Good Fences Aren’t Enough To Make Good Neighbors Out Of These Hyatt And IHG Hotels

Robert Frost famously wrote that “good fences make good neighbors.” The poet, however – and the speaker in the poem “Mending Wall” didn’t believe that, and wondered whether they ought to be tearing down the wall between them.

Fences aren’t enough, it seems, to make good neighbors out of the Thompson Hotel and Hotel Indigo in San Antonio. That’s because fences don’t stop smoke.

San Antonio’s Indigo Hotel says its operations and reputation have taken a hit over something it’s neighbor is doing.

Smoke and fumes allegedly emanating from vents on a neighboring hotel, the Thompson San Antonio-Riverwalk, have “penetrated” the Indigo’s exterior doors and windows causing substantial damage, the Indigo’s owner says in a recently filed lawsuit.

…Indigo says the smoke is coming from vents on the southwest side of the Thompson that directly face the Indigo. It believes the vents are connected to a kitchen exhaust system the defendants use to operate one or more restaurants.

Hotel Indigo blames the Thompson Hotel for needing to replace carpet and furniture, says that odors in the hotel can’t even be eliminated, and that they’re out over a million bucks as a result.

They wanted to be a “good neighbor” according to their lawyer but ultimately filed suit. They’d have preferred the Thompson spend money mitigating the issue a year ago but that would have cost $200,000 and meant “smoke blowing on their own pool deck.”

The Thompson’s restaurant Landrace has a wood-burning grill that “announc[es] that this is Texas food” and can be “smell[ed] from across the river” according to one food critic.

The IHG property claims negative reviews online are because of the smoke issues. However a quick review of 1 star ratings on Tripadvisor finds complaints like “service throughout the hotel was terrible” and that “they DO NOT OFFER HOUSEKEEPING!” Another reviewer noted they “asked for [their] room to be vacuumed” and so housekeeping “brought [them] a vacuum.” Maybe there are complaints related to smoke buried in with all the other one-star reviews, but I did not notice them.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Thompson San Antonio is one of the absolute best hotels I have ever stayed in and the issue of odors – wood burning or otherwise – were most definitely not noticeable, neither indoors, nor in the restaurant, nor outside, nor even on the RiverWalk. The Indigo is laughably bad by comparison, even from the outside, and it probably doesn’t help their cause that the river bends just enough for an embayment to form beneath the Indigo were trash and detritus can pile up – in the San Antonio heat, one can imagine the problems that can arise from that.

    But I suppose when you’re unwilling to address your own shortcomings, its easier to attack the bigger, better, shinier neighbor. Pathetic.

  2. I can’t speak to the impact on the Indigo, but when i was there in March, you definitely could smell the wood smoke from the sidewalk leading from the riverwalk to the front door. It didn’t bother me, but i remember at the time thinking it could be a little overpowering to some. I couldn’t smell it once inside. Hope they get it sorted out, this is a fabulous hotel.

  3. I am no lawyer but it seems that if the smoke is coming from the ventilation system then the suit might include the hotel but the real party involved is the city approval office. But then again, it is Texas and I am assuming they “might” have approval process but that is a huge assumption. That might infringe on their freedoms.

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