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“Management places a low rate on your satisfaction--$10 worth”

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Historic Anchorage Hotel
Ranked #21 of 74 Hotels in Anchorage
Reviewed 11 August 2011

The Historic Anchorage Hotel is a very attractive, very clean property in a great location. The complimentary breakfast the hotel provides is delicious, and the staff is very friendly and welcoming. But I cannot give this hotel more than a single star, for a single reason: Management will not own up to the admitted mistakes of that very friendly staff and will expect the guest to pay the fines incurred by the misinformation staff members provided. For my part, the amount in question was a simple $10, but the GM refused to “make it right.”

The value the GM places on guest satisfaction seems to be less $10. Had the manager of this hotel invested a simple $10 to take care of my grievance, I’d probably have written a pretty good review of this place. To save $10, this manager is fine with a guest leaving with a bad taste in his mouth and a vow never to stay at the Historic Anchorage Hotel again. Downtown Anchorage has many nice hotels in which you can stay. I’d advise that you do not stay here, simply because of the low price they put on your satisfaction.

So here’s my situation: Upon checking in on August 1, 2011, I inquired as to where I could park my car. The gentleman working the front desk gave me a parking pass for a pay lot on the next block. The parking pass was clearly labeled for August 1, which I thought simply indicated the day I was checking in. On the front of the parking pass, it clearly states that “use of this permit signifies agreement with the policies contained herein,” and on the back there are six stipulations, to which I gave a cursory glance.

Most people aren’t in the habit of reading parking passes, but—ironically—I do read them. Perhaps in this case I should have read them more closely. If the manager responds to this review at all, I’m sure she’ll make the point that I admit to having not read “the rules” carefully. My response: When I’m paying more than $200 a night for a fairly run-of-the-mill room, it’s the staff’s responsibility to ensure that I have everything I need to park.

So here’s what happened: the car was parked and the next evening I went out to it and found a $20 parking ticket. It seems that to park in that lot, you need a new ticket for EACH DAY. So the August 1 date did NOT indicate what day I checked in. I mean, I don’t know what kind of agreements the Anchorage Hotel has with the parking lot. I assumed it involved giving a guest a parking pass for the duration and that was that. Certainly if the guest needs MORE than one pass, he’d be given more than one pass upon check in, or he would be told that he needed to come down in the morning and collect another pass. In my case, I was just given the pass and told where to park.

I take the ticket to the front desk clerk, the same one who gave me the single parking pass the previous day. “I didn’t give you more than one?” he said. “I should have given you more than one.” He looks up my account. “Yes, you needed more than one, and I should have given you one for each day. I don’t know why I didn’t give you more than one.” That’s okay, I say, but what are we going to do about this ticket? “I don’t know what to do about the ticket,” he says. “I’ll have to check with my manager.” Okay, I say as I leave for the evening, just so the ticket is taken care of.

The next morning, I inquire about whether there’s a note on my file. There is not. The evening desk clerk did NOT check with his manager. I start to explain my situation with the parking and the new desk clerk (who is very friendly and accommodating) interrupts. “Did he not explain about the $10?” Well, no! So it seems that I was not only NOT given the parking pass I needed for August 2, but I was charged $10 a day to park on top of it. I explain my situation and go have breakfast. As I’m checking out, I speak with the morning desk clerk again. She has talked with her manager, and the manager says she’ll refund the $10 I paid for the August 2 parking pass I never received. “But the ticket is for $20,” I point out.

According to the morning desk clerk, the manager says that $10 is as high as she’ll go, even though it was the responsibility of her evening desk clerk to either give me two passes or tell me that the single pass he was giving me was going to expire. In short, the evening desk clerk failed to give me the information I needed, which resulted in me having to pay a $20 ticket. I’ve done marketing for some very high-end hotels, and I usually find that in the better hotels, if a guest incurs expense as the result of a staff member failing to do his job adequately, then it’s the hotel’s job to “make it right.” I thought every GM knew that! Apparently not.

The right thing to do in this case, I feel, would have been AT MINIMUM to take care of the ticket. Were I the GM, I probably would have taken care of the $20 ticket and also knocked off the $10-a-day parking fee (of which the guest was never informed), just to ensure a positive experience at my hotel. In hospitality, so much depends on good word of mouth, with having guests leave the hotel with a positive attitude. The manager of this hotel threw this all away in my case, for a simple $10. The $10 is all you can do? Not quite: You have $20 of my money in parking fees. If you’d just wiped those off, that would have taken care of the ticket.

I encourage TripAdvisor readers to stay someplace else in Anchorage, but if you do choose to stay at this hotel, make sure you get your parking passes. Don’t count on the desk clerk to give you the information you need, even when you’re paying more than $200 a night.

Here’s one more thing of which you should be aware. I stayed in Room 208. This room, and I imagine many rooms on the second floor, are on top of Grizzly’s Gift Shop. Your floor is Grizzly’s Gifts ceiling. Grizzly’s plays a long infomercial on a series of Alaska DVDs you can buy there. It runs non-stop from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. The speakers are built into Grizzly’s ceiling, and believe me, you can hear the narration, the native instruments and the fact that you can get these packages on DVD and Blu-Ray QUITE CLEARLY for 15 hours a day.

So once you get your parking passes, go up to your room and listen. If you hear a male voice describing Alaska as a place like no other, or native flute music, get another room. You are NOT hearing a PBS special on the TV of a guy in the next room. You are hearing an infinite loop downstairs. You’ll hear it until 11 p.m. that night, and you’ll wake to it at 8 a.m. the next morning.

