Expectations were not high to begin with. Upon reading a couple of reviews on this site and knowing this property was privately owned, I knew that I was not going to be staying at an upscale hotel. Still, I've stayed at some quaint private hotels and I also had hopes that things may have changed after the two years since a really bad review had surfaced.
At first glance, the property does not look half bad. New paint on the exterior, clean, well kept desert landscaping, and a cool pink retro flamingo sign had me thinking I had made a decent choice. The reservation was taken over the phone with the charge being $89/night with no cancellation allowed due to the late reservation (night before stay). Upon driving into the property at about 7PM, I noticed the sign by the road announced a $59 rate. Hmmmm . . . perhaps it was an old sign? The clerk was pleasant enough and happily checked us in so I refrained from asking about the lower rate since we did reserve a large suite as opposed to a studio suite. As soon as I opened the door to the room, my senses confirmed that I was not at a 4-star hotel. While I can't be certain, the odor appeared to be that of a carpet saturated with pet santitizors/cleaners. On the plus side, the room was very spacious with a refrigerator/stove/microwave (albeit ancient), ample furnishings, and a separate bedroom for the beds. A single queen and a twin bed were in the bedroom. The twin had only a fitted sheet and its comforter was crumpled and tossed upon the queen. No problem, housekeeping must have lost track of time and forgotten to make the bed. I stepped up to the reception desk and asked for three sets of bedding, explaining that the twin bed was missing its set and that we were going to have to use the couch plus an air mattress for our entire family (2 adults, 3 boys). The clerk frowned slightly and said it would take about 30min as she needed to grab some in the laundry room. No problem I thought. A knock at the door signaled the arrival of . . . three sets of sheets, one blanket, and 2 pillowcases. Fine, but . . . we needed a pillow for the twin, and 2 blankets and pillows for the other two sleeping arrangements. As the young woman (who held the title of desk clerk, housekeeping, and whatever other position is required at the property) was hurrying away I asked if she could please return with the needed pillows and blankets. Seemingly annoyed, she stated that she was only allowed to provide one blanket. I restated the fact that the twin needed a pillow at the very least and that a request for pillows and blankets could not be that out of the ordinary. With that, she remarked with an ever so slight hint of sarcasm (or worry?) that she would need to contact the owner for authorization. Hmmmm.
Another knock and the young woman handed me 2 pillows and a single extra blanket and abruptly turned to hurry away. I asked her if that's all we were going to get and she replied with a quick "yes" and quicky left without any further explanation. Double hmmmmm.
OK, I thought . . . we'll survive. Well, as it turns out, the room became pretty stuffy in about an hour so the blankets became less essential. In fact, I decided to turn on the air conditioning. About another hour later, there was still no change in the temperature so I opened the door to let in the cool night air. Before going to bed, I also cranked down the air conditioning to it's lowest setting but could not feel any cool air (hardly any air flow) coming out of the vents. With a sigh, I simply resigned myself to the fact that the room was what it was and went to bed . . . on the super ultra firm mattress.
In the morning, the absence of a ironing board and iron as well as very little hot water became our newest discoveries. We were able to obtain an ironing board/iron but that resulted in a shirt stain from the "gunk" that was on the iron's surface. At that point, I no longer felt like contacting the front office as I could already guess the level of customer service I would receive. Upon checkout, the clerk didn't say a word as my wife placed the key on the counter. Not a "Thank you", not a "How was your stay", not a word. In retrospect, I suppose there was not much to be said as the clerk must have heard just about every complaint imaginable from others who have "experienced" the Flamingo Suites in Tucson. Besides, it wasn't like we could write a letter to corporate, describing our stay.
In case the reader had not already come to the jest of this review - We will never visit this property again nor will we ever recommend it to anyone . . . unless camping is the only other option. Safe travels everyone.
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- Also Known As:
- Flamingo Hotel Tucson
- Flamingo Suites Tucson, Arizona