SANTORINI -- Best Western ruined our family vacation we planned for over 2 years. The management at the hotel was rude and the hotel is misrepresented on the internet. The accommodations at the Paradise Hotel Akrotiri 847 00 Santorini, are not what we expect from Best Western - the world's largest chain.
The free breakfast was awful, almost an insult to the guests. Each morning we received the same thing: 3 slices of stale bread, one boiled egg, a thin slice of cheese, one slice of bologna and a piece of cake. On the breakfast bar there was only one type of cereal served with hot milk. The milk was either made from instant powder or was watered down and was undrinkable. There were also some stale cookies, served from previous days since no one would eat them.
There was no home-made food, and there was no bar. I would not call what we had a shower in the room. We had a bathtub faucet with a hose attached. There was no bathtub and no place to hang the hose. For the time, let's call it a shower. Not having a place to hang the hose made it very uncomfortable to take a "shower". I had to hold the hose for the kids so they could wash. My husband and I had to shower with one hand, the other hand holding the hose. If you dropped the hose, water would spray all over the bathroom. There was no shower curtain and the bathroom floor was continuously wet.
We complained that there was no hot water in the morning. The front desk manager yelled that it was impossible not to have hot water and told us to let the water run for 2 minutes. We did let the water run, and it took far longer than 2 minutes. The next morning we timed it. It took 10 minutes to have warm water and 12 minutes to have hot water. This problem was compounded by the fact that the pipes would bang inside the walls when the shower was running. It sounded like someone firing an automatic rifle. I experienced better conditions camping.
One afternoon when we came back from the beach, there was no hot water. The front desk person laughed, saying that there was a big demand for water, lots of people coming from the beach, not just us. He did not even go to check to see if the water heater was working properly. The towels in the bathroom that we received had seen better days, they looked 10 years old. They were no longer white, but a pale shade of grey. One towel used to have a floral print, was a pale blue faded rag. Maybe the hotel staff had used them and they did not want to throw them away and decided they were fit for the guests.
No towels were provided at the pool and we've been asked not to use the room towels. I did not expect that a full service hotel, that advertises bar at the pool not to provide towels. The bathroom sink pedestal was loose and would shift about if you touched the basin. There was also a large shelf above the sink that made it almost impossible to wash your face.
When we checked in, we were provided with the room key as well as remote controls for the TV and for the AC unit. The AC unit was functional only if the key was in the room, since we had to put the room key inside an apparatus on the wall to enable the use of the electricity in the room. When we stopped by the hotel during the day, the room would be like an oven and it would take 2-3 hours to cool it off.
The beds did not have even light blankets, just sheets. The pillows were old, and disgusting. The family running the hotel - mother, son and the father, continuously harassed us. No manners, no people skills, nothing, just a rude family, who made our vacation miserable. They must have training from Osama Bin Laden how to "properly" run a hotel.
One day we were spending time at the pool. The kids were diving from the diving board. The older person in charge came charging out yelling and scaring my kids in my presence! He was telling them to stop jumping off the diving board, by yelling "What is this? What is this?" I asked him respectfully not to yell and the diving board is there for people to use. He turned his back to me, and began cursing in Greek.
A day later when we were at the pool again, my husband was asked not to sit with his wet swimming trunks on the pool furniture. Another time we attempted to enjoy a beautiful day at the pool, the woman in charge came out and started to move the pool furniture away, turning the chairs so they faced the wall of a flower bed. This pool furniture was made out of plastic, no pillows. All of these actions were intended to harass us and to spoil our time.
One morning at 7:45 the kids wanted to go to the pool. There was a family of Germans already using the pool, and I told them it would be OK to go for a swim before breakfast. The second they went in the water, the woman from front desk came out advising us that we cannot use the pool before 8 am. My husband had the kids come out of the pool and the woman seemed satisfied. The other family was still in the pool! This rule must have only applied to us since the other family had been in the pool since 7:30. They sure did not want to miss an opportunity to spoil our day.
Once we came up for the "a la carte" breakfast, 5 minutes before 8 am, the older guy in charge came to our table and in a very rude tone of voice advises us that breakfast is served at 8 o'clock. This was towards the end of our stay, so we knew very well what time the breakfast was served. They made it a very hostile environment to be in.
On the website the hotel is presented as pet friendly. There was a large white dog with red collar that would come on property everyday. For a while we thought that the dog belonged to a hotel guest or the property owners. The kids liked the dog and played with him. During one hot day, the dog started digging and lied down in a geranium flower bed. The woman manager came storming down to our room and yelling at us to see what the dog did.
