This hotel/resort has the most terrible/horrendous reservations/booking service I've ever experienced anywhere in the world. They are a rare perfect example of "everything you should do to upset your customer and make them feel cheated".
I booked and paid in advance for a 3 night stay online at the Grand Timber Lodge's website. I made these reservations about a month before the date of our trip. I reserved a two bedroom suite for what seemed a decent rate (about $450/night). Part of the special rate included a "tour" of their resort - there was no information provided regarding the time of the "tour" or that it was mandatory AND compulsory for all family members. I imagined an onsite video, resort/hotel walking tour and some kind of pitch about the benefits of buying a timeshare unit. BUT I did not want to make any assumptions since the "tour" was packaged as part of the rate so I called ahead and asked them how long the "tour" would take and whether I would have some options regarding the timing. The answers provided where: "1-2 hours" for the tour and "Yes" they were different time slots available throughout the day. This seemed reasonable and pretty straight forward.
And that was the last reasonable thing I heard from the Grand Timber Lodge. We were scheduled to arrive on March 10th and depart on March 13th but there was a snowstorm that delayed all flights and our flight was cancelled late in the evening of the 10th (a Sunday). I called the Grand Timber Lodge hotel number and was told that I had to call the Reservations number. I called the Reservations number and received a recorded message saying that they where only opened from 9am to 4pm Mon-Fri and to try again during those hours. A hotel resort with banking hours? I called the front desk again and explained our situation - they said it was fine and to be safe on our way into town. My belief was that they would either extend our stay by one night or offer some type of one day "rain check" for our next stay - I did not expect a refund on a prepaid resort deal. On our way in to Breckenridge, I called the reservation line to confirm the change in dates for our stay - only to receive the same recorded message saying that their hours where 9am to 4pm and to call again during those hours (this was at approximately 11am in the morning!!). Maybe they were out to lunch?
When we finally arrived to the hotel around 3pm on Monday the 11th, I checked in and asked the hotel attendant whether we could extend our stay by one day - again, they said we had to call the reservation number. I called the reservation line and incredibly, I received the same recorded message saying that I should try again during their business hours. I continued to call and finally someone responded. I explained the situation to them and told them I did not expect a refund but would like to see if we could extend the stay by one day and perhaps they could offer some type of discount toward our next stay - the answer where NO extension was possible, NO discount of any type, NO other alternatives offered. Really? I was so dumfounded by their answer that I had to pause and think what else to say so I resorted to simply confirming what I heard:
- our room is not available for an additional day, are there any other similar rooms? NO
- we where not here on the 1st night because of a snowstorm but there's nothing you can do get us back next year, i.e. partial discount towards another stay? NO
- are there any other alternatives you can provide? NO
The answers by themselves where so absolute, so forcefully answered that I had to wonder who I was speaking with. Was this one of those special people who hated her job so much she didn't care that she was supposed to at least pretend to be helpful? This must be it, I thought, so I asked if I could speak with her supervisor - "NO, there's no one else here at this time, you can try again later".
So, I was out $450 for a night AND I now only had 1 1/2 day vacation vs. the 3 days we had originally planned AND I had paid for change of airplane fare to extend our stay so I had to find other accommodations for my family. BUT that was NOT YET the worst part. The unhelpful reservations person did have one piece of information about my "tour" - it was scheduled for tomorrow at 12pm on Main Street. It was NOT at the hotel and I had to drive down to town and then they would drive me to another property. Since I now only had one day for actual skiing (which as the whole point of the trip) I decided that I would go with my mother (she doesn't ski and did not want to just stay in the room all day) and my wife would take the children out to the slopes. This seemed like a good plan until I got to the "tour" site -it was a sales office where I was asked to fill out a multi-page questionnaire by a young lady. This took about 15-20 minutes and my mother filled one out too. After we submitted our completed questionnaires, a very pleasant young man came over and started asking us more questions (I guess he couldn't be bothered to look at the questionnaire). We chatted for about 10-15 minutes until I finally asked "so, when are we going on this tour?" He said he had to check on something with the questionnaire lady and we could leave in a few minutes. Another 10-15 minutes passed and the young gentleman finally came back - oh, by the way, is your spouse and family with you?
- Yes, they're out doing what we came to do - ski.
- Well, we really need your spouse and family here to do the tour.
- Why? I'm here and I actually want to see this property. Also, I brought my mother because she wanted to see it too.