When I got home to Atlanta, I checked my email and found a canned message from the GM, thanking me for my stay and encouraging me to post my comments on TripAdvisor. Well, here they are.

Room Tip: Listen carefully if you have a room on the 2nd floor. Grizzly's Gifts right below you plays an n...
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Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
5  Thank DoctorLongGhost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 16 August 2011

Dear Doctor Long Ghost:

Thank you for posting your comments. We take each and every comment serious and make it a point to learn and share each one with the staff.

It is an honor to hear you say the hotel is an attractive, clean property with a great location. Glad you thought our breakfast was delicious and the staff very welcoming. We are fortunate to offer parking at a nominal fee of $10.00 per day.

"Unique and memorable" Every once in a while you can walk into a hotel that has no soul, and the question becomes, what do you need to do to give it an identity?

Success and failure start with the people who work in the hotel because they create the mystique, the image and the culture.

That requires employee training and retraining, and encouraging employees to bond with the hotel. We want our employees to feel motivated, respected and rewarded.

You're only as strong as your weakest Link. We rely on a team at the Historic Anchorage Hotel, and need to be sure that every link of the team is strong and well prepared.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the staff and the miss-communications regards to your parking permits and your refund. You inspired this week’s one-on-one training.

Thank you for the room note and letting us know of the music from the gift shop. The gift shop now lowers the volume at 8:00pm.

Again, please accept my apologies. Please feel free to contact me to discuss further.

Warmest regards,
Terri

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Reviewed 11 August 2011

We recently stayed at the Historic Anchorage hotel and had a very good time. It was easy to find and the staff was very helpful in suggesting things to do (Anchorage itself doesn't offer a lot). The breakfast was good too. Rooms were well sized, though they could be a bit noisy and warm. To cool it off we had to open the window and there were often people outside being loud. However, that wasn't a huge issue and we still enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Beouwolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 17 August 2011

Thank you for staying with us and taking the time to write a positive review. It is always a pleasure to hear the staff is helpful and you found us a Great Home Base! We appreciate your outstanding rating! Thank you again, we look forward to hosting you again.
Warm regards,
Terri

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2011

The hotel was everything we expected and a lovely way to start our Alaskan family vacation. It had a real "Alaskan" hometown, authenic feel to it.

Upon check-in we were informed that there was an error in room assigned to us. We were however pleased at how the front desk manager quickly dealt with the situation by immediately/personally arranging two roll away beds. We even received an apology the next morning from the person who had done the previous day's room assigments.

Room Tip: We requested a room not on the street side of the hotel... which we received and we did not have any...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank G0tt0travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2011

We stayed at the Historic Anchorage Hotel on July 27, 2011. It is very nice and conveniently located near all of the sites in Anchorage. The rooms are cozy, but they have everything you need. The staff was friendly and helpful. We enjoyed our stay very much!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Polly8402
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2011

We only stayed here one night before catching the train to Seward. We arrived rather early in the morning - around 7am - not suprisingly our room was not ready. The staff happily took charge of our luggage and we left to return our motorhome. A few hours later we returned and our room was ready. We had booked one of the larger rooms and boy we were impressed. Very clean and well decorated. It's an older hotel but very charming. We bought new luggage while in Anchorage and staff were happy for us to leave our old Samsonite set in our room - we were thankful as we had no way of taking it anywhere. The only negative was that we had to leave around 6am and did not get to partake in the buffet breakfast - which sounded wonderful :-). Guess it means we'll have to come back one day and stay longer.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank libbywithnall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tlrussi, General Manager at Historic Anchorage Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2011

Dear libbywithnall:
Thank you for staying with us and taking the time to write a positive review. Thank you for the outstanding rating! The entire Historic Anchorage Hotel team takes pride in keeping the hotel clean, charming and well decorated. We look forward to your return visit and staying with us longer.
Warmest regards,
Terri

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2011

We spent 2 nights at the Historic Anchorage Hotel and would do so again. The room was clean and comfortable. The staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful. We were within walking distance of the train station, our bus pickup spot, and lots of shops and restaurants. continental breakfast wasn't great, but it held us to lunch! Some fresh fruit would have been nice (as opposed to institutional grapefruit wedges).

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank 1occasional_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2011

This hotel is literally a stone's throw from the weekend farmers' market -- where you can purchase arts and crafts -- and dinner. The rooms were very comfortable, the staff was knowledgable (sophisticated, in fact) and personable, and it is a short walk to many of the town's prime locations. We walked 4 blocks to the bus station and went to the Alaska Native Medical Center, the best art display and gift shop in town.
Did I say that there is also a breakfast included, and the rates are very reasonable. Will Rogers stayed here on his trip north, so that should be worth something too.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank sewkap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Historic Anchorage Hotel

Address: 330 E St, Anchorage, AK 99501-2307
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alaska > Anchorage > Downtown
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Anchorage
#7 Family Hotel in Anchorage
#14 Business Hotel in Anchorage
Price Range: £83 - £199 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Historic Anchorage Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elegantly restored and generously appointed, the Anchorage Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rich in tradition and elegance... Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Anchorage. The Anchorage Visitor Information Center, Anchorage Convention Centers, 5th Avenue Shopping Mall, the Alaska Center for Performing Arts, the Alaska Railroad Depot, Anchorage Museum, and some of the finest dining and entertainment that Anchorage has to offer are all just steps away from the hotel.Aside from our convenient room amenities, Anchorage Historic Hotel offers guest services to accommodate everyone from the discerning leisure traveler to the busy corporate guest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Historic Anchorage Hotel Alaska

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