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Hampton Inn & Suites St. Augustine - Vilano Beach
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Reviewed 28 June 2014

Unfortunately, I am spending a portion of my vacation writing to about one of the employees, Lacy, who is a front desk attendant. I have NEVER been treated with such rude and condescending tones while vacationing, and my husband and I vacation quite frequently within and out of the country. We are business owners who are well traveled, well educated individuals, and we value giving and receiving quality customer service because that attribute alone will make or break any business. We are usually loyal Hilton-brand guests and had hoped to have a great experience at this location, to no avail. We should have taken the advice of several of the trip advisor members who indicated the front desk staff at this hotel leaves MUCH to be desired.

From the time that we checked in, my husband was met with such discourteous behavior by Lacy. We decided to put that behind us and press forward with our vacation. Well, the icing on the cake happened this morning. I asked the kind housekeeping attendant on our floor for replacements towels and toiletries. He kindly received our dirty towels and replaced them with wash cloths, but indicated he did not have any more clean bath towels and I'd need to come back later. My husband and I needed to shower to head out on the town, so we decided to walk down to the lobby and ask if there were any clean towels available.

When we were approaching the desk, my husband mentioned that he really didn't want to deal with Lacy because she was the one who had been rude to him the day before during the check-in process. I agreed I'd ask about the towels. I greeted Lacy pleasantly and began to recount the situation about the towels and asked if there were any available. She said she could look to try and see if she could find any. Since her response seemed to indicate there may not be any clean towels available, I explained that I was wondering what would have happened if we didn't have our DND sign on the door because it seems there should at least be enough towels to replace ours as we hadn't had our roomed cleaned yet.

At this point, I was taken aback because Lacy immediately began to YELL and exclaimed that "DND MEANS DO NOT DISTURB SO THEY ARE NOT GOING TO CLEAN YOUR ROOM IF DND IS ON THE DOOR." I inquired as to why she was yelling and told her that I clearly know what DND means but that is not what I'm asking. My husband tried to interject at this point to explain that I wasn't asking why they hadn't cleaned the room, but rather why there were no clean towels at least for our room since we had not yet had our roomed cleaned.

She continued to yell that IN ORDER TO HAVE CLEAN TOWELS, DIRTY TOWELS HAVE TO BE WASHED. THERE WON'T BE CLEAN TOWELS UNTIL THE DIRTY TOWELS ARE WASHED AND THEN THEY CAN BE REPLACED WITH CLEAN TOWELS. At this point, I am also yelling because I'm angry and will not be treated like an imbecile. How much condescension is one expected to take? The answer is that one should never be subjected to it in the first place. So, I tell her that she is VERY RUDE and ask if she is explaining that we would only have gotten clean towels after they took our dirty towels, washed them and returned those same towels to our room? That's what it sounded like she was yelling at us. She yelled again that DIRTY TOWELS HAVE TO BE WASHED TO HAVE CLEAN TOWELS. She is very uncouth!!

To make a long story a bit shorter, I repeated numerous times that I couldn't believe how rude she was acting and that she had a terrible attitude. She said she was sorry I "THINK" she has an attitude and that she has poor hearing and that is why she was yelling. Come on! Really? I have interacted with many people with poor hearing, as well as people who just talk loudly in general, and as I explained to her, a person's expression(s) determine(s) whether the loud talking is RUDE or not! She then apologized for me thinking that she was rude. Okay - again that is inappropriate, and is not a real apology at all. She can't apologize "for me", she should be apologizing for HERSELF. It is what we call a "nice nasty" response. She finally went and retrieved bath towels for our room and was still very ill-mannered about the situation. By this time, two housekeeping staff who had politely greeted us (and we them as well as asking how they were doing today) in the hallway had approached the counter as well. My husband was explaining the issue to them and they kindly listened as well and seemed to agree with him in nonverbal cues.

On our way to the elevator, we decided to speak to a manager. We returned to the front desk and waited for quite some time as we listened to someone laughing and whispering behind the partition. I seriously hope there is not a monitor that shows guests waiting, that would be a whole other issue to report.

