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Last week, I shared the details of a stay I had at the Holiday Inn Express in Grove City, Ohio (just Southwest of Columbus, Ohio) where I wrote a complaint letter due to the service.  holiday-inn-expressYou can read the original post for the full letter I sent off to IHG, but it basically boiled down to 4 areas:

  1. No welcome amenity (500 points) nor recognition
  2. Loud guests at night (not a big deal and if that was the only thing I wouldn’t have mentioned it)
  3. No breakfast items at all in the morning for 30 minutes
  4. Housekeeping just walked into our room in the morning despite the Do not Disturb sign being up

I was actually expecting the comments on the post to excoriate me but they were actually rather civil!  Most helpfully, there were a couple of ex-hoteliers that provided some useful perspective

Holiday Inn Express’s response

Here is the full text of the response we got from the IHG Case Manager:

Thank you for your recent contact to Guest Relations and I appreciate the opportunity to assist following your recent stay with our Holiday Inn Express and Suites Columbus SW-Grove City. As one our valued Platinum IHG Reward Club members since 2013, I thank you for your continued loyalty.


I was extremely sorry to learn of the issues encountered during your recent stay at our property in Grove City and I wish to sincerely apologize from the outset for the experience you had. I was disappointed to hear that inconsiderate and disruptive fellow guests were creating excessive noise at the property and that you were disturbed by housekeeping checking for any early departures. I was also particularly disappointed by the details of your breakfast experience and the slow replenishment of food and utensils. The service you describe is certainly not to a level we would expect from one of our Holiday Inn Express locations and I wish to reiterate my sincere apologies.


Please allow me to offer my assurance that your detailed comments and feedback have been fully documented and passed to the necessary management for internal review. Thereafter any corrective action will be taken accordingly. We thoroughly value all feedback from our guests, in particular our most loyal members and we once again regret your disappointment and would like to extend our sincere apologies for the disappointment encountered during your stay.

In recognition of your Platinum IHG Reward Club status and to demonstrate our concern with the issues you encountered, I have arranged for 7,500 points to be issued to your account. This has already being processed and should arrive with you within 7 business days.


Finally, for future clarity for you, welcome and bonus points do not apply on reservations that are ‘non-qualifying’ (for example, Reward Night stays). This will be why these points were not credited by the hotel on this occasion.

I once again appreciate you taking the time again to get in touch and I do hope we can welcome you back to another of our IHG properties shortly.

(emphasis mine)

I had asked for a full refund of the 15,000 points that we spent on the hotel, and they countered with 7500 points.  I feel that is a reasonable compromise, since it wasn’t like our ENTIRE stay was ruined (we still had a full night’s sleep, and did EVENTUALLY get breakfast.

Where IHG is wrong

Where I think IHG is wrong is the last point, which I bolded.  IHG says that people don’t get welcome amenities on award stays, which has not been my experience.  I actually looked for quite awhile on IHG’s site for the full details without success.  I know that I have received welcome amenities / bonus points on award stays before, and when I reached out on Twitter, many of you also agreed.

I don’t plan to contest this and push for the extra 500 points, though it would be nice to get a confirmation of whether that was the actual policy or not.

Do you feel like this was an adequate resolution?  Have you received a welcome amenity and/or bonus points on an award stay?  Let us know in the comments

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