I had cause to stay at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront from August 23 through the 26, 2012, for the occasion of my only daughter's wedding. This letter refers specifically to my hotel room. I would ask you to bear in mind that my extended family as well as the family of the groom stayed there and spent thousands of dollars during our wedding week, although I will not reference any room other than my own for the purpose of this letter.
When placing my reservation, I requested specifically to be assigned to a room on the same floor of the hotel as my daughter, the bride. This was very important, as I was providing lodging for the parents of the bride, the elderly grandmother of the bride, and the minister, all of whom needed close proximity to the bride. This was carefully explained before the reservation was placed. I was assured by the agent making the reservation that our rooms would be on the same floor.
Upon our arrival, which was comfortably after check-in time, I discovered that we had been assigned rooms on different floors. This was the first breach of agreement on the part of the Wyndham. Try to imagine the mother of the bride, arriving from out of state with two carloads full of clothes, decorations, supplies, etc.... My elderly mother arriving from a different state with another carload of wedding supplies, and our minister arriving from a third state, all expecting to go directly into our room. Instead, along with the groom, I spent our arrival afternoon at the desk, trying to resolve the room situation before the bride and maid of honor arrived. After much confusion, the agent at the check-in desk finally arranged to place us in rooms on the same floor. As this was a condition of our reservation, this difficulty could have and should have been avoided had the Wyndham properly handled the room assignments. We wanted to get our things quickly to our rooms, but there were no luggage carts available; the clerk provided no help whatsoever in locating one; the concierge could not help; so the groom and the mother of the bride sat in the lobby for the better part of an hour waiting to unload our vehicles. In the meantime, other family members were arriving, creating a confusing situation. Our welcome to the Wyndham was not pleasant.
Imagine our surprise to go (finally!) to our room on the seventh floor, unlock the door, and find two maintenance men in the room. We were greeted with the words "They didn't actually check you into this room, did they?" They were working on an unsafe pocket door separating the living area from the master bedroom area of the suite. The door was not only off the track, and thus impossible to move without great difficulty, but it also swung freely at the bottom; it could have fallen on any of us. Very unsafe by any standard. I was glad the workmen were there to fix the door; we left the room so that they could complete the repair. Again, please bear in mind you now have six guests and all their luggage and supplies for a wedding, including one very elderly grandmother, who have been traveling the entire day from far and wide, and who are now unable to have use of their room. It was hours after check-in time. Our room should have been ready for us. But we went out, so that the workmen could complete their job.
Upon returning to the Wyndham after exploring Virginia Beach and greeting other family members, we were dismayed to discover our room to be substandard and, truthfully, unsafe. To be fair, some of the points I will make here are very minor; however, even small deficiencies should not be found in a luxury hotel of the Wyndham's caliber and at premium rates. Other points I will mention are major difficulties, like the pocket door, which was never fixed properly, and with which we had to deal for three days. As we (finally!) had our room to ourselves, we began to settle in. We had many perishables with us which had been in coolers all day (longer than planned due to the delays getting into our room). These items, including beverages, food, and bridal table favors, needed immediate refrigeration. At that point, we discovered our fridge was not working properly. Again, this was a stipulation of our reservation, to have a refrigerator in the room. I feel this too to be a breach of our reservation agreement. And, in addition, we discovered that the maintenance men had done nothing with the pocket door while we were out; we were apparently on our own with that.
For me, personally, the most troublesome problem with the room was the shower in the master bedroom. (again, this was MY room. The mother of the bride. The room where the bride dressed. The room with the broken door!) I went into the bathroom to take a shower. The shower in that room has a single control; you turn the handle toward the "C" and the water gets colder; you turn the handle toward the "H" and the water gets hotter. I started, as I do in most hotels, with the handle in the middle. As I felt the water temperature, I began to adjust the handle. Since the water was slightly warm, I turned the handle to the "C". The water stayed warm. I turned the handle farther and farther toward the "C" until the water became scalding hot on my head. I realized that the hot and cold pipes must be reversed behind the wall of the shower; this could not be the first time the Wyndham had heard about this. Why were we not warned? At that point, I dressed and went in person to the check-in desk.
I took with me a small written list of the problems, hoping to remedy the problems so that our wedding experience, well-planned for months ahead, could proceed according to schedule without further problems, large or small, with the room. I told the clerk on duty that: #1 the pocket door to my bedroom was dysfunctional and a hazard, #2 the shower was mis-marked and had scalded my head, #3 the refrigerator needed to be replaced, #4 the bedside phone in my bedroom was not working properly, #5 there was no paper or writing implement of any kind in the room. The clerk did not seem very interested or concerned about any of these things; indeed he did not take the list, nor did he write anything down. Upon my insistence he did arrange to have the fridge replaced, and to have maintenance check the door AGAIN.
