We've been doing the Shiner GASP (Great Austin to Shiner Pedal) for 4 years in a row now. The previous 2 years, we've stayed at this same Microtel. The previous years were good, they happily put some breakfast out earlier than normal so that the riders could get a granola bar or some cereal in us before 100 miles on a bicycle. We appreciated that!
Unfortunately, this year was quite different. I don't know if there has been any change in management, but the whole thing was one terrible thing after another. We booked about a month in advance, and were told that due to a concert in town that same weekend, we would be a 2-night-stay minimum. They informed us that this was a common occurrence when a concert like this was happening, and that every hotel in the area would be charging this way. There was a 15% off special, so we figured we had about as decent a deal we would find, so we booked it.
When we arrived on Friday, around 2, we knew we were early (check in is at 3). We went ahead and got the key to the one of 4 rooms that WAS ready and started moving all of our bicycles into that room. The other three rooms were not ready until FIVE pm... a bit extreme if you ask me. They really should have been ready by 3. Having been in the service industry, I understand sometimes that stuff happens... but what was lacking here was the communication. If they'd just kept us updated, said "we are so sorry, we are working as quickly as we can to get the rooms ready" or something, it would have been appreciated. That was not the case. It took a extra 2 hours.
The following morning, the cyclists headed out at 6:30am. In past years, they'd happily put out the cold breakfast for us so we could eat something (breakfast is supposed to be out at 7) but would not do that this year. It's not as accommodating as in the past, but I know it's their choice. What was bothersome was that at 7 am, when the others in our group made their way down to get breakfast around 7:15, there was STILL nothing out... Again, late with no explanation or apology.
The others who were not riding asked if since we didn't get our rooms until 2 hours past check-in, if they could check out at 12 instead of 11. They were given a lot of grief, then allowed 11:30 checkout time. The front desk attendant then informed them that we had the rooms for 2 nights, so they had all day if they wanted.
Again, we never NEEDED the second day. When they left at 11:30, we wouldn't be returning to Austin at all.
As I learned more and more of these facts, after completing the bike ride, I was increasingly furious. The last straw was to find out from a fellow rider who stayed at the hotel across the street from us was NOT charged a 2-night minimum!!!
I spoke with the manager the day after our stay, and was informed that we would be receiving a refund for that second night. Here we are 2 weeks later, and I've yet to see this refund. I will be following up first thing in the morning.
Even though we've had plenty of decent stays here in past years, we will not be returning. It's too bad, because we will be participating in this ride for YEARS to come.