We went down to Florida for a conference. It was being held at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort so we decided that was the best place to stay. It is a little off the beaten path from anything else on Amelia Island so it would have been a pain to drive there every morning for the conference. This hotel is massive. There is the main hotel, the villas (which are owned by individuals), the houses, the golf course, the conference center and several other parts I don’t think I am even aware of. Four of us went to this conference and seeing as we are all family, we decided to get a villa. It was cheaper than getting two separate rooms anyway.
We flew in on Saturday to make sure we had enough time to get down there, get into our room and get our exhibition booth set up. The conference didn’t start until Sunday night but if you have had experience flying to Florida in the summer, you know your flight can get delayed or even cancelled due to bad weather. We got to hotel and checked in around 4:30 pm but our room wasn’t ready. All of the check-in information says check-in is at 4. Having lots of experience with hotels, this wasn’t an odd occurrence. So we went to run some errands. The hotel told us they would call when our room was ready. At about 6 pm, after not hearing anything from anyone, we called the hotel. They told us our room was ready. It was frustrating that we had to call them to find that out when we had been told they would call us.
Our villa was very nice. Two bedrooms,two bathrooms, a kitchen and a view of the ocean. There was a private pool for the set of buildings we were in and we had private access to the beach. I woke up every morning to watch the sunrise, one morning it was incredible!
Everything went fine at first. The conference ended on Wednesday but we were checking out on Thursday. We went exploring in Fernandina Beach (more on that later this week!) on Wednesday after the conference ended. WE got back to the villa at around 3:30, just as a huge storm was coming in. Our keys didn’t work, not a single one. So we jumped back into the car and made the drive back to the front desk. The drive took longer than usual because it was raining so hard, we could hardly see. Once we got to the lobby, there was a line of about 8 cars so we couldn’t just drive up to the entrance. Two of us jumped out of the car and ran for the doors. We were soaked by the time we got to the front desk. We told the guy at the front desk about our keys. He checked our reservation and said we were supposed to check out that day. Luckily, I am super neurotic and had the confirmation email of the reservation on my phone. I pulled it up and showed him we weren’t supposed to check out until the next day. He said their system showed it differently but he could just check us back in. So he did. We asked him to send housekeeping to our room since they probably hadn’t come (not their fault of course). He confirmed this and asked them to send someone. We weren’t given any explanation as to why this happened or if it would happen again. And the guy we spoke with was a manager. Of course we got soaked getting back to the car. The rain was worse now. We got lost it was so bad. When we finally got back to the villa, the elevator was broken. Our room was on the fourth floor so we hiked up the stairs in the rain. Housekeeping was in our room when we got there. The woman was very nice and kept apologizing for not coming earlier. Of course no one blamed her! We then figured out the parking pass for our car was expired. So we called the front desk about the elevator and the parking pass. We were on hold for 10 minutes. Finally we got to a person and told them everything. They said they would fix the elevator and we didn’t need a new parking pass. No one apologized for the problems or inconvenience. While all of this was going on, I was blowing up their Twitter page.I got one response asking if we had informed the management about the problem. I told them yes but haven’t heard anything back since. We found out later this is something that happens fairly regularly.
I’m not asking for a free night at the hotel or a free meal. An apology would have been nice. But that wasn’t even provided. I am very disappointed in how the Omni not only treats their guests but at how they act like the guests are a nuisance. Next time I go to Amelia Island, I will be staying at the Ritz Carlton (more on that tomorrow).