I've stayed here 3 times already. I stayed at the new Roma last month and there was no generator, the internet was down most of my trip, and the water was cold. Fortunately, they had a ray of sunshine at the front desk named Yani. She did not tell me what she thought I wanted to hear, she told me the truth and she spoke excellent English. She told me that since the hotel was new, there are some growing pains, but she told me by the time I return to Santo Domingo, which was in another 4 weeks, all would be repaired with the exception of the elevator. The power outage caused my food in the refrigerator to spoil and I needed access to the internet for business purposes.
On my return trip, which was 18-21 March 2011, I decided to stay in the original Roma, off of calle Duarte y El Conde. I went to visit Yani to say hello and she informed me that not only was the generator installed, the internet in the new hotel was now working properly as well. I planned on booking my next visit there at the new hotel.
All went well on my recent visit until I realized that I mistakenly informed the front desk I would be checking out on March 22 instead of March 21. After pointing this out and showing my flight information to multiple front desk personnel, Edmund (or Edwin), was kind enough to speak to his supervisor who was also kind enough to recognize the mistake. Originally they wanted me to take the loss, citing a sentence on the checkin form thta says after payment is received, there are no refunds. However, both Edmund and his supervisor made the right customer decision and offered me a choice of a one day refund, or a free night. I chose the free night and they put it in writing for me.
The nightmare began at checkout. During my stay, it always took me a few seconds to get the safe to open because the knob gave resistance whenever I turned it. Just before I was ready to jump in the car and go to the airport, the safe would not open at all. My passport, wallet, and cell phones were inside. I went to the front desk and maintenance staff had to pull it off the wall and could not get it open. The manager on duty told me that it would cost me 200 pesos for them to take it downstairs to the hardware store to have it opened. They said the reason for this is because the safe worked when I used it before and now it is not working. I HIT THE ROOF. I was pissed. At this point it was 2 hours before my flight was to depart and I'm being hit for money over equipment that I did not break and did not own??!?!?!?! I knew that the owner was in town and asked for him, but they tried to tell me he left town. Sure, like I was supposed to believe he flew in from overseas for a day, then left. Eventually, one of the store employees was able to get the safe open by entering some universal pin number on the keypad (which is a security nightmare of another kind) and the safe opened. I had to pay him for the hotel's ragged piece of a safe.
I travel at least 20 times a year for business and pleasure. I work in the national security field and besides the issue with the safe's keypad having a universal code that anyone with inherent knowledge can enter and crack it open (thus rendering the point of storing anything in the safe useless), I was more disgruntled by the way the situation was handled by management. I probably spend $20,000 - $30,000 in international and domestic travel annually and have never been treated like a pest as opposed to a guest. I have never previously had any problems with the staff at Aparta Roma Hotel, but this last visit makes me want to reconsider ever staying there again. To top it off, I heard a vicious rumor that the beloved Yani - whom many American and European tourists are appreciative to have working there, was fired because the hotel wants to diversify its staff with Dominicans. I applaud this hotel for being one of the few businesses in Santo Domingo that proudly hires hard working, multi-lingual Haitian personnel. However, if this turns out to be true and Yani was indeed fired. I will not spend another dime of my money in this place.
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