Three stars for the gorgeous view of lake, nice kitchen set up (big fridge, toaster, microwave, coffee maker, dishwasher etc.). The on campus Hilltop Restaurant has good food (not great) but the service was S-L-O-W. Definitely use your credit card to pay in the restaurant if you are participating in the Timeshare invitation to assure you will be credited to your account. Lovely indoor and outdoor pools.
No air conditioner in bedroom, just in the living room area. The bedroom was HOT, poorly lit and stuffy with no window. I could not see the clothes in my suitcase nor read in bed - they must be using 20 watt bulbs in there.
The room keys are real keys - as opposed to plastic card keys - and we had trouble using them. They had to be jiggled in 2/3 way to fit, very frustrating and annoying. It took me a few minutes to get back into the room. Plus, we saw this as a security risk. Those old keys and locks could be picked by a kid on a bet. Another security problem was that there was no safe in the room. We are used to having a digitally locked safe at all resorts we go to as "the norm" for us. Having no safe was unsettling, especially with that weak, old jiggly door lock.
WARNING TO TIMESHARE INQUIRIES: We went here via an invitation to check out Steele Hill's timeshare deal. The invitation included a $40 credit at the Hilltop Restaurant, $20 cash for gas, and one free night. Plus, after the 90 minute presentation, we were promised four airplane tickets to many desirable destinations (two of which were good for us, Rome and San Francisco) that would expire in two years, as long as we stayed four nights at one of their hotels while we travelled. On the reservation call, I requested clarity on the kinds of hotels and prices available, and was told there were Marriotts on the list for as low as $69.00/night. This sounded like good value, so we agreed to make the trek up there and do this timeshare interview.
Imagine my surprise when at the top of the 90 minute presentation we were told that in order to get the four airplane tickets we had to stay SEVEN nights, and the hotels were ALL $350/night and up! This was a massive "bait and switch," totally unsavory and ultra awkward in the moment. We politely told our sales person no thank you, and then she got angry and said, "I'm going to throw you out of here!" She refused to give us the tour, and went ballistic!
Years of professionally dealing with difficult people kicked in for me, and I quietly said, "If you won't give us the tour, we are still entitled to the $40 credit for dinner (which we had the night before) and $20 cash for gas, plus a $50 credit to my VISA for the room (yes, they required a $50 deposit when I made the reservation, which was to be returned AFTER the timeshare tour.)
The sales rep almost had a stroke! I said, "Get your manager." She stalked off in some kind of frenzy and my husband and I just sat there, stunned.
Fast forward to the end: she stomps back to us holding money in her hand; the $20 cash she slaps down in front of me the table, and the $40 credit is on a piece of paper she violently thumps on the table. I ask her where is the $50 credit to my VISA? "Oh, we do that in the office, there is no receipt for that!" This was unacceptable, so I requested to see the manager. "He's not here now," she said. My husband reminded me that we will just write this up and file a dispute with VISA and definitely get our money back, not to worry and let's go.
Finally, if this was not painful enough, when we went to check out, we waiting almost 15 minutes for someone to show up at the front desk! This place is severely understaffed, and again, a security risk for me. If there were safe deposit boxes behind the desk, ANYONE could just go in there and blow off the locks and rob these people. When a staff person finally arrived, I asked her to please apply this $40 credit given to us after our timeshare meeting towards the dinner we had the night before. She looked at me as if I was speaking Chinese. "I have never done that before," she said. Inwardly praying for patience, I requested she call her manager ASAP and get clearance to credit my account for the $40, and while she was on the phone, we would also like to have a receipt for the $50 credit on my VISA for the reservation that was to be returned to me. She disappeared behind the wall to make her call.
Twenty minutes later - I kid you not - this young girl returns to the front desk and tells us she will credit us for the $40, but cannot give us a receipt for the $50. Again, my husband rolled his eyes at me and reminded me that we will be filing a dispute. Total time at check out: 45 minutes!
In sum, I would say that if you love this lake view, and can tolerate a hot, stuffy poorly lit bedroom, do go visit this place. But be wary of their business tactics and leave your valuables in your locked car.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
I appreciate the fact that you balanced your negative feedback with some of the positive things you experienced during your stay. Our suites do have great kitchen facilities that can’t be found in any other hotel in the area. Also, the majority of the units offer spectacular views of the lakes and mountains.
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We have made conservation efforts to install high-efficiency lighting in those units, but they do take some time to warm up to their full luminescence. We are currently discussing an LED lighting project that would achieve the same energy savings with improved lighting performance. I will take your feedback into consideration as we layout the new budget for property improvements.
I am glad to hear you enjoyed the food in the restaurant. We have had a banner year at the Hilltop Restaurant in terms of demand, particularly during the high summer months, and this may have resulted in a longer than normal wait period. We are continuing to adjust service in the restaurant to meet this high demand and I will work with our food and beverage staff to help cut down on this issue in the future.
In regards to your worries about security, all I can say is that the resort staffs security guards on the property to ensure safety for our guests. We take the safety and security of our guests and their possessions very seriously.
In terms of your issues with the sales tour, I feel inclined to defend our company. Steele Hill has been selling Vacation Ownership for over 30 years. We offer a great product and have many satisfied members.
I have thoroughly reviewed your claims about our Vacation Ownership sales. As you know, all of the calls regarding the specifics of your tour were recorded for quality assurance purposes. These calls explicitly covered the gifts offered and the qualification requirements. I have also discussed the matter with the managers involved. After this investigation, I believe you may have had a misunderstanding. I also believe that the description you provided in your review was not accurate in regard to what was communicated both over the phone and in the confirmation letter that you brought to the tour. I understand you were unhappy with the situation and this likely shaped the feedback that you posted. I do not believe it would be productive to counter your story in a public forum or make any statements that would point out the facts I have reviewed. However, if you would like to discuss things further, I would be more than happy to speak with you.
Please feel free to call me by phone at 603.524.2216 or email me at email@example.com.
Rob Robillard, General Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.