Audrey and I slipped down to Richmond on Friday for a night at the Drury Plaza Hotel. They have an excellent “happy hour” in the early evening that amounts to a full meal, a complete hot breakfast in the morning, and very reasonable rates on top of all that. It’s a new hotel and they are anxious for business.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, we were startled awake by a blaring fire alarm. The entire hotel emptied into the parking lot. We were on the 8th floor, so it was quite a walk in swift but orderly fashion. A little dazed.

We learned later that a group of young adults—not children—had smoked up a hallway, destroyed the fire alarm on the corridor wall, and vandalized their room. Fire trucks and the police showed up and after 30 minutes in the chilly night air, with lots of people in gym shorts and pajamas, we were allowed back inside. It would take us a long time to get to sleep.
The perpetrators will be prosecuted.

An unpleasant experience, yes—but I am writing this because of the way management handled the episode.

Saturday morning every staff member met each guest over breakfast to apologize profusely for the evening’s disruption. They were genuinely distressed at what had happened. And to my surprise, they even offered a full reimbursement for everyone’s stay.

We assured them of our appreciation for deciding to evacuate the building and making sure it was safe before letting us return. What choice did they have?

“You did the right thing,” I tried to encourage the young lady who had been in charge at the time.  “And you are doing the right thing now”, I added. “But no—we do not need compensation.”

The Drury is a class act, for sure. And we commend them and recommend them when you are in the Richmond area.




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