New York couple find Spicer Mansion ‘unsanitary’ and seek $3,000 refund from beleaguered owner

The Spicer Mansion on April 3, 2017, on Elm Street in Mystic. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day) Buy reprints

Mystic ― A couple from Westchester County, New York, who booked a week-long stay at Spicer Mansion this summer, said they left the boutique hotel the day of their arrival after checking in found dirty and inadequately staffed and has yet to get the promised refund of the $3,000 bill he paid. in the front.

In a phone interview, Gideon Levy said he and his wife learned on Friday that Brian Gates, whose Gates Realty owns the hotel, was contesting their credit card company’s waiver of charges after accepting a full refund.

Gates did not respond to a request for comment.

The Levys’ claim comes months after Gates filed for bankruptcy against creditors, a move that has complicated planning for a second Spicer Mansion foreclosure sale. The eight-bedroom hotel has continued to operate since an initial foreclosure sale in March. The winning bidder of this sale subsequently did not enter into the agreement.

Ross Weingarten, the winning bidder, appealed the forfeiture of his $367,000 deposit to the state Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, a New London Superior Court hearing is scheduled for Monday on a new foreclosure sale date, previously set for October 22.

Levy, a high school English teacher whose wife works in communications, provided The Day with copies of the text messages he exchanged with Gates along with an itemized receipt for $2,997.67. According to the exchange, the total included $2,135.17 that the Levys prepaid to Expedia, the online travel agency they used to book the hotel, and $862.50 that they said the hotel required them to pay when they checked in.

The receipt shows room charges ranging from $276.50 to $440.30 during what was supposed to be a five-night stay, Aug. 22-26. Other fees include a “pet fee” of $150 per night for the two dogs the Levys brought with them and a “resort fee” of $68 per night.

Levy said he received no notice of the additional charges.

After a tour of the mansion, during which they noted a lack of hotel staff, Levy and his wife went to their room, which they found “dusty and smelly,” Levy said. They had dinner in downtown Mystic, returning to the hotel around 9 p.m.

Levy said that when his wife removed the bedding from their bedroom, she saw “huge holes in the sheets, with pubic hair and a strange stain of bodily fluid or food”. When he came down to reception, Levy said, no one was there and no contact number was available.

There don’t appear to be any personnel on the scene, Levy said.

The Levys spent the night at the La Quinta Inn in Stonington, returned to the Spicer Mansion the next morning, and asked to speak to Gates.

“Mr. Gates, I booked a week at the Spicer Mansion with my wife and we were due to leave at 11 p.m. last night due to unsanitary conditions,” Levy wrote in a text message to Gates at 8:32 a.m. on August 23. me immediately to facilitate a refund.”

Gates replied via text message:

“Perfect will start the process as soon as they get back from the doctors, remember it takes 3 or 4 days to get a refund.”

But, Levy said, he started having a sleight of hand when he asked Gates for written confirmation of the refund. The Levys reported the matter to Expedia and returned home. Levy’s wife then called the credit card company, which tentatively dismissed the charges pending the outcome of an investigation. On Friday, Levy said, they received a message from the credit card company saying Gates was disputing the refund.

“It’s still under investigation,” Levy said. “They might cancel the refund, which is my fear.”

The Levys aren’t the only ones having a beef with Gates.

Kaori Ito, a former Stonington resident who moved to New Hampshire in 2020, told The Day “an extremely bad experience” she had with Spicer Mansion while booking there over the weekend of Last Memorial Day.

Ito said she planned a party at the hotel that Saturday, the same day she graduated from Brown University Graduate School in Providence. She had started working with an events coordinator at the hotel in December 2021 and had arranged to book several rooms in the hotel and host 15 guests from as far away as Boston, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She booked a local musician to provide entertainment.

About a month before the party, Ito said, the event coordinator stopped responding. A week before the party, he was told that the whole hotel had been booked by someone else.

Ito managed to move his event to The Whaler’s Inn and The Shipwright’s Daughter restaurant in Mystic. She had not made a deposit at Spicer Mansion and had not lost any money in the incident, she said.

However, she is still waiting for an apology from someone at Spicer Mansion.

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