I planned a beautiful weekend for my boyfriend's birthday in November at the Hotel Monaco in Baltimore because it looked lovely on the website. I was very excited because it was the first time I had done something this nice for anyone, and me and my boyfriend were getting very serious at this time in our relationship.
Upon arrival, we were not aware of the valet service or the check-in process period. So we pull up in my '04 Chevy, and the valet drivers just ignored us, and proceeded to serve the Lexus truck parked in front of us. Noticing the process, I had to get out of the car, go to the inconspicuous front desk to check in (it was on the second floor and I didn't know because NO ONE told me what to do or where to go), get my room key, and then tell the valet drivers "Hey...we're staying here." Once they realized we were guests, they were very helpful, and getting to the room was a breeze.
STRIKE 1: Once to the room, there were dishes in front of our door from previous guests. The bell hop told us that it would be taken care of "probably later on tonight." OK no big deal. Later, I checked my bank account because I had reserved an expensive dinner that same night; just wanted to be sure that I could cover it. Unbeknown to me, because I used my debit card, the hotel charged me for two nights, two days of valet ($35/day), and incidental fee of quite a bit of money totaling: over $500...leaving my account unable to pay for the dinner. Now, I was under the impression that my card was to confirm my reservation and I would pay at the end; regardless of what I "thought", it sure would've been nice to know how the money process works when using a debit card vs. a credit card. The woman at the front desk did not tell me anything. My boyfriend ended up having to pay for his birthday dinner, and every meal we ate during that weekend. I had never been so embarrassed in my life.
STRIKE 2: Since we were guests in the hotel, we figured that dinner in the hotel restaurant would be our best bet. LITTLE DID WE KNOW, the restaurant works on a reservation process...meaning if you don't have a reservation, you're probably gonna have to wait forever or eat at a awkward table with strangers. We ended up eating with strangers that night which ended up being a pretty nice experience, but not one we were planning to have. For the over $500 they took from my account without telling me, I personally feel that priority should be given to hotel guests at the restaurant.
STRIKE 3: We went to breakfast around 9:00 the next morning leaving the "PLEASE SERVICE" sign on the door. When we went to breakfast, which was included in the room fees, I presented the little tickets which entitles us to the continental breakfast to the waiter downstairs. He was very polite, and informed us that we could sit anywhere in the restaurant we wanted, as he pointed upstairs. We went ahead upstairs, since we ate downstairs the night before. We made our plates, sat down and began eating when another waiter came up to us and asked us to present our tickets yet again. Of course I didn't have it anymore because I had given it to the waiter downstairs. It was quite an insult to see this waiter go downstairs and verify that we indeed had tickets and weren't just moochers. Just a little side note, not only did we eat the included continental breakfast, we ordered ACTUAL BREAKFAST too.
STRIKE 4: When we got back to our room about two hours later, our room had not been serviced. This was not a big deal to us so we left the service sign up, and would just move out of the way once the cleaning staff arrived. It wasn't until it was dark outside and we were out of clean towels that we became irritated. We called the service line to tell them about the service/towels, and oh by the way...the dishes still sitting outside of our room. 2 hours later, we received towels. After dinner that night (around 9:00 or so), the dishes finally were picked up by a staff member who looked like he was the only one servicing all of the rooms. (We had seen him on other floors when we went for a walk around the hotel earlier that day)
STRIKE 5: The final day, we got our things together, and prepared for breakfast and checkout. Since my boyfriend needed cash, we decided that I would go pick up the breakfast tickets while he got the cash, and we would meet up at the restaurant for breakfast. After I got the tickets, I went downstairs and was approached by one of the young men who works the front door. He said VERBATIM, "DAMN...What's Yo name??" Shocked and a little scared, I said my name and that I was here with my boyfriend. He said he didn't care, and continued to hassle me. I literally had to run and hide in the restaurant for him to leave me alone.
THE RESOLUTION: Once we got to the front desk to check out, the concierge asked us how our stay was. We looked at each other and said, "Where do we begin?!" I told the concierge EVERYTHING. He listened to me intently, and was pretty shocked about how we were treated. He wrote down everything, and resolved to refund me the full amount of our stay only charging us for taxes and miscellaneous charges which totaled $81 total. This was a great resolution for our stay and I was pleases with the outcome. I took my boyfriend shopping with the money instead, but it was not what I originally planned.
THE AFTERSHOCK: I checked my account to ensure that the hotel actually did refund me. To my surprise, the hotel reactivated my parking fee and took out an extra day of parking ($35) the next day! I had to call management to have them deactivate it and give me my money back.
All in all, the hotel is beautiful...ABSOLUTELY gorgeous. Almost breathtaking; but the service trumps all of that beauty. I have told all of my friends and co-workers about this, and told them to never stay there. This is quite unfortunate because I can tell that a lot of hard work is spent on this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In one of our nation's most distinctive cities, you'll find one of its most remarkable hotels. Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor, uniquely reflects the spirit of this vibrant, historical city. Situated in the landmark Baltimore & Ohio Railroad headquarters, built in 1906, our downtown Baltimore hotel provides an experience like no other. From our elegant three-story lobby, with its original marble floor and Tiffany stained-glass windows to each of our 202 beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor surrounds you with spacious, timeless style. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Monaco Hotel Baltimore