David Dworkin is tha General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express located in Morgan Hill California. Mr. Dworkin stated that his hotel was an Intercontinetal Hotel Group Award winner and promised a flat rate hotel rate which was to include incidentals such as food, beverage, and hotel room. Mr. Dworkin signed both his own hotel contract and the rider of a third party which prohibited common hotel issues and actions that damage individual customers and went on to promise that his hotel would provide the best available "service" for the price. Upon arrival of the group, close to a hundred parents, coaches, familes, and sponsors that taveled across the country for a national youth hockey event were treated like second class citizens, told they had to pay cash for rooms that were to be covered by a third party, and many were sent away and told they did not have a room even though cnfirmed in writting by the hotel.
This hotel experience was the worst and most damaging hotel experience we or any of the other guests have ever experienced. This hotel was nice and clean in appearance, but the service and agressive methods of management were rediculously poor. The hotel took every opportunity to destroy and discredit the reputation and client relationships of the third party travel agent who signed the hotel contracts, and told untruths to many ofthe group customers as they arraived. Every guest in the group was inconvenienced, charged improperly, and threatened by the hotel, and now the hotel is attempting to sue each guest for a contract they breached between themselves and the travel agent. It was clear that management was attempting to renegotiate a contract and pricing they had previously agreed to when they knew they had guests and the agent over a barrel without any available hotel rooms in that area to move the group to. The agent was across the country and on the phone with affected guests night and day trying to fix the problem. Becasue the hotel refused to take any phone calls from the agent, many of the guests had to be the middle party. It was clear to all guests that the hotel was trying to be difficult and had done something wrong since they refused to talk to the agent they had the contract with.
It was apparent to all guests upon arrival that Mr. Dworkin did not intend to hold up his end of the contract, and he was actaully turning away confirmed guests in an area that was "sold out" due to other major events. Hotel owners were contacted but they had no response. Many guests reported that Mr. Dworkin himself told them if they were willing to pay cash he would let them stay, if they did not he had no rooms. The travel agent had already set up billing accounts that Mr. Dworkin himself approved in advance - over 2 months prior but all of a sudden did not recall this agreement even when sent copies of all paperwork with is signature. This travel agent handles many of these teams all the time so we all know this hotel experience is very out of the ordinary. Many of the teams had copies of the reservation forms and roomimg lists with the hotel confirmations on it so all knew something was wrong when they hotel manager treid to convince them he had no rooms for them. One coach even had a copy of the agent's contract with Dworkin's signature on it and he denied to their face that a contract existed not realizing everyone had all read it and knew he was lying.
The hotel employees at the front desk seemed to be aware that Mr. Dwrokin was "out of control" but they too were told to treat the travel agent as if they did not exist and would not receive any incoming phone calls from the agent while trying to manage the problems caused by the Holiday Inn Express Morgani Hill's repeated breach of contract. Everyone in the group was treated differently than other guests in the hotel and often treated like they were not as "good" as the other guests. Many customers were told that "there was no contract" and that "they did not have a room available" when the hotel learned that they were to appear on the travel agent bill. When the same guests called into the hotel to see if rooms actually were available, they were given a much higher rate but told there were rooms even though they were just sent away being told there were no rooms for them. Many customers witnessed David Dworkin spinning stories to cover himself when confronted with his signature on contracts and rooming lists, and noted his demeanor changing toward the group guests as the days wore on. The agent faxed a copy of the room lists and contract to the hotel to the attention of a guest and the guest was not allowed to have the fax until management reviewed it in the back room. It was a private fax addressed to the customer waiting at the front desk proving that there was a contract, yet hotel management insisted on reviewing the private fax between the agent and her customer before handing it over to the customer waiting for it.
The agent paid for hotel rooms at another hotel each night of the stay to insure all guests had a place to go when Mr. Dworkin sent them away in the middle of the night. On many occassions guests were moved around to various hotels becasue Mr. Dworkin would not give them a room that was held for them. Those extra rooms elsewhere were paid for out of pocket by the agent at a much higher rate than that offered on the group contract by the Holiday Inn Express Morgan Hill. The amount of additional money in the hotel attempt to extort cash was astronomical for all involved. This situation was highway robbery at it's best by the hotel.
