The Hotel Connoisseur

Author: mirai  //  Category: Life in general, Travel Blog

The Herritage Inn Fisherman’s Warf

This year marks the 20th anniversary of my high school graduation. I can’t believe it’s already been 20 years since I ended my primary education career. Since I missed my 10 year high school reunion, I made it point to put a lot of effort in not missing the 20 year reunion.

Luckily for me, everything kind of worked out so that timing wise, my 20 year high school happened at a time when I had already been planning much needed vacation to the States. Although the original plans were to fly straight to Atlanta to visit my mother an d my cousin, I figured that it would be such a huge deal just swing into California along the way to see people whom I haven’t seen in a very long time, and I am so glad I did.

I took somewhat of a systematic approach during the planning of my trip to the States, because I needed to stretch my limited budget as far as it could go. Since I no longer have relatives in California, a trip there is no longer something I can I afford to do every other year like use to do. So with my somewhat limited resources, I had to plan my trip carefully.

First was the car rental. Being a car guy at heart, I didn’t want to rent some crap car that would be irritating for me to drive, so I searched around a bit for something with a bit of muscle, and found some Camaro’s and a Dodge Charger. Although I’m not too into American cars, I thought they would fit me nicely and quench my need for speed…that is…until I saw the price. I then decided just to go back to my original plan of being sensible and just rent a plain Jane compact car.

Finding hotels was somewhat of a challenge. I wasn’t going going to stay at Motel 6, but the Ritz Carlton was hardly in the plans either, so I had to find a place that would meet my 4 main criterias: clean, inexpensive, convenient location, and had free parking, because in the bay area, overnight parking fees can be totally insane. However, at best I knew that I could meet only 3 of the 4 criterias at any given hotel, so I decided to hotel hop to maximize my stay in California.

The first night was spent at a small little inn in San Bruno near the San Francisco airport. It was cheap, had free parking, and clean, but it was not too convenient. Without a car, it was impossible to do anything. All I really wanted on my first day in California, was just a place to crash and get over my jet lag. Jet lag from Japan can be pretty intense. I remember as I kid, I use to be jet lagged as long as 3 weeks upon my return from Japan. The only thing that would snap me out of it was going back to school. So knowing that, I just wanted to relax and concentrate on staying awake past 9PM. The bed was nice and big, the room was spacious, and it was clean so I was pretty satisfied with my stay over all.

For the second night, I wanted to choose a good location near the Fisherman’s Warf. I searched the web and found what seemed to be quaint and convenient little inn. But in reality it was a complete dump. Although the parking was free, it was a complete joke. My car was sandwiched between a bunch of other cars and there would be no way to really get back out. When I checked in and settled into my room, it didn’t seem so bad at first. I then noticed some unsightly chips in the paint on the walls and stains on the carpet.

I decided to take my attention off of the dilapidated condition of my room and head down to Fisherman’s Warf. The hotel’s website said that it was about a 10 minute walk away. I already knew by my drive in, that it was A LOT more than just 10 minutes. I saw sight of the warf about 10 minutes into my walk (which is probably where the 10 minutes came from) but my journey to the warf ultimately took about an hour.

After my sight seeing tour of the warf, I headed back to my hotel which took another hour to get to. On my way to my room, I swung by the front desk to get an iron so I could iron my shirts, but was told to call maintenance to have it delivered to my room. As I got to my room and unlocked the door with my key, I noticed that the door was jammed shut. I gave it a few hard nudges and the door finally opened. I then noticed that the door wasn’t on too straight. I went over to the night stand to phone maintenance about the door and getting an iron, but quickly noticed that there was no phone. So I headed back to the front desk to let them know about the door and to see about getting an iron.

When I told the front desk about not having a phone in my room and about the door, they didn’t seem too surprised about it. As a matter of fact, they said “Oh yeah, you must be in room 106…I will send maintenance right away.” That was all fine and dandy, but I wasn’t in 106; I was in 316. Made me wonder how many other rooms are in this condition.

After about 40 minutes of waiting straggly old guy showed up with an iron. I told him about the door and he said that he would fix it, but he never returned. I then started to notices more strange things about this room. The usual hotel amenities like shampoo and soap weren’t there. There was no hair dryer (luckily I had my own). People constantly walked pasted my room and made a lot of noise. Is this really a 3 star hotel? I began to wonder so I looked it up. And what I found was quite frightening.

I found a site where past guests rated and comment about their stays in hotels. Well, I must say that the comments for the hotel I was staying at, didn’t surprise me in the slightest. People commented on how dirty the hotel is, and how some amenities were not provided. I even found a person who said she had no phone in her room and that the door was crooked. She must have stayed in my room unless all rooms were the same way. But what really disturbed me the most was, was the commenter also said that her bed was infested with “bed bugs”. The first thing I thought was, what are bed bugs?? I thought those things actually existed except in idioms and wives tales. I was wrong.

That night, I had the weird sensation of bugs crawling on me. I thought it was my over-active imagination recalling what I read on the hotel ratings site. But after a while, it got so unbearable, I turned on the light and found several red colored flea sized bugs crawling on my bed. I nearly leaped off the bed. I showered and spread towels all over my bed hoping that the bugs would leave me alone. Surprisingly, I was able to sleep after that.

Lesson learned: never trust the ratings on the site you are reserving a hotel from.