Best hotel location in San Francisco? Never book the RIU Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf – ever
Discover San Francisco with RIU Plaza Fisherman´s Wharf! This is the encouraging press-release RIU Hotels circulated today promoting RIU Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. According to RIU PR and Marketing experts, the Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf is located close to Pier 39, one of the most iconic parts of San Francisco, and it offers the best services so that you can enjoy an unforgettable stay. Its complete facilities include free WiFi, an outdoor pool, gym and conference rooms.
Although the property has a favorable location for visitors, is it really where travelers should want to stay on their trip to the Golden Gate city? After the RIU Jamaica was voted the most unsafe resort by eTN, can this Spanish hotel group with TUI as a German shareholder be trusted?
Reading reviews on TripAdvisor, one couple on their honeymoon just last month in November had a lot to say about their stay. They titled their review:
“Will never book Riu again….. Ever!”
“We booked to stay at this hotel when it was Sheraton as it had a good location at a reasonable price. I booked two rooms for three nights, one for us as part of our Honeymoon and one for my parents celebrating their wedding anniversary.
“We booked a three-night deal which included a $15 daily credit at the bar/restaurant for each room along with a welcome gift. “Only after checking in we werere we made aware that although Riu was happy to honor our reservation, they would not be honoring the $15 daily credit as it was not their policy to do so.
“Now, I feel that if you buy a business with the existing booking made prior to taking over, then you should honor them in full and build it into the costing of the purchase. Why should the customer be made to pay for oversight made by Riu?
“I spoke with the ‘Manager’ who apparently had no Managerial authority to authorize or honor our booking in full. When you are the manager of a hotel, it is your responsibility to your paying guests that they are happy, comfortable, well looked after and receive what the booked and paid for. Unfortunately, this Manager was either unwilling to do this or couldn’t be bothered to do this. A Manager without the authority to make the necessary managerial decisions to appease his customers is then actually no more than a glorified Supervisor.
“I asked for his Manager’s name for which I was given a general email address. So I asked for his manager’s name again for which he had to look on his computer to find it. He presented me with a single name “Javier”. Once again, I asked for his full name which he had to look at his computer to find it. Eventually, I got the information I requested but have little faith that this is his boss because while I was standing there, I googled the name and researched his LinkedIn profile.
How Many Stars?
“I have given 2 stars. 1 star because the hotel is clean and spacious. Another star because the location is very good for the price. “I have taken 3 stars away. 1 Star for not honoring what was booked. 1 Star for the over-priced Bar… It’s extortionate.
“Lastly I have deducted 1 Star for the poor customer service provided by the Manager. As the ‘Manager’ he is the representative of the company and is doing a very, very poor job of reflecting the reputation of Riu.
“Bearing in mind that all it would have taken to appease us was to offer us a morning coffee and few breakfast items such a toast or croissant in compensation of losing our $15 credit, it amazes me that a company this size cannot afford such a simple and inexpensive gesture to make their guests happy. When I suggested that we’d be happy with coffee and toast, the manager just said, ‘It’s not our policy to honor the $15, we don’t do that and it’s the responsibility of Sheraton to issue compensation.’
“He put us on the phone to Sheraton for 35 mins while he sat there swiveling on his chair doing nothing. Sheraton could not find our Booking because it had been brought by Riu and was no longer their hotel.
“In a nutshell, we are disappointed, and our Honeymoon in San Francisco now has a bad memory.”
Negative Reviews Common
Unfortunately, the negative reviews are substantial, and although the RIU Online Reputation Manager responded to each and every review and apologized with flowery words, it does not appear in any of the responses that there was an offer of compensation no matter how bad the situation.
According to Ryan who left a review on December 7 on TripAdvisor: “This hotel is a total rip off. Do not stay here! Charged an extra $180 at check-in for “resort fees” and parking, which they fail to make clear at booking. Very disappointed. There is no valet parking or a cheaper option. I would not stay here again.” RIU responded in part: “The above-mentioned fees are stated on the main booking sites and would like to inform you that we certainly offer a valet parking for the convenience of our guests.”
Rude Staff a Recurring Theme
Jules also wrote a review on TripAdvisor about their stay this month: “Our stay at the RIU hotel at Fisherman’s Warf in San Francisco was a mixed experience. Whilst the room was spacious and the restaurant staff lovely, one particular person at the reservation counter was extremely rude and unable to explain the complicated invoice we asked for after they phoned to say our credit card had been declined, (there was no problem with the card it was the hotel trying to add to the hold amount they took at check in).
“If you eat/drink in the restaurant pay at the restaurant (do not charge back to the room) as they will take any charges directly off the money they hold from your credit card at check in, this becomes an issue if the hold amount is not enough to cover. In my experience, this is normally settled at check-out but not at RIU. There was also an unexpected $80 facility on top of the identified resort fee ($93 for 4 days) plus a service charge of $57.20. Hmm, will never stay at any RIU hotel again!” RIU responded they were “surprised by your comments.”
Karina R wrote in her review: “Parking fee is really high, $62 per night and you also have a ‘resort fee’ for $20 per night. Avoid staying on the 1st floor… there’s no elevator for it, and even if you have heavy bags, you need to climb a stair… I don’t recommend the first floor! San Francisco is an expensive city, but for this hotel, I expected more!”
In a Nutshell
The reviews go on. Some are good, some are not so good. Some include phrases such as mouse poop in bed, short-tempered and unhelpful staff, check-in took too long, room was not ready, this hotel needs a complete makeover, prices were insane, black mold all over the shower, noisy, parking in the area is expensive, warned multiple times about break-ins, and the walls are thin.
So, if you have high expectations for a stay with a supposedly reputable hotel with the name RIU in it, you may want to reconsider.