I tried to explain to her nicely that is not our fault that we did not bring the dog there, but all we got was another dose of Greek cursing. My kids were also upset when they saw the woman manager throwing rocks at a cat that was sleeping in the shade. We saw the cat on another occasion noticing it had been blinded in one eye. We do not know if this injury resulted from the actions of the woman at the hotel, but try to convince our kids of that. They were very upset by the chain of events.
Because we had been harassed and inconvenienced daily by the family running this hotel, we did not trust them to provide us with a wake up call. If we missed the flight we would have to pay extra expenses. So, the day before our departure, I asked my family in US to call me in the morning for the wake up call. The front desk would pick up the call and hang up the phone. They never transferred a call to our room.
At 6 AM when we opened the door to put the luggage in the car and head for the airport, before checking out, the woman from front desk walked into our room uninvited for a site inspection. No hello, good morning or anything, she just burst in, without a greeting of any kind. She likely wanted to make sure we are not running away with the little TV, the rags that were supposed to pass for towels, or maybe some chairs. She took the remote controls for the TV and air conditioner.
I want also to mention that we are not the only unhappy guest at this property. There were numerous families that were very unsatisfied. When a guest from Germany came to us to talk about services received, she was rudely interrupted by the woman at front desk not to talk to other guest. I was very intrigued by the rudeness of this family running the hotel, not just with us, but with all guest from different countries.
I've also been double charged for our stay, probably to block funds on our credit card. Customer service offered me 100.00 for future stay at the Best Western. I will never stay at this chain again. I traveled all over the world and I never meet such rude people to run a hotel, and such a dumpy hotel to charge 145 euros per night for 4 people in the room.
When traveling why not ask the manager if the company requires a background check on employees. I have worked in the hotel industry for about 9 years now, and you would be surprised how many don't. I have worked at a Super 8, Best Western, Econo Lodge, Travel Lodge, and several non chain hotels. I remodel hotels for a living, but have also managed one, and was maintenance manager for two different hotels. A lot of the people I worked around I became friends with and talked to. Come to find out a lot of them were criminals, still on parole, some had been to jail over the weekend.
I tried to contact Best Western about their hiring policy. They claim they require it for corporate but not each hotel. I assume that is up to each owner... I know of one manager in a Best Western personally for 10 years, she has been in prison three times, all dealing with money. Now that would make me uncomfortable as an owner of any business, yet she is hired by chain hotels as the manager of their business. I asked her if she had ever had a background check done for a job and she said no. She said she just submits a resume and that's it.
If you look at the resume it is very impressive, but not listed on it is all the bad. I will not name her or the actual Best Western she works for. She was fired from Subway for embezzling. All she had to do was pay it back. She was fired and no charges would be filed. She was fired from Holmes Group Inc. for embezzlement, again payback and no charges. While working for an Econo Lodge as General Manager held pool parties at the rate of $100.00 for two hours. The money was never on the books. She has a stack of employee cards for stays at $25.00 per night she still used as of four months ago and hasn't worked there in over a year.
All one has to do is check her name and the discount name used. She doesn't try to hide it. From there to a Super 8 in Illinois, the same as it was a new building, pool parties, but, this time 11 days of deposits were missing, and then they found that the hard drive on the computer had been destroyed, all data was sent to investigators, but was unrecoverable, no back ups were found. I don't know what happened there or the out come but I do know that 11 days of deposits were never recovered.
Then a brand new Best Western went up in the next town. She put in her famous resume and was offered the job. She has been there since the ground breaking. She doesn't keep me informed of the things she does anymore like she used too, as it was a game to her as she said. She is very smart and can fool the best of them. She is currently being offered a job by Best Western in Florida. I feel sorry for them. This is one manager that has profited highly on hotel owners.
One house keeper was going door to door trying to sell items stolen out of another room at one hotel I was remodeling. They were caught and arrested, come to find out that employee had been in jail 6 times for stealing burglary and assault. Bottom line is how safe is the hotel your staying in? Who are the people handling your credit cards, going in your room while your out, are they cleaning it or cleaning you out?
Best Western of all hotel chains should require all hotels to at least do back ground checks on at least the managers. There are three General Managers I know for a fact that have been in prison in the past 2 years running Best Westerns. If you're in the Daytona Florida area and know of a Best Western that is hiring for a G.M. you might advise them.
WACO, TEXAS -- In my forty plus years of travel and staying at numerous hotels/motels, I have experienced various levels of service…some excellent and some not so excellent. Yesterday, however, was the absolute worst imaginable. My wife had surgery this morning at Providence Hospital in Waco, Texas. Prior to this day, I made an online reservation at the Best Western Waco Mall on Highway 84. We had planned to spend the night before having to be at the hospital at 6:00 AM this morning.
