WORST MOTEL EXPERIENCE IN MY LIFE
Opinión escrita el 2 de Julio de 2018
So let me start by saying, I wish I could give this zero stars but in order to leave a review I'm forced to leave at least one star. Upon arrival, I knew we had made a BIG MISTAKE picking this place to stay. It looked like something straight out of a horror film.The pool was completely drained (probably for the best) but on the website it was advertised that they had a swimming pool. Then we are walking to the room and notice old mattress springs out in the grass area. I guess that's there lawn decor...who knows? That was just a bonus for us I guess, as if the trailer park across the road and the old abandoned gas station next door wasn't enough scenery for the weekend. Then we get inside the room and the toilet doesn't even flush. The TV didn't have any signal, there were bugs crawling the walls, and the "Jacuzzi tub" didn't work either. Not that I would have even considered utilizing this "AMENITY" in the first place once I saw the place in person. The beds were also listed as queen sized on the website, however, they were much smaller than a queen. We were squished and uncomfortable the entire night. The "air conditioner", which was a wall unit, didn't keep the room cool at all. We burned up the whole night and were completely miserable. If I hadn't been stuck there with the family I would have NEVER even stayed that first night. The following morning, after being up all night due to the terrible conditions, we went to check out the "continental breakfast" and it was even more of a joke than the toilet not flushing. I obviously didn't have high hopes for the breakfast in the first place, plus I was scared to anything offered by this place anyways. The breakfast consisted of frosted flakes and some dried out muffins that looked like they had sat in the pantry for weeks on end. The entire trip was ruined by the awful conditions of this motel. Everyone was sleep deprived and grouchy the day of the reunion and we refused to stay the second night we had booked. We got refunded for the second night because we couldn't bear another night of misery. BUYER BEWARE!! DON'T STAY HERE.
The Red Carpet Treatment?
Opinión escrita el 29 de Mayo de 2018
I booked a room for two nights for my family at the Red Carpet Inn based on their proximity to Magic Springs and their "pet-friendly" $5/night dog allowance. The website said there was a pool and that the hotel was within walking distance of the amusement park.
After two nights there, apparently having received The Red Carpet Treatment, I'm here to share our experience with fellow families seeking similar accommodations.
We got to the hotel fine, but the derelict Golf Shop in the adjacent, overgrown parking lot didn't make a good first impression of the obviously aging Red Carpet Inn. There were no problems at check-in, as we were given a room on the first floor very near the front of the hotel. Since the property offers smoking rooms, we had requested a non-smoking room. As I parked in front of the room, I noticed there were only two other vehicles in the parking lot. Being so near the amusement park on the eve of Memorial Day, I had expected to see more vacationers upon arrival.
The room was large with a bathroom inside. The sink was outside the bathroom door, but that's nothing I'm not accustomed to, having stayed at properties across a wide range of price points through the years. The carpet, fixtures, countertops, furniture, etc. were dated and showing a bit of wear, but the sheets were clean and there were a mini-fridge and a small microwave.
While our room didn't smell like a smoking room, I'm not sure how the staff would've known if we smoked since the smoke detector was pulled off the wall with wires poking out. And when I plugged my laptop into the wall outlet, the plug fell back out and the lamp flickered with an electrical sizzling sound.
We got unpacked, changed clothes, and prepared to walk to the amusement park. Our GPS gave us walking directions, but it wasn't able to tell us there would be no sidewalk, no path, not even a shoulder on the roadway. As a family, we run, play soccer and baseball, swim, and bike, so the prospect of a short trek to get to our single, day-long destination didn't produce complaints from anyone. However, when we realized we had to walk along the edge of a road with no actual footpath, it became more of a burden to navigate with children and a rolling cooler. I expect to face challenges hiking with those things down a hill to a bend in a creek, but not to an amusement park from a hotel billing itself as "within walking distance".
When we got back to our room the first night, one of our children went into the restroom while the rest of us were kicking off shoes and finding dry clothes. I was startled a few seconds later by a loud noise coming out of the bathroom. Then my son called out, "Dad, the toilet won't flush!"
I went into the bathroom and found that the commercial-style, tankless toilet would not flush when the handle was pressed in any direction. I even tried pushing the handle straight in, since that has done the trick with that handle-type in the past. But the only result I could get was a loud whining sound with no waterflow. I called the front desk, and the gentleman from check-in came to our room, went to the toilet, and promptly flushed it on the first try.
