I've traveled extensively and stayed in many hotels and motels, especially when I was running a non-profit foundation for one of the top 5 grossing rock bands internationally. My opinion is this is an average motel in need of an upgrade in the lobby and in the room in which I stayed. I've honestly racked my brain to come up with something that sets this motel apart from others, but I can't come up with anything, except maybe that the parking lot is spacious as a prior writer noted. That's about it.
The primary reason I'm writing this review is because I experienced two different front desk clerks in action, and I believe these encounters are quite illustrative of how good customer service can make or break a guest's perspective of a lodging facility.
Fleeing my coastal home, which was about to be hit by Hurricane Hermine, I wound up at this Best Western the day before HH made landfall. I made a reservation via a third party provider and arrived at the hotel a few minutes later. The desk clerk told me the motel's internet was down and therefore she could not access my reservation and check me in. She guesstimated the internet would be back up in about 20 to 30 minutes. I offered to sit in the lobby and wait, and did so while reading a newspaper. After about 20 minutes with the repairman obviously not close to success (we could hear his end of the phone conversation, which indicated exasperation), the clerk told me she would take my name and information and call me to come down to the lobby later when the internet was back up. I showed her a screenshot of the reservation I had made on my cell phone, and she gave me a key. Off I went to my room.
On Friday, post striking of the hurricane during the early hours of Friday morning, the Best Western was advertising on the same third party site as having vacancies. There was a lot of confusion in town as to which lodgings had power and which did not. Because the Best Western was advertising vacancies with no notation that there was no power, as had some of the websites of other hotels in town, I gambled--as did a number of others--that the Best Western had power. Wrong. But here's where the difference between good customer service and the opposite of that comes into play.
When I arrived at the hotel I explained that I had a friend fighting cancer who was sweltering in her home, and I wanted to get her into a motel/hotel. The BW desk clerk, not the same one from Wednesday, told me there was no power. She said the City had told her that it was restoring power just up the busy thoroughfare on which the BW is located, and it could be a half an hour, could be longer, before power was restored. I said that was OK, we saw there was a pool, and we would be glad to use that and wait, anything had to be better than my friend's stifling house. The desk clerk explained she could not check us in because there was no power. I told her what the other desk clerk had done the prior Wednesday regarding taking my name and information and working out the details at the computer later. I showed her a screenshot to prove I had made a reservation. This clerk then said she could not do that, and anyone who had made a reservation within the last day could not be accommodated. Meanwhile, while she was explaining this, she came from behind the desk and sat on the lobby couch. I understand that it was hot in the lobby, but she acted as if I, and the other guests arriving with newly made reservations, were an inconvenience. She questioned why I would want to stay there if I were in search of a cooled place. The condescension dripped out of every pore, and she began speaking to me in a very slow manner, as if I were an idiot. I decided to cancel the reservation and look elsewhere. She told me I would need to speak to the third party provider to do that. So I called them.
The third party representative was not very helpful either. He wanted to talk to the desk clerk to confirm cancellation, so back in I traipsed so the clerk could do so on my phone. The two of them then got into an argument over whether she was truly refusing to check me in, and what would happen to the commission. So, I'm standing there, as are several other guests, in a sweltering lobby, while the clerk is having it out with the person on the phone. She was telling him she knew the conversation was being recorded, and she wanted a copy to prove that she was NOT going to agree to cancel my reservation, because she did not want BW to have to pay the commission. So essentially, I am standing in this sauna of a lobby with other guests, while this clerk is in an argument with this third party representative, and telling him she is NOT going to check me in but she is NOT going to agree to cancel my reservation, either.
I took my phone back. The third party on the phone told me the clerk was acting "very aggressively" toward him, as if I couldn't tell that on my own. He then, unbelievably, told me that I would "probably" get a refund. I told him, that's not good enough for me. I made the reservation which was advertised as a vacancy, I paid for it, I presented myself at the motel ready to check in, and the motel was refusing to check me in and would and could not say when I could be checked in. I felt like I'd entered the Twilight Zone. I asked to speak to a supervisor but after being on hold for 20 minutes hung up.
Thankfully a supervisor did call back and stated I would receive a full refund because there was a clause in the contract stating that all reservations made during a natural disaster would be automatically cancelled and refunded.
I fully understand things were hectic due to the hurricane but that is no excuse for an employee's rude behavior. Attitude in a situation like this makes all the difference in the world. The clerk should simply have stated her apologies for the vacancy being published in error because the motel was not taking in any new guests due to the power outage, and she should have asked if she could assist me with finding a new lodging or cancelling my reservation at the Best Western. She did none of that. Instead, she came out from behind the desk, sat on the sofa, she had family members listening in and at times interrupting, and she spoke to me (and at least two other guests who arrived to check in) in a condescending manner. That is unacceptable behavior.
Except for this clerk's behavior, this motel is an OK mid-price-range facility. I wound up at the Red Roof Inn the following day (we spent Saturday night in my friend's sweltering home because by the time I got done with the Best Western all of the other motels and hotels in the area that did have vacancies were snatched up that fast). The RRI was, surprisingly, replete with nice upgrades, unlike the BW they do not charge a pet fee, and they were $30 less per night. less