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Jane Gives 5 Reasons She Will Never...

This week's Fit by Five is a review of the hotel we stayed in while in Colorado for our daughter's wedding. There were many, many visitors from out of town, so the daughter and new son-in-law reserved a block of rooms at two hotels, the Sleep Inn and the Graystone Radisson. Most visitors chose to stay at the Graystone because it offered shuttle service from the airport.

Jane is sorry to say, that is all it offered. After our pleasant ride in, (well, not so pleasant, really, as Jane suffered -- for the first time ever -- from motion sickness and was sure we were going to be ill right there in the back seat of the van, though we'd managed to endure the two plane rides, head hung between our knees, without mishap -- the van driver, who could not know Jane's condition, made no effort to miss the construction going on, potholes and all), the experience went all downhill.

Here is what happened:

1. The clerk at the front desk was checking our reservation and apparently did not notice that Jane was doing everything she could to remain upright. We placed our head down on the counter, and barely listened to the clerk ramble on about our reservation. We'd made said reservation weeks earlier, as we normally do. We'd expected, as has happened in the past, to get a room key and be shown to the elevators. But no, apparently this hotel had to swipe our credit card again. The clerk was not very kind, nor very patient as Jane attempted to find the right card in her wallet. We would have forgotten all about his snarling at us...except...

2. Once to our room, wanting only to lie down and collect ourselves, Tom and Jane were confused. We'd booked a single room with 2 Queen-sized beds. Having a king sized bed at home, we knew we would never be comfortable in a doublebed. What greeted us when we clicked into the room were... two double beds. Not caring, at that moment, we unpacked and decided to take a nap. Meanwhile, our Mom and Dad were just arriving from the airport -- so we were informed by Jane's brother, who called to ask what room we were in. He kindly drove, in his rented car, to the airport to pick them up, though they could have braved the shuttle.

3. We elected to remain in our room that night. Yes, we noticed the two double beds issue, but... we decided that we wouldn't be in the room all that much, so why bother switching? Jane would like you to know that we should have changed rooms. If you are ever in a similar situation, dear readers, we hope you will switch rooms! The mistake was apparent come morning, when -- still on NY time, we awoke at 5 a.m. This seemed a good omen, as Jane felt much better, and we thought we would get a jump on the day.

As is our wont, we attempted to make coffee, in the teeny, tiny coffee maker provided. We arCoffee2e not so much complaining about that -- ALL hotels have those two cup coffee makers that they attempt to pass off as 4 cup coffee makers -- but, we did complain about the fact that the coffee maker DID NOT WORK!!! <let us pause for a deep sigh> Tom took the reigns and called the front desk to request a coffee maker that did work. He was told there was no one to bring one up to us. For an hour.

Since breakfast did not start until 6:30, we had no choice but... to ... wait.

4. The day proceeded with some shopping, and then back to the room for showers to prepare for the rehearsal dinner. Jane nevers carries a hairdryer with her on trips. We are content to use the dryers provided by our hotels. The hairdryer in the bathroom at the Radisson -- DID NOT WORK!!! There we were, with our hair dripping down our neck, and no way to dry it! Well, not really. Tom had his hair dryer. However, when we plugged it in, in the bathroom...nothing happened. After much fiddling around, we discovered the coffee maker was NOT broken -- it was plugged in to the same circuit as the hairdryer, and it was the circuit that wasn't working! We called for assistance, but were, once again, put off. (not to mention, the coffee maker had still not been replaced).

Needless to say, dear readers, by this time we were wondering if we had checked into the wrong hotel! Our stay was anything but relaxing. The help was anything but helpful. The beds were atrocious -- not only too small, but without fitted sheets, hence, after turning over once, the bedsheets would bunch up under our rumps! <pardon us for one more deep sigh!>

5. The crowning moment came when, after the rehearsal dinner, which was delightful, BTW, we returned to our hotel and gladly fell into bed. Though the beds were too small, the plan was to check out on Sunday, the day of the wedding, to spend the rest of our stay with the newlyweds, at their home. We elected to buck up and grab what sleep we could. Dr_seuss_sleep

More's the pity. Apparently, there was a wedding AT the hotel. Nothing wrong with that. But, following the wedding, some of the friends and family of the couple who had gotten married, stayed on our floor and decided to bring the party to the hallway. Not their rooms. No, they proceeded to run up and down the hall, shouting, laughing and slamming doors, at 3 a.m. in the morning!!!

Jane tossed and turned, trying to think of something to say -- should we brave going to the door to speak to these utterly rude people? Finally, Tom went to the door and roundly criticized them -- imploring them to check the clock. Perhaps he said something to the tune of, "Are you people out of your mind? It's 3 a.m." We're not sure. But, two of the women told him he couldn't tell them what to do, and he couldn't 'talk' to them that way. Meanwhile, a security guard came by and asked the women to leave.

This is a good thing, you're thinking. Finally, a reponse from the staff at the hotel. Well, for that moment. As soon as Tom returned to bed, and the security guard left, the party commenced once again. Not as loud, perhaps. Not as long, perhaps. But, enough to distrupt everyone else's sleep. Would that the hotel security guard had come back, in only five minutes, to make sure quiet had been restored. And then, returned again, in five minutes -- as many times as needed!

We hope, dear readers, that you take this story to heart. Jane could not get out of that hotel fast enough. We never had clean sheets or towels, though we did ask. We had our sister stay with us for one night (registering her at the front desk) but did not get another coffee cup for her, though we asked. All in all, the stay was uncomfortable, and worst of all -- though the hotel promotes "satisfaction guaranteed" we saw no indication of such a thing.

Customer service. That's what it's all about. Responding to problems with care and respect. Treating each customer as if he or she is the most important person there. That's what it's all about.

There is everything to like about that. There is nothing to like about the Graystone Radisson in Denver, Colorado.


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Yvonne DiVita

Jane, outstanding story about Jiffy Lube. Personally, I have always had good experiences at Jiffy Lube.

Yes, I think it's so important to pass good stories along, also. Today we're traveling to a small town outside of Syracuse (for another presentation on blogs!) and staying at another Radisson. The room was booked by the group who requested the presentation. I'll let you know how well they fare.


I used to think of the Radisson chain as "nice" until I booked at room at one of their hotels in Los Angeles and discovered mold growing on the wallpaper.

Did you happen to see my good customer service story a week or so ago? It's good to know companies sometimes DO get it right!

Joy Des Jardins

Well, it's the kind of nightmare we all dread when we stay at a hotel, motel or otherwise. At least you decided to make it a "small" part of what was a wonderful wedding weekend. I'm sure the Graystone Radisson in Denver, CO might try to do better by their guests if they read your blog...at least I would hope so.

Jim Turner

And what is worse, they have discontinued their Sunday Champagne Brunch!

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