I've only posted glowing reviews before.
But, I called the Viana directly & reserved a handicapped accessible room for 2 nights. I was thankful they had a room, since we'd flown thousands of miles on short notice & didn't have any reservations. They told me they were close to the hospital where I was having a scary proceedure the next morning. They said my room would be accessible by elevator, with no stairs.
The law says I don't have to mention I am assisted by a Service Dog...but I usually do...I was just exhausted & forgot. My Service Dog (Mobility & Alert), has never been denied in 45 nights spent in hotels, was never denied in resturants, theaters or on 22 Commercial flights! (he is brilliant & he looks like a poster for a Service Dog & he is well marked as a Service Dog!)
When I arrived the Viana, the Manager said I was "obviously" disabled & the SD was "obviously" well trained, but they require written certification for Service Dogs. They would not accept my Handicapped Parking Permit, a letter from the Hospital or my Airline Boarding Card. The desk clerk told me she told the manager they were required to admit Disabled persons assisted by a Service Dog.
I pointed out the Federal Law specifically forbids them asking for written verification, but they had a right to know I was disabled & could ask when the SD did for me. (I said he assists with Mobility, Alerts me to falls & has 35 other commands...but keeping me out of the ER was my favorite) I assured them they, their other guests & their cleaning staff would never know my SD was there!
The manager said "she knew the Federal Law", but did not have to follow it or the New York State Law. She called the hotel owner & said "he is an attorney & he says Federal Law doesn't apply in NY State, so without written SD Certification, you can not stay".
They refused to help me find another hotel.
They refused to speak to their own Reservation Service people who offered to advise them to let us stay. They refused to listen to the Police I called & who came & said they could not deny me because of a Service Dog. After 2 1/2 hours, they said my husband and I could stay ONLY if I agreed to NOT enter the hotel lobby, the elevator, or the restuarant. They said only my husband could go everywhere every other guests could go.
I told the officer it wasn't safe without the elevator & I was done being humiliated by the hotel, so we left.
The 800# was very nice, but they said they are not legally connected to the Viana & called me from London & offered me a free trip to any of their hotels, but I told her I had no problem with the 800# as they were kind. I only want them to post signs at their hotel saying "Disabled Persons assisted by a Service Dog are welcome."
I waited 2 weeks, but didn't hear from the hotel & I wanted to make sure they didn't treat anyone else so cruelly, so today I called the General Manager who angrily told me he knew all about it & the Front Desk Manager was RIGHT to refuse a Disabled Person with a Medical Service Dog unless the Disabled Person has a written PRESCRIPTION for the use of a Service Dog.
Over and Over he angrily told me "We are pet friendly, but only if the pet has a written prescription saying they are a Service Dog."
I said your staff made me disclose very private medical information but I was so exhausted after traveling over 15 hours I kept jumping through her hoops to try to get to go to bed.
He said none of that mattered since I didn't have a prescription written to THEIR HOTEL saying I could stay there.
I said I can't believe you have known about this for 2 weeks, but you couldn't spend 3 minutes checking out the law before chewing me out for trying to stay in your hotel. I started to cry & he hung up on me.
Then he called me back and said he would check out the law, but I had been asked to leave because I had taken a picture inside the hotel lobby! Not because I had a Service Dog!
Does he really think anyone will buy that any hotel wouldn't allow pictures?? Or is it more likely he googled the law before his last call to me? All I wanted was to know no one else would run into this, I honesty thought he'd say they would re-train and make sure everyone else would be treated better. Instead he angrily lectured me. He treated me like a cockroach! (I am still shaking!) I am a HUMAN BEING! Even if there had been some stupid rule that disabled people had to stop & see a Doctor before every hotel...was sending me out to the street after 15 hours of travel a solution??
Disabled people aren't trying to "put one over on you"! We just want to live our lives as normally as possible, for as long as possible!
- Also Known As:
- Viana Hotel
- Viana Hotel Westbury
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