Did I say that the little things about the Hampton Inns will drive me crazy? I recently stayed at the Hampton Inn at the Gateway Center near the Orlando airport. This is a brand new building and the room and furnishings were great. It had nearly none of the problems of the other Hampton Inn near the Convention Center that I stayed at (see previous blog). The Hampton Inns are a brand of Hilton Hotels. They are pretty good, but all their rules drove me crazy during my stay. Here’s the scenario:
You have had a long, tiring day. It's dark. You find the hotel. The parking lot is pretty full. You just want to park, get your stuff, and collapse in a room that is not stifling hot. You have a lot of stuff since you are a diver and a photographer. So parking fairly close to the hotel entrance is important.
You see a parking space near to the hotel entrance! Finally, something has gone easy today. You nose in, only to see the sign: nope, this is a handicapped space. OK, you are used to that.
Oh, you see another space near the front of the hotel! You cruise over there, nose in, only to see another sign: RESERVED FOR HYBRID VEHICLES ONLY. Arrgh!
You back out, see yet another space within reasonable walking distance of the hotel entrance, get your car there, enter the space, get out, and then you notice the sign for this space: DIAMOND ELITE PARKING ONLY.” You scream silently (or if you are in your car, loudly” to no one in particular, but really, at this petty crap designed to fool and irritate you by Hilton’s Hampton Inn executives. You leave your car in the Diamond Member space, because you’ll be damned if you are going to move again.
One final note, Hampton Inn: If you allow a guest a late checkout, then don’t lock him out of the outer doors after he swims at noon, causing him to wait outside the outer door from the pool, pounding on the door for 15 minutes, and finally making him hike all the way around to the hotel entrance in his bare feet, swimsuit, and towel. And then when you give him a replacement key, how about making sure that it works so he doesn’t have to walk up to his room in his bare fee, swimsuit, and wet towel, only to find out that he can't get into his room because you programmed the key incorrectly?! Then he has to go back down to the front desk, still wet, still in his swim suit and towel, and ask for another key to be issued. All because he went swimming at 12:14pm, your checkout time is 12 noon, but you promised him a late checkout at 2pm. Then he has to go back up to his room, likely waiting for the elevator for 10 minutes since you've scheduled maintenance on two of the three elevators at the busiest time of the day. Why cancel his room card when he is at your pool, after you’ve promised him that he can check out at 2pm? Do you think that this would be somewhat aggravating?