I recently stayed at the Pinehurst resort with six other individuals for a total of four rooms during the period of Saturday, September 1st through Monday, September 3rd. When deciding which type of room to book, since the Pinehurst website expressly holds that there are four room options at varying prices, including the Manor Inn, the Holly Inn, the Carolina, and the Villas, and pursuant to independent research conducted on our own behalf, we decided to book rooms at the Carolina and only the Carolina. The reservations were made approximately one month in advance and several conversations took place with Pinehurst representatives prior to our check in for such things as dinner reservations and spa reservations. But not once, during the month preceding our visit, did Pinehurst either directly or indirectly represent that it had the ability to unilaterally change the room that you would stay in for one of lesser value while keeping your money and charging you for the higher priced room.
My party checked in before I arrived at Pinehurst. Upon arrival I was notified by my party that everyone had been placed into a Villa, despite our request for and payment of bedrooms at the Carolina with king size beds. Instead we were all given rooms at the Villas each room having two double beds, which rooms were dingy and dark, had stained carpets, and rings around the bathtub. We also did NOT receive access to the common areas of the Villa.
I immediately proceeded to speak to the PM Manager Michael. I was patient and courteous and explained the situation and expected the matter to be taken care of swiftly. We were on our way to dinner and I had full faith in Pinehurst that they would remedy the situation immediately. Instead at approximately 10:30pm, while I was still at dinner at the 1895 Grille I received a call from Michael offering one room at the Carolina that did not have a good view and another room that had a maintenance issue. I was appalled that after we had paid for a Carolina room and after Pinehurst made the unilateral decision to bump our reservation to suit their own needs that all Pinehurst would offer us were rooms that they would never offer their other clientele.
I returned from dinner to speak with Michael, the PM Manager, only to learn that he had left for the evening and the evening staff had no idea who I was or what I was there for. Much to my dismay, when I returned that evening to speak with Michael three other Pinehurst guests were checking in and provided rooms at the Carolina -- how convenient or how is it possible I asked myself since I couldn't believe that Pinehurst would outright lie to its guests. Accordingly, we retreated to our dingy rooms in the Villa when we were supposed to be and paid for rooms at the Carolina. What was supposed to be a relaxing fun filled weekend with friends had already turned into a nightmare. Nonetheless, after a restless anxiety ridden sleepless night, I called and spoke with Katelyn, the AM Manager. Who, like Michael, did not have any authority to make any decisions and asked that I speak to Michael about the situation at 3PM. Therefore, another day passed as I waited for Michael to start his shift.
I then went to speak with Michael who finally directed me to Matt, apparently a Manager who could make decisions. I told Matt the sequence of events, that any reference to the Villas being an "upgrade" especially without access to the amenities at the Villa by which one could make a straight face argument of "upgrade", was not only an excuse but was a way of telling me, the guest, that I am wrong. Since Pinehurst was not making any accommodations to rectify the situation, it wasn't until 5pm on Sunday (before we checked out the next morning) that I told Matt that I expected to be reimbursed for the first night. Even that was with difficulty. I heard myself explaining to Matt that we are all educated professionals, doctors, lawyers, and engineers, to be specific, who had fully intended on paying for services Pinehurst offered, accepted, and agreed to provide, and now Pinehurst was not meeting their obligations and would not even consider reimbursing us without me having to explain myself (for a fourth time). To add insult to injury I was told by Pinehurst staff that they were appalled by what was happening and that Pinehurst has bent over backwards for a lot less (i.e. a hair dryer not working).
I traveled from New York City, where I am a lawyer and my boyfriend is a doctor, for a spa and golf getaway (not that this is important, but like I aforementioned, I found myself having to explain our occupations for Pinehurst to take our complaints seriously). All we received from Pinehurst was waiting and insults. Ultimately they credited at least our room, I cannot speak for everyone in my party as of yet, although I requested everyone linked to our reservation be appropriately reimbursed. Nonetheless, Matt, the Manager, was very specific that the only reimbursement that they would give would be for the accommodation and not for the entire first night that including additional amenities pursuant to the upgraded packages that we purchased. I told Matt we were not unreasonable people, nor were we looking for a free ride, considering the total cost to just the two of us to travel from NYC and stay specifically at Pinehurst for two evenings exceeded $2000.00, but that they were not living up to their end of the bargain and I wanted them to make it right. You would think that an establishment of this caliber would want to preserve its name and in order to do so would go above and beyond to accommodate its guests, not have its guests run around after them to fix their nightmare of a weekend, only to be reluctantly given a nominal reimbursement equivalent to a slap in the face with a clear expression that nothing more would be done (i.e. you are not our clientele and we do not cater to you).
Thank you Pinehurst for making what was supposed to be a wonderful weekend with friends into a nightmare and not even attempting, despite my numerous yet patient efforts to rectify this situation so that I would not need to sit here today, less than 24 hours since I left Pinehurst to complain. I would appreciate some clarification from a senior manager, owners or board member explaining to me how this situation could result: (1) your overbooking; (2) us having to chase you down after lodging our complaint; (3) not dealing with the situation for the entirety of our stay; and (4) having to explain myself, my position, my expectations on at least 4 different occasions. I travel regularly and stay at premium resorts regularly. Specifically, my travel just this year has included, Exuma, Turks & Caicos, Napa Valley, Italy, Cayman Islands and now Pinehurst. Even now, I leave with this, I look forward to your response.
If not response is received I warn guests, make sure you are getting what you paid for. Apparently Pinehurst thinks its appropriate to take your money and give you less than what you paid for.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Some say you can feel the spirit of Pinehurst as you turn onto Carolina Vista, the tree-lined avenue that leads to the Carolina hotel. This majestic century-old hotel with its signature copper cupola and sweeping verandas make you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time to an era when elegance defined grand hotels and resorts. Dubbed the “Queen of the South,” the Carolina has 274 Four-Diamond guest rooms including suites.Pinehurst Resort features eight golf courses, an award-winning Spa, a charming village, tennis, beach club and other amenities inlcuding an active Kids Club. Kids 12 and under stay and play golf free when staying in the same room as the parents. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Carolina - Pinehurst Hotel Pinehurst
- Pinehurst Hotel And Country
- Pinehurst Resort And Country