a traveler from Travelocity.com
on July 12, 2011
There are two types of eco friendly. The Patagonia clothing model of hip, modern and eco friendly uses 100% recycled materials, or organic cotton grown sustainably without pesticides, etc. For this kind of quality eco-conscious clothing, people (including myself) pay premium prices. The second type of 'eco friendly' is the hippie lifestyle, which instead reuses old, cheap or discarded items from Goodwill, Salvation Army, dumpster diving, and hand-me-downs from friends. For this you can live very cheaply, and is also 'eco friendly' in that items are patched up and recycled over and over until they're so tattered that they can no longer be worn. 968 Park Hotel tries to market itself as a hip Patagonia experience, but instead offers a hippie-cheap hotel at premium prices. Before you book, ask them about their rooftop solar array that allows them to reduce their carbon footprint. Ask them about the passive solar heating and non-chlorine low impact swimming pool. Ask them about the high quality handmade fan in your room that is more eco-friendly than an air conditioning unit and is definitely not made in China, and shipped across the Pacific on a huge polluting cargo ship. It'll be a short conversation because they have none of these. Instead 968 Park Hotel was a cheap old building that was lightly refurbished with discarded wood and metal, uses cheap furniture, has no air conditioning of any sort except a Chinese made fan in each room, and pretty much offers the hippie cheap experience at premium prices. The rooms are very small, no couch or even a single lounge chair and the only full length mirror is blocked by the tiny table and two dining chairs in the room. There is no view at all. The rooms get very uncomfortably hot during the summer and don't begin to cool down until well into the evening. (Based on other reviews, apparently in the winter they remain very cold because there's no decent heating or insulation.) In the warmer months, when you first go to your room they'll have the door to the hallway and windows are wide open... and you'll soon see why... hippie air conditioning. The rooms are still stuffy and hot when you enter. And every morning, most everyone on our hallway had their doors wide open-- despite the fact that others could see in while you walked around in your pajamas-- just to try to let in as much cool air as possible. Otherwise, by 8am the rooms are already stifling and uncomfortable. They have free wifi and you'll be able to get connected but they're probably using an 'eco friendly' cheapest DSL connection that is quickly saturated when a fraction of their guests log on. Don't count on being able to do any internet surfing until everyone at the hotel is fast asleep. After taxes we paid close to $200/night, and 968 Park Hotel is not worth it at even half that price. This is a cheaply made hotel charging gimmicky (and dishonest) premium prices. The only reason why I gave a 2/5 rating is because the location is very convenient for walking to the downtown area. But do yourself a favor and find a hotel nearby-- there are plenty on Park Ave and Lake Tahoe Blvd-- one that actually has A/C and decent heating. Call and ask them if their rooms come with A/C... we thought it would be *common* for a hotel to have this, but 968 Park Hotel taught us otherwise. p.s.-- If this premium priced hippie experience appeals to you, leave the rolling papers at home as they have a strict no smoking or incense or candle burning policy and will charge $175 if they smell anything has been burned in your room, man. Dumpster diving is probably encouraged though.
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