Anyway, finally Christina came out as if she was looking for something else and asked nonchalantly how she could help us. We asked for a manager. She said everyone who works at the front desk is a manager. I responded, "So, Lacy is a manager because she has a very terrible attitude." She said Lacy was a manager to which Lacy came around the corner. That made no difference to me, of course. I've been taught to never say anything about someone that you wouldn't say if you were face to face with that person. I asked for a manager who is above Lacy, to which Christina said she was that manager. That is very suspicious as well because clearly we are returning to make a complaint. Why play games about the level of management among the staff? Anyway, we explained the situation to Christina and she did have a better personality for at least listening without abruptly cutting us off as Lacy has a knack for doing. After explaining everything, she apologized, but noted that many of their guests love Lacy. That was inappropriate to say because it implies that we are the issue and it discounts our experience. So, for people who do not like Hitler, are those individuals the problem or were Hitler's actions the problem? Each individual is important, in general, and in business, particularly if the customer was being antagonized and spoken to disdainfully by your employee. If one person's experience is poor, that is significant. You shouldn't support your employee in wrongdoing. How will anything ever change?

Christina asked what else she could do to make us feel better because "I see you already have clean towels". Again, seems likes a passive aggressive response, but we just noted that we felt better since she at least listened instead of over-talking and yelling at us while we tried to ask questions and explain our situation.

At this point, we will NEVER, EVER reside at this location again even it is has the last room on the face of this earth. I'd prefer to sleep on a park bench. I believe nature has better skills than Lacy. Clearly, according to trip advisor, we are NOT the only people to feel like this about the front desk staff at this location. Please take the time to review the unflattering reviews and you will see a true glimpse of some major negatives that are prevalent at this location.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Traveling_Jewel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joey M, General Manager at Hampton Inn & Suites St. Augustine - Vilano Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Dear Traveling_Jewel,

Thank you for your business and for your review of our hotel. I was disappointed to learn that you did not enjoy your stay with us. I apologize for any inconvenience.

You should have received an e-mail from me regarding your stay. Please, feel free to contact me via e-mail or directly by phone at the hotel.

Best Regards,

Joey M

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2014

Had one of the best vacations ever, Thanks Hampton Inn! This was a Graduation present from my father, and it couldn't have been a better gift. Parents this would be a great gift for your child graduating next year :-)

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Hampton
Thank Ryan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joey M, General Manager at Hampton Inn & Suites St. Augustine - Vilano Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2014

Dear Ryan T,

Congratulations! We are thrilled that we could be part of your graduation celebration! We are also delighted that you enjoyed your visit with us.

We look forward to having you with us again soon.

Best Regards,

Joey M

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Reviewed 22 June 2014

Nice property only steps from the beach. Located within easy driving distance of bustling St. Augustine, but much quieter and less touristy. Yes, there is a Publix grocery across the street, but the view from our 3rd floor balcony and the pool and patios were pure vacation tropical in feeling.

All the dependably solid amenities I have come to expect from a Hampton Inn and Suites - clean rooms, tasteful decor, plentiful breakfast choices, friendly service, comfortable bed.
We awoke early enough to walk on the beach at sunrise, grab breakfast, and still make it to the Jacksonville Airport in time for our morning flight home, allowing us to squeeze every last second out of our vacation time.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bluejean18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joey M, General Manager at Hampton Inn & Suites St. Augustine - Vilano Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 24 June 2014

Dear bluejean18,

We are thrilled that you enjoyed your stay with us! Thank you for your review. I am so glad to know that you found our location to be so convenient to everything you wanted to do! I'm also delighted that our service and breakfast were to your liking.

We look forward to having you with us again!

Best Regards,

Joey M

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2014

Very clean but furniture was worn. Ice maker did not work at all, one of the shower heads did not work. Best room in the hotel should be 100%! Good location steps to the beach. Quiet. Restaurants in walking distance.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Hampton
Thank 301elised
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joey M, General Manager at Hampton Inn & Suites St. Augustine - Vilano Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2014

Dear 301elised,

Thank you for your business and for your review. I was disappointed to learn that you expeirenced some issues with your suite. I have shared your review with our maintenance staff and we are addressing them immediately.

We hope to have you as our guest again soon!

Best Regards,

Joey M

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Reviewed 14 June 2014

Great rooms, great staff, great beds and wonderful beach access. We really enjoyed the beach. It was a little pricey at $160 + tax but we did really enjoy the stay. I would stay here again definitely.

Room Tip: stay on first floor...one elevator.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank PaulM_VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joey M, General Manager at Hampton Inn & Suites St. Augustine - Vilano Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2014

Dear PaulM_VA,

Thank you so much for staying with us! We appreciate you review. We are delighted to know that our service, amenities and location made your stay so enjoyable!

We look forward to having you with us again soon.

Best Regards,

Joey M

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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