"Ascutney Mountain Resort"

Ascutney Mountain in Vermont is a beautiful place. But if you stay there, be careful of where. Below is a copy of e-mail I sent to the hotel where I stayed.

I stayed at the Ascutney Mountain Resort from 2 through 4 November 2001. I have some comments about my stay, and I was given your e-mail address to send comments to.

I stayed at your hotel in conjunction with the "Carnage on the Mountain" convention. The convention sent me my registration information late, so (through no fault of yours) I paid a rate of roughly $95 USD/night, during off season. In making these comments, I therefore compare your hotel against others with a similar rate.

I hear that your resort provides unsurpassed performance in its skiing operations, and I know from personal experience that your mountain location is beautiful. But I found the hotel operation of your resort to be seriously lacking in many respects, especially for travellers who require only one room. These shortcomings include:

I considerd the last issue to be the most important; I lost sleep due to that issue. As such, I felt I needed to address and resolve that issue before any others. On Friday 2 November I called the front desk to ask to change rooms. The manager on duty then flatly refused to relocate me, or even to lower my rate to compensate for the inconvenience.

After this unresposiveness of the hotel staff, I felt it unproductive to pursue any other issues at the time. But I've noted the issues for the record, in case you wish to address them in future.

As a convention attendee, I spoke with numerous people who had similar issues with your hotel. In particular, the convention staff complained about having rooms changed at the last moment, for the convenience of other guests. In other words, your hotel was apparently accomodating to some people but not to others, and my people were not accomodated. I was an guest presenter for this convention, and one of my own sessions felt the effect of these changes.

As a travel writer, I am working on an article on the Windsor/Ascutney region. (You can find my previous published work at http://www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2/guide/MA50930?type=1. I have written a Vermont article; you can search http://www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2/guide/ for reference to Plymouth Notch, Vermont, USA.) I'd taken my trip to this convention as an opportunity to research this article. Based on my experience this weekend, I feel strongly that I can not recommend your hotel to other guests or to convention organizers.

Travel writers do not usually offer hoteliers an opportunity to defend themselves before review. But due to my personal involvement at this convention, I felt I should offer you the opportunity to respond to my concerns before I publish. If I am ever to stay at your hotel again (convention or not) or recommend it to others, I need some sort of explanation and apology, other than "Oh well, we were fully booked this weekend".

If you do stay at Ascutney Mountain, you might do better in a suite. The suites have three or four bedrooms apiece, so you'll have to bring lots of friends to afford it. The peripheral bedrooms can be sealed off to form the mediocre hotel rooms described in my letter. But with access to a suite, they get a kitchen and some better-quality electronics, plus presumably some better cooperation from the suitemates.