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“Fun family getaway ruined by stolen items”

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Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Charleston/Ashley Phosphate
Ranked #17 of 58 Hotels in North Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fun family getaway ruined by stolen items”
Reviewed July 20, 2013

My husband is an officer in the military, and recently returned home from serving our country in the Middle East. We decided to take a fun family vacation with our two young children to Charleston over the 4th of July holiday.

After a 7 hour drive, they provided us with complimentary bottled water and snacks along with information about local restaurants and venues.

Upon check-in, we asked to have a pack-in-play brought to our room for our baby and the front desk person said that they have the "old-fashioned" cribs available not pack-in-plays, and they wouldn't be able to bring it to our room until the next day. Most decent hotels have pack-in-plays available nowadays.

The continental breakfast was always well stocked and provided a decent variety of items. However, most of the food, like the omelets, bacon and rock hard biscuits were previously frozen so it seemed almost like we were eating fake food. The pancake machine actually made flavorful pancakes. The hotel was very busy during our stay so I do think that they could have staffed an additional person in the breakfast area over the 4th of July holiday to meet the demands of all the guests wanting to eat breakfast at the same time. The woman working there was struggling to keep the food replenished.

We checked in on Tuesday, July 2nd and checked out of the hotel on July 5th. As we were leaving our hotel room, we looked everywhere to make sure that we hadn't left anything behind. However, we had the door propped open to load all our bags onto the luggage cart; and we forgot to look in the closet, because it was hidden behind the open door and we were trying to get everything including our 1 and 3 year old children out to the car. I accidentally left two very nice dresses hanging in the closet as well as two pairs of very nice wedge sandals and my son's tennis shoes in the closet. As we were driving home and were about two hours away, I realized that I forgot to take our clothes and shoes out of the closet before we left. I asked my husband to take the next exit so I could look through our bags for my dresses, my shoes and my son's tennis shoes. I called the Holiday Inn and spoke with the man at the front desk. I told him that we just checked out and that I forgot some items in the closet in room 217. He called housekeeping department and the report back from housekeeping was, "there was nothing in the room." I guess that is the general answer for an employee not turning in my dresses, shoes and my son's tennis shoes. The front desk person working on Friday, July 5th, around 2 pm never documented that I had called to report my missing items that were in the closet. I would think that should be the standard operating procedure to document those types of inquiries. Obviously, he didn't think that it was that big of a deal.

I called the next day which was Saturday, July 6th to speak with the housekeeping manager who was not at work on Friday. I told her about my dilemma and she said that nothing was turned in. This was the first time she had heard about my missing items left in the closet. I said that if my items were not turned in to lost and found then they must have been taken by an employee. She told me that the housekeeper that cleaned my room was very sweet and had been there a long time. I just said that I would like to have my clothes and shoes returned to me and the housekeeping manager said that she didn't have anything to send me. She told me that she would leave a message to have the hotel General Manager call me.

The general manager did call me on Monday, July 8th. The first thing he said, was that he was returning my message that I was accusing their sweet longtime housekeeper of stealing.
I told him what I actually said to the housekeeping manager was that my dresses, two pairs of shoes and my son's shoes were left in the closet in room 217 and I was told that "nothing was in the room" and nothing was turned in. So if nothing was turned in; then someone took my stuff.

I was very disappointed with the lack of customer service and immediate attack on me that my story must not be true because they have had the same housekeeper for a longtime.

I actually have a Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin in Hotel & Restaurant Management and I have taken a housekeeping management class. I am curious what the standard operating procedure is when a housekeeper takes out the trash. It would be very easy to take something from a room, put it in a trash bag, take it outside and set it by the dumpster and after work just put in your car to take home. I think this is what happened on the day we checked out of the hotel and housekeeping cleaned our room.

I work for Gap Inc. I know that when any employee takes out the trash at a Gap store, another employee has to accompany them all the way to the dumpster to ensure no one is stealing anything from the store. I believe this would alleviate the possibility of someone taking an item from a hotel room and I think the housekeeping department should adopt this as a standard operating procedure.

I recently heard on the news, that management at the Disney World Resort in Orlando, realized that a cast member who had worked for them for years had been stealing from guests. It took a long time for even Disney, the "King of Hospitality" to figure that out.

I think we will stick with the Hampton Inn in the future. They seem to always get it right and are very professional!!

