Varsity Club of America South Bend
Subpar at best. If you pay third party be prepared to be treated badly
We stayed at the Varsity Club in Mishawaka, IN which is a Diamond property on 12/31/2016, check out 1/1/2017. We have stayed at this property several times and had been impressed by the quality of room and hospitality we had received. This was a treat for our friends and us because of the rough year we had. We were looking forward to staying there with the new renovations that had been done since the last time we were there. We have made New Year’s Eve at this property a tradition for us. Well on this particular stay it was absolutely awful and horrendous.
We checked in at 1:45 pm because we live over 3.5 hours away and we were in the area for a tournament my husband was participating in. I had called the day before and asked if it was possible to have our two rooms that were reserved next to one another. The representative said she would make a note in our reservation, but could not guarantee the request. I said that’s fine. Well at the time of check in I asked if the request could be accommodated and the front desk associate, Rachael said yes, your rooms are next to one another. I said perfect and thanked the 3 ladies for accommodating our request. The one associate Mikah took over our check in for no apparent reason and was very rude with her questioning of my terminology. I had referred to our rooms as adjoined. As in our rooms being next to one another, but apparently, she was annoyed by this. I finished checking in and we got up to our room. Our friends checked in later and they were not next to our room as the front desk had indicated when I checked in earlier.
While unpacking and trying to care for an almost 3 year old I noticed the curtains in our room were slightly discoloured, I thought it was a lightening issue or it was the texture of the curtain. Later I looked at it again and it was multiple large stains. It was absolutely disgusting. On top of finding that, there was a piece of bacon between the lamp and tv on the bedroom dresser, rust on the bottom of the mini fridge, and something spilt at the bottom of the mini fridge when you opened up the door. This is supposed to be a 3 star hotel. On our previous stays we never saw anything like this.
Also during our stay, my friend and I wanted to enjoy a drink from the bar. We had the previous year when we stayed on New Year’s Eve. When we got to the lobby the bar wasn’t open and it was around 7 in the evening. I asked Tammy Johnson and Ashley who were standing at the front desk if the bar was closed. In their most fake and could give a careless manner they said, “Yes it’s closed the bartender couldn’t make it in, sorry.” I find this very inconvenient and definitely not accommodating to the guests that stay there. No sign was up or notification was given to the guests that the bar was or would be closed for the evening. (Apparently, it’s a crapshoot to see if you are getting all the amenities and services you pay for in your reservation when you stay at this property.)
In addition to the issues with the room, apparently, the front doesn’t know how to manage guests that are being unruly and loud. From 8:30 to 10:30 that evening children on the second floor were running up and the down the hallways like it was a track and field meet. My husband asked these guests 4 times to stop because our almost 3 year old was trying to sleep before he called down to the front desk for security to come to handle the situation. There is no way they could not have heard these individuals running up and down the hallways with as loud as they were being. And regardless of it being a holiday, better discretion should have been used by the hotel staff.
The next morning my husband addressed the room issues with the staff. Once again Tammy Johnson and Ashley were at the front desk, they took down some of the issues on a green sticky note, but basically blew my husband off.
I spoke with Tammy Johnson, Ashley, and Tiffany as I was checking out and showed them the photos of the curtains, bacon, and spots on the kitchen floor. They said as we told your husband there is nothing we can do because we paid 3rd party. Tammy Johnson also during our conversation informed me that she held a supervisor role. Well if that is the case then why didn’t she assist further with this situation? Clearly the room was not to the standard of a 3 star hotel especially one that is associated with Diamond Resorts. And the best she could do was take to housekeeping? Not take down my number and have the GM or some other supervisor call me about this situation? Yes was I upset with the staff, you bet. We paid more for this stay than we had with the previous stays at this property.
The staff the previous times we stayed was extremely helpful and friendly. I noticed there was a change in management since Easter 2016. I wonder if this has anything to do with the attitude, service changes, and quality of hospitality. We paid more to stay at this property because it was 3 star and because of the previous experiences we had. I can tell you we had stayed at a 2.5 star hotel down the street for $40 less and got better service 3 weeks prior to our stay at this property. This whole situation is extremely disappointing and alarming.
I called the GM Keith Raven last night after we got home from our trip and left a message. Priceline contacted the hotel on our behalf to get a partial refund for the quality of our room and was denied by the in house management. I will continue to fight this until this situation is rectified appropriately by this property. Just because someone pays 3rd party doesn’t mean their money is worth any less and they shouldn’t be treated like garbage. If you do not want 3rd party guests staying at the property then DO NOT offer it on 3rd party websites like Priceline.