During my 25 year career in customer service for a major U.S. corporation, I spent more nights sleeping in hotel beds than in my own. I've been a guest at hotels operated by all the major chains and a few mom and pops. Consequently, I can tell the difference between a One Star and Five Star hotel along with those in between. I've stayed at or been in rooms at all levels.
A few weeks ago, my wife and I learned that we would have visitors this week and next. While family members would be staying in our home, we needed to make a hotel reservation for a friend of theirs who preferred staying at a hotel within walking distance to the St. John's Town Center. A quick Google search brought up the website of the Homestead Studio Suites on Skinner Drive, directly across from the shopping center. Perfect or so we thought.
Since I was not familiar with this hotel, I thought it best that I visit to see what the different sized rooms are like and what the housekeeping standards
were like When I arrived and asked to see one of each, the desk clerk advised that the only room available for me to enter was the one adjacent to the office, which I did.
While in the room, I phoned my son who would be making the actual recommendations. I told him that a room like I was in or one the larger versions would be perfect. I also said that the bed, furniture, carpeting and appliances were "spotless" and added the comment that his mother and I would feel comfortable staying there. At that point, I walked back to the office and handed my cell phone to the desk clerk so that the reservation could be made before I left. Big Mistake.
My son and daughter-in-law picked up their friend at the airport and drove her to a "late arrival" check-in at your hotel. Unfortunately, they left before
she had unpacked. They soon returned after she discovered several things that were unacceptable, including a bathroom that had not been cleaned - with hair on the floor along with an infestation of live and dead bugs in the room.
They returned immediately to help her check out of the hotel after midnight.
I now am aware of several people who will never stay at a "Homestead" branded hotel again or think about staying there the future.
For me, using hindsight, the most frustrating aspect of this entire affair is the fact that the I encouraged my son to make the reservation directly with
the hotel rather place it through a site like Tripadvisor. Had either of us looked at Tripadvisor's "Guest Reviews" for this hotel, I would not be writing
Belatedly, I read a review on another site written by a college kid says it all.
“I'm a grad student and have fairly low standards for what is workable regarding hotel rooms, but this was a new low.”
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- Also Known As:
- Homestead Studio Suites Jacksonville - Southside - St. Johns Towne Hotel