DEAR HARRIETTE: I stayed at a hotel over the New Year's holiday and thought I was lucky to even get a room, considering the time of year. I was told that there were no additional rooms when I booked mine. When I got to my room, I was horrified. While it looked clean, it smelled horrible. Really, it smelled like homeless people had been camping out there. Now -- I am not meaning to disparage people who are homeless, but I also don't expect to pay top dollar for a hotel room that is rank. I didn't know what to do, given that I was told it was sold out, so I just sucked it up. But I'm mad. What should I have done? Is it too late to complain? -- Disgusted, White Plains, New York
DEAR DISGUSTED: I'm sorry you didn't speak up immediately. There may have been a cancellation or another room available, even though the agent told you otherwise. At the very least, you could have asked to have your room thoroughly cleaned before you occupied it. You also could have requested a refund or discount based on the inconvenience.
What you can do now is alert hotel management to your extreme disappointment with your room. You can write a note, naming the room number and including all of the details that you recall. At the very least, you will be informing them, but you may end up receiving a discount card for another visit. It is doubtful that you will receive a refund.