When my cousin announced several months ago that he would be married in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, we decided to use the opportunity to make a trip out to Regina. Mary looked through the Regina Yellow Pages and phoned various hotels until she found what seemed to be a good price. Coachman Inn had the cheapest prices and was very close to downtown (where our tourist destinations would be). She reserved a non-smoking room for us a couple of months in advance. They told her to phone a little closer to the time to confirm our room.
Shortly before we left last week, Mary phoned Coachman Inn to confirm our room and they told her that none of the non-smoking rooms available. They also denied that she had been promised one. They told her that if she phoned the morning we were coming they would put an ozone machine in our room to clear out the smoke. That should have been our first clue.
Before we went to church this past Sunday, Mary phoned Coachman Inn to let them know we would be arriving that afternoon between four and five o’clock. They said they had already placed the ozone machine in the room. We thought this was a sign of good customer service. Read on to see how wrong we were.
We arrived at Coachman Inn around 16:15. I should have realised that since it was east of Broad Street, we would have been in trouble. I brushed it off. Mary and my mum, who was travelling with us, waited in the lobby for twenty minutes to get our keys. Finally, my mum found a housekeeping staff and said no one was at the front desk. Finally, someone arrived and apologised, saying he had been indisposed.
The counter staff at the Coachman Inn finally gave us our keys and we went to our room. Our room still smelled of cigarette smoke. As well, there was a smell of mildew in the air. The carpets were filthy. There were no hangers. There was no phonebook. There was no deadbolt on the door. The TV had six channels and they could only be accessed by pressing the ‘FAV’ button on the remote control. When we opened up the fridge, a very strong mildew smell permeated the room and I became nauseous.
We went back to the Coachman Inn front desk and complained of the smell and the TV. He said there was nothing he could do about the smell, but he would look at the TV.
While we were waiting back in our first Coachman Inn room, he phoned us back to let us know that a non-smoking room just became available after a customer cancelled. We took it.
The new Coachman Inn room smelled better than the first, and there were three hangers, even though only one of them was whole. The TV worked properly. Those were the best qualities of the new room. The room was accessed off the alleyway. There was no kitchenette. There was no deadbolt on the door. The curtains did not close all the way. The beds were very old and the box springs and mattresses did not match. The mattresses were very soft. The carpet was still filthy. The bedspreads had holes. The pillows were very thin. The bathroom sink took forever to drain. The air conditioner eventually froze over with a layer of ice.
During what was to be our first night at the Coachman Inn, our children became sick. Regan threw up around 23:00 and roughly, every hour, at least one of them was vomiting. At that rate, it did not take long to use up our towels, washcloths, sheets and bedspreads. I went to the front desk to get some new towels and a pillow. The new front desk attendant said he would come back to our room with them. He did show up with new towels and a new pillow. Three hours later, I had to go to the front desk again asking for more. He refused to give me any and told me to buy paper towels at 7-Eleven.
We woke up in our Coachman Inn room around 08:30 and got things cleaned up. We decided we should try to give the children a bath. The showerhead leaked when you turned on the faucet. The plug for the tub was covered in some brown film. The tub had black mildew in the corners. The plug did not seal and the tub leaked during the bath.
We decided it was time to phone around for a new place to stay. We could not stay at Coachman Inn for two more nights. We found Victoria Park Motor Inn was a nice place. It was less than 20 dollars more and was a brand new motel.
Mary and my mum went to the Coachman Inn front desk to get our money back. I stayed in our room to pack up. After I loaded everything in the van, I decided to check around the room to make sure I did not miss anything. That is when I noticed one of the box springs had “19.99, 1 pc” written on it in a Jiffy marker. It is also when I noticed not only garbage under the bed, but a mousetrap as well. That was the last straw. We were out of there in a flash.
The Victoria Park Motor Inn was a motel on a different level. It had a real lobby. We could use a baggage cart for our luggage. Our rooms were next to each other and had never had someone light up a cigarette within them. We had mirrors that we did not need to duck to use. Our air conditioning worked. We had a brand new TV with more channels. The blinds closed. The beds were firm. The curtains and bedspreads matched. We had a table and chairs. We had a closet. We had a laundry stool. There was a hot tub and fitness centre downstairs. There were laundry facilities. There was a free continental breakfast (toast, bagels, muffins, cookies, juice, etc) each morning. There was free Internet access in the lobby. There was an elevator. There was an ice machine. There was a complimentary newspaper each morning. When we needed new bedding and towels in the middle of the night, they had them ready for us at the front desk.
As soon as we were unpacked, the four of us laid down on our beds, shut off the lights and slept for several hours.
Our stay there was a much better stay. We decided at that point, that there is no value in going for the cheapest price when choosing accommodations. We refuse to stay at Coachman Inn in the future, and will likely chose Victoria Park Motor Inn as our place of accommodation every time we visit Regina in the future.