This Sunday’s Compensation Clinic features a LoyaltyLobby reader’s case from the newly launched IHG Even brand.
Remember that you can email me your compensation cases with travel providers and I feature one case every Sunday.
EDIT: For the first time, I had to delete quite a few comments. Please no name name calling. Remember to respectfully disagree.
You can access Even Norwalk’s website here.
Here’s the email that the reader sent to the manager of the hotel:
Just this past weekend I stayed for the first time at your hotel (and the EVEN brand in general). I was excited to try the new IHG concept, and was really expecting to love it. But I was disappointed with the stay, and because you’re a fairly new hotel, I thought I’d offer my critique.
We checked in late (after midnight). As we were coming in the front door I saw a lady sleeping in a chair in the lobby, covered in blankets. I thought to myself, “isn’t it kind of odd someone would sleep in the lobby instead of their room”. As it turns out the person sleeping in the chair was the front desk clerk. Now I understand it was late but I find it unacceptable and frankly inappropriate for the person who is supposed to greet me to be sleeping. Once she realized I was checking in she sleepily made her way to the front desk and unenthusiastically asked me for my ID and credit card. No “Hi Mr. LoyaltyLobby reader”, “welcome to the EVEN Hotel Norwalk”, “thanks for being an IHG Platinum member”. None of that. Just my ID and credit card.
I then explained that I wanted to pay with cash. This seemed to puzzle the now two front desk clerks. They insisted I had to give them a credit card for a deposit, even though I offered to give a cash deposit for incidentals. This didn’t go anywhere, so I eventually had to give them my debit card (which I don’t like doing because funds are held for too long). Once this was done they gave me my room keys and that was it. I inquired about the Platinum welcome amenity since they didn’t recognize my IHG membership themselves. They didn’t seem to know what I was talking about. I asked if they’d be sure to post my welcome points to my account. I was then asked, “Oh, do you have a membership with IHG”. At that point I just put my head in my hand and said forget it.
The room itself was nice, and I enjoyed many of the unique features that you don’t find in any other brands. The beds were extremely comfortable, and I got a good sleep. We did need a “rollaway” bed since the double beds were too small to fit two people. We were told that they didn’t have any rollaway beds, but that they did have air mattresses. Twenty minutes later an air mattress arrived and we pumped it up. We then realized that we weren’t given blankets for it, so we called down again to get some.
Unfortunately the potential of this hotel wasn’t met for me. Probably the most disappointing thing was the hotel staff didn’t even go over the different amenities the hotel had to offer. Because it’s such a unique brand, the front desk should do a better job at check-in to acquaint guests with the different areas and features the hotel has to offer. Also, the lack of organization and professionalism completely took away from any positives the hotel offered. I was completely taken aback by the hotel staff sleeping in the lobby, and I wasn’t made to feel like a valued guest. I still haven’t received the welcome points either.
Here’s the response from the hotel:
First and foremost thank you for being an IHG Platinum Royal Ambassador.
I greatly appreciate your email regarding your recent stay at EVEN Hotel, Norwalk. I would like to sincerely apologize for the unwelcoming experience that you had with our front desk staff. I want to assure you that this behavior is not acceptable and will be addressed with the staff. As a new brand we have lot’s to offer and I am disappointed that your were not informed about our features.
In addition, the staff should have explained hotels cash handling policy. Although we require a credit card upon check in, we do accept cash upon checkout.I apologize if this has caused you to have a long hold on your account. If you would like I will be more than happy to fax over a letter to your credit card company asking them to release the hold off your account.
On a positive note I’m glad to hear that you slept well. Our beds have definitely been a great asset to the hotel and all of our guest rave about the great night sleep that they receive.
I noticed your IHG Rewards Number was on file and I went ahead and added the 600 points for being Platinum Royal Ambassador. In addition, I would like to offer you 2 – 5000 point vouchers that you can add to your account for the inconvenience you experienced. The points can be deposited by visiting: ihgrewardsclub.com/deposit. The Point Voucher Numbers are:
1 – ################ – (5000 points)
2 – ################ – (5000 points)
Please let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with.
Have a great day.
This new EVEN brand is targeted for health conscious travelers and women, that only has a couple of hotels open at the present.
The stay by a LoyaltyLobby reader was less than perfect and they were glad that the hotel realized this by offering 10,000 points as compensation.
Long and excessive credit card holds have been on my to-write list for a while. If you have some examples, you can drop me an email. If you are on a longer trip, the car rental and hotel holds, when not processed correctly, can easily go into thousands of dollars..