You can stay at this property, just don't accidentally leave anything behind, because you might not get it back!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank SJHUnitedStates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM-HIECHS, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Charleston/Ashley Phosphate, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
First of all, we would like to thank your husband for his service to our country and to you and your family for the sacrifices you make as a military family. Our hotel is located between the Air Force Base and the Naval Weapons Station here at Joint Base Charleston and we are fortunate to be able to support our military often.

We also would like to thank you for taking the time to share your positives and negatives during your stay. We evolve and improve our practices based on our guest feedback. In reference to your comments on our cribs, IHG hotels are not permitted to use the pack and play type cribs. There are many recalls on them and there are incidents of the sides collapsing and hurting children. We use and are mandated to use the cribs by LA Baby which is industry standard and we use prefer to use them for the safety of our little guests.

I would also like to reference your left item issue. The first two calls we received from you after your check out were to inquire about a pair of flip flops and children’s shoes left in the closet after your departure. Your room was immediately checked by the room inspector and nothing was found and we informed you of that. Your follow up calls to us were for one pair of children’s shoes, two pairs of ladies shoes and two dresses left in the room after your departure. Our response was the same as the first time you phoned, we did not find anything in your room after your check out. In each call you mentioned to our team members about hearing on the news that a staff member was stealing from guests at the Disney resorts for year. You are comparing a resort with several hundreds of rooms and a couple hundred employees to a local family owned hotel with 98 rooms and approx. 30 employees. I have been the General Manager of this hotel since we opened in 1999. My Rooms Manager has been with us for 12 years. Either the GM or the AGM takes our lost and found to the UPS and handles the returns. With a hotel our size, we would know pretty quick if we had a persistent issue with missing lost and found items. Our lost and found items regularly include phones, Kindles, jewelry, clothing and even toiletries and cosmetics.

I would hope that while you were earning your Bachelors Degree in hotel and restaurant management that you learned the key to a hotels success is the rooms department and that the percentage of room attendants that steal is a very, very small percentage industry wide. Possibly at large resorts it may go unnoticed for some time but with today’s key and security technology, it is hard to go under the radar at a property our size. You also noted that at the Gap, you accompany each other to the dumpster to deter employee theft. In our hotel and most hotels our size and up, the room attendants remove the guest room trash and it put in the trash bin on their cart. Several times throughout the day, either a houseman or maintenance member hits all the housekeeping carts one after the other and removes all the trash from the carts and takes it to the dumpster. Also, all checkouts are inspected by a room inspector.

Bottom line, we did not find any left behind items in your room after your check out. We have reviewed our security tapes, interrogated the guest room door locks and did not discover any improper procedures by our staff members. With this said, we are not pleased that you were disappointed with your stay at our hotel and for that, we are very sorry.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We spent 3 nights here over the 4th of July holiday. From the moment we checked-in, the staff went out of their way to make certain all went well with our visit. After a 10 hr drive, they provided complimentary waters and snacks for each of us along with information about local restaurants and venues. We had bikes - and they had no problem letting us take them up to our rooms for safe keeping. At the breakfast buffet daily, even though the room was packed, they did their absolute best to keep all the food and beverages refilled as quickly as possible, along with a courteous greeting and a smile. However, the most impressive action occurred at 1:42 am one morning. We got a call from the front desk alerting us to the fact their security guard noticed the trunk of our car was ajar - and wondered if we had anything of value in it. We had 2 sets of golf clubs as well as other valuables in the trunk. We raced downstairs and were greeted by the security guard who accompanied us to our car to check for loss or damages. Fortunately, all was still there! I greatly appreciated their proactive measure, their ability to cross reference our vehicle make and type to the info we provided them on our registration and to call our room to alert us to potential theft.

Our daughter has stayed at this hotel on several other occasions in the past year ... and each time comes home telling us how friendly and helpful the staff is. It's not a fluke - it's just the way they conduct business. That alone was the reason we booked our 3 nights here. Oh, and the prices for a North Charleston hotel are much less expensive than downtown, if you're not planning to spend all your time downtown.

