Last week I wrote about an incident I experienced at the Doubletree Cariari in San José, Costa Rica. You can read the details about it here, but the bottom line is that the front desk clerk assumed my friend, who had come to visit me at the hotel, was a prostitute, and tried to charge me $60 for her to visit.
Of course they wouldn’t admit that that was the reason, but it was very obvious based on the circumstances. I didn’t pay the money, and left the hotel immediately.
Thinking about it later, I probably should have pushed them a little further to admit the reason, but I was so furious, and my friend was embarrassed, so I decided the best thing to do at the time was to just leave.
A couple of days later I decided I couldn’t let it go, so I decided to email Hilton’s Guest Assistance department. As a Diamond member I mistakenly thought they would have some sort of reaction to this, but I was wrong. They literally didn’t care at all. They forwarded my email to the hotel who responded back, and I found the reply interesting. Here is the email (bolding is mine):
“I am very sorry for the inconveniences that you experienced regarding the charge for the visit of your friend. According to Hilton’s policy all guests must be registered at the Reception for security purposes. When the name of the additional guest is not provided before or at the moment of the check-in an additional $60 fee applies. No charges apply to visitors as long as they remain in the public areas of the hotel. Since we do not have control on the length of the stay or whereabouts of visitors, our Front Office staff proceeded to explain this policy to you and I regret the inconveniences that this policy caused you. Please accept my sincere apologies.”
So…I had several problems with this response. Number one, they didn’t proceed to explain anything to me, number two, they are not being honest about what happened, and number three, they are implying that Hilton has a $60 visitor charge chainwide. That’s a blatant lie!
I replied back with all of the problems I had with her email, but I knew it would go no further with the hotel, and it hasn’t. Hilton “Guest Assistance” has also been absolutely no help, offering only empty apologies, and telling me that the property needed to address my concerns.
I just wanted to post this as a follow up, so that others can be aware of situations like this. I knew that there was no chainwide visitor fee, as the email from the Doubletree suggested, with Hilton or any other hotel chain, but I decided to post the incident on the Flyertalk message board to get some feedback from the traveling community. You can check out the thread here, but basically my feelings about the whole thing were validated.