Saturday, September 3, 2016

Radisson Hotel woes (or why I won't be staying at hotels from this chain in the future) A rant...

Warning...this is a long explanation for my warning that Radisson Hotels may not be the choice for you when booking a vacation.

At different points in my life, I have had the experience of staying at various hotels, and there are people in my life who live well and I have had the opportunity to visit them at higher-end establishments. We tend to balance budget and comfort with rare splurges, so I have experienced a broad spectrum of quality and service.

My mother-in-law (MIL) is in her late eighties, and my hubby and I spend a fair amount of time taking care of her and her business (with varying impact on our respective blood pressures and tempers, lol). She is the eldest survivor on her side of the family and thereby is THE person most people look for when there is a gathering. A family reunion was held in Fresno, California, and the organizer elected to have most of us who were coming from out of town stay at the Radisson Hotel.

Most of the weekend went well, albeit hot...until the family breakfast was held on Sunday morning. We left the MIL visiting with family down in the room where the gathering was held (on the second floor) while we went up to finish packing for ourselves and for her. The fire alarm went off briefly, a garbled message was heard, and we saw the strobe lighting for less than a minute. Carrying our luggage, we went to the hall, since we figured the alarm shut off so quickly that it wasn't a true emergency. We thought we'd go upstairs to the MIL's room on the next floor up but the elevator wasn't working. We walked to the end of the floor, thinking we'd take the stairs. It wasn't until we went through the door and it closed behind us that we realized it didn't have a knob, but rather a keyhole. Dragging our luggage up...we discovered the next floor was the same.  Fortunately, it's easier to carry things down...all six floors...and then we ended up outside of the building...locked out. A staff person was taking a break and used a passkey to get us back into the building, so we went down another floor to the parking garage and put most of the luggage up.  Surprise, the elevators were working again, so we pressed the button for the 6th floor, but for some reason it stopped on the 5th, the doors closed, we went up...and then a code flashed on the panel (FM) and, whoa...suddenly we were going back down to the ground floor. The one consolation was that all the elevators were now on the ground floor, so nobody was trapped in them.

We climbed up to the second floor...and...of course, the MIL was gone! She had gone back to her room. But...a cousin called, who was standing outside of the room the MIL SHOULD have been in...and nobody was answering her knock. Ok, deep breath. Logically, she wasn't trapped on an elevator, so theoretically she was wandering somewhere in the hotel, we just had to figure out where.

I finally had gotten the folks at the front desk to go look for the MIL when one of the extended family received a phone call. The MIL somehow ended on the seventh floor, had to limp down to the sixth, and find a maid to let her in since she didn't have her card key. The cousin, who has had knee replacement surgery, had to limp down the six flights of stairs because much of the family was supposed to be meeting at her house.

Time elapsed. We were supposed to get on the road...but nobody could tell us what was happening, save that some key could not be found to reset things so the elevator could be used.  A group of 20 of us were twiddling our thumbs on the second floor for at least 30 minutes and a staff person finally told us they were going to prop the stairway doors open if we wanted to try to go up to our rooms. So, we decide to climb to the sixth floor, but discover they've only unlocked the doors on one side, which of course was the opposite from the side we tried (fortunately we checked before we got locked out again).  Getting our exercise, we climbed to the sixth floor and were reunited with the MIL who complained about her adventures thus far.  We called the front desk and asked that they call us when the elevators were working. After 20 minutes, we tried the elevator and it was working and we were FINALLY able to leave.

I would not be so concerned had the hotel responded to my concerns about their lack of an emergency plan, inability to communicate with their guests, or poor customer service. I contacted the hotel directly as well as the chain (when the hotel hadn't responded within 3 days)...and only got the standard reply that it was being looked into.

So...a warning...thank goodness this wasn't a bona fide emergency...but make sure you check out your exits when you stay in a hotel (and look for doorknobs before going out to the stairways, otherwise you may have more exercise than you gambled on, lol). And, I'd be very wary of staying at a Radisson facility.


  1. So glad you're all safe after your adventure. I hope the rest of the trip was good.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to read my mutterings, Stanalei (and congrats on your upcoming romantic suspense release!). The trip actually went well except for this disconcerting element that shifted our departure time and resulted in a bit of increased blood pressure, lol. The challenge of keeping the various kidlets occupied while everyone waited for the MIL to join us didn't help any but they were relatively cooperative!