We stayed at this hotel 9 nights recently, and we were very disappointed with the hotel.
To be fair, this is a cheap hotel. I actually work for a hotel myself, and nothing is more annoying than super demanding guests who pays very low off-season rates. Since we chose staying this hotel for 9 nights rather than a hotel in Manhattan for 4 or 5 nights, our game plan was as long as we have clean bed to sleep on and hot water for shower, not to let small stains on the wall or service of the hotel clerks bother us. So we were ready not to care small things. Unfortunately a sequence of incidents we had at the hotel was not small and way over our patience limits.
We checked in very early –it was 7:30am- after taking an overnight flight from Seattle. After we got into the room, I scanned the room quickly. There were some stains on the bathroom wall, the slider lock on the door was broken, and meanwhile, my wife saw an insect between the blanket and mattress. We should have told the front desk that time, but 1), as I mentioned we decided not to be annoying guests point out every little thing, 2), my wife didn’t know that was actually a bed bug, and 3), we were thankful the room was ready for the very early check-in after the long overnight flight, so we didn’t make a complaint.
When our stay was into a few nights, my wife noticed she got some bug bites on her skin. We didn’t really think much about it that time, but the next day, she got more bites and we actually found a bed bug.
I decided that I wouldn’t complain small things, but getting bitten by bed bugs was not a small thing! So I went down to the front desk, showed the bug’s picture, and explained the clerk what happened. I was waiting for offers of apology, changing the room, and cleaning for our clothes at least –and maybe some room rates refund- , but it didn’t happen. It didn’t happen at least until we requested those things. The clerk, without apology, assigned us a new room as we requested and promised they would take care of cleaning of our clothes.
About 5 minutes after we moved to the new room, a manager called and asked me to go back to the original room. The manager (Joniel) didn’t even introduce himself, abruptly started talking. His exact words were, “We destroyed this room completely but we couldn’t find a bug. The bed-bug you found must have come with you.” I expected some apologies from the manager… didn’t expect he would blame us. First of all, they didn’t “destroy” the room; they just flip the mattress and decided to blame us. How about all the other furniture? How about other rooms? I understand bed-bug problem is a part of the hotel business with my experience. But one thing they never do (at least the hotel I work for never does) is blaming guests for bringing bugs into the building unless there is an obvious proof.
Second of all, when the hotel I work for inspects bed-bugs, it takes from a few hours to a day, because we inspect all the furniture in the room plus the next doors’. Joniel just saw the room for 5 minutes and made the conclusion. He told us that we must have brought the bugs from our previous hotel, but this hotel was the first hotel we stayed at in this trip, and of course, we do not have bed-bugs in our home. I pointed out that my wife saw the bug right after we checked in, but he said “it doesn’t matter because I don’t see a bug right now”. And he blamed us not to bring up the issue the first day (yes, I admit that was partially our fault that we didn’t tell them right away, but we just tried to be nice guests for them). He gradually became aggressive verbally and non-verbally. At one point, he had his one hand in his pocket, another one with pointing the finger at me while he was talking. I expressed my discomfort with his tone and finger-pointing, he upset more and said, “Yes, I’m pointing my finger at you, and telling you this bug is not from our hotel. You guys brought it from somewhere. We are not responsible for cleaning your clothes.” I couldn’t believe what just happened before my eyes. I couldn’t believe those were the words from someone in charge. I didn’t want to waste my time with him anymore, so I stopped arguing. (Later my wife erupted when I told her the story, went down, yelled at him and made him offer the cleaning, but they didn’t refund any of our stay)
As a hotel employee, I understand that they can’t believe all the things the guests tell them and can’t offer whatever the guests demand. But bed-bug issue is different level. When it happens, what our hotel (and most of hotels) does is putting all the energy and attention for the guests not to spread the negative words to outside, like I’m doing now. If Joniel’s attitude was sincere and apologetic, I could have had sympathy as a fellow hotel-employee and wouldn’t have written this review.
One thing I noticed with other reviews on this hotel is when no troubles happen, you could actually enjoy the stay. Good access to Manhattan, neighbor is not pretty but not dangerous, the staff is OK friendly with regular transactions, and it’s cheap. However, it’s a different story when troubles occur. They (especially the manager) try to cover their fault and not to take any responsibility, even worse, they call you a liar or blame you causing the problem in the process. A manager should be the one who discipline employees, but in this property, he covers the staff’s mistake and takes it onto the guests (this is actually from other reviewers’ experience, but connected to our situation).
You can take a chance, but I don’t think it’s worth it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Conveniently located 3 minutes from the F train on 21st-Queensbridge. Free continental breakfast, with dining space available at all times. Each room is equipped with High speed internet, Cable television, a working safe and coffee maker. 24 Hour gym is available on the ground floor. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Howard Johnson Inn, Long Island City Hotel Long Island City
- Sleep Inn - Long Island City New York