Russ on the Road
By Russ Hiner, Hialeah, FL
Lodge Alley Inn, Charleston, SC
The resort is a little hard to find because Bay street is very narrow and traffic is moderately heavy, so one pays more attention to not scraping the other cars than to watch for the Lodge Alley pull-in space, which is about 3 car lengths long.
We arrived at 11 AM. The unit was not ready, of course, but they of- fered to store our luggage, then put it in the unit later. Everyone we met at the resort was very friendly and help- ful. We decided to valet park and walk
around Market Street, which is a block or so away. We went back to the re- sort about 3:30 and were checked in very quickly.
The check-in packet was meager: a 4” x 10” folder with 6 slips of paper in it: One was an ad for High-Cotton, the on site restaurant/bar/club; one slip said Welcome in several words; one was about daily housekeeping avail- ability and charges; one suggested to ask for specific employee “WOW” services; one told of the concierge service, and another about the $10 valet parking. I make a point of this because the packet was a waste of time (for me to read) and money (theirs).
The RCI sheet says Valet parking is $6 per day. The sign outside says the charge is $6 for Owners and $10 for visitors. The final bill said $10. When I pointed out RCI’s note, I was told “They are a little behind in the infor- mation.” but credited me at $4 per day anyway. RCI exchangers are sup- posed to be “owners” with respect to resort privileges. Be sure you get the right rate.
The Unit book was just as bad as the check-in packet. About 12 pages, over half of which were ads for local businesses. The other half was another Welcome, a few of Services, safety tips and some things to do, plus the complete Room Service Menu of the Club. Nothing about the Resort itself, or its history. There was a lot of activ- ity around the sales office, but there were no sales approaches. There was a wine and cheese set up on Friday night, which I assumed was to sell the resort and therefore avoided.
Our unit was on the 3rd floor. The unit was elegant. There were high ceilings, wood foors with oriental rugs, cherry finished, Colonial style furniture and a fireplace in the living room. There were Armoires for the TVs in each room. The bed was a king-sized four poster with two bedside tables. There were lots of closet and drawer space. A nice galley-style kitchen with cherry cabinets was on the right as you entered. The dinnerware and flat ware were of very high quality. On the left was the bathroom, which could be be- come private to two areas by a clever doorway arrangement. Very nice.
It would not be noticed till later that the couch would be crowded with 3 people, the Landau chair had to moved to see the TV, the lighting was dim because there were only 60 watt light bulbs, there were not enough lamps, and that the bed was taller than hip- high, which made it difficult to get into.
There are only 6 amenities here. Things like Complimentary Tour Plan- ning, a (by request) turndown service, valet parking and free coffee in the