The Northwoods Mall is just down the street with plenty of restaurant options nearby. We ate at an Italian restaurant, La Fontana, the first night because it was within walking distance. It was good. The hotel offers a decent outdoor pool and wetlands area if you need some downtime while visiting.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank crmccalla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
1 review
Reviewed July 14, 2013

This is a nice hotels. Friendly staff, clean and comfortable room, nice breakfast. They provided bottled water and snacks when we checked in and a snack when we checked out, very thoughtful. The cinnamon rolls at breakfast were awesome!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JoJoP314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
56 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We received a warm welcome and the front desk agent acknowledged me as an IHG Rewards Club member. She was very friendly and helpful! We checked in and we received a complimentary bottle of water, and a snack, which was thoughtful! When we got to the room, it was a nice room with a view of the street. I always check to make sure everything is ok. We didn't have any problems at all. The hotel was great. My only thing was that the toilet wasn't cleaned very well. The back of the hotel has a bridge over a little stream and trees. It's really nice! I would definitely stay here again when I'm in Charleston!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RFloricel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
2 reviews
Reviewed July 2, 2013

The Staff went out of their way to be helpful and accommodating. They were always happy, pleasant and courteous. We asked for extras such as a roll out cot, laundry service, toothpaste, and directions to local attractions. These requests were always fulfilled with smiles, and an eagerness to help. We enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank harlanl l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
2 reviews
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We enjoyed our stay at this Holiday Inn Express. The noise level was minimal, the most annoying thing was the door at the end of our hallway slamming at night, but that was even minimal. Everything about this hotel was clean and well kept. Everything was well cared for. The staff was friendly and very helpful. They had great information about places to eat, as well as directions to nearby attractions. I appreciated that each staff member would great you in the hallway, from housekeeping to maintenance. The hot breakfast was pretty good, not anything fabulous, but something a little different each day. The room was always very clean, as was the bathroom in the room as well as in the lobby. We stayed at this hotel for 5 nights, and I never once thought that maybe I should have stayed elsewhere. We enjoyed staying outside of the city and the crowds of downtown. The stay was great for the price. If I return to the Charleston area, I would definitely stay at this Holiday Inn Express again.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Mamallama_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longs, SC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2013

We came here for my daughter's C of C College Orientation. The front desk check in was quick and friendly, and the complimentary bottled waters and packages of crackers came at the perfect time after our drive. We spent a few minutes at the manager's reception, with wine for myself and soda for my daughter and her boyfriend, along with free chips and salsa and bean dip. Nice touch! Terrence, as others have mentioned, was superb. Extremely friendly, quickly ran to get me a welcome package with a map of the area and coupons that he said I should have received at check-in. We spoke to him about a ghost tour, which we planned to embark on, and he gave us some awesome pointers and told of his experience with them. We did go on a tour that evening, and strangely enough had some , let's say "spooky" happenings in our room there after. We hoped nothing had followed us back from the Old City Jail tour. The breakfast was all of our favorite freebies. Everything you could imagine from bagels and several toasts and muffins, to eggs, bacon, sausage, awesome giant hot cinnamon rolls, yogurt, fruit, cereal, oatmeal and even a make your own pancake machine, which we got quite a kick out of. Definitely the best buffet breakfast you could want. We didn't need any special requests or anything, but I'm sure if we had they would have been right on it. I did mention our "spooky" happenings to the woman at check out, and she said I was not the first person to mention something like that. Needless to say we took a final ride past the jail on our way out and told whoever was with us to STAY THERE!! Just to be sure.....

Room Tip: We thought the room was quite soundproof, we heard a thud once or twice, but no TVs, talking or anyt...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mommytofive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Charleston/Ashley Phosphate

Property: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Charleston/Ashley Phosphate
Address: 7670 Northwoods Blvd, I-26 Exit 209, North Charleston, SC 29406-4032
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > North Charleston
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in North Charleston
#9 Romantic Hotel in North Charleston
#11 Family Hotel in North Charleston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Charleston/Ashley Phosphate 2.5*
Number of rooms: 98
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Charleston South Carolina has it all history, museums, plantations, beaches, deep-sea fishing, golf, world renowned dining and more. Charleston is a great place for a mini or extended vacation with year-round cultural events that everyone will enjoy. Southeastern Wildlife Expo Cooper River Bridge Run Flowertown Festival Family Circle Cup / Tennis Heritage Rally Spoleto Festival Our award winning Holiday Inn Express Hotel is located in South Carolina s largest shopping district and twelve miles from Charleston s Historic Downtown. Our hotel is packed with amenities fitness center, seasonal outdoor pool, business center, spacious guest rooms, Jacuzzi suites, and meeting and banquet facilities. Perfect for the business traveler and leisure traveler alike, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites - North Charleston South Carolina invites you to a memorable visit to the Low Country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express Hotel And Suites Charleston/Ashley Phosphate
Holiday Inn North Charleston
North Charleston Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Hotel Charleston

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