I travel to Denver all the time and have stayed at 2 other Homestead Suites in the area (Cherry Creek and Tech Center South). While nothing fancy, at least they were clean and safe with the items they state they provide (i.e., basic cookware, microwave). So I thought it would be great to stay at this particular one with the Light Rail Station (Bellevue) directly in front for my Broncos games, going downtown, etc. Seemed like a good plan and I got a great rate as a government employee despite it being a vacation trip. I booked a handicap accessible room through the Extended Stay website.
Pros: The location was great for the Light Rail and super easy on-easy off to I-25 and very close to I-225.
Cons: Everything else.
Gratefully, I am a little neurotic on cleanliness so I had Lysol wipes and always sleep on TOP of the bed after laying my own bedsheet down and then use my own sleeping bag, pillows and camp towels no matter where I am staying - could be a Hilton - they have problems too, but nothing like this place. This place is what Dateline and 20/20 specials are made of.
I was also going to be going camping for a couple of days during the trip so I had the cooking/eating things for that portion of the trip I needed with me too. Let me clearly, clearly, clearly state that if I had not brought Lysol wipes, my own linens and the camping supplies that I would have been up the creek big time. Thankfully I drove from Central New York and had plenty of room to bring these items.
Where should I start? Oh, let me state that I'm an above knee amputee. I'm active and able to go camping and all, but need to use a wheelchair at times and nothing is easy or convenient, not to mention it takes me much longer to accomplish tasks because of my disability. Not complaining - just the way it is. That may make the reader appreciate this review a little more as to staff quality.
1. The first room I was put in had a broken refrigerator. Good thing I went to get a yogurt a couple hours after arrival otherwise the $65 I spent for perishables would have been out the door. To remedy this I had to move my refrigerator items to a room a couple doors down since it was late. I was given keys to the second room so I could go get things if needed. OK, at least my groceries are good and we'll handle it in full in the morning - seemed reasonable enough. The next day I asked to have the refrigerator replaced since I had already settled in and unpacked for a 10 day stay. Nope - they wouldn't move the refrigerator even though it was only a couple of rooms away. THEY MADE A DISABLED WOMAN IN A WHEELCHAIR MOVE TO A DIFFERENT ROOM RATHER THAN MOVE THE REFRIGERATOR. THEY CHOSE TO INCONVENIENCE A GUEST RATHER THAN REMEDY THE PROBLEM PROPERLY. The maintenance guy helped me move my things, but I had already been settled in and he certainly wasn't going to settle my things back in, just dump them in the room. So there was a good 3 hours blown after a nearly 1800 mile drive in the days prior. I physically needed to rest, but instead got to re-settle my room again. I find it hard to believe that of all the properties owned by Extended Stay that none of them had a refrigerator dolly to move it. I'd think each property would have one.
2. Lamp shades in room I ultimately was in were in deplorable shape. Deformed, cracks on the inner portion, dirty. Just awful. Replaced about 3 days before I left.
3. No cookware/cookware utensils whatsoever - again, thank God I was camping and had the items I needed anyway. I wasn't expecting much - maybe a 3 qt. pot and a 10" frypan, a spatula and maybe a can opener.
3. No microwave whatsoever - I essentially demanded a staff member to go find one and bring it to me. No joke - it took him 30 minutes looking through empty rooms before he found one.
4. Rooms are supposed to have full table setting and utensils for 2 people. I had 2 cups, 1 plate, 1 steak knife and a spoon. That's it - again, good thing I was camping and had my mess kit to use.
5. No dishrack whatsoever - I suppose that doesn't matter if you're not giving someone tableware.
6. Towel rack was literally hanging off the right side of the wall as if someone had been hanging on it. While the maintenance guy was moving my things I had him fix this. The kitchen light had 1 of the 2 lights burned out - he replaced those too. As a tradesman's daughter there was no freaking way he was leaving until I had everything I identified repaired.
7. I have NEVER, EVER purchased a mop as a souvenir for a trip. Based on everything else I was experiencing I didn't feel too good about the floor. I also swung by the dollar store for some toilet bowl cleaner and toilet brush. Based on what I was discovering I had no faith whatsoever in their housekeeping staff.
8. I went to the lobby to ask for something and some woman was sloppily eating crackers and crumbs were everywhere. I made a comment and was told she's there all the time. I got what I needed, but went back for some quarters for laundry about 2 hours later - think anyone had cleaned up the crumbs all over the chair and floor? Nope.
9. While I realize that these types of places may have people staying there for several weeks, it appeared that this was being used as social services transitional housing from what I could tell. How could I tell you ask? I'm a licensed master social worker so it was a pretty easy call to make. These were not people temporarily staying while relocating to another place - some had been there for months and months, like the woman with all the crumbs. I can't begin to tell you how many beer bottles I found near my Jeep in the parking lot. Thank God it wasn't vandalized or damaged during my stay. I know people need assistance and a place to stay at times, but it seems the trend all over the country is to set people up in hotels for extended periods of time. I'm not happy with that as a taxpayer. I'm inclined to think that this was the reason most of the things that should have been in there (i.e., microwave, cookware, dishrack) were not. When leaving many of these "guests" take things with them, something confirmed by the hotel manager I had a very lengthy talk with.
I took pictures of all the problems I described above with my iPod Touch and showed it to the manager. He clearly stated there was no reason my room should have been like that and apologized. Being an assertive person by nature of my profession, I told him I wanted to be considerably compensated for this nightmare, especially as a disabled guest who was highly inconvenienced - I was given 3 free nights. I tactfully did this by having him go into a side room to talk and clearly told him that if there was a decent housekeeping staff there that these would not likely have developed into problems. If I were a housekeeper and saw a rack CLEARLY hanging off a wall I'd let the maintenance person or manager know about it so it could be repaired - how hard is that?!?! I'd say that if good housekeepers were working there that about 85% of my concerns wouldn't have even existed since they could have been addressed as the problems arose.
Why didn't I leave, you ask? Tempted, to be sure. Well, after I addressed everything quite tactfully, yet assertively, with the manager my stay was a decent enough one. I told the manager I didn't want any housekeeping in my room since they don't do their work anyway. I had already cleaned the room to my cleanliness standards. So since I had the maintenance guy do all the repair work my room needed and cleaned it on my own I then felt the room met basic standards. But should anyone have to go through all of this?
I kid you not when I tell you that this experience was a very significant one in my decision to purchase a brand new small travel trailer to use for my trips rather than risk staying at a place like this. At least I know the housekeeping staff working in my travel trailer. Dateline and 20/20 don't do expose specials based on a single bad hotel. This place is the poster child for those specials.
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- Also Known As:
- Homestead Denver - Tech Center - North Hotel Denver
- Extended Stay America Denver