The internet has really revolutionized the way hotels are booked and paid for...unfortunately the internet revolution has not yet hit the Travelodge in Great Barrington. While you may not expect spectacular service or accommodation in a Travelodge, particularly in a seasonally based tourist town, my wife and I's experience was the worst hotel experience I've ever had to deal with.
To start with rooms are outrageously priced, close to $250 a night in the summer in the Berkshires. I would expect prices like that at the Red Lion Inn or a Bed & Breakfast, but was sadly mistaken.
Where it gets really rough is the booking process. Our booking process was somewhat non-standard, but should have been completely within the reach of a modern hotel chain.
First we booked a room for two nights online for a wedding we were attending on Saturday. After we made our reservation another wedding guest booked a block of rooms at a discount rate for the wedding weekend. We called the hotel direct to explain the situation and encountered a kind, but heavily accented Indian customer service rep. We asked to have our reservation moved to the hotel block for the discount rate, but were informed that since we booked online we would have to call "central reservations" via the 800 number to cancel and rebook under the new rate.
Upon this direction we called the 800 number and spoke to an extremely elderly gentleman who it was clear was having a difficult time understanding what we were asking and an even more difficult time working "central reservation" system which I can only assume was on a computer. After many attempts by the customer service rep to change our reservation we were informed that our reservation had been updated, but we had the same confirmation number, we should have realized at that time this was going downhill. We were spared only by the trio of emails we had from Travelodge; 1 with our original reservation for 1 room at 2 nights, a cancellation email for said booking, and third email with our new reservation at the new rate for 1 room for 2 nights. Everything seemed in order up to this point.
Many months later the wedding weekend arrives and we show up at 3pm on Friday to check in. The reservations agent behind the desk, Manoj, is taking a call booking another guest's reservation so another agent helped us check in. Though he did not look up our reservation in the system he pulled an envelope with a key from behind the desk with our name on it and two keys inside. He said he would check us in after the other agent got off the phone. He swiped our credit card, which was charged the full amount of the reservation, at the wedding rate. This was not a hold, but a full charge for the two nights we had not yet experienced.
We get to our room, which we were informed was a "deluxe", meaning that there were two double bed instead of a king bed. Generally it works in the other direction, but i'm not one at this point to split hairs. The room smells terrible, is dingy and brings up images of horror movies and noire novelettes. Its only two nights and we won't be spending much time in the room so we suck it up and unpack.
Night one goes by with little fan fair.
Day two I get a call from the front desk mid-morning. The agent is speaking to me over their hold music. Between the hold music blaring in my ear and the heavy Indian accent I am having an extremely difficult time even hearing what the issue is. I walk down to the office to learn that I had no-showed for my reservation the previous night. I inform the front desk agent that i very clearly stayed there the previous night as he called me from one of their rooms, i have a key, they charged my credit card. He goes on to explain that we had two rooms reserved. Convenient timing considering it is the next morning. I am told that i will be charge the no-show fee of one night and I would have to call "central reservations" for a refund. I go upstairs to get my laptop and show the front desk agent the emails with the cancellation and then rebook under the new fair. The agent bangs away on the computer for 5 minutes and then pulls out a 5x5 scrap of paper and draws my reservations for me, this clearly did not help me at all. He writes down a reservation number I had never seen before, I have no record of ever making that reservation.
At this point I ask the front desk agent to call "central reservations" to help us clear up this matter and after giving the Travelodge number and a brief description of the issue the front desk agent is prompty put through to voicemail. I can only imagine what my experience will be tomorrow when I call for this refund.
Needless to say I paid for three nights with little hope of recovering the nights charge that was erroneously charged to me after their mistake.
So all-in-all, 1 star is generous. If you need to stay in Great Barrington there are many other options and I would recommend staying anywhere, but the Travelodge.
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- Also Known As:
- Travelodge Great Barrington Hotel Great Barrington
- Travel Lodge Great Barrington
- Great Barrington Travel Lodge
- Great Barrington Travelodge