So I booked the Residence Hotel through hotel.com. After the reservation was confirmed my friend and I were excited about expericne as I know their location is good (I walked by last year at the food and wine classic). However, the next day I got a call from Michael from the hotel and told me that for the food and wine event weekend, there is 4 nights minimum requirement, when I told him that hotel.com has took down my credit info and charged a processing fee and provide a confirmation, never once they have mentioned there was a 4 nights minimum and it was never shown on hotel.com. then I went to Reisdence Hotel website and there was no such thing advertised on the site with 4 nights minimum requiremtn. I told Michael that it puts my friend I in a rough position and he suggested us changin our flight to meet the 4 nights requirement, that means we will need to pay a change fee to change our flight and the take an extra day off from work so we can stay at the hotel we thought will provide us a memoriale experience and to celebrate my friend's 40th birthday, It wasn not my fault that there was no indication of 4 nights minimum requirement and if hotel.com has given us the confirmation, If there was a clear message on the 4 nights minimum at first place, I probably wouldn't have any problems with this place. Then, shouldn't residence hotel honor the confirmation even if it's there was a glitch on the computer as Michael claimed that there might be glitches through the system. While Michael was talking to me a woman took over the phone and said that Hotel.com knows about the 4 nights minimum and told me that I should take up to them she was speking in a very hostle tone of voice trying, then she hung up on me before I can respond. I was so stuneed, I travel very frequent for leisure and for work (I work for a large corporation), never once I have experience such horrible horrible customer experience, whenever a hotel makes a mistake, they would go far and beyond to fix the problems (eg., Four Seasons and Ritz, because they care about the customers and the business). After the woman hung up on me, I called right back and Michael picked up the phone, I told him that the woman just hung up me and that was not the way to treat a potential customer, granted Michael apologized on the mean woman's behalf, the damage was done. The Residence hotel asked us to pay for 4 nights when we will only stay there for 3, then they will let us keep the reservation. Apparently money is everything and customer service no longer matter to this hotel. I have no problem spending money on an expensive hotel when I travel for leisure, what matters is the principle. NO matter how great this place looks, with the woman's attitude like that I WILL NOT stay here and I will take my business else where if it's much more expensive such as St.Regis. I will definitely share my experience with everyone I know and with everyone in the travel forums.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
February 10, 2012
I would like to take this opportunity to respond to Ms. Grace Chen's letter.
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My name is Terry Butler, and I have lived in Aspen for the past 44 years.
I started my hotel 25 years ago on the upper floor of a beautiful, historic, downtown building that was built in 1886.
I am the owner/operator of this small business, but unfortunately I do not own the building....
Through the years as I worked with my landlord, I remodeled the apartments one by one, and finally was able to transform them into a boutique hotel. I am a small Mom and Pop business, I being the Mom, and Max, my beloved 4 footed partner, has been the Pop for 14 years until we lost him a few months ago. We still struggle with that awful loss.
I live in the hotel, and I personally take most reservations and meet and greet practically every guest.
Due to the economic downturn three years ago, I have had to cast a wider net..........and have started using some outside booking agencies to increase reservations.
Unfortunately, in casting the wider net, you do lose a certain amount of control, and mistakes will be made.........and they have.
I am so sorry to say, apparently, Ms. Chen's reservation was one of those outside agency mistakes.
With such a short season in a mountain town, almost all hotels here have to have minimum stays for holidays.
I have had a minimum 4 night policy for over 15 years during The Food and Wine Festival every June. If I had broken the policy for Ms. Chen......... in order to be fair, I would have had to break policy for every other potential client asking for a lesser stay. How unfair to all my former guests who have abided by this policy for all these years!
According to Ms. Chen, when she made her reservation with the agency, they did not inform
her of the 4 night minimum.
We called her immediately when we realized their mistake, and asked her if she could increase her stay to meet our 4 night minimum. Our prices are so reasonable that many of our guests book for 4 nights even if they can only stay 3......this happens often.
Ms. Chen wanted me to break my policy of 4 nights for her, and when I told her I could not, she became quite aggressive.
I told her we had not taken any money for her reservation, and she still had plenty of time to find alternate accommodations that fit her schedule, as the festival was still almost 5 months away.
I am so sorry that the booking agency made this mistake, and that I simply could not fix it.
As a small hotel, I must maintain minimum night stays for special events.........taking into consideration that Aspen is a seasonal town.
I pride myself and my business on our customer service. Most of my guests are repeat customers and have been staying with us for as many as 15 years now.
This unfortunate, isolated incident is in no way a reflection of how we conduct business at the Residence Hotel in Aspen, Co.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.