I was sorting through my laptop this morning and stumbled across an old letter that I had written to the Waldorf=Astoria hotel in New York after a very disappointing stay in 2007. I sent a letter to the manager two months after my stay but never received a response.
Reading the letter ticked me off again, so I am going to re-send it and see if I get a response this time.
March 18, 2007Mr. Eric O. LongGeneral ManagerWaldorf=Astoria Hotel301 Park AvenueNew York, New York 10022-6897
Dear Mr. Long:
A regrettable first impression of the Waldorf has prompted me to write you. Though this historic property boasts an impeccable reputation, I was extremely unsatisfied with my experience on January 4-5, 2007 and ask that corrective action be taken. Outlined below are the reasons that the Waldorf utterly failed to meet my reasonable expectations. Appropriate photographic evidence is attached.
1. Check-in was arduous and time consuming. XXXXXXX at the front desk was incompetent in operating your hotel’s computer reservation system. His ineptitude cost me 20 minutes and two of your staff members had to be pulled away from assisting other guests to help him out.
2. The guest room was the biggest disappointment. I was disgusted to find a half-eaten potato crisp on one of the beds. Long black hairs spread across the bathroom counter. Frayed carpeting illuminated exposed wiring. The walls and bathroom door needed painting, as chips of plaster lined the baseboards around the windows and also inside the closet. Both the desk chair and the carpeting was stained. The historical nature of the building does not justify such disrepair and lack of cleanliness.
My stay at your hotel was the worst experience I have encountered at an upscale Hilton property. There were other issues as well, such as the air conditioning not working (during the January heat wave), XXXXX at the concierge desk not being knowledgeable of historical sites of interest in the area, and your limited continental breakfast at Oscar’s.
I intended to address these issues before checking out because I knew I would be traveling extensively over the next few months and not have time to deal with this issue, but the phone lines were busy and I was unable to contact guest services from my room. During my four attempts, either I received a busy signal or I was told to “call back later.” During checkout, I was not asked how my stay was nor thanked for my business. I had a plane to catch and did not have time to ask for a manager.
This was not what I expected out of such a reputable hotel and I would presume you agree that though unfortunate, my experience does not characterize your hotel in general. I did enjoy a wonderful meal at Bull and Bear and slept well, despite the lack of air conditioning. But this does not make up for the problems noted above.
I expected the Waldorf to surpass other Hilton properties but was greatly disappointed. I trust you can insure me that my experience was contrary to the high standards you insure for your guests.
Respectfully,Matthew XXXXXHilton Gold #XXXXXXXXX
In retrospect (I was only 20 at the time), I should not have left the hotel until the matter was resolved. I know better now. At the same time, I did have a LGA-IAD flight to catch and had to rush to the airport to make it. Furthermore, I attempted to complain before I left, but the telephone lines were clogged.
Here's some pictures from my stay:
potato chip on bed
hair on bathroom sink
frayed carpeting with exposed wiring
unknown stain on carpet
unknown stain on desk chair
As I mentioned in the letter, there were some good things about the stay. Bull and Bear, the Waldorf's steakhouse had excellent food (albeit stuffy service). Plus, the fitness center was more than adequate and I did sleep well on the bed (after brushing off the potato chip).
Here are some additional pictures from my stay:
I'd like to give the Waldorf another try and I may be traveling to New York in July, but I won't consider the Waldorf unless I receive a response to my letter.