Friday, August 17, 2012

Tripadvisor and a Hilton Garden Inn

I checked into a Junior Suite at the Hilton Garden Inn (Bothell WA) last Tuesday and quickly discovered that the only window was in the bedroom. The desk and chair were in a windowless room by the entrance door. Not what I needed, as I was going to spend several days re-writing my “Invisible Money” e-book. I checked the front desk to see if I could get a better room but was told no, they were all the same.

At least the Inn was only two years old, and there was nothing any better in Bothell so I decided to stay. However, I did bang out a review for TripAdvisor with the subject line Not good for business. Since I travel under “Jack” but with an alternate last name, I figured no one at the Hilton Garden Inn would know who put up the bad review.

Flash forward to this morning. I told the girl at the desk that I was leaving, poured a cup of coffee to take with me, and had just put the lid on when a young man stepped up, introduced himself as Chip Peterson, said he was the general manager, and asked if I was the one who put up the bad review.

“How did you know it was me,” I said with a smile.

“Your email signature was JJLuna1914 so I looked up JJ Luna online and learned your first name was Jack. Then I checked our guest list. You were the only Jack who was registered. You called our place ‘bad for business,’ which is sad.”

“Well, I did give you four stars for being new, right?”

“But you called the office area a dungeon! What can I do to make this right?”

There was no way to change the room layout, of course, but I give Peterson five stars for tracking me down—he’s a sharp general manager who keeps his eye on TripAdvisor every day. More general managers should follow his example!

Message for travelers:

If you plan to give a hotel or motel a bad review, but prefer not to be confronted by the manager, at least wait until after you’ve checked out. And as for Bothell’s Hilton Garden Inn, unless you plan to spend many hours every day at your computer, it’s quite a nice place. Friendly staff, great breakfast ($10.95), and free underground parking.

Here’s my review:


  1. We think HGI is the better of the Hilton chains and also use Trip Advisor a lot ~ very helpful. I do find some humor in this post since you were obviously not very invisible. Nicely detailed review. :)

  2. "I do find some humor in this post since you were obviously not very invisible."

    Um, *who* wasn't invisible? Who is JJ Luna? The writer in that room got busted, but whomever JJ really is - the world may never know... :))

  3. JJ "Luna" (tic), you really should write a book (fictional or non) about your life, now that would truly be a fascinating read! Especially to those of us like me who have utterly boring and dull dull dull lives and like to live vicariously through others. :)


Please leave a constructive comment below. Spam and Advertising will not be posted, so it's not even worth trying - all comments are moderated.