I (with a small group of friends) checked into the Canyon Lake Ranch (owned by Alamo Street Victorian Inn) on Friday, September 21, 2007. Upon check-in, we quickly changed clothes and left for our evening plans. Because the facility is owned by a family, we were instructed that the cabin would be unlocked and keys on the dining table.
Later that evening, we returned to the cabin. Our plan was to use the pool and hot tub. We then noticed that there were several outdoor lights that did not work, the lawn had not been mowed (leaving grass and weeds at least 6” high), and the pool was very dirty. We decided to forego the pool and try out the hot tub, however the hot tub would not work – the temperature control would not heat the water. I specifically booked this cabin because of the pool and hot tub, thinking it would be a relaxing way to spend a weekend.
The following morning, we found that the toilet in the half-bath was not working either. We discovered this after using the toilet, going back to sleep and then waking to a floor covered in water. After turning off the water, I called the owners (Dan & Robbie) of the cabin. The owners proceeded to inspect the toilet and started to remove rugs and furniture, while Robbie, the wife, immediately accused our entire party of stuffing the toilet and causing it to overflow on purpose. My group had planned to sleep in and have a nice quiet morning. Waking up to a floor covered in toilet water very early in the morning was not our plan, and frankly not what we paid for either. Robbie also proceeded to tell us that she “just hoped they did not have to charge us damages.” Upon that statement, I immediately called my credit card company to flag any extra charges from the owners and to dispute my current charges. We decided to stay the second night because we had been precharged and were informed that it would not matter in the credit dispute. Had I been informed that if we continued to stay for the second night we would not be able to dispute the charges, we would have packing our bags and left!
While I spent time on the phone, two other members of our party tried to speak with Robbie. She then told them as well that we needed to watch for damage charges because we had done this on purpose. At that point, the others in my group brought up our additional issues: the dirty pool (we were told that we just belonged in the city), the pool light that was actually detached and sitting on the side of the pool (she remarked that she knew this was broken and that the pool company had not been by), the hot tub that did not work (she actually fixed this) and the dirty floor (dead bugs, rodent feces). Robbie did attempt to clean the pool and turn on the vacuum.
After Dan, the husband, finished vacuuming the floor, the couple left for the day – without cleaning the floor. We spent the rest of the weekend wearing shoes to avoid walking around in what was clearly a dirty floor to begin with, and became even dirtier after being flooded in toilet water, which imposed a health hazard to us during the remainder of our stay.
After returning for the second evening, we decided to cook dinner and try swimming in the pool. Because it was getting darker outside, we also turned on the outdoor lights (half of which were not working), including the pool light. The pool vacuum was still on and caught the cord to the pool light, pulling it into the pool and causing the light to shatter. We could still not use the pool because of an exposed wire hazard and shattered glass covering the pool floor. At this point, because we were threatened with damage charges that morning, I called the phone number listed for Jackie (the ranch manager) to inform her of what happened. She was unaware of the issues we had that morning and informed me that as the manager she was also unaware that we were even checking in that weekend. I made the reservations more than a month in advance. While on the phone with her, I informed her of the additional issues (dirty pool, hot tub that did not work and dirty floors). Jackie then noted that the cabin had probably not been cleaned (she schedules the cleanings and was not informed of our stay) and the pool probably had not been cleaned either, as that is part of her duties. She also asked if the lawn had been mowed, which as I stated above, it had not.
Overall, I feel we did not get the services we paid for. We reserved and paid for a clean, quiet place to stay and a nice pool and hot tub to relax in. The trip was a constant struggle – not only with the owners, who were accusatory and unapologetic with our concerns regarding the issues occurring while staying in their facility, but also with the facility itself. I certainly don’t feel that the value of our stay was worth $465.50 per night.
- Also Known As:
- Canyon Lake Ranch Texas
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Swimming Pool, Hot Tubs and Pet Friendly near Canyon Lake. More private than a bed and breakfast and much nicer than cabins and cottages, Canyon Lake Ranch offers a choice of two highly inspected romantic vacation homes on our Longhorn Cattle Ranch near Canyon Lake. Guests are welcomed with a basket of fresh fruit, complementary wine, great cookies and bedside chocolates. Starview Lodge sleeps up to 6 guests (2 queen bedrooms, 1-1/2 baths). Swimming Pool, Wi-Fi, sauna, stone fireplace, half basketball court, horseshoes and shaded pool deck area. Longhorn Lodge sleeps up to 8 guests (3 bedrooms – 2 queen, 1 two singles, 2 baths). Secluded location, shady fenced yard that welcomes pets (extra charge), covered parking, two porches. Both centrally air conditioned homes have private hot tubs, satellite television, DVD, completely equipped kitchens, are fully furnished, have charcoal grills, guest robes and hot tub towels. ... more less