Staff seemed overworked, enervated and surly.
My wife and I recently stayed at the Best Western Resort Hotel & Conference Center, Portage, Wisconsin for a 7-day period.
It was the first time we had visited my daughter who lives in Portage since we had lived & worked overseas. With the location of this Best Western, versus the other hotel in this chain in the Dells, it seemed to be a perfect fit; one less prone to tourist invasion with the associated hubbub and clamor.
It is little fault of the hotel that a large portion of their daily clientele is field workers (railroad, roofing contractors, energy suppliers, etc.). An empty parking lot at 1630 can transform into an overflow condition of huge trucks, panel vans, and trailers in a remarkably short time. Ditto that at 0630 when they all seem to leave en masse, leaving parking spaces but precious little in the line of their advertised ‘free breakfasts’.
However, this was a minor and easily overlooked daily situation. What wasn’t so easily ignored was the demeanor of hotel workers and the types of ignoble replies I received for simple requests.
Sure, COVID-19 is a huge bugaboo to any corporation dealing with the public, but the draconian measures commanded by Best Western seem a bit beyond the pale. Considering that the majority of the time, the cast and crew working in the hotel didn’t bother to follow their own corporation’s mandates.
“STOP! Breakfast is over! NO ENTRY!” greets the customer who foolishly waited until 0901 to secure some breakfast victuals via the ubiquitous brown bag. “MASKS MUST BE WORN!” By whom, I wondered? The person at reception and the three room-cleaners I passed that morning wore none.
Even this could be overlooked, but the surliness and curt replies I received at virtually every interaction with hotel staff could not. In our 7-day stay, our room was cleaned a total of 3 times. Sure, we keep odd hours, WE’RE ON VACATION.
So, I call to inform the front desk at 1100 to let them know we're leaving and the room can be cleaned anytime before we return some 10 hours later. "No, there is no “Privacy please” plastic placard hanging on the door; I’m not that dim."
“We’ll get to your room when we get to your room.” Was the response from the person on the phone.
“That’s tautologous and readily apparent”, I replied, to nothing more than an exhausted on the other end of the line before they hung up and rang off.
The room was not cleaned.
Other days, the bed was made, although the sheets were never changed, only to find we were oversupplied with trash (that wasn’t removed) and bereft of towels. Another call and I was told, in an exasperated and heavily tired voice: “Someone will be there. CLICK.”
Someone was already there, my wife and myself. So we played a little game of Hotel Bingo to see when, if, and what excuse would be used on this occasion.
They never arrived. Well, not entirely true, someone did arrive, the next day when we were out and about. We received some towels, but they missed the trash once again.
I used a medicated shampoo in the shower and it’s bright purple. Some smallish splot splattered on the shower curtain the second day. Even after using the shower daily, the bright purple stain on the shower curtain remained; grew in fact. Oh, sure, I could have taken a washcloth and…hey, half a mo, guvnor…I’m on vacation and paying triple figures daily for a clean room. Not my job. I don’t ask these characters to come to Papua New Guinea and help me drill oil wells…
Sorry, Best Western Portage, Wisconsin; but you came up short, missed the runway, and basically augered in when it came to customer service and client satisfaction. COVID notwithstanding, perhaps you need to hire more people as the ones currently on staff seem universally exhausted and easily bothered. But, there I go again, telling an innkeeper how to run his business. I shouldn’t even have to think along these lines, much less take my time and point them out to you.
Ah, well; I am a consultant. Where do I send the invoice for my time for the professional evaluation of your establishment? less
Dawn Schneller, General Manager at Best Western Resort Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this review
I apologize for the issues you had during your stay. We are mandated to wear the masks, I am not sure who was not wearing them, but I will for sure find out. Yes we do shut breakfast down, but if someone is wanting something we have always allowed them to get anything. I will speak with the staff about the way you were addressed and how your concerns were taken when you approached them about it. If you care to contact me by email or phone I would like to discuss this with you further.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-742-2200