A rash, smoky towels and chunky milk?!?!?
I'm completely disappointed in my recent stay at this hotel. We arrived late at night after 17 hours on the road and really didn't need much - just a bed, shower and nice breakfast. When we first arrived in Ocala, we were immediately concerned with the location of the hotel. It appeared to be in a run-down neighborhood with an elevated potential for criminal activity. We parked our van in the best-lit spot we could find, but still felt uneasy.
The person working the front desk couldn't have been nicer or more efficient. She checked us in quickly and gave us a bag with a bottle of water and cookies. As we walked to our room, we noticed the hotel had a low-quality feel to it, and had an odor one might expect from a cheap hotel. When we got to the room, we noticed right away how loud the A/C unit was. However, since we were so tired, I convinced my family that we wouldn't have any trouble sleeping and chose not to ask for a new room. I regret that decision, since most of us found it very difficult to sleep.
When we woke in the morning, my daughter had a rash of some kind on her cheek - the same side she was sleeping on. She's never had anything like that, so we can only assume it somehow came from the pillow. The rash went away after a couple days. Additionally, the towels had a funny smell to them - possibly smoke.
One thing we really appreciate from Holiday Inn Express is the free breakfast, but this proved to be the absolute worst part of our stay. We arrived a few minutes before the official start time and, although certain items were already out, the person working told us rudely that we needed to sit down and wait until she put everything out - so we wouldn't be in her way. After we waited a few more minutes, she told us it was OK to proceed. I got myself a cup of orange juice and noticed a bug in it. Since the cups were stacked upside down, I can only assume it wasn't in there when I took it off the stack, and that it must have come out with the juice. When my daughter poured a carton of milk on her cereal, she noticed it was chunky. I thought at first it was frozen, so I poured mine. Same thing, and I confirmed it wasn't frozen, but actually chunky. It was difficult to not get sick right there at the thought of drinking/eating it. What if I had simply drank from the carton?!?! I found the person working in the back room and told her about the milk. Her response was not at all what I expected. It was something to the effect of... "Someone else said the same thing. I'm not sure why, since the date on the carton is still a few days away." There was no attempt at an apology, no attempt to make things better, and incredibly, no attempt to remove all the milk. That's when I rounded up my family and left.
On the way out, my son told me his cinnamon roll was moldy. Unfortunately, by that time, I had no way to verify that. As we passed the front desk, the person working (different from the previous night) made no attempt to say good bye or thank you, even though she wasn't helping anybody else and even made eye contact with us. I thought about raising my concerns with her at that point, but honestly felt they would fall on deaf ears.
Holiday Inn Express is our first choice when we travel. We thought we knew what we could expect with each one. On our return trip, our stay in Metropolis IL was perfect - just what we've come to expect. However, based on the Ocala experience, I'll need to be more careful in the future and will need to consider other options. My confidence has been shaken, which is truly unfortunate.
When I returned home, I filed a complaint with the Holiday Inn Express corporate office. It took them 19 days to respond (they said it could take up to 21) and when they did, they simply thanked me for bringing it to their attention and said they would forward it to the hotel's general manager. Are you serious?!?!? That's it?!?!?
Update 7/3/13: Holiday Inn credited my Priority Club acocunt with 15,000 points. It's a nice gesture that goes a long way to restoring my faith in them.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Holiday Inn Express Ocala-Midtown offers the best of all possible worlds. Stay here and you'll discover unparalleled convenience, service and value in a beautifully landscaped resort-styled setting. Whether you re coming to Ocala for business or just for fun your room at the Holiday Inn Express Ocala Midtown hotel is your personal retreat. You ll have room to work, relax and make the most of your day. Amenities such as Wi-Fi high-speed Internet, work center, plush towels and luxurious bedding. You can take a dip in our pool or just relax and enjoy a good book. We are right where you want to be, close to the Monroe Medical Center, Historic Downtown Ocala, the Appleton Museum of Art, and Ocala Silver Springs Park and much more. Welcome to Holiday Inn Express Ocala Midtown hotel. You ll find comfort and modern luxury at one of the most convenient locations in Ocala. Contemporary hospitality and Ocala excitement are waiting for you. For your business needs, you will fine the hotels convenient business center is there for copies, faxing checking your e-mail or browsing the Internet. Enjoy our new Express Start breakfast bar served each morning featuring a selection of hot eggs, sausage, biscuits, fruits juices, cereals, breads, pastries and the world's best tasting cinnamon roll. We are pet friendly and offer pet amenities for that special family member. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express - Ocala Midtown Medical - Us 441 Hotel Ocala
- Holiday Inn Ocala
- Ocala Holiday Inn