Okay, not sure where to start, so I will highlight the sequences from the beginning.
May 5th 2014 - The reservations with the Hilton Garden Inn.
I am a woman who uses a wheelchair and require certain accessibility accommodations. At the time of reservations, I had inquired about an accessible room with a roll-in shower. For anyone who may not know, a roll-in shower is exactly what it sounds like; for a wheelchair user, they roll right in. It doesn't have tub. They had told me, the one room they had with a roll-in shower was 2 beds. Now, granted my partner and I don't need two beds, it was fine since I needed the shower unit. Again.. Confirmed multiple times while on the phone.
May 17th. Received confirmation for my double bed room and a nice 'See you soon!'
May 24th Check In: Was told on arrival that NO accessible rooms were available despite reservation and confirmation. At that time was even told that they didn't 'know why since none of the current occupants didn't require it.. ' Despite the hassle (and a 9hr long drive), we had agreed to the following:
For the evening, they would give me a room on the 1st floor, near the public restroom so that I could at least access an accessible restroom, and comp the cost. The next day, moving me into our reserved room. Or so I thought.. My partner/I checked into our room, and I went to use the restroom. Once I entered, I see stall stall stall.. Accessible stall.. Out Of Order. Are you F'ing kidding me!?? The manager quickly followed me in, unlocked it and said ‘there’s just no water, but it will work’. It didn’t.
Side note: I really like using the bathroom alone, but I guess that’s a preference too. (keep reading, and you will understand)
May25th. Check back in with the front desk to find out status on the actual reserved room. I was told then that the 2 double bed accommodation room, with roll-in shower' was not yet available (even after their guarantee). However! Since we'd gone through this much, they were going to give us a bigger room with a king bed. *Note: original reservations stated the ONLY roll-in shower they has was the double* but they work here, so must know. We were told that it would be ready in about 30min and they would call our current room and let us know. An hour goes by. No call. Having places to be, and needing to take a shower, my partner goes back to the front desk to find out the status. We then get the keys to the new large room after asking at least 3 times that it has a roll-in shower, and confirming 3 times that it has a roll in shower. We get into our room.. No roll-in shower. Really!? Head back down to the desk and say 'thank you, but this room doesn't have a roll-in shower' 'It doesn't?' No... it doesn't.. A roll-in shower means there is no tub. You.. 'ROLL' in.. 'Oh' Now a new voice chimes in, the gentleman next to her. "oh, we don't have any of those here" What do you mean we ask. We confirmed a) when we made the reservations (remember only one available was double bed) and b) with the first gentleman that promised it would be ready the next day. During back and forth, we are also told contradicting information. New voice guy says we don't have any.. Woman says oh.. "there is one, but a blind lady needs it because she has a seeing-eye dog." WHAT?! Okay.. She should NOT be telling me someone else’s personal business. I work in the disability community, a seeing impaired individual vs a mobility impaired person require different accommodations. So, between New Voice Guy and Unhelpful Woman, we are not getting the full story. We just 'have to make it work'.
Now, I won't go into details of 'make it work' but as an individual, and here with my partner on a vacation, it was both dehumanizing and dignity striking. However with the roadblocks we hit, we had to admit defeat.
I called Hilton on the 28th to speak to them about this experience. Their 'valid' explanation for all this was that it was there 'policy'. "It’s the Hilton’s policy that when you make a reservation for any room, it is considered a preference." Sure, I can see this on such things as views and bed size etc, However, for someone that absolutely requires the need for accessibility the term 'PREFERENCE' is ludicrous. Rather it should be necessity. It is a total slap in the face for anyone with a disability. If they were worth prestige and name, they would respect ALL paying customers. After numerous emails, surveys, phone calls and dead ends, not trying to get refund, but rather to make notice either a) of poor management or b) poor policy, the best thing they did was offer a complimentary night stay. I am sorry, but that is missing the entire point of dialog and policy/management review. Not to mention the fact that they didn't honor their own "we promise to do whatever it takes to ensure you're satisfied, or you don't pay. You can count on us. GUARANTEED".
After a 400$ stay, and having to make it work. I have paid more than my share between cost, lack of respect, lack of integrity, dignity, and humiliation among other things.
I will not be staying at another Hilton, and if reasonable accommodations are indeed only a 'preference', then I implore you to reconsider supporting a multibillion dollar corporation that does not stand by their word, and refuses to consider serving a large community of millions who are looking for the same respect and dignity as our non-disabled travelling peers. Instead they did the opposite.
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Garden Inn Columbia Hotel Columbia
- Columbia Hilton Garden Inn
- Hilton Columbia