My mom is in town this weekend. She arrived last Thursday and is here until tomorrow afternoon. This past weekend we drove to Providence, RI (basically the same trip we took last year!). We stayed at a hotel in Providence and then went to Newport for the day on Saturday. It was a nice weekend. It was hotter than Hell, which means for me since I sweat like a pig (no nice glow for me… a PIG… ) I was sopping wet the minute I stepped out of the hotel lobby…
Ahh.. our hotel. I hate to say bad things about a place unless they are actually warranted.. let me tell you how disappointed I was in our hotel. We stayed at the Providence Biltmore. Supposedly the “Grand Dame” of Providence. It was built in 1922 and during it’s early years was the place to be seen.. all the East Coast elite stayed there. Well, throughout the years it fell into disrepair and then there was this little thing called a hurricane that rolled in during 1958… the couches were floating in the lobby and so forth… It closed for a brief period in the 70s for renovation and then reopened. My take on the place is this:
1. It’s resting on it’s laurels. It is a fine, beautiful old building. But I think they get away with a lot of bad service b/c it is a beautiful old building…
2. Our check in. We arrived early… On the hotel’s website it said that rooms would not be ready until 3pm. Well, the front desk woman said that she would call me on my cell when the room was ready.. (I think it was 1.30 on Friday) … right before we left the hotel (we were going to go across the street to that famous Providence landmark: Macy’s) she said that she DID have a room available but that it didn’t have the pull out sofa that I requested (so that my mom and I didn’t have to sleep in the same bed). I said that “no, we would wait until 3 for the room that I requested.” Well, by 3pm..she had never called. We walked back around 3.30 and our room was ready..and guess what… NO pull out sofa… It was a little thing but a big thing after I had been up since 4am that morning.
At check out time, the guy said he was charging me for the upgrade… I said “Uh… no you are not” (in my best .. “I’m the customer, damn it!” voice—I actually really hate confrontations w/ staff people)… He said we got a bigger room.. I said I wasn’t concerned about the larger room.. I was concerned that we were promised a pull out bed and there wasn’t one there after we were made to wait in the first place. I think he saw that I was mad..
2. This actually happened before #1… Valet parking… You can only valet park your car there. There is no other option. It was $24/day. So, we get there… I give my key to some kid dressed in black.. I don’t get a ticket. My mom and I leave for and as we are walking across the street I have this odd sensation that my car was just stolen. I go back and talk to the desk clerk… who talks to the valet guy and so on.. about 1/2 hour later my car is located.. I just want a ticket so I know that it’s been properly stored… it took them awhile to get that idea.. Again, I told them I’ve been up since 4am.. just get me a ticket now. I didn’t blow up at them..but I sooo wanted to.
3. Internet service… Even the Comfort Inn I stayed at for business has a free business computer… This place: $5/10 minutes of Internet time. I was pretty livid. It’s 2008 people… you would think that Internet would be free now… I guess not. (for this reason.. can’t wait to get my new phone).
4. Room quality.. Yes, the hotel was remodeled..but in many ways.. it still was a hotel from 1922. They just dressed it up w/ fancy finishes…
Ok.. enough… The trip was nice..we had a good time..but please if you are ever in Providence… DO NOT STAY AT THE PROVIDENCE BILTMORE.
That’s it for now… I’m hungry.. time for breakfast.