As we’re searching for a smoke-free place to enjoy another vacation to VA Beach and see the listing for the Holiday Inn Express at Va Beach, it occurs to us that we never got a resolution from both local and top hotel management when we expressed concern about the smoking at this hotel during our last stay.
Yes, hotel advertisement claims to be “100% smoke-free”. Yes, there are signs throughout the hotel, including balcony doors, touting fines and prohibiting smoking. Such rules are good, but only if management is at least willing and able to enforce the rules. And here lies the problems we encountered at this hotel and reason why we feel the need to share our experience.
During our stay here, an individual on the balcony next to us was smoking, sending smoke into our room. We saw the smoker puffing away ourselves. We had to close our balcony door. We loss the fresh air we were enjoying. We loss use of our balcony. Our enjoyment of the ocean-front room we paid for was ruined and we cannot get that back.
When we asked the front desk to intervene (both on the phone and in person), hotel staff said repeatedly that they must see proof in the form of cigarette butts or smokers smoking! We said proof is the fact that the smoker's room/balcony smell like an ashtray because the source of the smoke is much more intense than anywhere else. Hotel staff said that is not enough. Really Holiday Inn? A smoke filled room is not proof of smoking? Since the inconsiderate smokers will stop smoking and hide the butts whenever staff knocks on their doors (if they’re still smoking), this insistence on finding butts or staff actually seeing puffing tells us that Holiday Inn can never enforce its no-smoking policy and customers can never be sure if our stay will be pleasant.
What good are the smoke-free claims if the hotel does not have a reasonable or even real way of enforcing the smoke-free policy?
Even if any butt is found, telling the idiots to stop or fining them are meaningless and ineffective because that is *after* the fact. Moreover, the fines go into the pocket of hotel management and do nothing for customers whose beach enjoyment is ruined and the smoke-free room that we paid for is not delivered.
Bottom line, the hotel did nothing to punish the violator (didn’t even go to her room!) and nothing to convince us to come back to Holiday Inn. Telling us that there was nothing they could do unless they find butts in a smoke-filled room is absurd.
Worse, when we contacted Holiday Inn corporate to express our disappointment, we were redirected back to local hotel management, who then blew us off completely. When top management at a business ignores customer concern by brushing us off back to lower management whose non-performance and non-cooperation started the problem in the first place, we need to ask ourselves why we should continue to support such business when there are so many competitors.
Based on our stay here, if being able to enjoy fresh ocean breeze and a smoke free room and balcony is important to you, this may not be the place if any of your neighbors decides to smoke because, as you saw, both local and corporate management have no real way to enforce the no-smoking policy, which sadly was their big marketing draw to us.
If you choose to pick this hotel anyway, when you make your reservation or prior to checking-in, just ask staff how they are going to enforce their no-smoking policy and what happens when you don’t get a smoke-free stay. Tell them that you’re paying for a smoke-free experience, not empty apologies after the fact.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stay with us at the new Holiday Inn Express and experience the same great service you have come to love when staying at the Oceanfront. Our upbeat decor and interior enhancements with remodeled guest rooms and public spaces will impress the whole family. We are now a 100% smoke-free hotel. The name may be Holiday Inn Express but your vacation will be at your own pace at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. At the Holiday Inn Express, we make your family vacation accommodations our number one priority with friendly customer service, direct beach and boardwalk access, and complimentary continental breakfast served to all of our guests. For fitness and relaxation, visit our year-round indoor swimming pool, whirlpool spa, and fitness room. All of our guest rooms include a complimentary continental breakfast and have a private balcony with a full oceanfront view of the beach and boardwalk, mini-refrigerator, hair dryers, coffee makers and free high-speed Internet access. Conveniently located in the center of the Virginia Beach resort area, there are many local attractions nearby such as the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, Virginia Beach Amphitheater, 11 golf courses, parasailing, bicycle and boat rentals, Virginia Aquarium, and the Virginia Beach Convention Center.Enjoy the service and experience of an oceanfront resort hotel with all of the amenities you expect from a Holiday Inn at Virginia Beach's Holiday Inn Express(R). ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, TripOnline SA, Priceline, Hotwire, Hotels.com, Cheap Tickets, Cancelon, getaroom.com, HotelQuickly and HRS so you can book your Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel And Suites
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel Virginia Beach
- Holiday Inn Virginia Beach
- Virginia Beach Holiday Inn