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Avoid the Holiday Inn Congress Centre, Verona, Italy

Avoid the Holiday Inn Congress Centre, Verona, Italy

Aug 6th, 2005, 09:58 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 47
Avoid the Holiday Inn Congress Centre, Verona, Italy

I stayed at the Holiday Congress Centre, Verona or should I say San Martino, a suburb or separate town for four nights from July 22 through 26, 2005.
Many Holiday Inns offer discount rates if reservations are made well in advance and pre-paid with no refunds or changes. Last September I made my reservations at this hotel through the Holiday Inn Website at “ http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/hi/1/en/home.” They gave the address and a map showing the location. I reserved a twin smoking room, as smoking is one of my vices for four nights. They also advertised a “Courtesy Shuttle” to town and the Verona airport. They must have had a lot of problems or complaints, because the address given and the map showed a fake location for the hotel; this they waved off and I never got a satisfactory explanation when I got there. This was evidentially later corrected on the website, but no notice was given to those who had made reservations. The “Courtesy Shuttle” is now listed as “with fee-paying shuttle service.” Smoking rooms no longer exist.
I arrived in Verona by train, called for the shuttle and was told about a 15/20 minute wait, which was reasonable. But, since the hotel was about a mile away I decided to take a taxi. I gave the address on my confirmation sheet to the taxi driver and off we went. Surprise! the hotel was not there. My taxi driver called the hotel to find where they hid it, and then set off on a long ride on the AutoStrada to the outskirts of Verona to the hotel. That fare was 25 Euro w/tip.
The shuttle service seems to be one of their big money makers as they charge 15 Euro each way per room and appear to try and get as many people into a shuttle as possible. And sometimes had to wait for a hour to add others. If my son and I had separate rooms it would have cost us 30 Euro a trip. I settled up my accounts (shuttle fees) the night before leaving. I like to do this with hotels because it gives me time to correct mistakes if they occur and I am not rushed to make a connection. I keep close track of my expenditures as I am not one of the Royal Yacht set. They had me listed with 7 shuttle runs instead of the 6 I had taken. They were quite indignant that I challenged their listing and we went around and around until they finally took the extra charge off. They acted as if I were trying to cheat them and argued about it. Then they finally threw up their arms in gesture and took it off. This was very impolite on their part.
They tell you that the closest bus stop is a kilometer away (more like 1 1/2), but refrain from telling you about the one about 200 meters away which is not in sight. Either they are ignorant of this or want you to take their shuttle.
If you do not have a rental car, avoid this hotel like the plague. It is really isolated and no English newspapers.
The back of hotel is connected to a shopping strip with a variety of businesses for the family; A topless nightclub, a sex store, a pool hall, a tobacco shop, restaurant, stationary store and others. There is also a grocery store and department store at the far end.
The staff tries to be helpful, but frequently gives out wrong information. I was told to take the Red line underground from the Milan Central Train Station to the Duomo Square in Milan. Surprise! the Red line does not connect with the Central station, you take the Yellow one.
The room was nice, clean,and the air conditioning worked well was the only compliment I had for the hotel. We had two washcloths the first night, but never saw them again. There are snacks put out in the room and a stocked mini-fridge. All are charged for and the prices are exorbitant even by hotel standards.
This hotel really dissatisfied me and cost us many hours of touring and some money we had not planned on spending. This hotel must be a franchise and not Holiday Inn owned, because the way the people act would not be tolerated at a reputable establishment.
Luttrell is offline  
Aug 6th, 2005, 10:19 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,127
Sorry about your terrible experience. It sounds like you based your decision on their false advertising on the HI website. A bad hotel stay can really ruin a nice trip.

As a suggestion, you should post your comments on Tripadvisor.com as it's read by many people worldwide. Also you should contact Holiday Inn and let them know about this franchise which I'm sure it is. I doubt HI would like to have a bad reputation.
francophile03 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2005, 10:52 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 915
I'm curious why you were staying in a Holiday Inn when you were in Europe? I don't like them in the US, and I would never consider any American chain hotel when travelling to Europe.

By the way, Holiday Inns are basically a franchise. There is no more "Holiday Inns" as you remember them.

Curious
Curious is offline  
Aug 6th, 2005, 11:03 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
Holiday Inn is a British chain. I've stayed at a couple so far in London, and was perfectly pleased, both because the facilities were fine, and because the price was excellent (via Priceline). Sometimes chains can offer services not available from small, independent hotels, and for a cheaper price, which is why people use them.

Luttrell, I'm glad that at least the A/C worked. If you had known about the public bus stop earlier, would that have been a convenient way to get to town?
WillTravel is offline  
Aug 6th, 2005, 12:03 PM
  #5  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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WillTravel, I don't know if the closer bus stop would have been better, but it was alot closer. Our trip ended in Rome where all was forgotten by our stay at the Hotel Villa San Pio which excelled in their efforts to please and accomodations.
Luttrell is offline  
Aug 6th, 2005, 02:05 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Hi Luttrell, I can only imagine how frustrated and dissapointed you were.
Do post this on TripAdvisor so others will be aware.

I am sure glad that you enjoyed Rome and your lodgings. You deserved some good luck. Take care.
LoveItaly is offline  
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