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Cheap Room Switch by Hyatt Kauai

Old May 28th, 2002, 07:43 PM
  #1  
screwed by hyatt
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Cheap Room Switch by Hyatt Kauai

Just returned from a few days in Kauai. Stayed at two well-regarded resorts. Enjoyed excellent service at one and was tremendously disappointed with other one.

Early in the year we decided to spend the week of Memorial Day 2002 in Kauai. Since it was going to be our first (and maybe only) trip to Kauai we thought we would go all-out and get full ocean view rooms at both properties. We made sure reservations knew we would accept only a full ocean view.

We should have suspected something was wrong a few weeks later when we received a cancellation of our reservation and a re-booking from Hyatt Kauai on the same day. I called reservations to inquire and they told me we were still booked for a deluxe ocean view. On check-in we confirmed we were booked for a deluxe ocean view; on reaching our room we had been assigned a partial ocean-view. We could not see the ocean from inside the middle of our room. To see the ocean we had to walk to the window or go out on the balcony. We complained to both the bellman and to the front desk. The bellman acknowledged it was not a deluxe ocean view room. He called the front desk on our behalf but to no avail. We were told a large group had checked in the day before and had taken all of the deluxe ocean view rooms. Nor did we get a discount back to a partial ocean view rate. We were told our room had been classified as a ocean view for our stay!

It seems to me what happened is that Hyatt had the opportunity to book a large group but needed more deluxe ocean view rooms. Some partial ocean view rooms migrated into the deluxe ocean view category to accommodate the people who had already booked and to meet the needs of the large group they were trying to land. We had booked early when summer tourism was still questionable and we had a low room rate, so we were among those with confirmed deluxe ocean view accommodations being asked to pay the same rate to stay in a lesser room.

Rather than let it ruin our vacation we didn't complain to the general manager while on property. We had already found the front desk staff to be quite arrogant and feared the GM might be more of the same. One front desk employee said in a snotty tone, "Well you are only paying $xxx.xx for a $600.00 room" (like they get $600 for these rooms anyway). I've been debating since returning home whether it would do any good to complain to the GM. My copy of the billing says his name is Jerry Gibson. Has anybody had dealings with him? Any suggestions on what we should do? We still have all of our written confirmations. If this has happened to me it has probably happened to others and may happen to more people in the future.

I don't understand the reason for Hyatt's arrogancy on this property nor the reason for it being hyped so much. It is over-marketed for the experience the guests receive. We have stayed at a dozen properties with better facilities and amenities and a whole lot of hotels with more integrity and class.

 
Old May 28th, 2002, 09:45 PM
  #2  
Dayle
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Dear Screwed,

Your best option would have been to complain directly to the GM while you were there & not be intimidated by snotty desk clerks. It's hard to get satisfaction once you're miles away at home & the bill has been paid.
 
Old May 28th, 2002, 10:10 PM
  #3  
xxxxx
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It's too late now, you should have complained on the spot or checked out at that time. The only choice left is to dispute the charge with your credit card company. Since you stayed you basicly told Hyatt that you weren't that upset. I hope you remember the name of the bellman that told you your room was only a partial OV. I would send a letter to the hotel manager and the national Hyatt hotel complaint compartment. You should not have signed for the final bill either. Always complain immediately to the manager - don't take no for an answer.
 
