Rating: Boycott The Nags Head Inn
An Open Letter To The Nags Head Inn
As you know, several weeks ago I stayed at the Nags Head Inn with a dear friend of mine. Her recent bout of chemotherapy had rendered her nearly immobile due to, among many other things, terrible pain and severe blistering of her feet. Being the eternal optimist that she is (and that you have to be when battling this disease) she had hoped to be feeling better by the time we checked out, two days later. We hoped for the best, knowing that the beach house we had reserved would not be available until mid-afternoon on the day of check-out. We knew that if her condition did not improve, there was no way she could endure the period from hotel check-out to beach house check-in without an appropriate place to rest (i.e., in a bed with her feet elevated). Unfortunately, her condition did not improve over our two days at the hotel, and we were left with quite a dilemma.
Hoping to find a modicum of compassion at the Nags Head Inn, I asked the staff at the front desk if we could stay a few hours past check-out, given the extraordinary circumstances. Much to my surprise, considering the typically generous attitudes I've encountered when visiting other establishments in the Outer Banks, the answer was no. I was told over and over again, in no uncertain terms, that the policy of the Nags Head Inn is to charge an extra day to anyone who stays past check-out. I questioned several members of the staff about this policy, including the general manager, and received exactly the same response each time. (What they lack in compassion, they more than make up for in consistency.) Not wanting to let this regrettable episode ruin what would otherwise turn out to be a very nice vacation, I decided to pay the additional $175 so that we could stay the extra few hours.
Ignoring the cancer issue for a moment (and the fact that this occurred on a Sunday, of all days) I have stayed at many hotels where the staff was more than happy to let me delay my checkout for reasons as innocuous as a meeting that ran too long or a poorly-timed airline flight. In all cases I received a friendly "Take as much time as you need. Don't worry about it. Just be sure to stay with us the next time that you're in town." And I do, precisely because of their attitude. (As opposed to your company's incomprehensible "Pay us or get out!" attitude.) This may seem somewhat foreign to you, but many establishments desire return visits from their customers. They are willing to go out of their way, and maybe even forfeit a small amount of short-term profit, in order to ensure a long-term relationship with their clients. Perhaps there are so many people seeking hotel rooms in Nags Head that you don't have to concern yourself with pleasing your customers, since there will always be more. Frankly, I cannot think of another reason why a hotel with your attitude would still be in business otherwise.
Now, given the fact that our checkout was delayed because my friend was terribly ill, I cannot help but find your corporation's attitude anything but utterly appalling. Even if you are profit-driven enough to charge someone an extra $175 because they couldn't finish packing in time, how can you possibly sleep at night after forcing that kind of ultimatum on a cancer patient? Is the money that important to you? Is it so important that you are blinded to kindness and compassion and concepts as simple as helping others? I have to believe that even the most greed-possessed among us would decry your actions.
Yet, your email response to my concerns states that "You knew when you came to the area that there would be a gap between check out time at any hotel and check in time at your rental home. This was a chance that you chose to take." In other words, "It's your own stupid fault!" While I would ordinarily be offended by such a statement, I must confess that I am entirely unmoved by this declaration, as it is exactly the kind of resp