We decided to become Hilton Honors members a few years ago because of all the traveling that we do and we book up quite a few points each year that give us free money towards hotel stays by doing this. We stayed at Hampton Inn Clearwater in January of 2018 and we quickly found out that not all Hampton Inns are the same!
Our Stay at Hampton Inn Clearwater – Central
During winter break we took a quick trip to Florida to Clearwater/Tampa and Orlando. While we were staying in Clearwater we booked a stay at the Hampton Inn Clearwater. When we drove up I got a little worried. It didn’t look like a typical Hampton from the outside (it looked more like a motel), but I thought “It’s a HAMPTON. It can’t be THAT bad“!
When we first walked into our room I still was a little disappointed. It smelled musty and the door looked like it might fall off. My husband reminded me that it was only for a couple nights and that it wasn’t THAT bad. I did my bed bug check and settled in. We all started itching when we got into bed thanks to my paranoia, but there weren’t any bugs IN THE BED.
We did end up finding two bugs. Little cockroaches. One wrapped up in one of the wash cloths and one that was crawling around in our food bag when we got back from a long day in the parks… which brings me to the BIG PROBLEM.
The Big Problem
We got back from a LONG day at Busch Gardens. It was raining and COLD. We hadn’t eaten anything since lunch and it was 7:30 at night. We get up to the hotel room, put in our key card and NOTHING. So we tried again, and again. Nothing. We were locked out!
My husband called the front desk and they said to stop by and pick up a new card (and when he did they didn’t ask him for ANY identification… just gave him a new card to the room we said we were in). He came back to the room and tried again. STILL NOTHING. So he calls back and they said that they would send by the maintenance guy.
The maintenance guy finally shows up and only his master card would work. He said it was probably the battery inside the door so he would be back to replace the battery. When he opened the door lock up the previous battery had been installed with stripped wires! He changed the battery the correct way and guess what… it STILL didn’t work.
We said that we were staying in for the night and checking out the next day so we would just deal with it, however when my husband called to complain they acted as though it really wasn’t a big deal. I was very disappointed in the way it was all handled seeing that were are very loyal Hilton/Hampton members. It made me think twice about our loyalties, but for now I’ll give them one more chance. They did end up giving us $30 off of our bill (we didn’t spend it all in one place)! Ha!
There were some good qualities to the Hampton Inn Clearwater if you are looking for a cheaper place to stay. There is a really nice pool/hot tub area (it was just 30 degrees while we were there so we didn’t get to use it). They also have FREE BREAKFAST! We always TRY to stay at hotels that offer free breakfast if we can. It’s another cost that we don’t have to worry about and we can always find something that we can eat (or are willing to eat).
Overall, could it had been worse? Absolutely. Hampton Inn is still a great choice for a hotel that is mid-ranged, however I am going to be more cautious now about looking into the hotel more before booking JUST because it’s a Hampton. We still are HUGE Hampton/Hilton fans and don’t plan on switching our hotel of choice anytime soon! We still had a great time in Clearwater anyway!