I joined Tripadvisor two years ago and this is my fourth report. The three previous venues received the full five. What to give The Lodge? If the holiday had gone without a hitch I’d probably have given a 5. If they had dealt with the written complaint about staff in the breakfast room that I handed in to the front desk, I’d have given a 4. As far as I can tell my letter went in the bin as it wasn’t acted upon and none of the managers saw it. Exactly the same issues occurred the following day. If someone had apologised to me before I left I’d have still given a 3. They didn’t but I expressly asked to see the manager in person before I left and I asked the person who I was told was the manager for a response. I got one when I got home but as I had to keep pushing for the truth I’m giving a 1.
I wanted to know why service in the breakfast room had been so poor on two consecutive days. The first two explanations that the problem only occurred on one day due to them being slightly short staffed wasn’t right as the same problems occurred the next day and things didn’t improve until the Saturday when there were five working the room instead of two. Finally they admitted the problems occurred on both days as they were the breakfast manager’s days off. The manager was in the hotel so it beats me why cover wasn’t arranged especially given the number of guests in the hotel. As it was, there was no supervision in the breakfast room for two days, nobody to notice the two people in there couldn’t cope with the number of guests, and nobody to ensure corrective action was taken.
Before I left I thought I’d spoken to the manager but it turned out to have been the front desk manager who hadn’t been in the hotel on either of the problem mornings. When I later received the hotel survey form I realised there was also a general manager who said she had been in the hotel both days. I’ve never before had a problem identifying who is in charge at a hotel. At The Lodge I had no idea there was a general manager. The staff didn’t tell me when I handed in my complaint, nor when I asked to speak to the manager before I left and on top of that the manager was not alerted to my written complaint. I find this all very odd.
It’s a pleasant looking hotel. The guys in the ski hire shop are excellent. They also take care of your skis at the start and end of each day. The airport and ski shuttle service is very helpful. The free town shuttle bus service stops conveniently outside the hotel. We very much enjoyed the pool, sauna and hot tubs. The pool temperature was ideal. The cleaning of the rooms was good. The boys liked the big TV in the room. Jackson is a fine looking town (if you can see it for the traffic). The front desk staff are generally friendly and helpful (unless you hand in a complaint when for some reason it isn’t passed up the chain of command, if in fact there is one) and they arranged a wonderful trip to Yellowstone for us. We enjoyed going around the corner to eat at the Gun Barrel which cooks great steaks. The Hatch on the way into town is a lively place with friendly staff and we enjoyed the Mexican food there. Those two restaurants were our favourites. There is fantastic beer at the Snake River Brewery and we ate there also.
The hotel location isn’t ideal being close to a busy road and opposite a business park. The room air conditioning system is loud. You have a choice between that and opening your window to let out the heat, but that lets in loud noises from the street and business area that can start before half-past five during the week. We were there the week of the President’s birthday holiday and there was clearly strain on the hotel’s resources. While I feel this could have been managed to avoid the problems we experienced, it wasn’t and so that week was much less relaxing than the previous week and I would avoid it where possible. There was little promotion of the dining room for dinner and I didn’t speak to anyone who recommended it. The restaurants at other hotels in town seem to be well regarded. We like to take walks and you can walk into town but there are two drawbacks in that most of the path is not lit at night and Jackson seems to be a national refuge for pick-up trucks. Look all around you when crossing junctions as some, particularly near Bubba’s, are angled in a way that allows vehicles to hang a fast right and some do that even when the pedestrian walk light is on so take special care at night. Better still, don’t bother. I found all that gas guzzling 10mile per gallon traffic disturbing at a place sold as a ski destination, especially as the snow quality was poor and the weather felt more like April than February. I’m no expert on the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, but if my town made money from ski tourism I’d be looking to set an example to others.
The hotel services deteriorated as the number of guests increased into the week of the President’s day public holiday. The early shuttle bus which previously could be booked with no problem the evening before, suddenly became block booked days in advance though you could get on a waiting list and hope that some people chose not to get up. The system is therefore open to abuse by folk giving themselves the luxury of choosing whether to lie in or not whereas if you’re on the waiting list you have to get up early regardless of whether you’re going to get away or not. I therefore suggest you book as early as you can but please don’t abuse the system as it’s a very helpful service and the drivers are friendly and informative on the way to the slopes.
