I had to take my daughter, Jessie, to a 2 day swim meet a few weekends ago in East Meadow, NY. Because the swim meet started so early in the morning (what I told Rob), and because I thought it would be nice to have a 2 day getaway with my daughter (the truth), I booked us a 2 night stay at the Garden City Hotel (a 7 minute drive from the swim meet). The hotel is a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts in which you earn iPrefer points upon your stay. I did not have enough iPrefer points to stay for free, nor did I feel it was worth looking into using my valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book this stay because the room was $199 per night. So I paid. Yes sometimes, I do pay for hotels.
Over the years, I have heard tidbits about the Garden City Hotel from many of my Long Island friends. Many of them had their prom there, got married there, etc. I feel like I have always known about the hotel but had never been. Now I have.
From the outside, the hotel is really big and majestic. You can see it from a distance and I was like WOW is that the hotel?
Also, there is a really pretty outside bar that was very crowded at cocktail hour on Friday. Jessie and I walked through the bar on our way out to go to town for ice cream. 🙂 The town’s main street is in walking distance of the hotel and the street was cute with some nice boutiques and a bunch of restaurants.
But my compliments kind of end there…….
On the inside, I thought that the hotel looked dated. There was lots of red, gold, white and mirrors throughout the hotel. In my opinion, the lobby and the hotel overall could use some updates. As for the room, I booked a standard room and it was big so that was good and a little more modern than the rest of the hotel. But the bathroom was dated as well with little white tiles on the floor and an older shower/tub, sink, etc.
Another thing that annoyed me about the hotel was the service. They have a phone system in which you only need to hit the # 1 on the phone for all of your needs, so you hit #1 for the valet, room service, the bell hop, etc. Each time I hit the #1, the phone just rang and rang and rang. I had to hang up and call back many times before someone finally picked up the phone. Annoying! Also when I checked in, the desk clerk welcomed me as an iPrefer member. So when I got my bill upon checkout and was charged for the internet (not just 1x but 2x), the desk clerk apologized and indicated to me that the charge would be removed. (iPrefer members receive complimentary internet). Fast forward to the charge appearing on my credit card bill. (My Chase Sapphire Preferred bill that is as I got double Ultimate Rewards points for the stay 🙂 ). I had to call the hotel once again and ask to have this charge removed from my bill. It finally was.
More on charges….
Similar to some other hotel rewards programs, iPrefer hotels offer additional point earning opportunities on non-room charges such as spa, restaurant, gift shop, and resort charges. However, in the iPrefer program, this benefit is at the discretion of the hotel and is not automatically included in point earning. Guess what? The non-room charges were not included in the point earning at the Garden City Hotel. Shocker!
The worst thing about the stay was that the room was very hot. I had maintenance come to our room and the maintenance person told me that the hot room was due to 2 things. (So he conceded that the room was hot). One, they keep the AC at a factory setting of 68 degrees. There is no way to make the temperature in the room lower without mechanically changing something. (He did not offer to do this) Second, the actual air conditioning unit is covered with a decorative wood covering to make the unit look more attractive. However, this covering blocks a lot of the air flow. Normally 68 degrees would be a comfortable sleeping temperature, but only if the air had the ability to circulate. The below picture of the room shows the decorative wood covering over the AC unit by the window.
So as you can see, I was not really a fan of the hotel, speaking of fans, I should have brought one with me!