Old May 28th, 2002, 10:12 PM
  #4  
typocorr
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department
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 01:13 AM
  #5  
xx
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Write a letter to the manager that explains your distaste with your stay at the hotel. Explain that you were lied to and given the cold shoulder by the front desk staff. Detail how your vacation was ruined and you have no intention of coming back to the island for this reason alone. That should get the attention you need. But you really should have voiced your concerns immediately so it may be more difficult at this point to get financial reimbursement. Your credit card company will not do anything for you since the hotel will have the paperwork to show you authorized the room rate and showed no objection during your stay. ALWAYS complain when you first arrive to your room when you find you got something unsatisfactory!
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 03:40 AM
  #6  
Val
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We had a simalar experience at the Hyatt in Oahu. We found our room to be in disgusting shape. The furniture was peeling and we had burn marks in the rug, the rattan furniture was peeling it's laminate and the chairs were badly stained. We called the front desk and they would not do anything for us. We wrote to Hyatt Guest Relations in Chicago. They heard our complaint loud and clear. They gave us a certificate for five nights to any Hyatt we wanted. Please speak up with your complaints. We don't pay good hard earned money to stay in five star hotels, only to be so let down. The address we sent our letter to was:
Hyatt Hotels Corp
200 West Madison St
Chicago, IL 60606
I Would give it about two to three weeks before you hear anything. Hope this helps.
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 04:44 AM
  #7  
Bill
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What I don't get is why you don't use a real name here and you never complained. Not complaining to management while on the property have you never stayed in a hotel room before? If you get undercooked meat at a restaurant do you eat it anyway? Hotels are happy to accommodate unhappy customers. In Hawaii if staff are not dripping "aloha" they get fired. Jobs are scarce and it is rare that hostility is tolerated. In terms of the staff being arrogant. Arrogant on $8-$10 an hour, I don't even think front desk staff are unionized in those hotels. Think you were placing them on a pedestal and projecting your own ideas about how you felt complaining.

I have gotten money back, room upgrades and like when a room has not been to my liking. I frequently travel on some kind of discount I found on the net and I am escorted to the least appealing rooms. I am paying low prices I understand the logic. Does that mean that I don’t complain about conditions that don’t reflect the hotels reputation? No. Beyond this I have always heard that the Ocean Rooms at the Hyatt are not spectacular. If you go to epinions.com reviewers tell you not to book ocean views and save the money.
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 06:29 AM
  #8  
sally
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How was the rest of your experience? The room, the dining, the spa, etc.? Some people rave about the hotel and others say it is way over-rated.
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 06:33 AM
  #9  
x
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Somebody is pissed, apparently, with Hyatt per se. Hard to take this seriously since they failed to take even the simplsest effective step to correct the situation. Could this by chance be the first appearance of the dreaded Hotel Troll?
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 07:19 AM
  #10  
screwed by hyatt
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No, not a hotel troll. And yes, steps were taken to complain. When we asked to speak to a supervisor at the front desk we waited and then received the response that the hotel was full with an insurance group and management couldn't do anything and they kept insisting this was a bona fide ocean view room. After waiting as long as we had to wait for our room - with tired kids, etc. - you have to move forward and salvage what you can of your vacation.

Some aspects of the hotel lived up to expectation, most did not. The entry is impressive with the Pacific Ocean framed in the background, the grounds are lovely, we enjoyed the head doorman on several occasions and was impressed with his efficiency and professionalism. The bell staff and travel desk employees were good. The staff and food at the Tidewater Restaurant were excellent. They brought fish food in cups to the table so our children could entertain themselves while waiting for dinner to be served.

We didn't use the golf or tennis facilities or the spa.

On the negative side we thought the room amenities were lacking. Bathroom towels were thin and undersized. The shower was wimpy. More water leaked out of the faucet than went up the pipe to the shower head. There was dirt build-up in the grips on the floor of the tub - something you would expect to find in a $39 or $49 hotel but not a resort like this. There was an electrical short in two of the table lamps. We had to tap the base or sides to get the light to turn on.

The Italian restaurant was just O.K. When we ordered from room service the food arrived lukewarm. There seemed to be an extraordinary emphasis on building revenue and cutting costs at the expense of guest hospitality. One example, I ordered a club sandwich at their Ilima Terrace Restaurant. This is a multi-layered sandwich with turkey, bacon, lettuce, cheese, and six or so tomatoes in four layers. All of the tomatoes were end pieces. Obviously they are taking the middle cuts of the tomato and using them in dishes where appearance is important and taking the end pieces for use in less visible places like a sandwich.

We felt like this metaphor represented the hotel well. They work hard to create the right image in all of the public places. Scratch a little deeper though and you find their service level and quality breaking down.

We did some checking this mornng just to confirm to ourselves that we hadn't misunderstood when booking our reservation. We called as a potential guest and asked about deluxe ocean vs. partial ocean. The agent explained that deluxe ocean are those rooms running parallel to the ocean and partial ocean are those rooms running perpendicular to the ocean. Our room was in the perpendicular wing, looking directly out over the grounds. It still comes back to Hyatt re-classifying some of their partial ocean rooms over to ocean view once they have their guests on premises.

