Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The annoyance of the Hilton

I, of course, wouldn't be caught dead in the taxpayer subsidized local Pollard Hilton unless absolutely necessary.

Unfortunately, the business I was on this past week required me to use the previously mentioned #Hilton at San Diego Bay.

I say "unfortunately," not because it was a cockroach infested den of inequity to be confused with say, one of the strip joints Davey Gellatly frequents.

It was because of how they do business.

The room rates weren't horrifically bad for hotel rooms, I suppose.  $229 a day is at the upper end of the spectrum, but not outrageous.  And for a paltry $30 a day more, you could actually get one that didn't have a view of, well, the view I showed below...


While literally EVERY other hotel/motel room I have ever stayed in actually comes with, for example, a small refrigerator... this one didn't.  One could be "provided..." for a fee, of course.

Most hotels without leaking roofs have at least a free continental breakfast for their guests.

That bowl of cereal here?  $20.

The other breakfast option?


And then there's parking.

Valet?  $50.  Plus tip, or course.  Per day.

Self service?  $35.  Per day.

Needed a razor.  Had to buy 10 disposables for $9.  Water in the room that you get at a gas station for $1.49 costs $3.75 here.

It's not that these people nickel and dime you, it's that they dollar and bludgeon you.

The facility is nice.  But for $35 a day cost for parking during a 4 day stay... for that kind of money, I would expect them to at least throw in a free car wash.

I'll be doing my level best to avoid any of these facilities, anywhere.  This isn't how "guests" are treated.  This is how, for us mere mortals, you squeeze blood out of a rock.

UPDATE:  I write this while staying at a Red Roof Inn located in Oxford, Alabama.

I'm watching Cal beat the Cougs to a pulp... 17-3 at the half.  (I hold no illusions; I fully expect the Cougs to come back in the 2nd half if they can survive the butt-chewing that Coach Leach is laying on them during half time... but right now, they are Couging it big time) but that's not the point.

The point is this room comes equipped with a refrigerator, a microwave, free continental breakfast and free wifi... completely functional.  Parking is completely free.  It's all included.

And this room is around $100 a day.

Yeah, I get that Oxford, AL isn't San Diego, CA.  Still, it astounds me that when it comes to hotels... Frequently, the more you pay, the less you get.

1 comment:

Pete Masterson said...

What you "discovered" is the dichotomy between "middle class" and "luxury class" accommodations. As far back as I can remember (actually, the 1960s) "high end" hotels came up with extra charges to increase their bills ... and hide the more inflated room charge from what it really was. Example, in late 1960s in the first years of my working life and marriage, we managed a "getaway" and stayed at a Hyatt Inn in Monterey, CA. I had been quoted a room rate ... and when I checked out, I was shocked to find a "communications charge" (even though I'd never used the telephone). After some discussion with the clerk (and the clerk's supervisor) I successfully had the charge removed ... but I subsequently learned that various "required charges" are regularly added to raise room rates above the "advertised rate." (A couple years ago, I attended an event at a Las Vegas hotel ... and there was a "resort charge" for each day on the bill... )

Meanwhile, the middle class establishments -- in an effort to separate themselves from the "motel six" category, have added numerous "free" features, like continental breakfasts, free WiFi, small refrigerators and microwaves in the rooms, and other "free" offerings. (This has made me a fan of Quality Inns and Comfort Inns (among others) for my travels.) I have also learned to inquire about add-ons and "required charges" at 3-star and 4-star hotels.

One lesson learned, during a period in my career where I regularly traveled to distant places for company business, I often had to stay at major hotels (whose "corporate rates" were actually not so bad). With no disrespect to Hyatt (I've stayed most pleasurably in several) but we happen to be at a Hyatt when one of my co-worker co-travellers insisted that he just HAD to have an orange juice at breakfast, despite the $2 cost of a tiny glass. Later, while lined up to check out, those waiting in line were all offered a FREE glass of OJ to make our (not that long) wait less onerous. (The co-worker who'd paid $2 for that glass of OJ was NOT amused ... not nearly as much as I was....)