Breakfast time, which during the first part of our stay had been relaxing and enjoyable, rapidly descended into a farce. The service steadily deteriorated from the Saturday and reached a nadir on the Thursday and Friday. I didn’t make a formal count of the numbers of staff involved but in general there were two front of house staff tidying up, replacing and replenishing. This worked fine during the quiet week but I still saw only two people as the number of guests in the dining room mushroomed. I’ll say at the outset that I never saw those two idle. They steadily went about their work and as far as I could see they were always doing something worthwhile. However they only have the one gear and didn’t step up to the challenge put before them. In my opinion, if there had been effective supervisory management at the hotel this problem would have been recognised and extra staff would be brought in proactively to service the additional guests that the front-desk people have booked into the hotel. In fact there was no sign of any management or supervision concerning the breakfast room on those two days. It seemed to me that the place was run as a commune with everyone sharing the problems, including the guests. Indeed, you could argue that it is the guests who are the problem as it is their sheer numbers that caused the deterioration in service. Perhaps a seasonal cull of guests could be carried out like they do with the buffalo in Yellowstone who have the natural desire to migrate to places where they’re not wanted, like The Lodge guests who wander unwittingly into the busy breakfast room.
On the Thursday morning we had to clear our own table before we sat down. I don’t expect to have to clean up someone else’s mess in a hotel that boasts world class amenities and a tripadvisor certificate of excellence on its home page. There were no cereal bowls so I started with the cooked meal but there were no forks. I asked each of the two staff on duty for a fork but they ignored me and carried on with the other tasks they were doing so I went in search of extra help. I found a guy with a badge out in the corridor who I thought might be a supervisor. Anyway he managed to source five forks. As there was pent up demand these were grabbed straight away and it was over fifteen minutes before any more appeared. My son ate his meal with a teaspoon and I saw another guy eat sausage and scrambled egg with his fingers. A world class amenity and they can’t provide enough forks for their guests? The empty fruit bowl wasn’t replaced and the breakfast juice machine ran clear water. It was obvious the place was over-stretched but there was nobody to get on top of it.
I took the time to record my experience and hand in a written complaint with a suggestion that they needed more staff. The next morning we couldn’t even find a dirty table and had to use the bar. Unbelievably they ran out of forks and my son again ate his meal with a teaspoon. I asked a guy at the desk why someone couldn’t have nipped out to K-Mart to buy a box of forks after my complaint the previous day. Plastic ones would have been better than nothing but he just shrugged.
I left with bad feelings about the place otherwise I wouldn’t have been bothered to write this. It’s a shame because it was a special holiday for us and there is plenty to like about Jackson and the hotel. This could all have been nipped in the bud by good management but instead it was allowed to go sour. If I was to go back to Jackson I’d try somewhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Lodge at Jackson Hole unveiled a complete renovation in the Fall of 2012. Come experience the area's most luxurious accommodations offering generous amenities, stylish rustic decor and unsurpassed comfort. Each mini suite beckons guests to unwind with presidential double pillow top mattresses dressed with plush linens and accents and a spacious sitting area outfitted with a queen sleeper sofa. The spacious bathroom features granite countertops, double vanity and Molton Brown bath products. After a day of outdoor adventure in Jackson Hole, we invite you to relax and experience the best in technology with a 52" LCD LED 3D television and Blu-ray player, iHome alarm clock and a large desk with a built-in electronic hub, ideal for recreational and business travelers alike. Hotel amenities include a new lounge & patio serving innovative cocktails and family friendly cuisine, a newly designed indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub and sauna, and a state-of-the art fitness center. The Lodge offers a complimentary gourmet buffet breakfast to guests each morning. Make use of the courtesy car (upon availability 7am-11pm)or the free local town shuttle that makes regular stops out front for quick trips into town. Dining and shopping galore are located nearby. The Lodge at Jackson Hole is centrally located near Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the great Snake River. Nearby recreational activities include fishing, whitewater rafting, hunting, sightseeing, hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling and horseback riding. Relax in luxurious accommodations after an exciting day of exploring beautiful Jackson at the Lodge at Jackson Hole! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Plus The Lodge At Jackson Hole Hotel Jackson
- Jackson Best Western
- Jackson Hole Wy
- Jackson Hole Best Western
- The Lodge At Jackson Hole WY