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Saturday, August 5, 2006

Hotel Review – Hampton Inn Harrisburg East

Following are my experiences and observations at the Hampton Inn, Harrisburg East on Union Deposit Road in Harrisburg PA.  We stayed here three nights, checking in on Friday August 4th and checking out on Monday, August 6th.  As you’ll note by the posting date, we’re still here, so there’s probably more to come.

 I’d like to say that every hotel I stay at (and I stay at a lot) gives an outstanding experience.  By and large, most do, and some just give an acceptable experience.  But unfortunately one or two now and then fail miserably.

We had my family (five – two adults and three kids) plus my in-laws, so we got adjoining rooms.  One room was in absolutely poor shape – wall paper peeling off in very obvious places, the AC unit barely kept the room luke warm, and old thread bare carpet.  The other room was marginally better – same old wall paper but at least it wasn’t peeling.  The AC managed to keep up with the 90 degree F heat in Harrisburg this weekend. 

The "free" breakfast was overcrowded and under stocked.  In order to get a selection of items you wanted, you had to keep going up to get them at different times because nothing was fully stocked all the time.  They clearly can’t keep up with the level of bookings that they are taking at this hotel. 

The worst part was the pool experience.  I took my oldest and youngest sons to the pool.  Aaron wore his t-shirt and flip-flops and I brought my room key because Marla and Ethan were going out.  We were swimming in the outdoor pool for about 30 minutes when I noticed that my room key and my son’s t-shirt, which we had left on a table by the pool, were missing.  I remembered that the pool "guard" (their term for someone who sits and talks on her cell phone) had just left recently, so when she came back I asked about my belongings.  She replied that she had taken my key to the front desk and the t-shirt to her pool room.  She returned the shirt, and told me to go to the front desk to get my key.  I looked around, and other swimmers (about 20 at the time I was there) had also left their belongings on tables and chairs around the pool.  I was completely mystified as to why my belongings were singled out for seizure.  I asked at the front desk, and was unapologetically told that they were taken because they were left on the table.  They could offer no explanation as to why my belongings were chosen, when several dozen other people had safely left their belongings on tables and chairs.  When I argued that I felt that it was inappropriate to single out personal belongings without warning when clearly other similar belongings were fine, they replied that I shouldn’t worry, after all, I had gotten my shirt back, right?

The behavior of the pool "guard" and the response of the front desk staff was out of line, and I would not recommend this hotel to anyone staying in the Harrisburg area.  Hopefully I will leave this hotel review as is – but if I encounter more infamous "Hampton Inn Attitude" I’ll post it here.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 3:41 pm  

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