Friday, August 27, 2010

Hotel Derek

Logo from Hotel Derek website
 
So, if you are a regular reader of my blog (I just know you are), then you probably realize that I try to only write positive reviews. However, there are some instances where I cannot, in good conscience, do so. This is my first negative review and I feel very torn about it.

My mixed emotions come from my desire to only show the awesomeness that is our city, but for those readers who may visit someday, I feel this post is important.

Houston is a city well known for its diversity, FOOD, museums, health care and historic attractions. We also have a plethora of hotels to choose from.

Every so often, I will check in to a hotel to see if we like what they have to offer. Not that people really know who I am, but since I've gotten more followers over the year, I have decided that checking in "incognito" and at different times of the day would be the best way for me to give a complete, unbiased opinion.

I decided this time I should check out the Hotel Derek. I had driven by it a million times and I always see it on different internet sites listed as modern, sleek and geared toward the younger and more successful businessmen/women. I went spur of the moment, late one night. I checked in about 11pm and acted like I was coming in from Dallas and needed a room stat.

The valet guy was incredibly helpful, as was the lady at the front desk. I will say that Hotel Derek offers absolutely wonderful customer service. They listened to me ramble on about my hardships and my desperate need for sleep, blah, blah, blah. That, in and of itself, was worth gold.

They were able to get me the exact type of room I requested, explained to me how to get around Houston, were extremely accommodating and very nice. I requested a balcony room suite with wi-fi internet access. At $179 + tax for the King Bed suite, I was pretty impressed. That was, until I walked into said suite.

As I meandered through the lobby and wandered down the cool hallway of the Hotel Derek, I begin to feel a knot of excitement develop in my belly. "This is going to be so amazing, I can feel it" I told myself. Total luxury for much less than other places I've seen.

As I slid my electronic card key into the reader and opened the door, I was almost instantly disappointed. I should have realized that a balcony suite would be the room most smokers utilized. I was greeted with a wave a smoke that actually took my breath away and made me gag. The "luxury" was limited to the comfy bed that we slept on.

The overdone cold, sharp lines of the room and the exposed plumbing and metal in the bathroom just looked old and ghetto. There was a large bench across the bed that looked dirtier than my cat's litter box and a small little office area off to the side. I've honestly seen more luxury in a La Quinta before.

I could see how this would have been fantastic 10 years ago, but Hotel Derek is in some serious need of updating. The trickle of water that came from the shower was barely enough to get the shampoo out of my hair. The waffle-weave robe was rough and scratchy, the lighting was horrendous and I could hear traffic from the 610 loop ALL NIGHT LONG.

Being the hot-natured person that I am, I was excited to see that the thermostat was set at 60 degrees. However, after about an hour, I realized that the actual temperature in the room was increasing. It was 67 degrees when I checked in and 74 when I checked out. I know how to work a thermostat and am not crazy, so this was disappointing, to say the least.

The wi-fi made zero sense to me as my laptop could not detect it, There was a wi-fi jack in the room, but no place to plug it in. It was very confusing.

Perhaps most annoying was my inability to access the refrigerator to get a cold water. I had to call down to the concierge to GET A KEY to open the mini-fridge for a $7 BOTTLE OF WATER.

All in all, the customer service at this hotel is great, but if it's luxury you're looking for, I'd try someplace else.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is interesting to know. Never would have guessed. Thanks for your objective viewpoint. I hope Hotel Derek "checks" themselves in the future and realizes that Houston is a competitive city for hotels and restaurants and this simply will not do.

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