I booked online to stay at the Stone Soup Inn for an overnight business trip. I made the reservation 15 days before the trip and paid the reservation in full on my credit card, which was charged.
I received two confirmation emails from hotels.com; the second specifically saying I didn't have to call.
When I arrived at the inn late in the evening after a long day of travel and meetings, they did not have my reservation.
I forwarded them my booking and payment confirmation but was advised that would not suffice. They needed something more official from hotels.com.
When I suggested they take it up with hotels.com, I was advised that hotels.com wouldn't provide them the info they needed, that I needed to call them.
It was after 10 pm; I was exhausted and I needed to be up early the next morning. I mentioned this to them.
Yet no heed was given to this. The owner advised me that I needed to either pay again or leave, as they had no contract with hotels.com.
I didn't want to pay twice for a room, particularly as I had no assurance I'd get a refund of the original fee I'd paid.
Over two hours later, after numerous calls to hotels.com, I finally got a live person at hotels.com to cancel the reservation, and I paid direct for the room.
What severely disappointed me is as follows:
1. The manager took absolutely no responsibility for the situation. She pointed the finger at hotels.com, but failed to recognize that her business is still listed on that site and she ought to be at least partly if not fully responsible for bookings that come in that way.
2. I was treated unacceptably poorly as a prospective guest with a paid receipt. She referred to me as a stranger who had walked in off the street, and that her innkeeper needed to get to sleep to service other guests. I was a customer too -- I had paid for a room and wanted to stay at their establishment -- she should have recognized that. But instead of taking on the problem and letting me get to a room, I was left with no choice except to get on the phone with the booking agent to address the problem before she would let me stay. It was not until after midnight I finally got a hold of someone at hotels.com who would cancel and refund the reservation. The owner then charged me a higher rate for the room instead of the rate I had originally booked at!!! (At that point, I had no more energy left to argue.)
3. I never got an apology or any sympathy for my situation. I asked if she understood my point of view, and she responded that she would not be "manipulated" and that she would rather have me just leave. (I'd paid for the room! I had to be up early! It was after midnight! Where would I go!) It was absolutely audacious and unbelievable for someone in the service industry to be so indifferent and cursory to notions of basic courtesy and understanding of my needs at that point.
This all took **over 2 hours**; I only then got to a room **after midnight** and 5 hours sleep before having to be up again.
The room I finally got was ok, even nice; but my time there was completely ruined by the above.
From this, I have learned I will always need to call a hotel directly to confirm a reservation directly, even when my confirmation says I do not need to.
But would you really want to stay at a place that can treat a guest this way?
The poor quality of the evening's stay and sleep affected the next 2 days, and the feeling of being treated terribly also lingered.
I too was lured by the glowingly positive reviews, only to receive the worst service experience I've ever had.
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- Also Known As:
- Stone Soup Hotel Indianapolis