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July 2001 Vol. 27, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Thumbs Down:

from the July, 2001 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Thumbs DownDoes an owner have a right to pull rank and downgrade guests at whim?

We think not, so when reader Deborah Harkleroad, (Collierville, Tenn.) told us about her experience, we decided to put all resort and live-aboard owners on notice: If you’re not going to keep a deal, don’t expect to get away with it.

After visiting Turneffe Island Lodge in April, she wrote, “The lodge is under new ownership. Although we had a confirmed reservation for a new cabana, we were kicked out of that room because the owner and his family were coming! This happened to two other couples as well. It didn’t matter to him that we had a confirmed reservation - he wanted what he wanted! We were pleased with the accommodations they gave us and had a wond e rful time and will definitely go back.”

While Deborah is more tolerant than we would have been, the owners of Turneffe Lodge and every other place that commandeers quarters from guests get our Thumbs Down Award.

P.S. to the owner: And If Deborah is to go back, don’t you think it ought to be at a very reduced (or even complimentary ) rate ?

Just as maddening are owners who insist that no matter how lousy the accommodations, the customer is always wrong. We’ve written that certain rooms at the Sitting Pretty Hotel on Grand Turk are run down and unliveable, enough to spoil anyone’s vacation. Now that it has been renamed the Osprey Beach Hotel doesn’t mean there’s been a reincarnation. Says Brian Snell, there with his wife, Gayla, in April, “What a disappointment. When the taxi stopped in front of this hovel in desperate need of repair, I thought this is not good. As I trudged up the stairs to the room, the overpowering smell of mold and mildew flooded my nostrils, but I thought it has got to get better.

We opened the door to the room, and the first thing I saw was a painted sub-floor. I couldn’t believe they would rent out an unfinished room. As my wife and I were unpacking, the sweat ran faster down our faces, and as the air conditioner was not getting any colder, I decided I’d be damned if I was going to pay this much money for a piece of crap room in a dumpy little hotel. So we called downstairs and the next room we were led to was better. No bad smell, tile on the floor, and the air conditioner worked.

After the third day of morning dives, the owner informed us that we had to get out of that room because it was booked by other divers coming in the next day. I asked her where we were going to be moved, and she told us back into our original room. I then asked her if someone fixed the air conditioner, and she told me rather curtly, that it was new and worked fine. I told her I didn’t want that room, I wanted a room with tile on the floor, and she said, ‘you paid for a standard room, the room you are staying in now is a deluxe room.’ She then informed me that our original hell hole was an upgraded room. So I used Texas tact and told her ‘if your upgraded room is a painted sub-floor with bad smells and no air conditioning, I’d hate to see your standard room.’ She then invited me to leave her hotel.”

Another hotel, another owner, another story, but the same old Thumbs Down Award !

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