No consideration for second-class customers
It saddens me to have to write a negative feedback about a hotel – I know personally how difficult it can be to work at a hotel. However we, unfortunately, felt like we were second-class customers at the Timber Lodge from the day we arrived – and this notion was confirmed with an email we received several days after we returned home … Here is our story:
We stayed at the Timber Lodge property in Lake Tahoe from July 5th thru July 8th. We checked in early on the 5th – roughly around 1pm – and were told that our room wouldn’t be ready until 4pm. No problem. We went to speak to the concierge to find out what we can do during our extended weekend stay in the city. The concierge was much more interested in repeatedly telling us about their Vacation Club Timeshare opportunities than providing us with the information we really wanted. We got some basic information from her and decided to do our own research.
Just as we left the property to go to lunch, we received a call that our room is ready. Great! So we skipped lunch and returned to the front desk. We were given a room on the second floor even though we had requested a high floor. The layout of the room was also quite odd – there was a long, dark, narrow hallway that led to the bedroom area. When my husband asked the bellman about it, the bellman said: “this room has a strange layout due to its position in the hotel and that other rooms were fairly standard”. Since the room was on the darker side, the first thing I did was to open the blinds … to my surprise, there were people sitting just yards away from our bedroom window eating lunch. They could see clearly into the entire room. Privacy is a big factor for me and this is why we request a room on a higher floor.
I immediately called the front desk and asked to have our room changed. Since normal check-in times are at 4pm – and it was only 2pm – this shouldn’t have been an issue. We were told that the entire hotel was fully booked and that there wasn’t anything that they could do. I decided to look into this, so I went Marriott website and found that the hotel was NOT fully booked and that they still had several rooms and room-types still available on the website for reservations.
I went downstairs to the front desk and asked to speak to the general manager – I did not appreciate being lied to that the hotel was fully booked when it clearly wasn’t. The front desk manager offered to help and when I presented her with the information that rooms were still available, she agreed to switch our rooms. We were switched from the 2nd floor to the 5th floor. Despite the change, it’s disappointing that only when confronted, did they agree to do the right thing.
The room on the 5th floor did provide the privacy that we were seeking, but the room thoughtlessly setup. There was one small window – which was only accessible by climbing over a couch and crawling over a large ledge (see the pictures provided). So every morning, I had to climb over a couch to open the blinds and then every night climb over the couch again to close them. It’s a good thing we are fairly young and mobility wasn’t an issue for us. I can’t imagine everyone being able to do this.
On the second day of our stay, we got a call from the assistant front desk manager, Kyle. Within minutes of him leaving the message, I called him back. I was told that he was helping other customers and couldn’t come to the phone. I offered to wait on hold. After a considerable wait, I provided them my cell phone number and asked to have him call me anytime throughout that day. I never received a call … The only communication we received from anyone at the Timber Lodge was several days after we had returned home and after we left a poor review via a property survey. In the email, our notions were confirmed that we were second-class customers since they give preference to their Vacation Club members (email provided).
Another odd (and somewhat disgusting) note: On the third day of our stay, I noticed that the sheets hadn’t been changed. The housekeeper I spoke to kindly said that I had to request the change with the front desk. When I went to the front desk, I was told that I needed to pay extra to have the sheets changed. I was taken aback because we weren’t staying at an economy hotel – we paid over $300 a night, we have never been asked to pay extra to have clean sheets. I inquired if that was the case even in extended stays of 7 days or more, and I was told yes. From a hygiene standpoint, that is revolting.
On a positive note: Everyone at in the Valet department was great. They got to know us and greeted us cheerfully every morning before we left and every evening when we returned. They offered to help us with our bags, offered to provide us with directions, and even gave us some local suggestions.