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“Not Bad, but Customer Service lacking”

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Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Galveston Beach
Ranked #38 of 51 Hotels in Galveston
Reviewed 20 February 2012

My husband and I stayed with Country Inn Galveston Beach for the second time January 28 & 29. The Inn itself is nice enough; rooms were clean. Breakfast is not much, but typical of most hotels/motels that include breakfast.

My main gripe is that I left the plug-in for my iPhone charger in the wall plug-in in our room. I called the hotel right away and asked if someone would go up to the room (I gave the room number) and look, because it should still be plugged into the outlet. No one at the front desk would do that; instead they just sat back and waited for housekeeping to turn it in. They also promised to call me back and let me know either way, which they never did. So after three days of me calling, I just gave up and went and spent the $30 for a whole new charger for my iPhone.

We had stayed with them 2 years ago when we were in Galveston for a pre-cruise night; and since we didn't check-in until 6:00PM, they had already given one of our rooms away. So my parents, husband and I ended up all having to pile into one room, and my husband had to sleep on a rollaway, which left him with a sore neck the next morning. I believe they need to be a bit more professional, and try harder in the customer service area. Otherwise, they are okay. They do offer free Wi-Fi, which is nice; but they just need to try harder!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank RoundtheWorldGirl62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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493 - 497 of 541 reviews

Reviewed 20 February 2012

Last summer we had a room booked and were told we could check in early at 1 PM. However, when we tried to do that at approximately 2 PM, the front office rudely reminded us of the check-in time (3 PM!) and made a point of making us feel like we were annoying them.. Little did we know, our nightmare was just beginning. We patiently waited.

We finally were issued keys soon after 3 PM. BTW - did you know if you do not actually go and see if a room is acceptable before you sign the "contract", you are basically saying the room is in satisfactory condition and you have no recourse if you do find something wrong. It is your word against theirs and if you are relying on the reasonableness and integrity of those in charge, you will not find it in this place.

We had a top floor room and when we opened the door a rush of hot air met us in the air conditioned hallway. It was 85 degrees in the room. We tried bumping the temperature down, but it already said it was set at 72 degrees, so something was very obviously wrong. It was honestly too hot and stuffy in there to even try to report the problem from inside the room. I've lived in Texas my entire life. It was the hottest day of the year in Galveston and it would take a top floor room quite a while to cool off even if someone would be able to push a magical button and get the AC working.

We were very hot and had just come up from the beach so were in great need of a shower. The two of us took turns taking very quick showers while the other waited in the hallway. We never even touched anything but the AC control and the bathroom sink, shower, and 2 towels.

About 20 minutes after we had checked in, we went to the front desk and told them the situation. They offered to call maintenance but had no idea how long before they would get to the problem. They also had no answer as to why the cleaning crew did not report a problem with the AC. We had been told that the delay in getting the room early was because the cleaning crew was in there. I don't know how in the world anyone could have been in that room anytime in the last several hours and not noticed that it was beyond stifling. We were also given detailed instructions on how to work the AC control - as if we were morons. We finally convinced her that we knew how to work it and it wasn't working.

We explained that we had used the room to shower - because we were desperate and would be happy to pay for that service, but we wouldn't be staying and asked for at least a partial refund. The lady at the front desk said she would need to contact the manager and could we wait. One and a half hours later, we returned to the front desk and were told the manager had not gotten back to the them. Really? A Saturday afternoon of a summer weekend at a hotel directly across from the beach and there is no manager present.

I asked about the status of the room and the front desk couldn't tell me. Assuming that the manager would be a reasonable person, we left the hotel without any documentation. Apparently this would be crucial in the conflict negotiations between my credit card company and Country Inn and Suites Galveston. Who would have thought we'd need a piece of paper stating the AC was not working properly and the time and date we had departed. Good grief.

Several days later a charge for $275 showed up on my credit card account. I immediately called the hotel and to make a long story short, it took 3 days and many aggravating phone calls to finally talk to a manager named Dee. She claimed that we had used the room and now were asking for a refund. What? And when I mentioned the air conditioning, she said there was nothing wrong with it, a reset button just needed to be pushed. Really? She said we'd not given them any time to correct the problem. (Didn't you just say there wasn't a problem?) It was a bizarre borderline insane conversation. I asked for a number for the person she managed the hotel for and she said she was the owner. I again asked her if maybe she just managed the hotel and maybe someone else owned it. She said and I quote, "if you like it, you like it, if you don't, you don't" and hung up on me.

Okay... I didn't bother calling back. My credit card company took over but after several months the bottom line was that I did not have any proof of leaving the hotel or that there was a problem with the room. On the dispute papers, someone (I assume Dee for some reason) wrote that we had stayed the night and that the hotel was brand new and nothing was wrong whatsoever. Basically, I'd used the services as the contract stated and the idea of a refund would not even be "entertained". Apparently I was just trying to pull a fast one.

