I hope I never have another nightmare experience like I did during my recent three day stay at the Hampton Inn in Loveland CO. The room itself wasn't so bad. But, it seems the front desk staff and general manager went out of their way to remind me that this Hampton Inn is definitely not a five star hotel.
They turned what should have been a tiny, easy-to-fix clerical error into a major horror story for me, resulting in the absolute worst customer service I've ever seen. When I checked in, the front desk clerk mistakenly listed me as a one night guest, when I should have been listed as a three night guest. This simple clerical error set in motion a series of events that should never happen to any hotel guest:
• Each time I returned to the hotel, the card key wouldn't open my door. Apparently, the front desk staff is in the habit of automatically changing the electronic locks each day, even if a guest stays for more than one day. I wish that was the biggest problem I encountered, but it isn't even close.
• The clerk who had made the original error on my guest card never corrected it to reflect our agreement that I'd be there for three days instead of only one. So, each time I went to the front desk to ask them to reprogram my door key to let me in my room, they acted surprised that I was still a guest there. If any of them had taken the opportunity to correct & update my guest card, I may have avoided all of the problems to come.
• At the beginning of my final day there, I was confronted by an arrogant, college-aged male front desk clerk who insisted that I absolutely had to check out and there was no way I could stay at the hotel that night, because they were completely booked. He added, with apparent sadistic glee, that there were no available hotel rooms within an hour's drive of Loveland. My explanation of his co-worker's clerical error fell on deaf ears, and he was completely unsympathetic. To make matters worse, he treated me as if it were somehow confirmed that I was the biggest liar on the planet, and he coldly refused to believe anything I said. He pointed to my guest card (which had not been corrected) as proof that I didn't belong there beyond my first night (even though I had just competed my second night there).
• Naturally, I asked to speak with the manager. The young clerk announced that he was in charge of the hotel, because the manager doesn't work there on weekends (which is odd, considering that weekends are their busiest days, and probably the most important days for the manager to be on duty). After some very stressful negotiations, I was finally able to convince the clerk to phone the absent manager at home.
• The manager via phone was similarly cold and unsympathetic. She didn't want to acknowledge that my problems traced back to an error by her staff, and not by me. After pleading my case, she reluctantly agreed to allow me to say, but only if I agreed to pay $60 more than I had for my first night ($159 instead of $99). I felt I was being swindled, but I needed the room, so I agreed. I wish that had solved all my problems, but it didn't. The worst part was yet to come.
• Later that night, I stopped by the front desk to get a "do not disturb" sign for my door. When asked how my stay was going, I mentioned that I was disappointed by the rude treatment I had received earlier in the day by the insolent front desk clerk who tried his best to chase me out of the hotel. Shockingly, my comments triggered a violent verbal assault by an older male desk clerk who was eavesdropping on our conversation. He shouted at me at top volume, "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! THAT'S MY SON YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT! SHUT UP AND STEP AWAY FROM THE DESK! GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM AND GO TO SLEEP! GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM AND GO TO SLEEP - NOW!!" No one has ever yelled at me like that in my life. I'd say he crossed the line, even if Hampton Inn is a budget hotel.
His unwarranted outburst was so violent and threatening, I nearly called the police to have him arrested. It took me 15 minutes to calm him down -- with no help by the two other front desk clerks who witnessed his tirade. No hotel guest should ever be put in the awkward position of having to fend off a hostile verbal assault by an emotionally unstable hotel staffer. I returned to my room so rattled, my adrenalin peaked, I could not sleep the entire night. I was able to solve the problem of the noisy room air conditioner by wearing earplugs. But, it wasn't so easy to get that clerk's verbal attack out of my head.
After my third night, I left the Hampton Inn feeling humiliated, insulted, frustrated, and angry. It bothered me that I had to plead with them just to be allowed to stay there, that I had to endure their rudeness and abuse -- and pay for it all.
The fundamental concept shared by all hotels is that they're supposed to be a place where paying guests are able to sleep in comfort and peace. The staff and management are supposed to facilitate that goal in service to their guests. Unfortunately, the staff at the Hampton Inn in Loveland CO seem to have missed the point.
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- Also Known As:
- Hampton Inn Loveland Hotel Loveland
- Loveland Hampton Inn