We arrived at the Best Western yesterday afternoon and got our room. When we looked at the room, my wife discovered bugs on the towels in the bathroom. Further, the air conditioner was not operational. I went to the front desk and requested another room. The woman at the desk (older woman with nose piercing and a very heavy accent) pointed to some switches on the wall next to her and said something I could not understand. She did mention something about the air conditioning being OK and that it would turn on. I told her it did not work and to please change our room. She did so reluctantly.
We put our bags in the new room and left the hotel for a while. Since my wife was rather nervous about her upcoming surgery, I decided to take her to a movie, followed by a leisurely dinner. After dinner, we strolled the Richland Mall. We returned to the room a few hours later and my wife pulled down the bedspread on one of the two beds. She noticed it was stained and appeared dirty. I also noticed the toilet in the bathroom did not flush very easily. At that point, my wife was very uncomfortable and we both decided to get another hotel.
I went to the front desk and told the woman what the problems were with the room and that we were leaving the hotel. She again pointed to the switches on the wall (I have no idea what they were) and said there was nothing wrong with the room. I told her we were still leaving. She followed me back to the room where my wife and I gathered our bags and started to leave.
The woman began yelling at us, pointing out the bedspread that had been pulled down and stated that she knew why we were only there for three hours. She referred to my 60 year-old wife as a woman of ill-repute (had to change word for this website). At that point, I used a couple of expletives myself and my wife told me we should just leave the room.
We walked out of the room, followed by that nasty woman who kept yelling at us. When we reached the stairs, my wife started down first. The woman had something in her hand and attempted to strike my wife. She did not touch her, but did try. I then decided this woman was definitely crazy and we went immediately to the car. I opened the back of the car and put our bags in. The woman followed us and pounded on the side of the car yelling that she was calling the police. I told her to go ahead and call the police and we drove away.
We drove to the Travelodge on the other side of Highway 84 and experienced wonderful service with a great room for about the same price as Best Western. When we got to our room at the Travelodge, I phoned the Waco Police Department and registered a complaint of assault against that horrible woman at Best Western.
I then contacted your 800 number and talked to ** who documented our complaint. I will say ** was kind and very helpful. All of my attempt at making my wife as comfortable and less nervous as possible prior to surgery was for naught. That horrible woman ruined everything I tried to do.
SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA -- I thought you can assist me in lodging a complaint against Best Western Hotels. I had a confirmed reservation number of **. I applied my AAA discount and requested that my reward points are applied to my reward points account#: **. I made this reservation in May of 2012. Realizing this was peak season for the Minnesota State Fair I booked as soon as I had confirmation from friends also arriving for the festivities.
I also made another reservation for accommodations at the same location for 7 Dec to 9 Dec 2012 for an upcoming examination I am required to take for my employment. Confirmation # **. Now, you can imagine my dismay when I received a phone call around the dinner hour on 20 August 2012 telling me that I was about to be pre-charged for services I had not yet received.
When I protested I was told that my reservations would be cancelled and my room would be given to a party that can pay now. (Actually a ruse to charge a higher premium rate for last minute travelers.) What stymies me the most is…. That this is an unwarranted. Yet, a new benefit of The Best Western rewards program. I am shocked to see that Best Western would cancel a confirmed room in pursuit of the all mighty dollar.
Best Western has the ability to fix this miscarriage of hospitality. I sincerely hope that their management team will look into this and correct. I am not asking to profit from this. Just return whole. Until Best Western corrects this I will cancel my upcoming stay in December 2012. I will further use any resource and media available to spread the word of the sub-standard service one can expect from Best Western Hotels.
I will alert all my business associates, travel agencies I am acquainted with, colleagues, friends and family to not walk but run away from Best Western Hotels. I am considering using social media, blogs, to spread the word. Business Classes in college taught me it takes years to build a solid reputation…and one stupid act to destroy it. So I beg you Best Western Hotels...Please fix this.
In May we contacted Best Western Hotels and booked a room and we were told the hotel was in West Vancouver, BC an area we requested and was familiar with and also enjoyed being in, only to find out that we were booked in North Vancouver some distance away from where the agent told us we were booked. We asked for and booked a room with a microwave and mini refrigerator.
When we arrived we were given a small room with a small window next to the stairs and a exit door, we immediately went to the office and informed them that this was not what we booked and the person at the desk told us that there was no such room. We asked for reasonable accommodation because the room that the Best Western agency booked us with did not apparently exist. They informed us that they would try to move us to another room on the next day and on the next day when we inquired they told us nothing was available, even though we observed many people checking out.