I am in the process of contacting Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group who owns the Country Inn and Suites chain (not Dee?!?!). Hopefully this will get resolved and even if it doesn't, someone somewhere needs to know about what unsavory business practices are occurring in that hotel. At this point, it is just a matter of principle and a sense of right from wrong. And this is wrong. I'm assuming all the positive reviews are for those lucky enough not to have any kind of problem.

Room Tip: Absolutely ask to see the room and check EVERYTHING out before you sign the contract.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank danechance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2012

Got a great rate on line for one night before a Carnival Magic cruise. Location was great, rooms, clean and new. Comfortable bed. Has two elevators which is unusual fro this size property. Breakfast was good, not great, but for the price we'd definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mary Gail U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2012

Our family of 4 stayed here before our cruise for 2 nights Jan. 13th & Jan. 14th. We booked the Park 'n Cruise package and then stayed again on our return Jan.22nd. We picked this hotel for 2 reasons. The reviews I had read about it and we had used the Country Inn in Cape Canavarel's park 'n cruise the previous year; which was excellent. We drove down with our 2011 Dodge 4x4 from Canada, I must say our first impression of the parking lot was very skeptical on it's safety; due to the neighbouring houses looked very run down and there were kids wondering around. We were a little leary on leaving our truck parked for a week. But were assured that it would be safe by the very friendly staff.
We had a few issues: When checking our room before settling in, the room on the 4th floor had black hair clumps in the tub. We went down to the front desk and without hesitation were given another room on the 5th floor. This room was ok & would do - but it did have stains / black streaks on the carpet. Surprising for a Country Inn.
The complimentary breakfast was good and the front desk staff very friendly.
On the Friday night the our son went swimming, the pool is not heated.
On the Sat. night we were all going to go swimming and enjoy a soak in the hot tub - but to our shock - the hot tub had scum floating on top of the foam. Yeak! and the pool was cold. We reported this to the front desk and informed other guests who were heading to the hot tub to be aware of the scum floating on the foam before they leap in. Without hesitation the front desk assured us they would have maintenance take care of it.
Sunday morning we took the 10 a.m. shuttle to the Carnival cruise port - We had arranged our shuttle pickup time the day before. Our shuttle was a white van with no Country Inn identification on it - not like the shuttles you see used in Minneapolis or Cape Canaveral. Our shuttle driver was Very Friendly, very nice man. He informed us when we return on the 22nd to just phone the hotel and he will pick us up. All good.
On the 22nd when we returned our ship was very late to arrive due to the fog. We did not disembark until 3 p.m. and did not clear customs until 5 p.m. At 5 p.m. we went to look for a phone booth to call the hotel; as we did not have our cell with us, and to our surprise the cruise ship Terminal does not have pay phone booths anywhere. Other hotel shuttles were arriving (they were identified with their hotel logos) - we asked the Comfort Suites on 89th street shuttle driver if we could use his phone to call our hotel. No problem he was happy to help. Our hotel called our driver and within minutes our driver was there to pick us up. He remembered we were coming and had wondered what had happened to us, as he had had no pick up that day. He was off work at that time but had no problem in coming to pick us up, apparentely he had not been far away.
Our room this time, on the 22nd was the same room, with the same streak on the carpet.
The breakfast was good. We did not use the hot tub or pool - but felt the water it was warmer and the hot tub was clean. Our truck was safe with no problems.
Our room faced west, we saw a beautiful sunset our balcony, nice view of the beach. The hotel is across the street from the beach. A nice place to go for a walk. Restaurants are fairly close by, just a short drive down the SeaWall Blvd is Denny's, and IHOP and Chili's.
Overall this hotel is avearage, not very good as the other Country Inn's we have stayed at and are accustomed to. Looked for hotel comment cards to fill in - and surprisingly none in the room or at the front desk.
But the staff was great - Patel Dipen wanted to make sure all was good.
Would we stay here next time - for the price of the accomodations I think next time we will stay at the Comfort Suites on 89th street.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Katherine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2012

I booked this hotel because they had "free cruise parking". They didn't mention that the free parking does NOT include transportation to the cruise terminal (other hotels offer a free shuttle). Also, the "free cruise parking" is just in their tiny parking lot which on the night we showed up was full.

The hotel was okay, but the carpet in our room had large dark stains all over the room. Even more disgusting was the blood stains bedding. I saw a review from another person on another website that said they had bloody sheets, too. YUCK!!!

One last thing-the indoor pool is not heated, so useless in the cold months.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank TL P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Galveston Beach

Address: 2818 Avenue R 1/2, Galveston, Galveston Island, TX 77550-7742
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Texas > Texas Gulf Coast > Galveston Island > Galveston
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Galveston
Price Range: $84 - $278 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Galveston Beach 2.5*
Number of rooms: 60
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Also Known As:
Country Inn Galveston Beach Hotel Galveston

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