Monday, May 14, 2007
I own two online travel websites as well as being a Referring Travel agent. I primarily got into it because I wanted to save money on my own travel. I had to book a hotel room close to Grand Prairie because my cousin's house was going to be full. I first checked my 1st travelsite.
I could not find anything higher than a 2 star hotel for under $60 a night. I then checked my 2nd travel website.
Once again, I could not find anything under $60 a night. I have used the Hotwire website before and had good results. I have gotten the Candlewood Suites twice before for less than $50 a night. Candlewood does not have a pool but it is a extended stay suite which is nice. The one up in Arlington is very nice. I noticed on Hotwire they had a 3 star hotel for $52 a night. I decided to go ahead and book that hotel. To my surprise, it was the Wyndham which is right next to Six Flags and the Baseball stadium. I have stayed at the Wyndham last year. The hotel is more like an office building. The pool is nice and they do have a restaurant and bar. I am a Wyndham By Request member, so I figured I would use my card to check in. Because I had booked my hotel via Hotwire, they would not let me use my By Request card. That is a tad bit silly because other hotels, including Airlines will let you use your frequent flyer or frequent stay card even if you booked your hotel or flight online. I then proceeded to ask them if they had free WiFi. At the bare minimum I figured in the common areas, free WiFi would be good. The lady told me no and told me it would cost $12.95 a day. I then told her I needed a roll-away bed for Josh. I was told it was $15 a day. I then asked, "Do you at least have free breakfast?" "No. Breakfast is served in the restaurant at $12.95 a person." she replied. I got the key and went up to my room.
My first impressions of the room? First of all, the room was right next to the elevator. I could hear the elevator go up and down all night. Secondly, the walls were paper thin. Josh wanted to go get some ice from the ice machine and there was a couple having sex down the hall. That is not good when you have curious 9 year old boys who are wondering what all the noise is. The cable tv in the room was fuzzy. If you moved the TV, it would clear up. You would think a hotel of that size and being a 3 star hotel would have digital cable. There was a desk with plug ins for the internet; but once again, you had to pay for it.
If you are even considering staying at the Wyndham, do not. I have had better stays at "budget" hotels such as Motel 6, Days Inn and Super 8. It did not bother me that they did not have free breakfast because that is the whole point of traveling, you go out to eat at someplace you have never been before. Of course, other hotels are starting to offer hot breakfasts with eggs. The La Quinta up in Kerrville has waffles. I brought my laptop with me, figuring I could use the internet to check for places to see and do around Dallas while I was there. I did not want to use my cousin's computer because I figured that would be rude of me. You would think a fancy 3 star hotel would at least have free WiFi for their guests. Just as a suggestion, they could have had a website where customers could order room service or order gifts to send home, flowers, whatever. It is not like they would not make money off offering free WiFi. This hotel was far from a 3 star hotel. I have stayed in 1 and 2 star hotels that were a heck of a lot nicer than the Wyndham. I would maybe give this hotel 1 star, 1.5 stars tops. Even checking the ratings for this hotel did not help. I would advise not using Hotwire because you are basically getting a hotel room blind. Given, that is part of the fun. It is a gamble and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. What was even more insulting is when I checked in and whipped out my Travel Agent ID, she could have cared less.The courtesies they give Travel Agents are at their discretion, so they do not have to do anything. How am I supposed to recommend a hotel to clients that can not even live up to being considered a 3 star hotel?
The next time I head up to Dallas (even go out of town and need to rent a room at a hotel) I am going to go for a extended stay suite. At least that route, there is a stove and a fridge where I can at least feed my child before heading out because you know how cranky kiddos get when they have not eaten.