the same distressing experience as me at one of those hotels that an non-existent change occurred.
A trip, which inspired the term "shabby broom closet," that will live in infamy checks all the right boxes as to a place that should be avoided like the plague. The owner being a behemoth corporate holding company is the starting point that years of experience shows warrants triggering a spidey sense. However, just as some attorneys are kind and ethical people, many for-profit businesses that offer boutique lodging are upstanding corporate citizens.
A starting point that past "Inn Trouble" posts do not address is a hotel not meeting pre-trip expectations. The hotel in question is a historic property with a modern addition, On speaking to an on-property employee, I was told that my preference for a room in the older part of the building would be honored. On arriving, I learned that the older building had been closed for months and that no one was even allowed in that area.
A combination of the trip being a celebration of a major milestone birthday and occurring in a very stressful period prompted mentioning the birthday in this pre-trip conversation. The clerk promised a room upgrade and strongly hinted about a small gift as to the birthday.
We arrived at the hotel to no mention of the birthday; we also discovered that, despite paying a hefty sum, we were assigned the shabby broom closet. Someone standing between the bed and the door literally had to jump on the bed to let the other guest get to the door. There also was no drawer space, no place to store luggage, and a tiny closet. This was on top of the television being mounted to the wall and the cables dangling down from it.
Bringing all this to the attention of the desk clerk fell on deaf ears; even a token birthday t-shirt would have been nice. The two of us spent $150 at the onsite restaurant and did not get so much as a free slice of cake.
This prompted a negative TripAdvisor review; that prompted a corporate executive with a distinctive accent (more below) to contact me and threaten action if I did not remove it. An odd part of that umbrage was unhappiness at my identifying that hotel with meeting space, a well-equipped business center, and a large dining room as a convention hotel. The executive went so far as to call (and successfully) bully me through removing my TA post after I told him that I could not figure out how to delete it.
I live roughly 45 minutes from the holding company corporate office and was in a post-hotel-stay trip to a store in that area when I recognized the executive from his photo on the company website. Hearing his accent on his alarmingly yelling at his child convinced me that that was the guy. I did not approach him.
The distress as to the hotel stay continuing to weigh on my mind prompted calling the hotel years later on learning that it had a new manager. That manager had someone on the corporate staff call me; in speaking to that person, I shared all the details (including the random nature) of seeing the executive yell at the child in the store. I did so to support my argument that that man bullied me.
I subsequently received a certified letter from the president of the company. That correspondence threatened civil and criminal action if I did not drop the matter and if I ever tried to stay at any of the hotels that the company owned. This document went on to accuse me of stalking the executive who happened to be at the same store at the same time as me and with whom I did not have any interaction.
The bottom line this time is that booking any hotel stay runs the risk of a nightmare. The tips in "Avoiding Inn Trouble" post can help put the odds forever in your favor.