We were so uncomfortable and disappointed with our room we left after just one night of our three night stay, and found a room at the nearby Wowona Lodge. We're on a three month trip of the States and this is the first time we've ever had to abandon lodgings like this. At just shy of $300 per night we were hoping for a cosy little base from which to explore the area. Unfortunately our hopes were dashed.
Our room was nothing like advertised: shabby and makeshift with a stained carpet and a bathroom (literally) the size of a closet. Everything in the room was threadbare and cut rate, from the curtains (and shower curtain) that fell down all the time to the bed linen that was cheap and tatty. Instead of proper glasses we had scratched plastic cups.
Our cupboard was clearly being used for linen storage, and we had to ask for it to be removed. There were more filled storage bins under the bed, which also has a low bookcase shoved behind it instead of a proper headboard. Two of the windows were broken, including the only one in the tiny bathroom. In fact the experience is more like staying with an aged relative, for free, in their spare room.
Then there are the amenities. They proudly offer wireless internet on their site, but when you arrive you find signs warning you not to do anything unreasonable like upload photos to Facebook or the speed will be "reduced to dial up". Even the cable is sub-standard. It's the cheapest basic cable you can get. We didn't visit Yosemite to watch TV, but this is just another example of what a cut-rate operation this is.
The only positive in our whole experience were the inn-keepers Danna and Mikey who did their best to make up for our disappointment. They were kind and attentive and cooked a tasty breakfast on the only morning we woke up there.
The owner on the other hand was incredibly rude and dismissive when we emailed her about the problems. Not only didn't she apologise - she actively attacked and insulted us. This is not an unusual occurrence either - just look at her responses to other negative reviews on TripAdvisor.
Here are a few direct quotes from her email to us:
"You wanted to "flee" your room. Your lives were in danger? Monsters under the bed? When you use such unnecessary hyperbole it's hard to know how to respond."
"The carpet is 2 years old and while we attempt to keep up with stains they do happen over time. The carpet was shampooed just before your arrival but some stains simply won't come out. We do not provide new carpeting for each new guest."
"Most guests "live" out of their suitcases so we do store linens in the drawers."
"I spent countless hours creating that room and all the rest of our home. I have a Masters degree in art and have taught interior design. And you think the room is makeshift and cheap!"
"Your complaints are so at odds with the reviews we receive on our Bed and Breakfast sites that it really surprises me."
Not once does she apologise in any way shape, or form. Clearly we, as the guests, are to blame here.
If, despite our warnings and the warnings of other Trip Advisor users, you do decide to stay here, be wary of giving them your credit card. They randomly charged over $200 extra to one of our credit cards and then refused to acknowledge that they had done so.
Six weeks later, after I had been forced to report the extra charge as fraud to have it reversed, the owner contacted us to admit that it had been an "error" from their side. And this after swearing blind that the problem was with our side.
I should have seen this as an omen and cancelled our booking right then. Alas, I did not. Accommodation in Yosemite is not cheap, but it doesn't have to be this unpleasant.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 6, 2012
As the owner I’d like to make a few observations/corrections: Our wireless is delivered by satellite and has limited capacity. Last summer too much upload of data from some guests caused us to be put back to dial up speed by the satellite company. This, of course, caused much unhappiness for other guests. So in consideration of others we ask guests to limit up and downloads. We have an excellent “Direct TV” package including NFL Sunday Ticket. The casement windows work on a slider which can come off. Easy to fix but the innkeeper needs to be told. We provide plastic glasses so they can be taken to the hot tub or garden area. The curtains are hand painted batiks of aspen trees and represent some of the finest work I have done. The process alone, before sewing takes 30+ hours per curtain. They are on spring rods so that guests can remove them if they wish for a better view of the garden, woods and wildlife. The bookcase/headboard was design by me specifically for the room and was not shoved behind the bed as the guests stated in their email to me. The king bed will have a stand at each side of the bed but when guest ask for twin beds the center of the book case becomes the night stand. A regular headboard could not be used in this way and it would have obscured the hand painted wall mural of aspen trees.
Report response as inappropriate
Danna was the only employee on the day they were here. Mikey was on her day off (but she is still happy to be praised for a job she didn’t do). I am pleased they recognized Danna’s efforts on their behalf but sorry that they failed to understand that their rudeness to her on their departure could leave her in tears and ill.
The credit card problem when the guests booked happened when we had to enter information manually on our new reservation system because the automatic entry system was down. Two reservations got scrambled and it took a great deal of research to untangle the mess. Both parties were from overseas and currency translation made it even more difficult. My correspondence with the guests follows. I am including as it is an example of how their comments on the handling of the issue are no more accurate than the rest of this mean spirited review.
Dear Guests: (Feb. 5) I contacted our new processor when this issue arose and they had a record of a charge to your Visa account of $390 as being declined. Your Master Card was then charged for $390 and this charge went through and was deposited in our business account. I have no record of any other charge for you nor any record of a charge of $230 or anything close to that figure. I am totally baffled by this! We have been in business 14 years and this is definitely a first. I will call again tomorrow and verify once again that no charge came through on your Visa. I suggest you decline the charge with Visa as an unauthorized charge. They will then notify us and we can see if it can be straightened out.
Dear guests: (Feb. 21) I think we have solved the mystery of the credit card mixup. Our system is automated but on the day your credit charge was processed the system was down. It appears that another guest reservation was charged to your account when processing was done by hand. Both you and the other guest had first had a declined card and there were a couple of numerical transpositions which muddied the water even further. I will be contacting our credit card processing company tomorrow (the contact person is not in today) and they will authorize the return of your money. I am very sorry for the mixup. We really are not usually this inept. It was the second day of using an entirely new system. We do promise to be better at taking care of you once you are here than we are at accounting! Kay Pitts, owner: Yosemite Peregrine
Our cancelation policy is very clear and the guests agreed to abide by it when they reserved. In a large hotel, a refund is not a major impact. When there are just three rooms it is 1/3 of the income plus a loss to staff. Our prices and policies are comparable to other accommodations in the area and are reflective of the costs of doing business in a remote area where groceries are a 2 hour drive and most supplies a four hour drive away.
Based on the inaccuracies of their complaint, the verbal abuse of my employee and our very clear policy that they had agreed to, I chose not give a refund.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.