St. Francisville, Louisiana
This is a long one. Do not miss the pictures scrolling along the bottom…
If the main amenities you seek at a hotel are friendly staff, comfortable beds, and a nice warm shower with great water pressure, Hotel Francis in St. Francisville, Louisiana has that covered.
Everyone who worked at the Hotel Francis was genuinely nice. They are not very well-trained regarding guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and service dogs. However, when informed that service dogs are, in fact, allowed to go everywhere their handler goes, the manager acquiesced.
Please indulge me while I paint a picture. As we turned off US Highway 61 onto the road leading to Hotel Francis, we were greeted with a very picturesque scene to our right. We saw a pond with ducks and gees and even a fountain in the middle. Some boys were sitting on the beautiful green grass looking out over the pond while another boy played fetch with his dog. Beautiful oak trees provided much-needed shade from the unforgiving summer sun. The setting was straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
That is where the beauty ended. The driveway was busted up, and a few piles of large chucks of concrete sat to the side of the road across from the pond. We thought everything would get better once we very slowly creeped our way across the busted-up portion of the driveway. We could not have been more wrong! The road gets a little better, but turning into the hotel, we thanked God we were in the Durango and not my Charger. Quite honestly, I’m not sure my Charger would have made it over the first hurdle in the road without damage. Resurfacing the road and parking lot is only the beginning of what needs to be done at Hotel Francis.
Checking in was easy, so we appreciated that. Then we got to our room. Mom went into the room ahead of me while I unhooked the tether on my service dog’s car seat. Once I got her out of the car, I walked right into the room (although the door was completely closed). That is right. The door did not lock when Mom closed it, as is common in every hotel where I have stayed. We discovered that the lock to our door did not work at all, even from the inside. Maintenance was very quick to arrive, determine he was unable to fix the lock, and call the front desk to have us moved.
Our second room was much larger, and much cleaner, than the first room. Mom told me that the first room had an area on the carpet that looked as if someone had vomited, but no one cle3aned the carpet afterward. An unpleasant odor also present in the first room was not in the second room. (We had bought Febreze just in case though.)
After a long drive that afternoon and a delicious dinner at The Francis, we were happy to crawl into bed for some much-needed rest. The linens were bright white, which, to me, makes the room look so nice. The beds were comfortable, and it did not take long for either of us to fall asleep.
Unfortunately, sleep did not last too long. Apparently, the smoke detector’s battery was getting low. Each of us waited until morning to say anything for fear of waking the other. We did tell the manager about the smoke detector chirping all night when we went to breakfast. Knowing we would not have to listen to that loud, annoying chirping noise all night the second night was such a relief.
We returned in late afternoon after a long visit with family who live in Clinton, Louisiana. Housekeeping had been in our room by that time. I have never seen housekeeping like this. Someone emptied the trash can but did not take the addition bag of trash we had taken out earlier. My washcloth, which was hanging on the shower rod, was gone. My mom’s washcloth, which was hanging on the grab bar in the shower, was still there. No clean washcloths were left. The paper coffee cups we used that morning were not replaced with new coffee cups. It was as if someone grabbed what was obviously dirty without paying any attention to anything else.
We made the decision to overlook the poor housekeeping and just not stay at Hotel Francis again if we ever find ourselves back in St. Francisville. We were tired and just wanted to go get some dinner and return for a nice rest, free of a chirping smoke detector.
After dinner, Mom and I decided to watch some television before going to sleep. All was quite – so far, so good. After watching History Channel for a couple hours, we turned off the lamps and television, put away our phones, and called it a night. The room was quite and relatively cool (although not 65 degrees as had been set on the air conditioner since we got there the previous afternoon).
At 12:45am, Mom and I were awakened by a very loud chirping smoke alarm. We were NOT HAPPY! We tried to call the front desk from the hotel phone only to learn the phone was dead. We made sure it was plugged in, tried again, and found it still dead. I got my phone and attempted to call the front desk only to discover there was no one there. If someone was there, s/he was not answering the phone. This is where we took matters into our own hands. We really did not have much choice. Mom held onto the rolling chair while I climbed up to see if I could find the batteries on the smoke detector and remove them. As soon as I touched the seemingly old smoke detector, it fell off the wall. There was a screw hanging from the smoke detector, but it was not holding the smoke detector to the wall.
We tried for twenty minutes to twist open the smoke detector as indicated on the detector itself. No matter how hard we tried, we were not getting that smoke detector open, and it was not going to stop chirping. In order to salvage the last few hours left to get some sleep, I took the smoke detector out to the car and decided to discuss this matter with the front desk when we checked out. Sometime around 2:00am, we finally got back to sleep.
We skipped the breakfast provided by the hotel and checked out as quickly as we could. The person at the front desk was nice, but she would not adjust our rate for being unable to sleep both nights. She stated that since we booked through booking.com, she could not adjust the rates. That is crap because hotels have adjusted rates booked online through booking.com at other places, but I digress…
Mom and I were grateful to have a place to stay, and options in St. Francisville are very limited. We will not stay in St. Francisville again if Hotel Francis is our only option. On top of everything else, there was duck and dog poop all over the sidewalks. Do not get me wrong. It is not the hotel staff’s fault that extremely inconsiderate pet owners allow their dogs to poop on the sidewalk, or that those disgusting pet owners leave the poop on the sidewalk. Nonetheless, pride in the appearance of the hotel would dictate that the sidewalks be kept clean in spite of rude pet owners. My service dog goes with me everywhere. She has NEVER done her business where anyone would normally walk, and I always clean up after her.
People, PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOGS!! If you would not let your dog poop on your floor at home, do not let them poop on sidewalks!! It is disgusting, irresponsible, and disrespectful to people who must use that space. Do not get a dog if you cannot clean up after it!! ☹