Best Western Customer service was contacted and informed of the situation and the Best Western Customer Service representative apologized and offered points for another time. We were also led us to believe they would contact the hotel.
Because it's a long weekend and a holiday there were no other rooms available in the area, so moving to another hotel was not an option, and the representative that talked to us on the next day told us that the only upgrade we could have would cost us $60 more per night or we could check out. We talked again to a Customer Service manager with no real satisfaction. We then talked again with the front desk and the day person informed us that they actually did have the type of rooms we booked and that they had been booked only a few weeks ago in early July. (WE BOOKED IN MAY).
It seems to me that there are two problems: Greed - Just because there is more money to be made we were put on the not important shelf. If we were white and not Black would we get the attention that early booking deserves? (Because there was no concern, we wondered how much it played a part). We booked early in order to get the deals before the rush and it was not honored even though the rooms were available.
We have traveled all over the world with many mix ups but have always been accommodated, but Best Western North Vancouver was evasive and not customer friendly in any fashion. Points from Customer Service was their way of apologizing, but the Vancouver hotel still said nor did anything to correct the mistake. They treated us as take it or leave it customers, because they were going to make money either way. We drove 950 miles to this hotel and they didn't give a damn.
Dear Guests: We sincerly apologise for the problem you experienced. In our defence, we received the reservation as booked by you through whatever channel you used. You would have received a confirmation and description of the room as well. We honestly tried to accommodate your request but due due the long weekend, we simply could not. We serve many different races and cultures at the hotel and we do our best to provide all our guests with a positive experience.
On September 29, 2010 @ around 4:30, I made a reservation for the Best Western Mesa Inn in Mesa Arizona. Check-in was for September 30, 2010 @ 3:00 pm. The cancellation policy stated "Must be cancelled by 6 pm On September 29, 2010." Now this only gave me like 1 1/2 hrs after making the reservation to cancel.
After checking with my daughter, she didn't want the reservation yet so I called them back @ approximately 5:30 pm on September 29, 2010 (about 1 hour after making the appointment) and cancelled. I was told "OK, Mrs. **, your reservation has been cancelled." Later that evening while on my online banking I saw a pending charge for the reservation fee. I assumed it was going to "drop off" my account as it was pending and I knew I had cancelled. But the next morning it was still there so I called Best Western and ask why it hadn't dropped off. I was then informed they had no record I had cancelled.
I was told that the reservation was nonrefundable and that my credit card had already been charged and they were not going to refund anything. I protested, telling them I had cancelled within my time limit. I was then placed on hold. After a few minutes a different person came on the line saying he was located in the Best Western Mesa hotel and he had nothing to do with cancellations or bookings so I had to hang up and re-dial the original phone number because he said he couldn't transfer me but I don't know why I was put through to him anyway if he couldn't help me.
To make a long story short, I called Best Western 4 times and talked to different people who just didn't care. I talked till I was blue in the face, so to speak. I was told that when a person cancels you're given a cancellation number and I didn't have one because I WAS NEVER GIVEN ONE. Now how was I to know that I was SUPPOSE to get a cancellation number? I can not help it if an employee doesn't do their job.
I finally told them I was going to dispute their charge at my bank and write a review about their unfair business practices. They didn't care, so here I am. Best Western makes money all the way around without providing services. They just "neglect" to make the cancellation when you call, thus stealing your money.
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS -- In addition to not disclosing the hot tub and sauna were closed, we learned the water park hours had also been cut eliminating most daytime activity. After a room with no air conditioner and no fridge as requested (I am diabetic & need fridge for insulin) we checked out early. At checkout we were charged for a movie that we did not order.
The next day I discovered that they submitted charges of $100 and $45 in unauthorized charges. When I got through the phone games I was told that it was a housekeeping employee's "opinion" that smoking had occurred in the room! I have asthma as well as 2 of my children! What a lie! There is no proof such as ashes, cigarette butts, burns, or even a smoke smell, just the "opinion" of some phantom housekeeper!
They don't care if they don't have proof because most people don't fight it. That's what they count on. The best way is to go through your bank and it can be considered fraud in many circumstances. If you need to progress it to court you are entitled to the money back, plus court costs and sometimes punitive damages can be imposed. I will be interested in how they will explain to the judge that their evidence is an opinion of a witness they won't produce.
Also, the hotel must provide you proof that special cleaning was actually done to the room, which so far they have refused. Be careful with your credit/debit cards unless you can afford to give someone a blank check, they can charge you anytime for anything if you let them get away with it. It is insulting enough to deal with corporate incompetence but even worse when their attitude is that they can do whatever they want and treat you like the criminal.