"No problem. See?" he assured me. "You just have to shove the handle in when you push down."
I gave it a shot, and although I could tell it would be too difficult for the children to do, I accepted the workaround and thanked him. After all, we were already unpacked and exhausted from being at the amusement/water park all day. After everyone had been to the restroom for the night, as we were all getting ready for bed, I went to the restroom and flushed using the shove-push trick. This time I was startled by a low, rumbling sound from somewhere within the walls. I tried flushing again and the sound got louder. Wondering if the sound was really coming from our room, I turned on the bath faucet ... the sound stopped. I turned off the bath, and the sound came back again.
Once more, I called the front desk clerk, and he came to our room to investigate. After poking around in the restroom for a minute, he disappeared out the door, leaving the exterior door open for a couple minutes while he went to diagnose the noise. A minute or two later the sound stopped and he reappeared, telling me it was a problem with the hot water and leaving it at that. Gracious to simply be able to go to sleep without the walls rumbling at me, I retired for the night.
The next morning, I went to the front desk to pick some items from the continental breakfast to take back to our room for the kids. I was disappointed to discover only a few mini-muffins and mini-cinnamon rolls in a breadbox with some slices of white bread. There were two types of cereal available with nearly empty pitchers of milk and orange juice, and a single carafe of coffee, and some small disposable cups of cream cheese, but no bagels. Since there were no trays, I had to make a couple trips back and forth to the room, balancing milk for cereal, coffee, and muffins. When I went back a final time for a last cup of coffee, the lady at the front desk said, "It's best if breakfast stays in the breakfast room." She then pointed to a sign printed on a sheet of copier paper stating the same.
I told my kids that if we wanted breakfast the next day we would all have to go down to the breakfast room. However, once they tasted the dry muffins and watery, artificial-tasting orange juice, they all decided they'd rather skip breakfast altogether. I tried to make a small pot of coffee with the coffeemaker in our room, but the water just sat in the back of the pot boiling over. I found the tube in the back of the pot floating in the hot water, unattached to anything. When I took the pot to the front desk to let them know ours was broken and see about getting another, I told the lady, "This almost boiled over. Someone could get hurt with this. It's broken."
"No, it's not broken. See? It's just not connected," she replied, adding, "is that all?"
When I asked for a replacement coffeemaker I was told they were in storage and the manager would be in at 1:00 so I could ask him for one then.
Although the staff was never argumentative or objectionable outright, they were equally not hospitable nor helpful.
Finally, as we were gathering our things to leave on the last day, we thought about leaving our dog in the room for an hour or two while we took the kids for brunch. But when I called to request a late checkout, I was told that it would cost $10 per additional hour to extend our checkout. We declined and opted for convenient store snack food instead.
I'm not sure when the photos on the website were taken, but given the differences between the photos and reality, it could have been a span of decades. The "sparkling outdoor pool" described as actually an overgrown, access-barred monstrosity. The "gate" blocking the entrance was just a stripped-down boxspring from a mattress, and there was an industrial looking oven/cooktop just sitting in the middle of the sidewalk leading to the pool area. Boards with nails poking out were piled under a stairway, and the vending area had a door and an old air conditioner leaning in the back corner.
I've been subjected to worse treatment by hotel staff before, and I've stayed at properties in worse condition than the Red Carpet Inn, but in each of those cases, I never returned to those hotels again. The same will be true of this latest experience. Even the low rate and small fee for pets aren't worth the insufficient maintenance and absence of customer service. Perhaps if we had been offered a chance to move into a room with a working toilet, or if the breakfast bar was as updated and appealing as the website photos made it look, or if the wall outlet didn't feel like a fire hazard, or if we weren't forced to pay hourly charges for a late checkout, any of the other concerns taken on their own might not have amounted to much. But compounding all of the issues into a single two-night stay made it difficult to see the value in the low rates.
If you are looking for a low price on a room close to Magic Springs with cheap rates for pets, and you aren't concerned with such frivolities as functioning toilets and working coffeemakers, then this might be the place for you. I am certain that it is not the place for my family, and we will be seeking other accommodations on our next visit to the park. I only hope this review sheds light on the reality of this property for other prospective guests, and that the owners find the time among not updating their property to at least update the website photos and descriptions to reflect that the pool is closed and guests should not expect to be able to walk to the amusement park.