Major Problems A review of Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
I read some bad reviews and thought "That only happens to other people." Wow, was I wrong. We booked a King Bed KidSuite for $125/night, too much I figured, but the kids will like it because it's themed like Busch Gardens where we were going. We would like it because it was roomy. When we pulled in, there were three shady looking characters sitting on the benches outside the entrance. They were eyeballing the vehicles as they came in. As I drove down the parking lot there were two Tampa PD squad cars sitting in the lot. One car had a woman in handcuffs in the back seat. According to a bystander, the woman had been making a scene in the pool area. OK, my wife and daughter went into the hotel, first to find a bathroom. They were given a curt reply to their inquiry for directions which made us feel like we were street people who had just stopped in to use the bathroom. I stayed at the front desk and checked in. It was like pulling teeth to get the clerk to get our reservation right. Although we booked the King Bed KidSuite (with "Free Dinner"), the clerk had no clue that we had, and gave us a "double." I noted the assignment and told her we had the King Bed KidSuite. I am being redundant using the room title, but I want everyone to note it says "King Bed KidSuite."The clerk said, "Our King Bed KidSuites don't have king-size beds. They are queen-size." The tone of her voice was as if I had asked for the wrong room. I said, "Well, why do you advertise it as a King Size KidSuite? I'm paying for a King Size KidSuite." She just looked at me. I knew I wasn't going to get anywhere, so I compromised and said the "queen-size bed will be OK."Then I had to fight to get the "Free Dinner" coupon. I was supposed to get one for each night's stay. She only gave me one, so I figured we'd get the other one the next night. Time to move on.I walked out to the parking lot to bring the car back around to the room and two men were bringing boxes otives, followed by "They broke into my truck!" The cops were already gone, so he went into the hotel lobby to report his break-in.Out around the front of the hotel I drove to a side parking lot next to a Chinese restaurant. I like Chinese food, but a constant barrage of any odor is sometimes too much.We toted our luggage through the urine-stenched hallway up the stairs to the second floor room facing the parking lot and Chinese restaurant. By now I was pretty tired and somewhat disgusted, but I forged onward.I opened the door to our room and the words that came out of my mouth are not printable. Suite? Not by any stretch of the imagination. What was touted as a King Bed Kidsuite turned out to be nothing more than a regular size room (double) with a queen-sized bed pushed up near the window and a five-foot high partition around where the other bed would have been. In the partioned area were a small-sized bunk bed set up and a single small-sized bed.I would have turned right around and walked out, but the kids thought it was neat. So, I once again compromised and unloaded the luggage.The kids immediately got into their swimming gear and went to the pool, which was clean and attractive. They loved the pirate ship and slides, so they were happy. After swimming, I had pretty much resigned myself to staying.I went a different way back to the room and went around the corner by the laundry. There were three scurvy-looking knaves (I just had to use that terminology) talking about cars and radios. One was writing down something on his hand, and another was talking on a cellphone. They immediately disbanded when they saw me, two taking off in the car and one going into the hotel's laundry room.I went to the hotel bar to have a beverage before dinner and sat down. A guy there told the bartender that his truck had been broken into the night before. "Four trucks in all," he added.Yes, there were enough red flags flying here that I should have jumped into the car and left, but I didn't.The family came down tke that. They had a list of sandwiches on the board and a pizza ordering queue. I had the $24 "Free Dinner" coupon, so after waiting an inordinate amount of time for the one person on duty behind the counter to notice our presence, I ordered a Philly steak sandwich, and the family ordered their favorites.When I brought out the coupon the server said "That's only for the pizza." I looked at the coupon and there was nothing on it about "only pizza" or anything of the sort. I made my opinions known and an officious sounding male came from the kitchen and said, "That's what the hotel offers."Finally, I said, "That's it. We're leaving." At the front desk the "manager(?)" made no attempt to resolve the situation although I asked to speak to him/her. The manager would not come out of the office.Another gentleman who had been in line with me did the same thing as I and cancelled his room and refused to pay. I got my "$0" bill and promptly went to the Baymont Inn and Suites and got a normal "double" for $64.99+tax. The place was much cleaner and the staff much nicer.After the Holiday Inn Busch Gardens debacle, we had a great time.