Our weekly Compensation Clinic makes a stop at the beautiful Napa Valley, California where one of our readers has some trouble getting his room at the Westin Verasa Hotel.
Remember that you can always email us, send us a Facebook message or Tweet us about the issues you have with hotels, airlines and other travel providers. We’ll feature one new Compensation Clinic case each week.
You can access the website of the Westin Verasa Napa here.
Here is the email from the reader:
I’m writing in regards to my recent stay at the Westin Napa. When i checked in at ~ 2:30 pm my upgraded room was not ready yet. i said I will wait and they said they will call me when it was ready. I left the hotel and waited for their call that never came. I went for dinner and then returned to the hotel at approximately 9:00pm where I complained about the missing callback.
The hotel also charges an outrageous ‘Amenity Fee’ which is described as follows:
Room rates do not include a daily 20 USD amenity fee and 14.2% tax. This fee includes overnight valet parking, standard Internet access in guest rooms, local calls, one bottle of water each night, a nightly wine-tasting reception in the lobby, and access to the heated mineral pool, hot tub, bocce courts, WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio, and business center services, including color copies.
This fee was discounted by 5$ for Platinum members.
The reader received an upgrade to a Premium Suite at the property and complained again to the Duty Manager the following day.
Here is the resolution:
After contacting management they offered a compensation and asked what I’d suggest to receive for the inconvenience. I said that half a free night in SPG points would be acceptable. Management agreed and credited 10,000 SPG points to my Lifetime Platinum account.
This is an excellent outcome and compensation. At least for our reader who admittedly paid a hefty rate (cash) at this property.
Checking in during the early afternoon is a bit problematic when one insists on the SPG Platinum benefit of a suite upgrade. I imagine that a hotel such as the Westin Napa is pretty busy and has many Platinum guests who receive both suite upgrades and the 4:00 pm late checkout option. If many guests leave these suites at 4pm it’s hard for arriving Platinum or paid guests to receive them early. In any case someone should have called if that was promised before and I’m actually impressed the hotel offered a whopping 10,000 SPG points for that.
As far as the ‘amenity fee’ goes I think it’s a rip off. Just another variety of the hated Resort Fees. Some hotels charge these fees just because they can. Not only in Napa but also in cities such as Palm Springs. I can’t stand it!