Stayed at the HOJO By the Falls January 1-January 3, 2013. We always stay there when visiting Niagara but not after this trip. First we were not advised on the $100 hold on our credit card. We had forgotten about it and the staff did not inform us of it. We had to find out by checking our bank account. That was the minor issue.
We put our valuables (money, cameras, and PASSPORTS) in the safe as directed when we left the room. We had run to get dinner and then swim. After swimming (pool was very cloudy and hot tub way too hot) we got cleaned up and dressed up for a night on the town. The safe would not open. Any key pressed resulted in SEr showing. I called the desk clerk who said "Oh Gee, never heard of that one". Was told we would have to wait until housekeeping came in in morning, which I stated was unacceptable. Clerk called "district manager" who said to call in maintenance. We were told maintenance was sent home early since they were not busy. Then told maintenance supervisor was on vacation 3 days. Then they were not answering their phone to come in. We were stuck. wasted 1 full night and morning of a 2 night trip. Lost out on carriage ride, casino night, etc. Manager came in at 8 am, we went down at 8:30 and he didn't know maintenance wasn't due in til 10 until clerk informed him. He tried calling in maintenance early but we had to wait until 10 a.m. Maintenance told us he was sorry he could not come in night before but his truck had problems, so yet another story. We had been given conflicting stories all night. We were lucky to have already eaten dinner or else we would have been without food, which with medical conditions I cannot be. Luckily did not place medications in there. The camera issue kept us from sightseeing. The money issue kept us from doing anything but watching TV. The Passport issue was the most upsetting. Had we needed to get home in an emergency (we have children) we would have been stuck. Most places it is illegal to hold someone's passport from them.
The staff was unapologetic. They were "flat" as far as attitude towards our problem. Asking each "new" clerk and manager about if they knew of the problem we would get "Your having some trouble with the safe, right?" Only after my husband demanded some sort of compensation did they say they would "check" with the district manager to see if it was okay to comp 1 night's fee. It was $53, definitely not worth our lost night. I planned this trip for over 6 months and to have it ruined over a safe and the inability of a hotel to staff the correct people.
Also we paid $9 a day for parking and yet there was a sign for general parking for $5 a day for non-guests.
This was the worst stay we have ever had, and to think, this was the same hotel a few years ago we had written a glowing review for an anniversary trip. This hotel has gone downhill.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
January 21, 2013
I am very sorry to hear that you were inconvenienced during your stay as it was not our intention as some types of electronic equipment do create certain new challenges from time to time. I do sincerely apologize as unfortunately the issue came at an awkward time as we had very limited staff scheduled on due to it being the holiday season as we typically allow some of our staff to spend this time with their families to celebrate the holidays. We are however pleased that none of the scenarios you mentioned in this commentary were relevant at any time but rather an inconvenience to both you and your companion. We did acknowledge that improvements needed to be made to our procedures as to prevent any similar issues like this from occurring in the future thus the reason for our very generous compensation not accurately mentioned in this commentary. The additional amount held on your credit card is common practice for hotel operations as it is a safe and seamless way of ensuring that there are sufficient funds on a guest credit card to cover the cost of the room as well as any incidentals such as movies, phone calls, etc that the guest may have incurred during their stay. The unused portion of funds are then released back into the guests account by our credit card processor within 2-4 business days after check-out depending on the guest’s financial institution, this is explained in great detail to each and every guest at check-in and only presents issues when the sufficient funds required are not readily available on the credit card. Our pool is maintained constantly at 84 degrees and the hot tub at 103 degrees and is inspected every 4 hours as per Health Department guidelines and we have no records or guest comments to the contrary of any water quality or temperature issues during your entire stay.
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Again, thank you for choosing our Howard Johnson property and allowing us the opportunity to improve our operations to better serve our guests.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.