- Well, that's not really how it works, we need the family that made the reservation to ALL attend the tour. Well, I made the reservations, not my family. So why does that matter?
- Well, it's a family decision and we want to make sure that the family receives all the information.
- Not having my spouse and family here is not going to alter our decision.
- Well, that's not really how it works
- Why? I'm here and I actually thought this was a perk not a requirement that specific people had to attend.
- Yeah, there's really nothing I can do.
- Ok, so we can't do the tour?
- What should I do?
- We'll, let me get you the phone number for our reservations office
At this point, we had been there almost an hour and when he said let me get you the number for the RESERVATIONS office - well, I had enough. I took the card with the number he gave me and we left. It was too late to go out and meet my kids so I stayed at the room until they got back around 3pm. I didn't want to to but I called the RESERVATION number again and asked them what I could do about the tour.
- They suggested that I re-schedule for the following day and bring my entire family.
- I told them that was not going to work because we would be leaving the same day and wanted to have some time with my family on our VACATION (no matter how short it was).
- She said that she could give us a free one-night stay at another hotel if that would help?
- WHAT?? wait, didn't you just tell me yesterday that there was NOTHING you could do about extending our stay?
- Well, she said, technically, it would be at a different property and we could do it only if you brought your entire family to do the tour.
- No thanks, I said, I think I'm going to pass on the whole tour thing.
- Ok, but Sir, you understand that if you don't do the tour we will be billing you the RACK RATE for your entire stay.
- WHAT?!!!? Wait, I know a bit about "RACK RATES" and nobody ever bills at those rates and how can you do that if I already pre-paid for the entire stay?
- Well, there's a condition in your contract which indicates that you have to bring your entire family for the tour or we will bill you our regular rates.
- Are you joking?
- NO sir
- Listen, there's no way I'm going to pay MORE MONEY for LESS NIGHTS but just for fun what are you talking about (I was doing this just for fun because there's no way I would pay them more money for all this trouble).
- Well sir, for THREE NIGHTS you would have to pay one thousand . . .
- I almost dropped the phone. Surely this is a joke, right?
- NO sir, you will have to pay the extra charge
- There is NO WAY I'm paying over ONE THOUSAND dollars MORE for a two-night stay at the worst place in the WORLD. And I didn't even get the tour because you would take me on it!
- I'm sorry sir, there is nothing I can do.
I will not recount the rest of the conversation but obviously I was very upset. And YES, they did try to bill me over $1,000 extra the day after I departed. The really funny part is that the suite they gave us smelled like VOMIT the whole time we where there. I guess it was rented by 15 college kids before us. Maybe they all attended the "tour" and decided to leave a little present for the next guest. This is a horrible, horrible place that I would not recommend to anyone for any reason - please stay away for your own peace of mind.
Avoid these hotel/resort property entirely. There are no "good" places to stay.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
April 25, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback and concerns with us. Our goal is to make sure the vacation experience for all of our guests is a positive one. Being that the Grand Timber Lodge is a timeshare resort, we do offer promotional stays that offer our guests the opportunity to explore ownership opportunities at Breckenridge Grand Vacations newest resort, the Grand Lodge on Peak 7. When a rental package of this type is reserved by a guest, Breckenridge Grand Vacations makes every possible effort to communicate the policies associated with reservation with the guest through both phone confirmation as well as multiple email confirmations. Our confirmation information shares the qualifications for being eligible for the discounted reservation and preview tour of the Grand Lodge on Peak 7, which includes previewing the resort with your spouse. Also, our business hours for our Owner Relations Department, which includes our Reservations Department, are Monday through Saturday from 9am – 5pm, Mountain Time. We apologize that you were unsuccessful in reaching us during these hours. If we do encounter challenges with our phone system not working properly, we do offer callers the opportunity to leave a voicemail so that we are able to follow up on any calls that are missed during or after our normal business hours. We do sincerely apologize for the challenges that you encountered during your stay, but we do make every effort to provide our guests with the information necessarily to avoid confusion with any of our stays at any of our resorts. Also, we always recommend that our guests purchase travel insurance on any reservation they reserve and this is offered, by phone, shortly after the online reservation completed. Unfortunately, circumstances do come up that prevent guests from arriving on time for their reservations and this added protection greatly helps avoid any out of pocket costs. Thank you again for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We greatly appreciate having the opportunity to look at our own systems to see if there are areas where we can improve to better serve our guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.