Recently, there was a large scale and long lasting power outage in India. If you want to know exactly what those poor souls endured, or if you just want to find out what Bikram Yoga feels like, I recommend a night in July or August at the 968 Park Hotel. Now, in fairness to the hotel and at the risk of sounding environmentally insensitive, let me say that there were some good points, which earned the second star. However, the negatives we experienced were too overwhelming to save for the end so in the interest of saving others the hassle of changing hotels, allow me to share the bad points first.
Normally, we stay down the street in the Best Western Plus Station House Inn (where we retreated to after the first horrible night). However, there was a Groupon and when we called, the staff offered to not only match but even beat the offer by a bit so we figured we'd give it a shot. Going against one's better judgment occasionally works, but not usually. We arrived before check-in and would have been happy to just take the beach pass and check in later. Instead, the front desk employee checked us into a room on the top floor (which we always request to avoid kids stomping around all night). We enter the room and not only is the room not made, but there is another guest's luggage and personal belongings strewn all over the floor. They had obviously not checked out. Never in all my years of vacations had I ever been given access to a room that was still occupied. The security risk alone is enough to lose 3 stars. A hotel should NEVER EVER allow an unauthorized person access to a guest's personal property. Strike one.
Now the big issue that was I suppose technically my fault. It's been an unseasonably warm summer in Lake Tahoe with temperatures regularly climbing into the mid to upper 80's with a strong sun. Aside from the previous guest's mess, the other thing that jumped out at us immediately was the heat. This hotel has NO air conditioning, something I have never seen even in the sleaziest porno hotels. Never in a hundred years would I think to ask if a hotel in America has air conditioning in an environment that routinely approaches 85 degrees in the summer. The room was like the dry sauna in a gym and the fan in the window does nothing but blow hot air. This may be fine for someone raised in Abu Dhabi or Phoenix. (or maybe even some readers that don't mind the heat) For me, trying to sleep while engulfed in a pool of sweat is about as fun as enduring a tax audit. Strike two.
As we were hot and tired from the 3 hour drive, we decided to just deal with it. We went to the beach for a few hours and came back. This time, the front desk was staffed by an uppity, highly overzealous young girl, perhaps one of the managers. Her explanation was that "Oh, this is Lake Tahoe. Except for the top chains, nobody has air conditioning". With due respect, she has either never looked at any of her 10 or 12 neighboring small hotels on the same street or she just plain lied. Knowing this statement was not true, I counted that night and found 1 or 2 of the 15 or so local hotels without an air conditioner.
So we went up to the newly assigned room (no explanation was given for the earlier incident), briefly unpacked and left for dinner hoping perhaps the room might cool down a bit after sundown. No such luck. As we walked in at about 10 PM, it was worse than during the day, having absorbed 12 hours of hot sun. We walked to the lobby, desperately begging the happy manager for any ideas. As if she was just waiting for us, she proceeded to bring a second fan upstairs and prop the door open in a manner designed to circulate air. (It dropped to about 84 1/2 degrees from 85). Knowing we were never going to sleep, we went back downstairs and guess who was waiting for us? This time she suggested we go to the hammocks in the pool area and watch the shooting star event that was happening. With the horrible lighting that exists throughout the property, (more eco friendliness I guess) we missed the pool and wound up in the street and there she was, ready to direct us. Now it was starting to get creepy like we were in "The Shining" and she was staking out our every move. Finally, we were ready for a stint in the Jacuzzi. Guess what she said in a low voice? "Oh, it's out of order" And when would it be workable? She has no idea. Three strikes and you're out.
By 11 PM, the air was comfortably cool and we would've just slept in the hammock if we didn't think creepy woman would lurk. We attempted to sleep in the room which remained 20 degrees hotter than the air. I am the light and picky sleeper yet it was my wife who looked at me at 4 AM and simply said "I give up". In 15 years, she has never ever been too hot to sleep when I was able to. The only reason I drifted off and slept in sweltering 30 minute increments was the sleeping pills I took earlier. So we called the Best Western in the middle of the night and fortunately, the next two nights were Sunday and Monday and they reserved a COMFORTABLE room for us.
Regarding the hotel itself, I understand that eco-friendly and super green warrants giving up some comforts you may be used to in a chain hotel but the 968 Park Hotel is simply cheap. There are 2 dinky little plastic cups, and 2 miniscule sized bath products. The room is cramped and the furniture is the kind of unfinished wood you'd buy when you're in your college hippie pauper years. The 2 pictures on the wall do nothing to brighten the drab walls. There is no in-house coffee, very little drawer space for your clothes, and nowhere to sit besides the bed. And the TV is a plasma that has an inferior blurry picture.
As for the positives, there are some. Excluding creepy lady and the irresponsible lady that allowed us access to someone's laptop, phone and money, the rest of the staff is friendly. The morning clerk not only checked us out with no hassles, she refunded the portion of my deposit that exceeded one night's stay instantly and even gave us the bottle of wine that was part of the package. She also let us cancel the spa reservation with less than 24 hour notice BUT at no time were we told about a cancellation policy nor was it in the confirmed reservation. The lobby is kind of cozy and had it not been like the middle of Ethiopia, the bed would have been acceptably comfortable.
As far as the location, it's great; walking distance to the private beach and casinos. However, with a myriad of options all at about the same price, I would only choose this hotel if you buy into the notion that skimping on something as basic as an air conditioner in a summer resort area is worth the discomforts you should be entitled to for the price. Or perhaps if you work for Greenpeace.
Therre is no good room unless you enjoy sleeping in a pool of sweat
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.