June 12, 2012

I had mentioned that the hotel (Universal Palms Hotel) I stayed at during my Thai class was horrible. I decided to pass on the highlights for no other reason than to serve as a warning for those going out for classes.

Now, the following are the highlights of a letter I emailed to the person at the hotel that books events. A day after I sent it, I received a phone call from the hotel manager who was very apologetic. He asked if there was anything he could do to make it up to me. I’m sure he was looking to offer me a discount on a future stay (like I’m going to be down that way regularly). I noticed that he did not offer to refund my $229 dollars that I paid them.

At any rate, here are the highlights...

I initially tried to register by calling the hotel and was told that there was
no class rate, but it was much cheaper to register online. Unfortunately,
when I did that, the system would only let me register or one night at a
time, and then told me there were no rooms available.

When I checked in, I was given room 408. There were all of two towels and
no ice bucket. The front desk gave me an ice bucket, but they had no lid or
baggies for it. I was very disappointed to find that there was no
information for the hotel at all. There wasn't even a map on the back of
the door showing me what to do in event of fire (and I believe that is
illegal, right?). After coming back from dinner, there was this beeping
noise coming from the room safe. I was told that this was a 'battery needs
replacing' situation and there was no one available to do it. The person at
the desk then moved me to 410. When I tried the key in the door, the handle
unlocked but no matter how hard I pushed at the door, it would not open. I
was then moved to room 106 where I faced the same situation but found that
kicking the door was what was needed to get it open.

This room had a smell to it, something like pool chemicals, but I decided I
could live with it. (One of the other students checked in to their room and
could not stand the smell. It made them ill, so they checked back out and
went somewhere else.) At least this room had towels and an ice bucket. It
also had bugs here and there (I figure I killed four or so each night).

One bed felt like I was laying on a box spring. The other felt like it
could have been a mattress, but was very uncomfortable, and it was next to
the air unit. Not wanting to sleep next to the air unit and unable to sleep
in the other bed, I spent some 30 minutes moving the beds around.

The other thing was that the air unit had no setting that would allow the
fan to run constantly, so that it would cycle on and off. But it would be
like three minutes of silence and three minutes of loud compressor and fan
noise. And this is what it did all night. This is why I only got three
hours of sleep the first night.

When I checked in, I had asked the front desk where the class would be. I
was told that they had not received the June schedule yet, so he could not
tell me. Uhh, I checked in on the June 3rd. Shouldn't they have had the
schedule by then? One of the other students was told that the class was in
room 103 a guest room.

The breakfast buffet was a joke, a few pieces of bread, some bagels, and
boxed cereal. All I was able to get was coffee. I know I could have
ordered other things, but what was the point of a voucher for breakfast
buffet if I still had to pay for something decent? I have been in many
hotels that offered a breakfast buffet, and although small, they put this one
to shame. And the regular rate of the rooms was less.

During the class, the conference room was open to the other conference room
at one end, and we had to put up with workers going back and forth at the
end of the room a good bit of the day. This class I was taking was on
massage. Luckily, this was a style where the person receiving the work did
not have to get undressed. Had Margie been teaching a different style (that
she teaches regularly), I know people would not have been happy with
workers going back and forth and staring. As it was, it was rude and

The next day, the workers decided they needed to pressure wash the outside
doors which caused so much noise that Margie had to tell them to stop. We
students could not hear her talk.