The St. Petersburg, Russia, Holiday Inn is no vacation

There's poor customer service, there's NJ transit and then there's the St. Petersburg, Russia,
Holiday-inn-moskovskie Holiday Inn. The last is in a class of its own and could easily lay claim to a global 'worst in class' top spot.
I had the serious misfortune to begin my two-week Russian climbing adventure at the Holiday Inn in St. Petersburg.
Upon waking the second morning, I sauntered into the bathroom and flipped on the shower faucet. That's when I spied a Holiday Inn sign on the wall that read 'Please use orange floor mat when bathing.' So, I did. Big, big mistake. Bigger, in fact, than the 18,800 ft high Mt. Elbrus I was planning  to climb.

I put one toe on the orange mat and, swoosh, I was sent flying head over heels. My head cracked (and broke) the toilet seat. Simultaneously, my  left hip slammed full force into the side of the porcelain tub. The pain was exquisite.
I sucked it up, downed some Aleve and continued on the trip. Each day, the pain would move from one part of my back to another. A doctor traveling with our climbing team thought I'd suffered a pinched nerve. Being the take no prisoners type of blogger that I am, I shook it off and began training with the rest of the team.
We flew to the Baksun Valley, hiked on the spectacular, lower level hills, attended rescue and survival courses (it's so uplifting to hear crevasse horror stories) and took in the local sights.

Now, fast forward to summit day. We began at 2am. By 11:30 am, we'd made it to the 'saddle,' a spot just below the peak. My back was screaming 'Nyet!' But, I plowed ahead anyway before the searing pain made me turn back a mere 800 feet from my goal. All because of an orange Holiday Inn bath mat.
My assistant, Dandy Stevenson, will be sending copies of this blog to the CEO of Holiday Inn and the general manager of the totally irresponsible St. Petersburg unit. Oh, by the way, six other members of my climbing team also fell on those same malevolent mats.

Holiday Inn has any sort of image and reputation left over from its heyday in
the mid 1960s, I'd like this blog to be my way of placing a virtual orange mat
in front of their brand. I hope they slip on it and  suffer the same
degree of pain and disappointment as me.

Holiday Inn's tagline is: 'Stay you'. They define the brand promise in the following ways: 'Stay yourself,' 'Stay picky,' 'Stay indulgent' 'Stay Impressed' and ''Stay Invigorated.' I suggest a slight variation on the 'Stay' campaign: 'Stay someplace else!"

9 thoughts on “The St. Petersburg, Russia, Holiday Inn is no vacation

  1. too funny. a possible saving grace: it likely helped put you to sleep for the rest of your flight.

  2. This is scary, Lunch. Guess what movie I watched on my flight from Moscow to JFK? Greenberg. I agree. It was god awful. And what a terrible attempt at dramatic acting by Stiller. He should stick to the moronic pap he’s been churning out for years.

  3. Sorry to hear about your slip and fall, Rep. Maybe some vodka can be substituted for that Aleve.
    Semi-off topic, but still relevant to you and others here, I did see that Ben Stiller movie “Greenberg” yesterday. It was awfully slow, awfully boring and awfully unfunny for the most part. You opinion matters that much more to me now…well, in regards to BS movies.
    What was of relevance, especially when you consider your new disdain for Holiday Inn and its orange shower mats, is that during the movie Greenberg spent many hours talking about his hatred for a various companies and we witness him draft and later complete consumer-complaint letters to Starbucks, United, and some blue-chip companies. For that, you might want to watch…but certainly don’t give that beast Comcast 4.99 to do so. I’d wait till it’s on USA or some other channel…but something tells me you might have something better to do.

  4. note to self : never believe signs from holiday in….
    poor mickens feels your pain though (he has been crying ever since you left)

  5. Steve – I tweeted a link to your blog post about this deathtrap hotel… let’s hope the news goes viral and some customer service rep from Hilton contacts you…But I’m not holding my breath, given how you’ve described the joint…

  6. Thanks for the local market trivia, Michael. But, ‘NYET’ to traveling three hours north of Moscow to visit a damn Ben & Jerry’s facility.

  7. So much for blue-chip American brands establishing their footprint and know how in “high opportunity” markets. Reminds me of Ben & Jerry’s first ice cream shop in Russia (about 3 hours north of St. Pete if you have the time Steve). They built a store location 20 miles away from the nearest dairy farm, and then realized there was no road to get the milk from the farm to the store. So Ben & Jerry’s had to build a highway (their true core competency) to get supplies to retail. Waste of time, energy, and money when their primary market still has potential. As an aside, I did visit that Ben & Jerry’s with friends a few years ago. They charge USD $0.30 per scoop. I sat and had eight scoops of ice cream at 10:30 in the morning.