Every guest of the many attending teams were affected by this hotel and many lost many hours of sleep and money because of the hotel and the general Manager, Mr. Dworkin. Games were missed, teams were locked out of their rooms without their hockey equipment if they refused to pay cash for a room out of pocket that was supposed to be billed to the agent. The agent sent thousands of dollars through Western Union to coaches that were stranded without money for rooms they should not have had to pay cash for. Many people were relocated when told that their confirmed room did not exist. Everyone was afraid to gve a credit cards because the contract said the only party to be billed was the travel agent, and as soon as a few of the guests gave a credit card the hotel emptied their bank accounts. Many young players were stranded without any money because he cleaned out their debit card accounts for fees the guests were not responsible for. The hotel Manager forced many people to give their own form of payment even though the hotel knew fullly well those people were not supposed to pay for the rooms.
Most recently, every guest of the hotel got a copy of a private letter to the travel agent from the hotel saying anyone on the agents bill owed the hotel becasue the agent did not pay. Why would the hotel send a copy of a private letter to the third party agent with a threat of lawsuit when everyone in the group has seen the contract Mr. Dworkin signed on behalf of the hotel stating that they would only bill the agent? This guy is something else! He really hates that agent for some reason becasue he is doing everything he can to make it look like they did something wrong. We all know Dworkin and the hotel are covering for a severe breach of contract on their part and the losses of many at their hands. It seemed strange that none of the confirmation numbers issued previously by the hotel matched anything the hotel had on file even though a full and complete list existed with all back up paperwork the day everyone began to arrive at the hotel. It appeared that someone had taken the time to change the reservations of everyone in our group to make room for higher paying guests or people willing to pay cash.
Intercontenental Hotel Group, the brand manager of Holiday Inn Express hotels was notified of the situation multiple times and pleaded with for help while the hotel was committing these actions, but they refused to get involved and sent all complaints back to the very General Manager, David Dworkin, who was commiting these acts. Apparently the pledge of InterContinental Hotel Group to service committment is lost on valid and massive complaints and clear brach of contract on behalf of one of their hotels...I guess they are only interested in positive reviews. This horrible hotel is actually an InterContinental Service Award winner that Mr. Dworkin repeatedly told everyone as he tried to con money out of them - what does that say about the value of service to the Intercontinetal Hotel Group? What a joke!
A few items of interest, the hotel offered a happy hour and were notifed that many guests were under age although it was reported than many under age guests were allowed to drink at their "happy hour" without being carded for ID. There also happened to be a police convention of some sort at the hotel the first few days of the group stay and many guests felt as though Mr. Dworkin was threatening them as to his "relationship" with the cops that would allow him to do whatever he wanted. One guest reported having a police dog sniff her son after the General Manager told her the hotel was under survallience and they had better "watch themselves" when they did nothing wrong. Front desk staff told a group of quiet adults and teenagers watching a movie in the lobby that they had to be in their guest rooms by 10 pm according to the manager and they were not allowed in the lobby at all. All guests in our group were told by hotel management that they were only allowed in their guest rooms or parking lot, and kept out of the swimming pool and lobby and game room when a private party was going on even though they were common areas of the hotel and open to all guests such as the lobby, pool, and atrium. There was clear descrimination going on against our group and even though many of the people in the group did not know each other and were from different teams, everyone knew as a group, all were not welcome due to the hotels wish to get out of the contract they signed. The primary party responsible for this chaos and inconvenience was General Manager David Dworkin, yet it was his signature on all contracts. Hmmmm.
There were many written complaints to the agent about the hotel and many complaints to IC Hotel Group without any help so far. The agent has done nothing but offer the best availble service and support to all of the stranded customers. What is everyone to do when something like this happens? The agent is out thousands of dollars, many people in the group lost money and time, the entire event was over shadowed by this single horrible hotel experience and no one at the hotel or the brand seems to care. Is this what the hotel industry has come to? Ruining family vacations and special kids hockey events?!
My advice, avoid Holiday Inn Brand Hotels, or any managed by the El Toro Group. They don't care who they hurt as long as you are willing to pay cash or a higher rate. Bocott these brands as there are many other great hotels out there that would never do such an awful thing to so many innocent people!
Long Island, New York
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