Because of medical emergency, we had to change our reservation from the Sundance Mountain Hideaway to what we thought would be an at least decent hotel through Choice Hotels membership. The only one that Choice Hotels listed was Rodeway Inn. Nobody answered the phone that Choice hotels had listed for Rodeway Inn, when I tried to make a reservation this morning, and that should have been a tip off for the quality of service that one could expect. So, I called up Choice Hotels' 800 number and got some guy speaking with a distinct foreign accent which I could not place but could have been India or some other nation sucking away our USA work. He kept reading off his script and it was difficult to have a conversation. He told me that they did have a choice hotel in Sundance and it was Rodeway Inn. He read from his computer screen, just as I had, that it had a continental breakfast and tried to go on with all the amenities but I asked him to just make the reservation. He did this as well as continuing to read from his script. Finally he was done and he told me that I needed to understand that there was a 72 hour cancellation at this hotel and we were already past that cancellation time. That should have been my second tip-off to a bad hotel, but I did need a room for the night, so I okayed this.
We got to the motel at 7pm. The office was locked and they had a phone near the door with instructions to dial 0. When I dialed zero, the person answered and said "Security". No idea why she said that. Not "Front Desk". Not "Office". She may very well have been security because she was very casually dressed and did not look like someone in charge of a Front Desk. Once she showed up at the office and let me in and then did the check-in procedure, I asked her where the breakfast would be and she told me that they no longer had the continental breakfast. Okay, I guess I can deal with that since I'm afraid this multi-talented "security"/"front desk" person may very well be the one making the breakfast and I don’t think I am comfortable with that. So now the cost of my stay in Sundance has increased by the cost of breakfast for myself and my wife, in the morning. And I can't help thinking about the great FULL breakfast included at my original reservation, that I had to cancel, at the Sundance Mountain Hideaway bed and breakfast for the same $80 per night price as I am paying here.
So we go to our room and start unloading the car. The air conditioner is blowing ice cold air and I shut it off and turn it onto heat and walk out to the car. As I am unloading the car, I hear the room fire alarm go off and I run back in and there is smoke everywhere because it is coming out of the A/C - Heater unit. And it isn't just the smoke; it is the stench from the burning inside the unit. It permeates the room. I go back over to the office and use the phone to dial Zero and get the young girl who answers "security". I tell what happened and she says that, well the heaters are not supposed to be used. I tell her the room stinks and I want a non-stinking room. She says she will look. She waits a few minutes and tells me I can have a similar room two doors down. All this time I am waiting outside the door for her to come and let me into the office. Finally, after ten minutes or so, I called her on the phone again and she said that she was inside the office and I could come in. She gave me the new key cards and I asked her if I were to turn the heat on in this different room, is this same thing going to happen. She said she doesn't know but the units really aren't supposed to be used for heat. She said that she would give me a couple of extra blankets. I asked what about when we get up on the morning and it is cold in the room? She did not have an answer for that and I said I was going to keep turning on the heat in each room she would give me until I got one to work correctly. (Just bluffing.) She said "Well, its the rooms fault, not mine." I said, "No. You are in charge and it is your problem." (I can't imagine that she has ever watched "Hotel Impossible" on the travel channel or even read TripAdvisor.com. Unfortunately, I did not have time to check on this hotel myself, since we are traveling and desperate, but I will definitely be putting in my two cents when we get back home. After all, I have it all typed up already. Do motel owners not realize how badly they can be hurt by bad reviews?) I also told her that I understood why this motel has a 72 hour cancellation policy. (Nobody who had normal cancellation time would stay here, after seeing what it is like, other than the bikers that they seem to cater to.) So, I went to my new room, turned on the heat and the same awful smell came out but I turned it off right away, so it only lingered for a while. But now, we still have no heat in the morning when I know we will need it.
Additionally, the bottom sheets on the bed are not fitted and the sheets do not fit the bed and no way can be tucked between the mattress and the box springs and so I am sure the sheets will be all over the place as soon as we get into bed. I so well remember what it was like before fitted sheets. What a mess. And that was when the sheets could be tucked in.
There is an old toilet in the bathroom that holds 3-4 gallons of tank water and does not flush well as evidenced by the filthy toilet plunger setting next to the toilet, on the floor, no less. Are these people absolute pigs? I would say yes. They think this is normal?
While the building looks "nice" on the outside, what you have here is a very old building that has been poorly and cheaply remodeled. The bathroom door is original and the hinges on the bathroom door are all corroded and look original. The fan/light switch is the same one from many tens of years ago. Same bathroom door, hinges, fan switch, fan, tub and toilet still here after 30 or 40 years? The fan sounds more like a helicopter taking off than a fan. (I know because I was on a flight for life 4 days ago and that is what ended us up changing our plans and at this slovenly kept motel.) It is really that loud. This is room #126, if anyone cares.
There have also been some "repairs" made on the outside of the bathroom wall and they were so poorly done. You can still see where the repair was not made properly and the remains of some kind of cracked hole is still there. The paint was also done half-[--] and did not even cover up the repaired area.
Also, if it can get even more disgusting: The shower curtain is the type that normal hotels will take out after each guest and wash. Not made to be used by multiple people. Not plastic but cloth. This thing is all crusty and discolored and I'm sure it has never been washed or changed at all. The folds in many places are "solid", so to speak, and are cast into their shape by multiple applications of soap and water bounding off multiple bodies. I did not try to bend them to see if old soap would crack and flake off. I didn't want to touch them. Imagine trying to take s shower without the curtain touching you. Hard to do. Revolting.
So, I am sorry to say that Choice Hotels, of which I am a member, even has this motel listed. I am having a very hard time believing that Choice Hotels actually sends someone to check on their member hotels. They must just have the hotel owners fill in a form and believe everything they say.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Rodeway Inn Sundance, located near the center of downtown Sundance at the foot of scenic Sundance Mountain. We are one of the area's local hotels and are conveniently located near local dining, shopping and great golfing. We are the central location for major national parks like Devils Tower, Mt. Rushmore/Crazy Horse and the Black Hills National forest all within a hours drive. Our guests are accommodated with comfortable rooms, featuring cable flat screen television, free high speed WiFi, an indoor pool/hot-tub and complimentary coffee service. Also available, we have on site self service guest laundry. We are a pet friendly hotel with a small fee per pet. ... more less
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