We checked into Ocean City, Maryland's Surf Villa Hotel last summer to spend only one night. It was the hotel stay from hell.
We checked out the room before we agreed to check in. It looked okay. I paid in full by credit card and signed an agreement stating check in time was 3:00 p.m. and check out time was 11:00 a.m. The agreement also stated, "The Management assumes no responsibility for accidents, injury, theft or loss due to any cause." For just one night's stay, I thought this would be inconsequential. I was wrong.
I don't know if ownership or management has since changed hands and I do not want to disparage the place if it is owned or run by new people. The manager is a dark haired foreigner. At the time he had a moustache. The owners seemed to be a little old couple, also foreign, although as far as I know, management and owners could be one and the same.
We asked for a refrigerator in the room and they gave us one. We had our own food and ate it in the room. Management knew about this and never said that we couldn't. There was nothing in our agreement saying we couldn't eat in the room.
We put much of the leftover food away in the refrigerator, leaving out some non-perishables such as crackers, peanut butter, etc. We then went out for the night.
We returned at about 2:00 a.m. There were ants everywhere. They were crawling in the beds, crawling all over the food we didn't store, and of course crawling all over the floor.
Management became angry when we woke him up at 2:00 a.m. to take care of the ant problem. He sprayed all over the room and then told us it was okay to sleep in it. It was not. We asked for another room. The only other one available was one with a plumbing problem. The toilet made noise and I knew we wouldn't be able to sleep through it.
He said there was nothing he could do about the bug spray in our room or the major inconvenience the ants had caused and that he had offered us the only other room available which we refused.
We had to throw out all our food that wasn't inside the refrigerator. The room reeked of bug spray.
Management refused to refund our money, so we couldn't stay at another place. They also refused to give us any kind of credit or comp, such as a free breakfast in the morning. Basically, they refused to compensate us in any way, shape, or form. I couldn't believe the lack of hospitality, but there wasn't anything I could do about it. We were stuck. I asked him if he cared whether I reported his gross lack of hospitality to appropriate parties and he said it made no difference to him.
I vowed at some point to write a letter of complaint.
The next morning I went out early for a walk on the boardwalk intending to return by 11:00 a.m. I left my teenage girls sleeping in the room. As these things happen, time got away from me. At 11:05 a.m., I received a frantic call from my daughter telling me that hotel management pounded on the door at 11:00 a.m. and when no one answered (because they were sleeping) burst into the room and ordered these young girls to get out.
I was appalled. Our car was still parked in the hotel parking lot and if there was any fear that we might have skipped out without a check-out, the guy could have looked in the parking lot to confirm we had not. But clearly that was not a concern because we had already paid in full by credit card. Management was just being rude and disrespectful, a payback I guess for waking him up at 2:00 a.m.
I should also mention this is a very small family owned hotel. So, it is not like management is unrelated to the owners. In fact, he is probably the son or relative of the owners, which makes him more than just an idiot running the place. Even if he was just some random idiot, the whole incident was utterly unacceptable. I asked my daughter to put him on the telephone. No matter how nicely I tried to talk to him, he insisted that the girls pack up and vacate the room immediately. If they needed to, they could wait in the lobby. Again, there was nothing I could do.
Even a one star hotel will give guests the courtesy of checking out at 1:00 p.m. This place would not. I considered notifying the health department about the unsanitary conditions of the room, but then got too busy. As you can see, I am writing this complaint a full year later.
I rushed to return to help the girls pack up, but didn't make it back until 11:30. I was that far away and there were no shuttles. When I got there, the girls were sitting in the lobby with our things hastily packed in plastic bags and whatever they could find to get out of there quickly. The guy had scared them half to death. They were all between the ages of 15-17 and didn't know what to do.
They also told me that as they sat in the lobby waiting for me, no one checked into the hotel. Therefore, it would not have been a problem for the hotel to give us just an extra hour to check out (until 12:00 p.m.) when I could be assured of returning.
Honestly, I have never been treated in such a manner. We paid good money ($86.11) to basically stay in an inhospitable dump. Never again.
I hope the lousy owners and management read this letter because it's the honest truth. Thinking about the incident gets me angry and frustrated all over again and it's been more than a year.