The Deal Mommy

A 1st in 1,000+ Nights: What Would You Do if This Happened At Your $250 Hotel?

Not a bar in sight!

Not a bar in sight!

This is a 1st world problem so I owe a Kiva loan.

Here’s the thing: I rant when customers accept bad service so feel obligated to speak out whenever I see it. This isn’t so much an issue done to me, but, well, you decide…

I’m here at the Hyatt Herald Square in New York City. It’s a new hotel to Hyatt and they’re clearly working out some kinks. Upon check-in to our room (besides the huge pile of dirty dishes outside of our door…another issue) I noticed something strange in the bathroom. Our toiletry collection consisted of a shower gel, a conditioner, and a lotion. No shampoo, and no soap. I figured the maid was just busy and called the front desk for a replacement set. 5 minutes later I got a visit from a bellboy with a shampoo and the explanation that the hotel was out of soap.

OUT. OF. SOAP.

Not out of their specific brand of soap, not out of one of two sizes of soap, but not a single bar of soap was to be had in the entire hotel!

There are 10 other Hyatts in New York City. They couldn’t have bartered, borrowed, or bought more soap from another location?

Or if there was truly no other option, what about the drugstore on the corner? 99 cents a bar seems a small price to pay for a basic item.

Maybe I should just let this wash off. But here’s the thing: I paid $250 a night for this hotel room on an elite rate. Most people here paid over $300. In 25 years of travel, at all levels of the luxury spectrum, I can’t think of a SINGLE other time I’ve been in a room lacking a bar of soap.

I see the lack of soap as a symptom, not the actual diagnosis. What else is this hotel willing to do without?

Am I making too much of this or is it truly a complaint worthy-issue? I’d appreciate your thoughts in the comments.

UPDATE: Hyatt Customer Service responded promptly with a profuse apology and 5,000 points.  Enough? 

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16 thoughts on “A 1st in 1,000+ Nights: What Would You Do if This Happened At Your $250 Hotel?

  1. Becky

    The good news…I typically travel with my own toiletries, so I wouldn’t be out of luck. It’s something I recommend all travelers do. And luckily there’s at least shower gel so you can wash up that way.

    BUT I agree that at $250/night and a reputable hotel chain, shampoo and soap should be commonplace. Even if they’re not handing them out in the rooms because they’re out, they should have enough from the drugstore (or similar) to hand out on special requests like the phone call you made.

    1. Jamie

      That’s The perfect solution. Have a supply that you can give out when requested. Mostly I think that people wouldn’t mind going without, but if they call down about it, you’ve gotta be able to give them some soap!

  2. Nurse Traveler

    I travel for work and never bring soap or shampoo. Not is it only my expectation that it be there but it is almost always stated on the room description. You wouldn’t accept a hotel that ran out of sheets, something they also agree to have.

  3. Maria

    Alright, they ran out of soap stuff happens but their solution is to TELL you they ran out of soap and expect you to deal with it. Unacceptable.
    I’d be very upset at their lack of willingness to fix the soapless problem.

  4. Kay

    I would lose it. Absolutely complaint worthy, and I’m not a complainer at all.
    They should have a nice bar of soap and if they are out, they need to immediately dispatch a bell boy to duane reed for a diamond member, which I’m sure you are. I’d call the diamond line in a New York Minute. Sorry, had to. Have a great trip!

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Thanks! Decided to send an email after hearing your takes. Thanks for chiming in. (And yes, a diamond knocking out stays 19-21 this weekend to re qualify)

  5. icicle

    While it is a first world problem 🙂 here’s the thing:

    is it an advertised benefit? If the hotel advertises that they will supply soap and shampoo, esp. on their website, then it is a benefit that you paid for…

    in other words, you paid $250.00 to have soap and shampoo. You’ve bought these items- they should provide them to you. If not, then compensate for the lack of items that you have bought.

    In the grand scheme of things, it is nothing. BUT if adverstised as something that comes with the room, that you’ve bought the right to use, then…..yea, this is a problem.

    I’d complain.

    Actually, I wouldn’t mind if hotels told people to bring their own personal supplies, and instead gave out 500 points to those that didn’t ask for them at the front desk.

    I have been to Hiltons that have been grouped together- and have gotten the other sister hotel’s amenities. Obviously, hotel A ran out and got extra from hotel B. Seems like a simple solution for Hyatt to resolve, eh?

    P.S. This is the second non-awesome review of a Hyatt that I’ve read this week. I guess that they’re having a bad month. It happens. I’m having a bad month at work too- stressful, overworked, and understaffed….so I can sympathize with the Hyatt staff.

    You just need to get some extra points for this! 🙂

  6. Denise L

    Wow! You are certainly not making too much of this. I don’t travel with soap and shampoo since I expect the hotel to provide it. I think it is unacceptable so please update us with the the Hyatt’s response to your email.

  7. John B.

    If the front desk/customer service staff cant help you I would personally handle the issue with the GM or Front Desk Manager. While a $.25 bar of soap probably doesn’t warrant a free night, the GM probably should do some quick calculations on what your lifetime customer value might be going forward and discount/”amenetize” appropriately. I would also expect a bar of soap within a few minutes regardless of what their inventory levels had been when I arrived. If they couldn’t get that together and I had to go the corporate route, it would be a very long time before I set foot in a Hyatt again. I have pretty high standards for customer service though.

    One time at Hilton Wanfugjing in Beijing I asked a bellman if kiwi juice was available in the hotel. While there is little reason that he should have known the answer to that question, he promptly replied it was not, but said he could be back in a few minutes with some from a local grocer. I’m not naive enough to think every bellman in the world would have that level of initiative for customer service. I would expect that any manager would though. If they don’t for a reasonable request like soap, I’d likely refuse to pay.

  8. Terry

    I was at the same hotel last month. The air conditioner was making a racket so loud that we could not hear the TV and so low toned that it was nerve wracking. I knew were not going to get any sleep unless they fixed it or moved us. It quickly became clear that they would not move us. The maintenance guy came and took the cover off (ceiling access point) and ended up stuffing a towel in the space to prevent it from vibrating as much, but still vibrating. It was still unacceptable for the hotel at this price point. They ended up giving me a bottle of house wine as an apololgy olive branch, which we weren’t going to use and didn’t want to check luggage. They gave me a bottle of Evian just before I walked out the door for a walk. That was nice. I gave them the feedback on the A.C. on the survey. Wow, it seems like a basic expectation. I probably wouldn’t go there again.

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