We needed somewhere cheap to stay in Bellingham last night. I always book into the Holiday Inn Express (around $100), which is a fabulous place, but was on more of a budget and managed to get this place for $49.
I was not expecting the Ritz, or even a Holiday Inn.
Check in was quick and easy and the girl told us the pool would be open really soon, so she put is in a room right by the pool, which was a great location and we had easy access to parking,etc... There was a guy fixing the hot tub, but the pool was full and looked ready to go.
Well this was not the case - he would not allow anyone to come into the pool area while he was fixing the hot tub. HUH? The hot tub is EMPTY, parts all over the place - do you think we are going to try and go in it? He locked the gate and said no. My daughter was disappointed, but it wasn't a huge deal.
We went into the room and the smell of pine sol was OVERWHELMING. Im not talking a small smell - Im talking knock you over and feel sick it was so strong. We just kept the door open for a bit and hoped to air it out a bit.
It was really hot out, so we put the air con on. It would come on for about 1 min and shut off. It wasn't on auto or anything - it just kept shutting off. We had to keep going over and turning it off and on. Very annoying.
The room was 'ok' - Nothing fancy, and I wasn't expecting fancy. It seemed clean enough at first glance. Had a tv that got all the premium channels, so my 11 yr old was happpy - she could watch the Disney Channel and nothing else mattered to her at this point. We were going to out late that night to see a show, so we just rested for a while. After a while I could not smell the pine sol, as we were just used to it I guess. The room could use some moulding around the baseboards and a few touchups, but livable for one short night.
When we arrived there were 4 voicemails for someone else from last Wednesday, and I was surprised these were not cleaned off.
The bathtub was kinda gross - it appeared dirty,but it was just so worn out that the finish was coming off it. Again - I could handle just standing in it for a quick shower, but would not bathe a child in it - ick.
The wireless was up and down and the next morning it didn't work at all.
No blow dryer in the room, so bring your own.
We got back late from our show around 11:30pm. We watched some tv and went to sleep around 12:30am, figuring we could sleep in.
Now here is where it got bad.... 6:30am my phone rings..... startled me out of a deep sleep. "GOOD MORNING, THIS IS YOUR SCHEDULED WAKE UP CALL". HUH??????? Ok... now I was ticked....I mean REALLY ticked. I phoned the front office and it rang about 15 times before some guy answered in a sleepy voice. I asked him 'Why the bleep (insert choice word here from angry lady woken up!) did we just get a wake up call?'.
His answer "Oh, let me check - yah you weren't suppossed to have one, but sometimes our machine just does that".
SOMETIMES YOUR MACHINE JUST HAPPENS TO PHONE PEOPLE AT 630AM!!??!!
So we were startled awake and tried to get back to sleep, and I think we dosed off for about 45 mins. My daughter was hungry and went to get a 'free muffin' at 8:30am. There were none left. I got showered and dressed and went over. They didn't have any out, but did have some in the back for people who asked. What the heck? We have to 'ask' for our free 'breakfast'. Which was a cellophane wrapped muffin, but enough to get something into a kid's stomach to start the day.
While getting this I asked about the wake up call and the girl said "Oh you know - someone was staying in that room for like 2 months and always had wake up calls - I bet it never got turned off.....geez im really sorry.". So I asked how I would be compensated for their mistake. She said she personally couldn't authorize anything. I asked to see the manager - well guess what? SHE is the manager! Yet SHE, the manager, is not authorized to do anything. What we had to do was fill out a complaint form (and they must get a LOT of complaints at this place, because they had a stack of these forms right beside the check in area ready to go), and she would fax it to the head office (Im guess Joe Blow owner at his house) and if they felt I should get a refund on the room, they will mail me a check.
I told her I am happy to fill out the form. I also told her I would be happy to post on tripadvisor, and all other review sites I can find. I also told her I would be contacting AAA, since they are endorsed by them. She then says "Oh did you pay by credit card? Let me see what I can do for you!". Well I noticed the charge has gone through on my card, so guessing she didn't do anything. I will await 'head office', which is probably some guy in his garage up the street at his house, since this is not a chain.
I could overlook the sickly pine sol, the gross bathtub, the guy not letting people swim while he worked (still trying to figure that one out...), but I cannot overlook a wakeup call at 6:30am because 'sometimes their machine does that'.
There are lots of places in Bellingham to stay - SKIP THIS ONE! Spend the extra $ and go to the Holiday Inn down the street!
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- Econo Lodge Inn And Suites Bellingham
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