I write this, neither in search of recompense nor in hopes of an apology. I pen these words only as a warning to future unsuspecting travelers that might plan their vacations to Virginia Beach and choose a hotel that strives for mediocrity.
There comes a time in every traveler's life when the cruel, twisted hands of fate decide, that the vacation for which significant planning time was required, to take a detour into the abyss. This year's vacation for us, at least, was one such misadventure. The abyss, wrote Nietzsche, looked back and, furthermore, mocked us. There was a singular, unique event that changed the course of what had been, until then, an enjoyable time with family and friends.
It was the simple act of checking in to the Candlewood Suites in Virginia Beach, VA. The staffs' inability, nay, refusal to accommodate our request for connecting rooms with our traveling companions left us bewildered and befuddled. With our hefty deposits and threatened cancellation fees in the clutches of this dastardly corporation we were left with no option but to register and hope that whatever nefarious plans the staff had in store for us could be, at least, minimized.
Then we discovered that Candlewood Suites idea of clean is contrary to what most people actually do consider clean. The bathroom was squalid. It was dirty enough that we wondered if we were on a hidden camera show, checking for our reactions. Alas, such luck was not our fate. No black light was needed to see the grime. There was muck around the tub that we couldn't explain. There was years of dust, dirt and other people's scum in the vent. The curtain rod was broken. You could see the profoundly unprofessional results of granite tile laying gone horribly, horribly wrong. It was as if Candlewood Suites had deliberately looked for the most inept contractor around. I can't prove this, of course, but I am sure a bunch of drunken chimpanzees had worked on the bathroom of our room.
However, despite all that, and hoping the foulness wouldn’t get any worse - it did. The toilet bowl was the nastiest violation of them all. There was a layer of dust all over the toilet; but even more shocking were the growing splotches of mold and mildew making a permanent home in the bowl itself. Add to that, the distinct smell of cat urine sprayed with an air freshener and you have a deadly cocktail. “The children,” I thought, “what about the children?”
Presented with photographs of the horror (or as we referred to it, Superfund site 52), the manager on duty assured us, that the problems would be swiftly and satisfactorily addressed. We left, comfortable in the knowledge that our stay was going to get better (or, at the very least, not worse). Alas, this was not to be. We learned that of the numerous bathroom (and general cleanliness) issues with which we were plagued, only 3 (three), were “fixed”. Did you see the quotes there? It is to signify irony (or sarcasm).
The maintenance man secured the shower rod, removed some gunk from the bathtub, and halfheartedly cleaned the toilet. That’s the short of it. To elaborate, there was dust in the bathroom from whatever method he used to secure the shower rod; the bathtub was re-caulked in random areas, leaving grime in others; and the toilet bowl had only one mildew stain unenthusiastically scrubbed. The toilet in general remained dirty and covered in dirt. And, for the “pièce de résistance” (notice the quotes there – irony about to be perpetrated), the maintenance man cleaned the silicone with one of the guest towels and left in on the floor.
The front desk staff, although friendly and affable, quickly pasted on the corporate smiles whenever we approached. Bringing our concerns and issues to the front desk, we learned, to the surprise of no one, that the staff was trained only to regurgitate the standard company party line. The manager, either through sheer stubbornness or a very strong sense of indignation, was not as conciliatory as we had hoped. No help for us - the holiday seekers; the searchers of fun; the goers to the beach.
So, Candlewood Suites, if you choose to acknowledge this review I want to leave you (and your future guests) some statistics upon which you may cogitate. I believe I have researched the veracity of these statistics, but don’t believe me – do the research yourselves. Armed with this data, as well as my narration on this less than pleasant stay at your establishment, I plan on informing every person I meet the experiences of my stay. You shall not be troubled by us again as we will, with as much effort as we can muster, avoid your facilities. And, if it should be that CWS becomes the only hotel in the world, we will sleep in cardboard boxes.
A dissatisfied consumer will tell between 9 and 15 people about their experience. About 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.
Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington, DC
86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience, up from 59% 4 years ago.
Source: Harris Interactive, Customer Experience Impact Report
91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with your organization again.
Source: Lee Resource Inc.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Candlewood Suites Extended Stay Hotel Virginia Beach - Norfolk - Hampton Roads, VA. The Candlewood Suites Extended Stay Hotel Virginia Beach - Norfolk - Hampton Roads is a member of Priority Club Rewards & the IHG family of brands including InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Express & Staybridge Suites Hotels. The Candlewood Suites is the perfect hotel for government (Per Diem), project teams, training, relocation, temporary & corporate housing needs.The Candlewood Suites Virginia Beach - Norfolk Hotel is centrally located mile from the Virginia Beach Town Center @ the Independence Blvd exit of I-264 near I 64; minutes from VA Beach beaches & Norfolk Airport (ORF). Our hotel is close to Downtown Norfolk & Virginia Beach real estate districts; offering near access to Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Keane Inc., General Dynamics, Little Creek Amphibious Navy Base, Oceana Naval Air Station & Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The Candlewood Suites Hotel offers apartment like suites with all of the conveniences of home to suit your extended stay or short term hotel real estate needs. Our pet friendly hotel (fee) offers studio & one-bedroom apartment - like suites featuring fully-equipped kitchens, spacious living & work areas, TV with DVD players, free wired & wireless Internet. Other features include 24 hour business center, free laundry facilities, fitness center, courtyard with grills & our signature Candlewood Cupboard convenience store. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Candlewood Suites Virginia Beach / Norfolk Hotel Virginia Beach
- Candlewood Virginia Beach
- Virginia Beach Candlewood Suites