Jeff and I went on a much needed short getaway on Sunday and Monday night up in Spokane. We stayed at the RL at the Park once again because we had a voucher for a free night after the previous 2 stays where we had very poor service there. They say that the third time in the charm so we thought we would give it one more shot. We got up to Spokane around lunch time so we thought we would have lunch downtown. We soon discovered that the restaurant we wanted to go to did not have free parking anymore and that you had to pay $8 for 1 1/2 hours just to park...NOT HAPPENING! We ended up going to the food court at one of the malls and having food from Panda Express there instead.
Upon check in at the hotel, we were very impressed that they had upped their game. There were people there to hold the doors open for you and greet you. The check on process was in yet another new area in the lobby, but it was fast and done on Ipads. The very enthusiastic guy checking us in took our voucher and said he would make sure it was applied to our bill and then sent us off to our upgraded room with a balcony overlooking the pool and the river. It was a much bigger room than we had on our 2 previous stays and had a wet bar which was very handy for setting up our little coffee maker that we brought with us since the hotel no longer has them in the rooms. Everything was nice and clean this time too, which really impressed me.
We quickly loaded some things into the mini fridge since we bought things to have for snacks and dinner in the room and then changed into our swim suits and headed down to the pool since it was still in the high 90's. We met 2 couples, one from Alberta, Canada and another from the Portland area and had nice visits with both of them. I quickly learned from the Alberta couple that they are having some of the same issues in their province as we are having down here in the USA dealing with healthcare, immigration, the economy, and their Prime Minister. That couple left to go to dinner and the young couple from Portland took over their lounge chairs. Oh this couple was fun and we had so much in common. We soon realized that we were "neighbors" with our rooms right next to each other.
The next morning we got up, had breakfast and headed out for a walk along the river so I could take some pictures of it. Along the way we saw a building about 5 blocks away that looked like a old beautiful church with spires and towers, so we decided to check it out. Upon our arrival at it, we realized it was the county courthouse and I began to take some pictures of it. An older lady stopped to chat with us about the building and gave us some history on the area. She then asked about our family and we told her about them and about our son Josh, who is in the Air Force and where he has served. This is when things got fascinating. She told us she live in Iran for 10 years, when she and her husband were raising their 5 kids. He was an electrical engineer and worked for Pan Am Airlines who was bought by the Shaw of Iran at the time. They got to know him well and they became friends. When all the political upheaval happened there and he was overthrown in part from trying to bring Western Culture to Iran, they all had to evacuate quickly. She told me they were only allowed to bring 300 pounds of luggage per family and that having 5 kids meant that most of their luggage was clothing. Everything else had to be left behind. She clearly remembers seeing the shaws plane take off and his family following in another plane. She told us that 28 planes took off that day one after another evacuating all the American and other foreign workers and their families. She said it was hard to leave all their Iranian friends behind.
On our way back to the hotel, we happened upon a really neat store filled with fossils, rocks, gemstones and all kinds of fun things. It was great to explore and there was always something new and fascinating to see! We found some cool toys for the little boys there and will give them to them at Christmas. We decided to go and do some shopping and have lunch while our room was cleaned. Upon our arrival back at the room I quickly noticed that the problems with room cleanliness were again happening. There were 2 different sized towels in the bathroom and I recognized that one of them (because of the logo on it) was from another upscale hotel in that town. The towel was also badly stained. The bath mat was also stained and the top sheet on the bed had a stain. UGH! I decided to just make the best of it though and we headed down to the pool and again met some lovely people, including another family from Alberta and a family from Minnesota who homeschooled their kids and had a set of triplets. Later that evening we had dinner in our room and I went out on the balcony to enjoy the view while my hubby watched some TV. It took me awhile to fall asleep and it was after midnight when I finally drifted off. At about 3 a.m., we woke up to an awful LOUD noise. It was the hotel's fire alarm! We quickly got dressed and then the fire alarm stopped in the tower we were in but I could still hear it in other parts of the hotel so I called down to the front desk to see if it was a false alarm or if we needed to vacate the building. We were told to vacate, so we did.
By the time we got downstairs, the fire trucks were there and the firefighters were going into the main building. We could smell something burning at this point. Hotel guests were all milling around outside and many people said that their relatives had not come down out of the building. There was no one from the hotel out there giving us any information or checking with people to see if they were missing family members or friends who might still be in the building. Finally half and hour later, it was the firefighters who were giving people information and telling people there had been a kitchen fire but it was now out and we could go back int he buildings and go back to sleep. Of course, I had trouble falling back to sleep after all that.
We got up a few hours later to find our bill slipped under our door and saw that they had not deducted one of the night's stay as had been promised when I gave them the voucher. I made a phone call down to the desk and they said they would take care of it and I could pick up a new receipt when we came down for breakfast. We got down there and they had no clue what we were talking about but finally got it taken care of and gave me a new receipt. Since there was a fire the night before in the kitchen, they were giving everyone there a free breakfast (our's was actually included in our room deal) that they had brought in from another one of the hotels in the same chain that was next door. Wow! I have never seen so many rude hotel guests in my life who were pushing others to get to the food and filling an entire plate with bacon leaving very little for all the people in line behind them. The hotel quickly ran out of food due to people piling their plates high with things and making multiple trips back, pushing others out of the way who had just gotten in line for the first time. I also felt bad for the poor staff that was trying to keep things stocked and having to tell people that they had run out of much of the food already.
That brings me to today. I checked my VISA statement and guess who put a small but unauthorized extra charge on my card. YEP! 👿 I will be getting ahold of them and letting them know that they will be reversing that charge today and I am also getting ahold of their corporate office! I guess the third time is NOT the charm with this particular property. The next time we go up we will be staying at a different property that is tried and true.