 
Old May 29th, 2002, 07:36 AM
  #11  
x
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Tidpools is the restaurant but thanks for the chuckle. What in the world is Tidewater? The water in your washing machine?
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 07:36 AM
  #12  
Bill
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Screwed by Hyatt
Well than what you need to do is obvious, write to the corporate headquarters of the hotel. Carefully detail your experience with names dates and so on at the Kauai location. You can see from other posts that you are in the minority so it is highly likely that they will compensate you.

Next time insist on compensation, I think not doing this on your stay is why the irritation sticks with you.

Remember not to be intimated by a service industry worker. Not a reason to disrespect them but let them know that you won’t tolerate them ignoring their job duties. Think some forget this when they are in a nice hotel. I have only had wonderful experiences in Hawaii. I know this is largely because people with attitude are quickly replaced. This is what my local friends have told me because I have asked about it, the sweetness can be a bit unnatural at least to me, coming from NYC.
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 07:50 AM
  #13  
x
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oops. Make that Tidepools.
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 08:46 AM
  #14  
thereuare
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You could also put a stop on your credit card payment, as the services delivered were not what you had reserved/paid for.

At least this approach might lead to a reduction in the rate you paid, showing up as a credit on your card.
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 08:49 AM
  #15  
x
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Would the credit card company really agree to stop the payment on a receipt that you actually signed? Wouldn't that mean that at the time you agreed to the charges? Have you had any success with doing this? Seems too easy to be true.
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 09:06 AM
  #16  
kal
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Screwed,
We have to laugh at some hotel's/condo's definition of "Ocean View".

We were looking to buy a small condo in Poipu a few years back. It was advertised as "ocean view" so it was a bit more $$$ than the one that faced the "garden view: ie parking lot with 2 big trees.
Well, to see the ocean, you had to almost stand up on the ottoman and lean to the left. Pretty funny. We didn't buy.

I'm sure Hyatt Corp would like to hear about your less than pleasant experience on paradise. Give 'em heck.
Mahalo,
Kal
212
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 09:09 AM
  #17  
Kate
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Credit card companies will not issue a stop payment in this type of situation. I have tried to stop payments for more severe issues than a poor view. Stop payments are really for credit theft.
Don't know what the corporate offices would issue after the fact. I have been issued credits, free nights, upgrades, dinners and hotel vouchers. In one scenario I know someone who got an entire week free at Marriott hotels. It was a condo complex at a golf resort and I forget what the problem, (compensation was offered) but I don't remember it being a huge problem.

Ok I am telling you what I have received and what my sister has received. In your letter I would be as specific as possible and stay away from the tomato sandwich story makes you look like a nitpicker. I would have requested tomatoes slices then not complained about it later.

Finally you can only ask yourself if this is an issue of the high cost at the Hyatt. I know it can be overwhelming on first big vacation to get a hotel bill that exceeds 2thousand dollars I have been there. Thing is if you don't get over the loss of that spent money you wreck the experience of what you spent it on.
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 09:25 AM
  #18  
tom
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While I agree with most of the other posts that you should have pursued the matter while there, there certainly is no harm in and possibly some good will come out of writing a letter to Hyatt. Be as specific as possible but don't rant - think you'll have more success if you present yourself as a rationale, reasonable person who had a negative experience. If you are a repeat Hyatt visitor, I would certainly mention that in your letter - Hotels don't want to lose repeat customers over one negative experience.
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 09:36 AM
  #19  
Sue
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I'm with Kate. And yes, I definitely applaud your decision to try for an improvement, and then, when you didn't get it, salvage the vacation.

I know it sounds trite to say 'think of it as a learning experience' but it's also easier to live with than stewing over the feeling you were had.
 
Old May 29th, 2002, 11:50 AM
  #20  
curious
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So, how long before we get an attorney involved in our not getting tomato slices instead of end-cuts? And will compensation really buy anyone satisfaction?

Come on folks, you can't reverse what's already happened. But you can learn, and maybe prevent a similar future experience.
 

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