Disclaimer: This is a rant so buckle your seatbelts!

Disgusting Room and Awful Customer Service During Stay at Hilton Myrtle Beach

“If you think we can do better or there’s a problem at any time during your stay, don’t hesitate to call us down at the front desk.  Here at Hilton, we have a make it right policy.  Please let us know.  Enjoy your stay!”  Those were the words of the front desk rep as I checked into the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort.  At the time, her comment about the make it right policy was just that, a comment.  I never thought that during my short stay I’d have to call the front desk to have them “make it right.”  I was completely wrong.


Last week, I visited Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with family.  The first night we all arrived, we weren’t able to check into the vacation rental so I volunteered to book a hotel room.

My original plan was to book a Sheraton near the airport, however, that plan fell through as rates were nearing $400 a night.  By the time I was ready to book the room, the average nightly rate for hotels in the Myrtle Beach Area was around $250 a night.  Even a Comfort Inn was going for $189 a night.  My options were limited but I managed to find a beachfront Hilton in Mid-Myrtle Beach.  A room that could accommodate up to four adults was going for $275 a night.  The price was steep but the room featured an ocean view and I planned on splitting the rate with family.

Upon arriving in Myrtle Beach, I was excited to get my vacation started.  I was looking forward to taking a quick nap in my hotel room and then getting a bite to eat beachside.  I arrived at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort right around scheduled check-in time.

The property itself sits nearly a mile from any public roads and is located near a couple of other resort properties.  As my Uber approached the lobby, I noticed that the exterior was in good condition and was excited to see the room.

Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort (Image: Hilton)

Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort (Image: Hilton)


Things Got Bad Quick!

My Uber pulled up to the driveway in front of the lobby.  Outside were a couple of bellhops and valets.  Usually, bellhops and valets are very aggressive when a guest arrives at a hotel.  Normally I’d turn down the assistance of a bellhop but this time, due to the length of my stay, I had multiple bags and would have welcomed someone help me up to my room.  As I got out of the Uber, not a single bellhop moved from their position.  I went to the trunk to grab my bags.  One bag was especially heavy and I dropped it.  I struggled a little to get my luggage together.  The bellhops watched and played on their phones while I stumbled into the lobby.  I was a little irritated at the time but I’m a fully capable young person so, in the end, I can manage my bags.

I walked up to the check in desk.  The front desk rep was super welcoming and professional.  She went over the basics of the property and activated the room keys.  As I was getting ready to make my way to my room, she made mention of the make it right policy.  Based on the customer service I had just experienced, I didn’t think I’d have to call down during my visit.

It was obvious that the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort has seen better days.  Pretty much the instant I exited the lobby, the property took a turn for the worst.  As the elevator made its way to the 14th floor, a musty and moldy smell grew stronger.  When I stepped off of the elevator, I was greeted by a burst of hot and humid air.  Luckily, I didn’t have far to walk.


A Room Unfit for Any Major Chain Hotel

I was already beginning to realize that my stay at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort was going to be a stay filled with luxurious beachside relaxation.  The entire hallway was reminiscent of something out of the 1970s or 80s.  I opened the door to my room and was welcomed with the smell of past guests and untamed moisture.

I’ve stayed at some pretty ‘borderline’ hotels before.  My dad’s the definition of cheap so not every trip I take involves a stay at the St. Regis or Four Seasons.  Still, I was in awe at how poorly kept my room was.  I had to do a double take.  Was I really staying at a Hilton property?  It couldn’t be a Hilton.

However, it wasn’t just the poor quality of the room that I noticed.  Right off the bat, I realized that there was no way this room could comfortably accommodate four adults.  If there’s one complaint that truly impacted my stay, it’s how small the beds were.  There’s no way the two beds in my room could have comfortably accommodate four adults.

The room was small and the beds looked like something that belonged in a college dorm.  Online, Hilton markets this room as having a capacity of up to four adults.  It’s obvious that that’s just not true.  The beds were small and the mattress wasn’t fit for a frat house.  Springs jutted out every which way and the beds lacked any padding.  The pillows were small and smelled.  I was appalled.

Hilton Myrtle Beach Two Double Beds Oceanview

Hilton Myrtle Beach Two Double Beds Oceanview


Gallery: DISGUSTING ROOM Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort


I went to the balcony hoping the ocean view could calm me down.  The room was not an ocean view, it was a partial ocean view.  The room did not face the ocean but rather was cornered away from the ocean.

I went back into the room and prepared to make a call down to the front desk.  At the time, I wasn’t ready to change hotels or issue a formal complaint, I just wanted a rollaway bed so the four of us could all sleep comfortably.

