Compensation Clinic: ANA Crowne Plaza Narita Airport – Bad Mattresses And Room Allocation Issues

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This weeks Compensation Clinic comes to us from the ANA Crowne Plaza Narita Airport where I had quite a bad experience last week, especially with the quality of the mattresses.

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When staying at the Narita Airport area I usually select the Hilton but unfortunately it has been sold out the entire week and I had the choice of staying at a local chain property for an amazing rate of ~ $30 (which in hindsight I should have done) or to book the ANA Crowne Plaza at about triple the price but with a 2pm late check-out instead of 11am.

I arrived at Narita Airport at 9:15pm after taking the last Narita Express from Tokyo and took the shuttle bus from Terminal 2 to the hotel. As it turned out the Crowne Plaza shares the shuttle bus with the Narita View Hotel that is located far away, right behind the Hilton. In fact the Hilton used to share the bus with them but stopped doing so after frequent complaints by the guests. Not sure if a hotel that charges 2-3x the rate of competing local properties should still share a bus with them and can’t afford their own. The ride could take 10 min from Terminal 2 but takes 25 after going to the Narita View first.

After arriving at the hotel it turned out that I was allocated a Twin Bed room as a supposed ‘Upgrade’. I had reserved a simple Single Bed room before and was now given a Twin Deluxe. Not sure what was Deluxe on this room though – if the originally booked room was even worse then well…

The issue however was not just that all of a sudden I had two beds which really isn’t a big drama but that the mattresses are pretty much rubbish. Even after just sitting on the bed I felt how i sank in and felt the box spring underneath. This might not be a big issue for someone weighing about 50kg but I’d imagine the average western traveler weihs quite a bit more than that (myself roughly 84kg).

I had this experience before at the Crowne Plaza Kobe in April resulting in severe back pain for three days following that stay. I was certain to not do that again and went to the front desk to ask for a different room/bed type, even if it’s a roll away bed. This whole effort turned out to be a 1.5hr exercise until everything was said and done. At 11:30pm it was impossible to get a taxi to go to another hotel as I could see another party of 3 people waiting over half an hour for a cab already.

The In Room Dining was also cut down to 6 items after 11pm – in my opinion insufficient for an airport hotel where the last shuttle bus arrives at 11:30pm.

Eventually I was given a room with one King Size where the mattress was slightly better though not ideal.

At around 2am I heard the noise of an envelope being pushed underneath the door. It contained the following letter:

Essentially the hotel offered to waive the overnight charge and also add a breakfast benefit which is certainly a very generous compensation especially since I didn’t even request any at this point.

What I did however is request to pay 1000 JPY for the Room (instead the original 9000) so that the IHG Reward Club account will be hit with a qualifying activity for the Accelerate and Book Direct Promotion. All in all this should eventually net in ~ 15,000 IHG Rewards points.

Conclusion

Apart from the Pillow Menu which the ANA Crowne Plaza Narita has I feel that it makes no sense for a chain hotel to not have an adequate brand standard when it comes to mattresses. Both the Narita property and the one in Kobe two months ago had horrible mattresses while the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Airport for example has very good ones.

On top of it all the other things mentioned are out of whack as well. I really don’t like ‘Upgrades’ that change your bed type without consulting you first. Also In Room Dining at an airport hotel is an important feature and the items offered didn’t even include standard dishes such as a Club Sandwich, Beef Burger or a Pasta Dish. The only standard item was a Caesars Salad and that’s simply not enough.

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  • Having been to two different ana Crowne Plazas the past two years, I came to expect them being effectively HIE rebranded.

    The one in Chitose had a decent room, although the adult pay TV made it very clear what the target traveller they expect is. The status lounge is separate for smokers and non smokers, and the former has the worst view of course.

    The one in Fukuoka had a nice lobby but the room was very tiny and the bathroom of the quality of an easyHotel, including the step to be able to enter.

    In both cases I had no real big problem but it was still not what I’d expect from a Crowne Plaza anywhere else.

  • karl

    So, the hotel comped the night and breakfast, but this was still not good enough. Ordinarily, of course this would have been more than enough, but comped nights don’t count as qualifying. Sebastian, I’m afraid that you can’t have it every which way, – this is now bordering on the ridiculous.
    I just want to see how crazy SP’s posts can get. This is a good one!

    • In light of other such posts and lack of response from the writer, the original post can only be construed as a desperate provocation. If I am wrong then I would suggest the sorry individual sticks to prime properties such as Four Seasons as anyone who travels can vouch that Clown Plazas are really not anything remotely special!

      • Gary

        I’m wondering if the aim of our little prissy friend is to be as provocative as possible, get negative comments and clicks and then prove to his boss John that he’s generating traffic to show to the sponsors here. Nothing else makes sense why John would keep this “person” on board. He adds no value to the community but perhaps as a troll he does to the site commercially. My 2 cents/pence.

  • Gary

    More nonsense from our very own prissy little serial complainer.

  • Flyboy

    “Bad mattress” … That takes the cake. Really. IS there anything that Sebastian can just write about and not expect compensation for it? How about just a “Thank you” and leave it at that?

    • Gary

      I hope he travels alone… he’d be an embarrassment to another colleague.

  • Nick Hevelian

    Seriously, I think you should just stop travelling. Everything imaginable is a problem for you. Practically everywhere you go you try claiming a free stay, free breakfast or a gazillion points and I’m astonished that all the reputable chains haven’t banned you by this stage. If that’s not bad enough, you insist on encouraging others to join your disreputable shakedown practices – like that Chinese dimwit who claimed some ridiculous comp at your behest because she was too dumb to take shampoo into the shower!

    I had a bad mattress at Prague Marriott last week. I told them about it when I checked out but I didn’t try to claim comp. The idea that my entire stay should be free because the mattress was a bit bumpy seems ridiculous to me but maybe that’s because I’m not writing for a points blog.

    Any reasonable, self-respecting individual would have too much dignity to try pulling the stunts that you do. I don’t know how you sleep at night but I guess it’s easier to do that when you have no conscience instead of just having the right kind of mattress.

    • Felix

      Totally agree with you. He should stop travelling. Maybe only staying at home could make him feel comfortable about the mattress, or maybe he would sue the mattress company on producing uncomfortable mattress and “mis-selling” to him. He is always complaining on everything.

  • Ry Wong

    Upgrading to different room type (single – double or non-smoking – smoking) can be a problem. However how the story ended up like that is more funny, and that made me recall that we have an article on this website, saying someone got his hotel membership suspended due to recurrent complaints (and compensations received), but still going back for stays frequently?

    While I do not want to comment if this is a kind of abuse, but I wholeheartedly feeling sorry for Sab because it looks like for everywhere he goes, every hotel he stays, he is unhappy always. I used to be that picky when I first found this website, and was addicted to the same critical way to “inspect” every hotel I stay. However later on I just found it meaningless for me to suffer unnecessarily, to feel unhappy, annoyed, or even angry every time I travel, just to trade from the hotel staff different kinds of compensations. Sometimes those minor issues could be solved quickly and easily, and life goes on happily.