I was on a road trip around Florida with my son. We deliberately didn't book any accommodation in advance, waiting to see where we would end up, and subsequently booking overnight stays at the last minute via hotels.com.
Once we realised we were going to be in Daytona we surfed all the late deals we could get. There were all manner of deals available, with all the usual Marriott's etc making good offers, but the high regard in which the Sun Viking Lodge is held on Tripadvisor led me to book this independent accommodation. Hotels.com managed to fleece me by allowing me to book an upgraded "Ocean View" room, but they failed to arrange this with the hotel, who resolutely put us into a room with a view of the car park. Now I quite accept that the error here is hotels.com, not Sun Viking Lodge. However I was hugely disappointed that the desk staff, even when I showed my booking confirmation email with evidence of my having booked an Ocean View room, refused to rearrange my room. While they were brilliant at getting hold of numbers with which to try to contact hotels.com customer service, the repeated insistence that the mistake was nothing to do with them actually became insulting and irritating. You'd have almost believed that they weren't getting any money from my booking, which of course is just not the case. Having spent ages trying (and failing) to get hold of hotels.com, and having been abandoned at the desk by the check-in staff, I decided that life was too short and that I just wanted to get into my room, any room. So I gave in.
When I read of other guests having problems and being helped so genuinely, I do feel aggrieved that I was effectively abandoned by the staff. I try to be fair and measured in my reviews, and I certainly don't hold Sun Viking Lodge responsible for the error in my booking. But I do feel their customer service in failing to help me out when I was clearly upset fell below what I would expect, especially from an establishment with a Tripadvisor award The room was clean, smelling strongly of disinfectant, with a large bedroom area, a rather dated, non flat screen TV, a dated kitchen aea and old school tiny bathroom. It was a motel room, not a hotel room, and as such was fine. But as one of seven comparably priced rooms I booked back to back over as many days it was the least impressive by some distance. I write this review in a Radisson in Orlando which cost almost to the dollar the same as the Sun Viking last night, but feels in a different league in terms of quality.
So how does this hotel get such great reviews. Or alternatively, why is my review so crabby compared to so many others? The answer must lie in expectations, I suppose. This is a resort motel, with loads going on, many things for which you'd be paying extra to keep the kids entertained. As such it represents excellent value, and the staff are a credit to the owner. So my message is to take my review with a pinch of salt if the myriad extras are important to you. But if you're looking for a quality roof over your head for a night or two, you might feel, as I do, that your money is better spent elsewhere.