Ok, my husband is in Seneca Falls, training for his new job. Since the town is an hour one-way commute, we decided to spring for a mid-week 2-day stay at the Hotel Clarence, since his training is taking place during the week of our 6th anniversary. The pictures looked beautiful, and it was ranked number one, so I thought it was an obvious choice! Bonus that the weather has been great this week, and on March 14 it was around almost 65 degrees out.
First off, the lady at the front desk (Patty) was VERY friendly and helpful. She allowed me to check in a half-hour early. We had reserved a standard king room, and I was greeted with a welcome name card on the desk, along with two chocolate donut-hole looking things. There were two robes on the end of the bed, and the room was bright, sunny and just a bit too warm for me at 72 degrees.
This is where the trouble began.
The heating/cooling unit is up near the ceiling - there is no way to reach it from the floor. There is a thermostat at regular level, so, no worries - I turned the thermostat down to 65, left the room to pick up my husband and returned with him at 5 pm.
The temperature had risen to 76 degrees.
We let the front desk know this on the way out to dinner, and a gentleman asked if it was okay if he could enter the room to inspect the A/C unit. No problem. We returned from dinner and asked if it had been looked at. We were given the go-ahead - everything was working fine.
Entering the room, we saw that the temperature had gone up to 77.
Now, these are beautiful rooms - the pictures here are all very accurate. However, they are on the small side. At 77 degrees, this means STUFFY and almost unbearable. We figured the sunlight streaming in through the windows wasn't helping, so we shut the door to the bathroom - the window in there is frosted and has NO shade or curtain. We also pulled down the "blackout shade" in the main room, but the curtains there are just decorative - they can't be closed over the window. We waited a while, but there was no change in temperature. My husband called down to the front desk to tell them that no, the unit was still not working.
The guy on the phone then says that the fact is the hotel shuts off the air conditioning until May, and so he can't really help us. He suggests my husband open a window. Since we were in room 103, this means we are overlooking the street, and the kitchen dumpsters. Uh, no. Also, my husband suffers from asthma, and this wouldn't work for us anyway. The front desk clerk is unfazed and unbothered by our issue, and tells my husband he'd be happy to maybe give us a free drink at the bar for the trouble. This probably wouldn't help bring down the temperature in the room, so we told him we were interested in checking out and finding a different hotel in the area. He said, no problem, but we'd have to pay for one night's stay anyway. My husband told him that he'd be coming down to discuss this in person. (Non-threatening!)
We begin to look at other hotel options on the free wi-fi (worked great), and there is a knock at our door. The front desk guy is now suddenly very apologetic and says of course we won't have to pay for the night if we leave, but is willing to upgrade us to a suite! Upon entering the room, he remarks at how much hotter the room is than the hallway, and agrees that it is stuffy.
We walk down the hall with him to see the suite - room 113. This is the same size as the room we just left, but with a living room area tacked on. It is beautiful. It is also 76 degrees, with no air-conditioning. When he turns the thermostat down though, there is a noticeable breeze when sitting at the desk in the living room, so we decide it is better than trying to find another hotel at the last minute, and we agree to move.
While talking with the front desk guy, he says he can find us a box fan for the bedroom, since there is no cooling unit in that room. He leaves, and then returns very quickly with a window air conditioner! I am overwhelmed at how good this guy is at troubleshooting and I'm happy for all of two minutes, until we realize the screens on the window are too long and large and he can't pull them out to put the AC in the window. He leaves.
About 10 minutes later, he returns with a box fan. It is missing a leg and when he plugs it into the wall, it vibrates like crazy up and down, and he quickly shuts it off and says, "Well, this will be a bit noisy, but it works!" He then exits the room in almost a run. My husband goes over and turns it back on, and when he lets go of the fan, it sounds like a jet taking off and bangs around on the floor. Shutting it off, we realize that one of the fan blades is broken off, and this has rendered the fan unusable.
At this point, I am looking around for the candid camera sign. My husband takes the broken fan back to the front desk and says that we are on our own for the night.
Our sleep is punctuated with cars going by and screeching their tires on purpose, and I wake up many, many times because I am sweating profusely. Oh, and our upgrade to a suite was not a king suite, but a queen! So our bed size was downgraded when we switched rooms. :/
In the morning, we decide to check out one day early and not spend another night in this heat-hole. We both shower, and to our amazement, the towel my husband goes to use has a spattering of brown stains on it. Like, old blood stains. Gross!
I have to say that prior to discovering the stained towel, the bathrooms in both rooms were the absolute CLEANEST I have ever seen in any hotel. The grout and the tiles sparkle - you feel like the room is brand new for you. So finding the towel was even more of a shock to us.
Another tip about the bathroom - the shower stalls are spacious and beautiful. However, there is one tiny corner shelf in the entire stall, which the hotel uses to put a sample-sized soap, shampoo and conditioner. Absolutely NOTHING else will fit on it, so if you want to use your own products, you'll have to set them on the back of the toilet. There is no bench in the shower either, to sit on.
Speaking of the toilet - in the first room we were in, there was no problem, but in room 113, the toilet almost completely blocks the entrance to the shower stall. You have to step over the toilet bowl or squeeze around it to enter and exit. Not a good layout!
Check out was fast and easy - Patty had returned - and she discounted my room cost a bit to make up for all the issues. She said if I wanted a larger refund I could call the general manager, but I feel we used the room, so I felt comfortable paying the $77 charge, even though the experience was less than stellar.
The free continental breakfast included cereal, juice, milk, coffee, very dry pastries and a selection of DIVINE fruit. The grapes on this buffet were HUGE and the pineapple was freshly sliced. I think if we had stayed several days, the selection would have gotten boring, but it was good for one morning. There is a post further down on this hotel listing, where someone from the hotel remarks that they are getting a waffle iron, but this was not available or in evidence anywhere.
So, to wrap all this up, I recommend getting a room away from the street and wait to visit this hotel until the Summer, at which point you will have control over your a/c and heat. Don't visit on warm spring days or you'll be stuck sweating in a heated room!
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