Theft and Shabby Treatment A review of Doubletree by Hilton Charlottesville
Unfortunately, we spent the night of April 15, 2004 at this hotel. My wife and I checked out early the next morning. An hour and a half down the road, 10 or 10:30 I realized that I had left my wristwatch on the bedside table. I called the hotel, explained my problem to the operator, who connected me to "housekeeping" who heard me tell them when I left, in what room I had stayed, where the watch was and what it looked like. They offered to send it to me. I thanked them and said that they needn't go to the trouble, if they would just secure the watch and hold it for me, as I could drive back through Charlottesville four days later, on the 19th. I was told that I could stop at the front desk and they would be able to help me. I asked if I would need to see a particular person, or be there at a particular time and was told "no, anyone will be able to help you."
Of course when I arrived the desk clerk said that housekeeping was gone for the day and they couldn't help me, but I could call back the next day. I initiated numerous calls, and got no result. Finally the hotel admitted that they hadn't found the watch (probably never looked until after some enterprising soul made off with it) and then wanted to negotiate the price. As it was, this was a special watch, a family gift, and one no longer available to purchase. I decided on a replacement, considerably less expensive than the one that was stolen, and asked that either the hotel get it for me, or send me three hundred dollars for the purchase. After several conversations they agreed and Assistant Risk Manager promised that they would send me a check for the replacement. That was on the afternoon of May 14, 2004. On May 25th when the check had not arrived the Assistant Risk Manager told me it had been mailed. Today, on May 28th, it has still not arrived, obviously because it hadn't been mailed.
After receiving their assurances that they were sending the check on May 14, I ordered my new watch, which has arrived.
During this process I spoke to several people at the hotel and several different people at Hilton, the parent company of Doubletree (who even assigned me a file #). All assured me of their great concern and apologized for everything that had occurred. The Hilton people promised me that the Hotel General Manager, Mr. Robert Foster would contact me personally to resolve the situation. I never received a single word from him. Clearly what Doubletree/Hilton says and the way their various hotels operate don't match up. In researching the company, trying to find someone who might be willing to help me, I came across Desk Clerk Mike.
Clearly I am not the first person to be treated shabbily by this hotel chain. That time, they finally apologized profusely and made public amends, promising to remember and provide a higher level of service in the future. Clearly they have not learned the lesson.
I heartily recommend, to anyone who has an option, to avoid Hilton and Doubletree Hotels and their affiliates. Clearly, they not only don't understand the concept of service, but are happy to harbor surly personnel, and worse, those who willingly take what is not theirs. If you must deal with these people, get their commitments in writing, leave nothing of value (nothing) unattended in your room and demand to see any room before you are checked in. Shabby can be the order of the day.
Good luck in your travels.
Robert B. Isard