This will be long, but bear with me please:
My boyfriend and I stayed here last night, so the experience is fresh in our minds and continues to eat away at us both.
We booked a room specifically to watch President Obama's final State of the Union speech. We had spent the last two days in the DC area at a beautiful Hyatt hotel in Sterling, VA, and were overall very satisfied with our stay. However, when we decided to extend our stay in the area, prices for an additional night at the Hyatt had skyrocketed. We decided to spend the night elsewhere.
My boyfriend and I booked a standard room at the Comfort Inn on Glebe Road and paid about $100. We thought it was pricey, but we're not surprised or discouraged. After all, we were reserving a hotel room on State of the Union night in the Washington DC area. While most other hotels were charging upwards of $150, we were happy to have found a comparatively good deal.
We arrived that evening and checked in to take a quick nap. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, other than the particularly loud young family in the room next door. They had several excitable children that made a considerable amount of noise, but we laughed about it and went about our business. After about an hour, the lights and television suddenly shut off. At first, we thought that one of the young children next door had accidentally flipped a switch and left us without power for a few moments. We quickly realized that this was not the case. After about twenty minutes, we emerged from our room to an almost completely dark hallway. Some other guests were already standing outside, confused and frustrated. It seemed that the whole hotel had run out of power.
At that point, my boyfriend and I (as well as half a dozen other guests) took the maintenance stairs to the main lobby. There we found several other families, as well as the desk clerk and manager, who were busy reassuring everyone that they were 'working on it', but not offering any alternative accommodations or services. For the record, the girl at the desk (I believe her name was Ibanzu) was very kind and very professional the entire time, and truly tried her hardest to make the incident easier on everyone there. She even went out of her way to record all of our room numbers individually so that she could pass them on to the manager later on.
It was already about 7:45, and the lack of power and heat in the building on a 20 degree night began to worry us. We decided that we'd rather not sit and wait, and got in our car to pick up dinner.
About 45 minutes later, we returned, dinner in hand, to find the still-dark hotel. The crowd in he lobby had grown, and the other guests were starting to become impatient. At that point, we were pretty annoyed. Of course we understood that the power outage was no one's FAULT, but it was getting late and we were starting to wonder whether or not we'd even have a decent place to stay that night. We decided to sit and wait it out in our warm car. Twenty minutes later, the lights flickered on in the building. The issue had apparently been resolved, and we were told we could go back upstairs and go about our business.
The night wasn't over yet. A few hours later, just before midnight, the power went out again. We were fed up. It was late, freezing cold outside, and we were stuck without electricity, heat, wifi, TV, a phone, hot water, and light. The darkness lasted about fifteen minutes until the lights flickered back on again. For the second time, we trekked downstairs to speak to the manager. We were determined to get out of there and into some other affiliated hotel as soon as possible.
Evidently, this did not happen. Management was nowhere to be found, so we climbed back up to the fifth floor and waited the nightmare out. Over the course of the night, the power and electricity flickered on and off several more times. However, the best surprise was waiting for us in the morning. Tucked neatly under the door, we found the $100+ invoice. Management had come by in the middle of the night to leave us this subtle reminder that we were still expected to pay full price despite not receiving a fraction of the services or experience we paid for. At that point, we got really angry. Neither my boyfriend nor I are easily bothered people, and neither of us would EVER give a customer service worker a hard time for something they could not control. This was just unbelievable, though.
We gathered our things and took the stairs down from the fifth floor where we found the manager, who smugly asked us how our stay was.
We expressed our disappointment, and our frustration in the expectation that we would pay full price for an experience like the one we had. He quickly brushed it off, and asked if we enjoyed breakfast.
We replied that we didn't get to have breakfast because we'd spent the whole night preoccupied with the other issues and were too exhausted to wake up in time.
He asked if he could get us some free breakfast.
No, we would not be taking any 'free' breakfast. We paid for the breakfast. It was not 'free', and we didn't want it.
And just like that, he walked off. We were checked out by the desk clerk (who had not been there the night before), and were forced to pay full price.
Before I end this, I should note that we spoke to their corporate offices, and were told we could expect a call from the manager by Tuesday morning, three days from now. If we don't receive one, we were told to call their offices back to try to negotiate a refund or price reduction through corporate themselves. We'll see how that goes, but I honestly don't expect even a courtesy call from the manager. I hope he proves us wrong, and I'll edit this accordingly if we do.
To conclude: don't stay here. Just don't do it. Spend the extra $50, save yourself the aggravation, and book a room somewhere else. I can't stress it enough. Don't. Do. It.
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- Also Known As:
- Comfort Inn Pentagon City Hotel Arlington
- Comfort Inn Arlington
- Arlington Comfort Inn