I called down to the front desk.  A front desk rep picked up and placed me on hold.  After a minute or so on hold, I told the rep about my complaint.  She responded, “There are already two beds in there so there’s nothing we can do.  If we bring in a rollaway then it’s unsafe for you and your guests.”  She continued, “If you want, I can send up some blankets and towels so you can sleep on the floor.”

What.  Really?  What fantastic customer service!  Thank you so much, miss, for offering to assist me in sleeping on the ground.  At this point, I was so angry and disappointed that I hung up. Never would I have thought that a Hilton property would suggest that a guest sleep on the ground.  I get that adding furniture becomes a fire hazard but don’t insult me by offering to make a pallet on the ground.

I decided there was nothing I could do so I began to settle in.  I went to the restroom to wash my hands.  I did a brief inspection of the bathroom and discovered what would be the last straw.  The bathroom was simply disgusting.  There was mold and mildew growing on the bathtub, the wallpaper was ripped, and the decor looked like something you’d see in a hospital.  That’s not to mention that everything in the room felt sticky and gross.

Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort Moldy Bathtub

Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort Moldy Bathtub

The bathroom was the last straw.  I was done.  I was ready to call it.  I had to switch hotels.


The Worst Customer Service I’ve Ever Encountered

Naturally, I posted on Twitter and tagged both Hilton Hotels and Hilton HHonors in the tweet.  When I send tweets about my stay at Starwood Hotels (albeit, they’re almost always positive) I typically get an instant response.  With Hilton, it took nearly an hour to hear back from them on Twitter.  When it became obvious that Hilton’s Twitter team was useless, I turned to the 1-800 number for Hilton HHonors members.

I’ve had to call Starwood Hotels about a bad stay or two.  Usually, my SPG account is matched to my phone number and within a minute, I’m on the phone with a representative.  They’ve always handled any issue flawlessly.  This was not the case with Hilton.

After dealing with an automated prompt system for three minutes, I was finally speaking to a real live person.  They’re English and communication skills weren’t the best but I was just glad to speak to a real person.  I explained to her what my issue was and asked to either be walked to another Hilton property or be upgraded to a larger room.  She understood and apologized.  She told me she was going to look at some other Hilton properties and get back to me.  What happened next was baffling.

“I can move you to a Hampton Inn a few miles away from your current hotel”, she said.  I responded, “Wonderful, the room is for four guests correct?”  She replied, “Yes, all I need is your credit card information, the total is $315.”  I was confused.  Was she trying to get me to book another hotel room?  I explained to her that there was no way I was going to pay a cent more for a hotel tonight.  She said, “Ok, I can cancel your room and refund you but that’s it.”  I explained to her how I wouldn’t have a place to sleep if she did that.  She told me that there wasn’t anything else she could do.  I persisted.  “I know hotels can ‘walk’ guests to other hotels as a service recovery option, I’ve had that happen at another hotel chain before and I know Hilton does it too.”  She said, “Oh ok, I can get you another room, it’s $35 more, is that okay?”  I replied, “You’ve been no help, I’m hanging up now.”

By this time Hilton’s Twitter team had responded and told me they called the hotel and talked to the manager.  The Twitter team informed me all they could do was cancel my room.  I called down to the front desk and was put on hold for more than five minutes.  I hung up and, once again, turned to Twitter.  While I was messaging Hilton on Twitter, I received a message via the Hilton app from the front desk.  In short, the message was asking me how my stay was.  I replied, “awful.”  Nearly an hour passed with no response.  The Hilton Twitter team informed me they had called the hotel again and they were done assisting me for the night.  Was that it?  Was that really how Hilton was going to handle this situation?

Talking to the hotel via text

Out of the blue, I received a call from the front desk apologizing for the way Hilton had handled things.  Finally, I received real customer service.  I was informed that the hotel wasn’t going to charge me for my stay.  Though I’d have to stay in a disgusting and cramped room, I didn’t have to pay a cent for lodging that night.  I was still furious but realized that this was as good as it was going to get.


Overall

I’ve never been a big fan of Hilton.  Their hotels aren’t nearly as well kept as the Starwood Hotels I’ve stayed at and their customer service pails in comparison to nearly every major hotel chain.  Still, when I booked a room for $275 at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort, I expected more.  The room was disgusting and cramped.  However, what was worse was the customer service I received during my stay.  Hilton’s 1-800 number tried to upsell me and their social media flat out told me they were done helping me.  It’s my fault for not going directly to the hotel, albeit, one of the team members at the hotel advised me to sleep on the floor.  This stay pretty much puts the final nail in the coffin.  Hilton Hotels are a sub par compared to Marriott, Starwood, and Hyatt in almost every way.

Have you experienced customer service this awful with a hotel chain?  Should Hilton have walked me to another property?