Incident At Mirror Lake Inn

We attended a delightful wedding in Lake Placid, New York over the weekend of November 4-6 2005. Unfortunately, we chose to stay at the Mirror Lake Inn. Here's what happened:

There was a special room rate of $170/night at the Inn for the wedding. The actual wedding was at a very small bed & breakfast next door. Lacking any other idea of where to stay in Lake Placid, I reserved two rooms at the Mirror Lake for my wife and I (and several friends). So far so good, right?

The Inn seemed fine when while we stayed there. Ever seen the movie Dirty Dancing? Thats basically what this hotel is like - old, kind of fancy, and quiet. We had no interaction with the staff, or with any other guests, for that matter.

Thus, I wasn't expecting any problems when I checked out. Imagine my surprise when my bill included an additonal $400 charge! The desk clerk called the manager over to explain what was going on: we were being charged for someone else's room. The manager explained that another guest had complained of noise at checkout. Thus the Mirror Lake Inn decided to give that guest a room for free. Then according to their logic, we had to pay for the other room - which cost $400.

I was splitting the cost of our two rooms with another friend Mike so he and I ended up arguing with the manager. The manager admitted that no one had complained of noise during the night. Furthermore, no hotel employees had noticed any problems. We then asked why the hotel suspected that we had been the source of the noise. The answer was that hotel employees had seen several beer cans out on our room deck in the morning and thus decided our room had been noisy the previous night.

After this discussion the hotel agreed to not charge us the additional $400 at checkout. Instead, we would pay our bill except for this charge and the hotel general manager would call us on Monday to discuss the situation. Mike and I split the bill and left Lake Placid, confident that the general manager would see the complete insanity of the hotel attempting to charge us for some other guests' room.

The general manager never called Mike or I. I checked my credit card bill the next Friday to make sure the Mirror Lake Inn hadn't just charged us silently.

Well of course they had done exactly that. Not only had the Inn charge me for the other room, they charged me an additional $150! The total additional charges were $221.50, $220.50, and $150 on my card (for a total of $592.00). They charged Mike $221.50 plus $150. In all, the Inn had socked us with $963.50 in additional charges!

I immediately called the hotel and demanded to speak to the general manager. I left a message for this person (Carl Gronlund) and he called me back several hours later. The explanation he gave was that we had been charged for the other room (again, some other guest complained and the hotel is trying to make us pay for their room!). In addition, we were being charged $300 for smoking in the rooms. I complained very vehmently that:

  1. Nobody smoked in the rooms, so the $300 charge was completely bogus.
  2. The hotel had agreed to discuss the issue with me before charging my credit card, and had failed to do so.
  3. It is completely unfair and illegal for them to charge us for some else's room.

The manager was completely unmoved by my complaints. In fact, he didn't seem to particularly care at all. That was the end of the conversation.

After that, I did the following:

  1. Disputed the charges on my credit card.
  2. Filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
  3. Wrote this webpage.

Mike Disputed the charges on his card as well. As of 11/23/05 I am still waiting to hear the credit card company decision about my dispute. Hopefully this information will be useful to anyone deciding where to stay in Lake Placid. My advice, if you hadn't figured this out already: don't stay at the Mirror Lake Inn!

Our Founder
ToolboxClick to hide/show