I arrived in Pensacola, Florida last Tuesday but will talk about my impressions of the city in a later post. One item I do want to address now is the condition of the hotel I'm staying in. I arranged this hotel prior to coming down so didn't see it before I moved in. What I did do was go to the "Trip Advisor" website and read the reviews. They were mostly positive with an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5. Since I'm not too hard to please, I figured this hotel would be fine for me. So, I called them up to reserve a room. Their initial rate was higher than my maximum per diem ($102) but they agreed to lower the price to that amount. I couldn't go wrong with a room rate that high, right?
Well, I was wrong. I arrived at the hotel and immediately sensed not all was as advertised. The lobby reeked of cheap. After being told I had been upgraded to a "suite," I felt a little better but was then brought back down to earth when I saw it. The carpet was stained and the furniture was old/scarred. The remote didn't work because the batteries were spent and the staff replaced them with more dead batteries. Speaking of the staff, they seemed almost catatonic albeit 'nice' and had trouble dealing with the simplest of requests.
The most embarrassing feature of this hotel was the free breakfast buffet. Actually, I think it should not have been free but that the hotel should have paid the patrons. The food was that bad. Further taking away from the ambience was the presence of paper utensils, cups, bowls, and plates. I think this is the first time I've ever experienced this regardless of the hotel's price. What were the reviewers on Trip Advisor thinking?
Is this an aberration? Or, is such poor presentation a result of cost-cutting measures? Actually, I believe it's just a reflection of the decline of American society in which poor customer service is simply one feature of the decline.