The maintenance man came to our room with a new fridge, which was nice. He looked at the pocket door. His solution was to put drywall screws into the track above the door to hold it in place!! This did nothing whatsoever to fix the situation, and left us with a most difficult problem. We could hardly budge the door, and there was no privacy in that bedroom. This was not only an issue for me personally, as it was my room, but it became a much larger issue on the wedding day, as this was the room set aside for the bride to dress in. I brought the scalding shower situation to his attention while he was there; nothing was done about it.
On my daughter's wedding day, while the bridal party was dressing in my suite, water started dripping into our second bathroom, through the ceiling, from the room above. We had several members of the wedding party dressing and grooming for the wedding itself in this suite. We needed both bathrooms. Again, this was WHY I rented the suite in the first place! Our minister was also dressing in our suite, and she needed that bathroom as well. She called the desk to report the problem. When maintenance arrived, my daughter, the bride, was informed that there was another bride dressing in the room above, and that the leak would not be fixed for two hours, until the bridal party on the floor above us was done preparing for their wedding!! This was a bitter pill to swallow, as hotel staff was in effect saying that my daughter's wedding prep was less important than was the bride's on the floor above. Once again, we did not have proper use of our entire room. And this, on the most important day of my daughter's life! She had to drag the hem of her bridal gown through the water on the floor if she wanted to use that bathroom; the Wyndham staff provided a bucket to catch the drips! (Imagine being in a bridal gown with a train, and having to maneuver around a bucket in a bathroom with a wet floor!)
We selected the Wyndham based upon its location, and more importantly, its reputation for excellence. The prices charged were very high, but we agreed to pay them so that we could be assured of a top-quality suite and first-rate service. When planning a once-in-a-liftime event, and bringing in family from all over the country (lots of $$$$$ in the pocket of the Wyndham), you expect the best. We certainly did not get the best, nor even average. The staff was not helpful, nor even concerned for our comfort or safety. They never seemed to be able to make anything happen. The room had SERIOUS hazards (the door and the shower that scalded me) and multiple inconveniences like not being assigned the promised room, not being able to check in for over an hour after arrival, not having small luxuries like pen and paper or a properly functioning phone, a broken fridge, water dripping down on our bridal party, etc, etc, etc.... !! Even in "lesser" hotels I haven't encountered problems such as these. Every room ALWAYS has a functioning phone, writing supplies, and correctly labeled faucets! I travel often, staying in hotels several times a year. Even very inexpensive hotels offer guests morning coffee and juice, at the very least. And in premium oceanfront areas like Virginia Beach, bottled water and fruit, etc are almost universally complimentary. The Wyndham impressed us with the feeling we were being "nickeled and dimed". Instead of just throwing on your clothes and going to the lobby for a morning cup of coffee or a glass of juice, we were dismayed that we had to pay for room service coffee, wait half an hour, and be charged $18.00 for the aggravation.
Our final bill for the room was $1474.56. This was paid in full. Although we have many happy memories of the week, and experienced many pleasurable moments during our time at the Wyndham, the negative things have outweighed the positive when looking back from the distance of one month's time. If we could plan the day over again, we would not choose the Wyndham a second time. Had our problems and/or concerns been dealt with successfully at the time they were reported, we would not feel this way today. Indeed, the only problem, large or small, that was resolved during our stay was that the fridge was swapped out for a working unit. But why should we have had to ask for it? The maid should have seen upon cleaning the room that it wasn't working. Frost in the unit was several inches thick; even a brief visual inspection of the fridge would have shown that. Every other problem that was reported was either ignored, or the solution was delayed until after our departure. We rented a two-bedroom two-bathroom suite with a kitchenette area because we needed two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a functional kitchen area. We did not get that; we reported deficiencies in a timely manner, and they were not resolved in a timely manner; indeed not at all. I strongly feel that the Wyndham should consider full or partial monetary recompense for the deficiencies in their accommodations and customer service. The Wyndham caused more stress than they solved, and much of our valuable time was consumed in trying to get timely remedies to problems not of our making. I will await your response.
A copy of this letter will be sent directly to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront hotel, to the Wyndham corporate office and one posted on thumbs-down-consumer-reviews-f386/wyndham-virginia-beach-oceanfront-t25.html.
Thank you for your time.