When traveling with 3 children; a mother always anticipates and prepares for children crisis’s, fights, and severe moments of boredom but what you do not prepare for is the hotel that stay at to be the source of most of your problems.
It’s Spring Break which means we spend a week in Mid Michigan to see our friends and family.
As always; we stay at the Midland Resort and Convention Center. First things first: It is NOT a resort, it is old and cheap and convenient which is why we stay. The pool is shallow so the kids can have a good time and be safe at the same time and it saves me money which any frugal mom can understand. So when we stay at the hotel, our expectations are low.
We are currently in the middle of our trip and the last two days have been Hell and not because Genevieve is crying nonstop for a cellphone (I will get to that on a later post). The hotel lost power at 2am Saturday evening (we were sleeping so I found this out later). We awoke Sunday morning to no power. Liam and I wandered down to the front desk to figure out what was going on but no one was there, there were a lot of people in the lobby who looked at us but no one talked to us. The restaurant didn’t have anyone in it so it was apparent it was closed as well. The kids and I left to get breakfast, which cost $33 since we had to go to Panera Bread because we have some dietary concerns we have to accommodate to. Since it was apparent the hotel would be without power for a while, we left for a friends house so we could bath and get ready for the day. In order to entertain the kids all day, I had to find things to do with the kids, it wasn’t cheap.
I called at 7pm to check if the hotel had a power and it did. I asked if I would be receiving a discount but needed to discuss it with management in the morning. We went back to the hotel and the pool was closed, the kids were disappointed. We walked down to ask front desk when the pool would be opened and she told us it would be opened in the morning but the hot tub was open. Sure I will stick my eczema prone 6 year old in super hot water, seriously? The kids played in the room and the night was o.k.
We awoke in the morning and went down to see if the restaurant was opened. We stopped by the front desk so I could ask if I could speak with a manager and the gentleman at the front desk told me that the manager would be in in the morning. I told him that was not good enough and he said he would get a message to his General manager who was currently in a meeting. The restaurant experience was o.k. On our way back to the room, I asked when the pool would be opened and he told me in a few days; I requested that the GM call me immediately.
About an hour later, Melissa the General Manager called me. She was polite enough in the beginning. She asked what she could help me with and I told her I wanted a discount for our inconvenience. She explained to me that the outage was not their fault and that the only thing she could do is comp me one night. I started to explain all of the money I had to spend because of this inconvenience but she cut me off; so I told her that I patiently listened to her and I wanted the same respect and she allowed me to talk but it did nothing to convince her to further accommodate us. She finished by saying it was my choice and that I could leave the hotel today deviating from our original check out of Saturday. There are two aspects of this that make me angry:
First: As a manager, I manage with the philosophy that a company can always find a way to be liable for a crisis and in the customers eyes; the company is always liable, even in a crisis. I would never fathom to tell a customer, especially one who traveled 3500 miles with 3 young children that she could find a new hotel. This GM, could have looked at the fact that we are loyal returning customers and when we come we spend a lot on their facilities; she could have done more. It would not have hurt to comp a few meals or to do a little; she didn’t even apologize for her staffs incompetence in communicating with guests. Melissa seemed to forget that without guests, you do not have a hotel, and without a hotel, she will not have a job. This is terrible management.
Second: As a mother, who chose a hotel so her kids could swim and relax; I am infuriated that these accommodations are not available. I am angry that I have to pack up and stress my kids out with finding a new hotel; having a daughter with an anxiety disorder this providing an open door for an anxiety attack.
As always we will be find and the trip will cost me a few hundred dollars more than I budgeted but all in all; I am with the loves of my life, we still get to visit the people we love the most, and the Midland Resort losses loyal customers from their already failing business.
-Taking one hour at a time.