My advice is to document everything and save every receipt, confirmation and detail. I am thankful that I was only ripped off for $140, because I have read about some of $250 and up! It may be a long, aggravating process, but I will get my money back. In addition I will extract double that in their future business by exposing their greedy practices to everyone who wants to know the truth. Don't sell out for the dollar.
I specifically used Best Western for our family vacation to take advantage of their 2010 summer promotion to save one our trip. We can only afford to take a vacation once every few years. We completed our 2 separate qualifying stays at the beginning of our trip (confirmed with Best Western). We attempted to use our night free at our next 4 day stop in Virginia and were told that we couldn't because the voucher had to be mailed to our home address. I explained that the offer stated "towards our next stay" and that we were at it and not going home to get a voucher and not going on another vacation any time soon.
Desk clerk could do nothing so I called the "Rewards" toll free number and was told that because of their (Best Westerns) contract with a 3rd party provider it would take 4 to 6 weeks to process. Was also told that that information was in their "terms and conditions" page. To be fair - it is, but that statement is buried in the fine print on a separate page and conflicts with the bold, enticing offer on the main page.
I asked the customer service representative how they could make an offer that says "ON YOUR NEXT STAY" when they have no ability or intention of doing it! She stated there was nothing they could or would do to honor the main body and enticement of their offer. I explained their terms and conditions conflicted with their stated offer and was not simply a further clarification - but a conflict. She said again there was nothing they could do and even after me stating my extreme displeasure with the conflict in the offer - I was told (basically) too bad, I have to wait for a voucher in the mail!
Further asked how then, could I use it on my next stay if it would be 4 to 6 weeks from now and I got a long silence for an answer? From that point all she would reiterate was that it was out of their control. I suggested then that their ad was misleading and they should state UPFRONT that it could only be used on a stay sometime 4 to 6 weeks later. Now I don't have money to pay for both gas and a hotel room on the way home, so we are sleeping in the car and will never use Best Western again!
NEVADA CITY, CALIFORNIA -- This Best Western Inn is located in Grass Valley California. One room had a loud knocking noise sound off every couple of hours. Another room had a very sagging bed. Here is the kicker I paid the extra pet fee only to be told that my pet couldn't enter the inn. When I did not agree to the clerk's demands she then said she would have the manager call me. I told her I did not want the manager to call me. "Please leave me alone." I then explained to her my puppy was a service dog I just didn't have the papers yet.
The next day the manager went off on me like she was on amphetamines. I found her rude manner scary, almost nonsensical and completely out of context. She then said something about double occupancy. I figured out later that they were kicking me out so they could make more money renting to two people parties. The manager ruined my day, ruined my week and caused me severe emotional distress.
The next day as I was trying to leave the room for good the housekeeper kept knocking on my door while I was naked. I said, "I am naked." I then called the front desk to complain. I also called the police as the housekeeper harassing me after the clerk and after the manager screaming at me to get the dog out of the lobby was too much to bear!!!
The front desk called the police on me. The police, the front desk clerk and the housekeeper then all were at my door. I had managed to put on clothes by then. The housekeeper told the police that I knew her. This was a frightening, weird and dubious experience. Best Western clearly states that pets should not be left in the room by themselves.
These people probably didn't go to college. The manager short haired woman mid thirties to forties probably on uppers and will do anything to make more bucks. You might get away with staying there but don't stay for more than a night. For heavens sake don't pay the pet fee or count on reliable lodging.
Our stay at the Best Western in Saranac Lake started off wonderfully and ended up horribly as a result of a miscommunication and then a spiteful, one armed manager. We booked our 3 day stay through Priceline filtering for "pet friendly". Afterwards I surfed for the actual number for the hotel to confirm the reservation with a real person. I called the number and was assured I was booked into a "pet friendly" room.
We drove to Saranac Lake, checked in, and spent 2 wonderful days enjoying the sights. On the second day we returned around noon to let our little puppy out of his portable kennel to find ourselves locked out of our room. I went to the office and this arrogant one armed manager stated that I had never informed him that I had a dog. I told him that he was wrong and explained the situation. He insisted that I was lying and would not be permitted into the room until I had paid a $35 pet fee.
I explained that I need access to the room to allow my poor puppy to relieve himself. The one armed guy refused until I paid the $35. I paid him the money and was able get into the room but was only met in the hall by the same irate one armed manager. He insisted that we vacate the hotel within 10 minutes or he was calling the police.
The police arrived and we explained our side. The police tried to recoup the funds for the last night that we had already paid but not used but the manager refused to give us our money back. I will never again stay at a Best Western and I hope that you do not either based upon this incredibly ridiculous story and the spite and unprofessional behavior of a one armed manager.