We booked a one night stay at the Studio 6 Deer Park on our way from the airport to the Grand Canyon. The reviews from hotels.com were okay and the rates were good, given that most hotels in Phoenix were pretty much full. Little did we know this would be, by far, the worst hotel experience we’ve ever had, worse than all of the most basic run-down hotels I’ve stayed at in poor developing countries. Every aspect of our experience was an example how NOT to do customer service.
First off, their front desk is not staffed after 11pm. We had a late flight and we were assured someone would be there to check us in. Upon arrival, we called the courtesy telephone to get assistance, and were routed to an answering service when nobody onsite answered the phone. Only after 15 minutes, several calls back to the answering service (the polite woman with the answering service was the only positive thing about this whole experience), and speaking with an armed security guard patrolling the grounds did we finally find someone to check us in.
The checkin process went normally and we were given our room.
Upon reaching our room, we discovered it hadn’t been cleaned. The bed was missing the sheets, used tissues were left on the nightstand, the bathroom garbage was nearly overflowing, the bar soap and water glasses had been used, and the toilet paper was essentially empty. Further it was clear the room had been smoked in. And the room was just plain filthy and tired looking. It appears the cleaning staff never cleans much to begin with, when they do clean rooms.
We called the front desk and went back to the office, where we were told they were sold out and there were no other rooms for us. They offered us a refund but made no other effort to correct the situation other than saying “that’s too bad, we can’t do anything else.” While we were getting our refund processed, at least one or two other people checked in and got their rooms. At some point the person at the desk told us the room we had been given was already occupied. I’m not sure which is worse, a hotel that gives you a dirty room or someone else’s already occupied room.
We pressed them to find us a replacement hotel and they eventually made a half-assed effort to call two other hotels for us, but none of them had any rooms. They then said we could have some sheets and stay in that room. Just give us sheets, but not clean the room. Sorry but no thanks. Not in a dirty room that may or may not be already rented out.
Realizing this was going nowhere and it was already 1am, we decided to leave and find a different hotel, eventually paying nearly twice what we were originally supposed to pay to stay at the Studio 6. As we left, telling the desk clerk and security guard this was unacceptable and that we’d be following up later, they snickered and laughed.
According to Studio 6’s reservation policy they are supposed to reimburse us for a stay at a comparable property:
In the unlikely event that we cannot honor your guaranteed reservation, we will reimburse you for the first night’s lodging at a comparable property, transportation to that establishment (if needed) and a telephone call to your home or office to notify others of your new location.
After filing a report with their Guest Relations Department, they declined to take any action to honor their stated policy saying that there was a room for us, saying only that they’d done all they need to do by offering a refund. We could take it up with the local hotel management if we disagree but given their treatment of us we have no interest.
What’s concerning is if you look on Tripadvisor you see a large number of 1-star reviews and a large number of 5-star reviews. But nearly all of the 5-star reviews are from reviewers that have written only ONE review. The poor reviews on the other hand seem to come from real people. Are they trying to bury their bad reviews with fake good reviews? Food for thought.
Between their terrible handling of our reservation and lack of effort to find a solution for us, the shocking room cleanliness issues, the sketchy characters wandering the property, the smell of weed being smoked around the property, the guy sleeping in a truck at the back of the parking lot, and the fact that they need to have armed security at this property, I would strongly suggest you stay away and go somewhere else.