Review: The Commodore
Dani's Dabble Degree
I have never been more appalled by a business' customer service than by my recent experience at The Commodore On the Beach in Galveston, Texas, so here's a review for anyone considering a stay there.
To give you all some background, my family and I planned a trip to visit Galveston (for my birthday) and we used a gift card to book a room at The Commodore. Long story short, we arrived at the hotel only to learn that the gift card was not actually an acceptable form of payment; however, that detail was not what left us in such offended astonishment.
Since we drive to Galveston from out-of-town, we thought we might try to arrive early so as to enjoy more of the day at the beach. So, naturally, we called ahead to ask if early check-in might be possible. Unfortunately, the receptionist answered our call with impatience and attitude, informing us that check-in was a firm 3pm but she might squeeze us in at 1 or 1:30pm.
Well, we decided to drive on and hope for the best. Perhaps there would be a bell hop service or safe room where we could stow our more temperature-sensitive belongings such as medicine, etc. Needless to say, this was not the case.
When we reached the hotel, it was pretty apparent why the staff had acted so poorly over the phone - they were busy running around the lobby with towels in an attempt to quell some minor flooding due to the storm. In fact, right as we entered the front door, a woman hastily and sternly told us that, "breakfast was closed!" Obviously, at this point, we began to understand the apparent mood, but we were on a mission so we stepped up to the counter to ask about the general situation.
... And this is where the entire thing went south ...
After we were snapped at, again, by one of the staff, we tried to reassure them that we did not need breakfast and only wanted to inquire about the readiness of our room or some sort of optional service for early arrivals. Yet, the response we received continued to be rude, curt, and dismissive.
In fact, while we waited for assistance, another guest walked in to return her room key. Upon overhearing our discussion, she literally told us to, "expect very low standards". At the time, we thought this was funny because we did not understand her apparent need to repeat the piece of advice several times, all accompanied by dramatic hand motions to signal her seriousness.
So, we left for the beach with smiles on our faces and an agreement that we would return no earlier than 1:30pm for our check-in.
We arrived about 1pm, so I walked around and had a cup of complementary coffee while waiting. I also had a nice chat with the formerly abrasive receptionist and began to think all was well. After all, who doesn't get a little tense when unexpected situations arise?!
When it was finally time to check-in, we eagerly handed over our gift card and started signing paperwork. But, when the second receptionist tried to swipe the card, we were informed in a not-so-polite manner that The Commodore does not accept gift cards, rather they only accept Visa and MasterCard payments.
Obviously, this situation was a bit confusing for all involved as they did not accept the card and we had booked the hotel through the gift card company which listed The Commodore as an available choice*. We became confused and then irritated when the receptionist did nothing to help solve the conundrum. Indeed, she just kept repeating, in a progressively louder voice, that they would not accept this card.
Honestly, my patience fell when she continued to talk over my mother who, bless her heart, was trying desperately to ask questions and find a solution. For Heaven's sake, all she wanted was to get help with finding out the next steps so that we could book the room! However, instead of trying to help with a difficult situation, the lead receptionist showed exceptionally poor decorum.
Enough was enough and I finally had to say something, so I requested that she treat my mother with more patience and some kindness. In response, she actually rebutted by insisting that she was not presenting an attitude and then preceded to mutter under her breath to another guest that, "some people just...."
Boy, howdy! Let's just say that we will not return to this establishment. And, if you need any more reason than poor customer service (which is generally the most important facet of hotel business), please note that the building itself looks to be in need of repair. The amenities are meager, the furniture is nominal, and the exterior reveals far more depreciation than the website pictures suggest (see said photos here)**.
**I will insert, though, that a couple of the staff seemed pleasant. The newest receptionist, appearing too scared to overstep his authority, wore an expression of both embarrassment and sympathy during the entire discussion.
I hope that this post will serve as a helpful indication to those of you researching places to stay in Galveston. I can only speak of my personal experience, but I expect that this tired tale will not be the last for patrons of the establishment described.
Abundant wishes for better experiences,
P.s. Speaking of better experiences, you can read my contrasting review here about The Commodore's neighbor, an absolutely wonderful place called Gaido's Seaside Inn.
*Side note: If you ever choose to purchase a gift card from BedAndBreakfast.com, please know that you cannot use their gift card at all of the hotels listed in their search database. Unfortunately, we did not realize this until after the hotel debacle when we looked on the website's help page and saw a disclaimer mentioning the little caveat. Apparently, if you would like to use their gift card, you must first click on "filters" and select "accepts gift cards" in order to find relevant searches.
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