What People are saying
Stop. Turn around. Stay elsewhere. AlphaV24on 09/10/2017 11:14
I’m not sure how this got the rating it has. The staff was pleasant and the sheets seemed clean but otherwise it’s a rundown dump.
Stains all over the carpet. The bathroom door didn’t close properly. Loud college kids in the hall late at night.
There was a new shower curtain but I assume that’s only because the old one was used to dispose of a body.
Speechless on 05/10/2017 23:44
Ahh should have read the reviews. Horrible part of town. Room so creepy. No outlet covers on outlets, paper taped over the windows, dirty carpet. Just plain creepy. We didn't even stay. Walked right out.
Stayvsomewhere else donegaltinkeron 27/09/2017 19:16
Booked the Grand Royale for family weekend at Bing. Sort of a rundown place and had a room on the top floor. It had no windows, only a skylight. People atthe desk were nice but we left the hotel and went home rather than stay the night.
A bit of creative advertising FairyFrazon 15/08/2017 14:41
Be warned - the picture is of the front of the building, the entrance round the back doesn't look quite so appealing and there aren't many parking spaces.
Good points: Received a friendly welcome, our room was clean and it was the only one during our USA trip that had thick, soft toilet paper.
Bad Points: It's all a bit shabby, it's noisy with people up and down the halls all night and loud music, the fire alarm went off at midnight and the beds have plastic matress protectors so in hot weather you'll sweat like a marathon runner. Area also doesn't look too safe with only 1 decent place to eat within walking distance.
Respect yourself. Stay away from this place! NYCMartyon 09/08/2017 09:16
From 2000-2007, I did lots of business in Binghamton and stayed at the Grand Royale more than 20 times. It was one of my all around favorite hotels anywhere. Those days are gone. It should be criminal what the current owners have done to this place. My two night stay was mind-blowingly (if that isn't a word, the Grand Royale has made it one) horrendous. First, I found what looked like an amazing advance payment rate ($64.99/night) on a major travel site. The rate on the hotel's own website was much higher - which should have been clue # 1 of trouble ahead. As I wanted to pay for this trip by cash, I called to ask if they could hold a room with my credit card but accept cash when I got there. Quite easily, (clue #2), they assured me there would be no problem. They did not take my card info or even last name (clues #3 & 4). I of course also asked if they could offer the same rate I had seen online. They asked what rate I found,, and again - no problem (even though about half the rate they had listed on their own site). (Clue # 5).
So many clues - but ironically, the management was simply clueless about anything having to do with how to run a hotel. I arrived around midnight on a Saturday, and was puzzled to see only one car in front of the hotel (which turned out to be the owner's), and zero people going in or out - total contrast to the steady flow to which I was accustomed at this property.. Oddly, they now use a Collier Street address (the original grand entrance a century ago when the building was City Hall - which is now fully off-limits to guests) instead of the State Street address I had provided to so many clients - the street where the entrance is (and was since my first stay there). Sure enough, they did have a room for me, so I was relieved. Then I saw a small, handwritten list taped behind the counter, entitled: Rack Rates". Single room: $69.99. So much for the amazing rate I found -- just $5 below rack rate. The elevator (even in the hotel's bygone excellent years, there was only one elevator) now took a long time to come. Going up (s-s-s-s-slowly), it made discomforting sounds,- and had a funky, dirty smell. I learned that the lovely, caring family who ran the hotel so professionally during the period I when I used to visit left the building vacant for three years while trying to sell it (2011-2014). Then Salim and his family purchased the place and have been running it for the past three years.
My first order of business when I enter any hotel room is to put my bags and stuff in the (hopefully dry) bathtub and carefully check the bed and entire room for bedbugs. (A method recommended by experts.) HELLO! My, that was quick. Right on top of the top white-ish sheet was a live bedbug. Where there is one, it is usually a safe bet that there are more. Though one was all I needed to see, my curiosity drove me to look for more. I lifted the mattress and found a broken crack pipe. Suddenly, I didn't need to see more bedbugs. Also, the co-ax cable for the TV was taped to the wall at eye level then sloped up (several feet through the room) to the top of the window where it went outside.
I really didn't want to have to begin looking for a different hotel at that hour, so I went to the front desk and reported my "discoveries", Though Salim, the manager, tried to play the "No - we don't have bedbugs here" card, showing him the clear picture I shot stopped him in his tracks. He seemed less disturbed by my report of the crack pipe. Without any further discussion, he gave me a key for a different "upgraded" room. I am a very experienced and savvy traveler, and the only "upgrade" I can report is that I did not find any bedbugs in the second room . What did I find? Multiple broken drawers. Extra pillow on the "shelf" in the "closet" outright filthy - multiple black dirt marks the size of my large adult palms. Old, stinky carpet of unknown color, Paper thin towels Wallpaper hanging down from the top of the walls with filth on the back..The air conditioner made a swirling wind sound alternating with silence in about 8 second intervals. The AC was in a tall, wide window (the only window in the room). With the curtain closed, it was impossible for cool-ish air to go anywhere. With the curtains open, the AC had a fighting chance - but that meant zero privacy. The window faced Binghamton City Hall. Saturday and Sunday nights, I figured City Hall would be pretty barren - but even in the wee hours, a steady flow of college age folks walked by, going between their cars and the busy bars across from the hotel. After about half an hour, the room remained sweltering. Back to the front desk. Had to wait for Salim (or anyone) to emerge from what used to be a nice hotel bar - now just Salim and his friends/family smoking hookah. Keys to room # 3. "You'll like this one - it's renovated." By that point, all I wanted was four things I would describe as reasonable and basic: a bug free bed, a toilet, a shower and a roof. Gave up on the worthless wi-fi and went to sleep. Showered - carefully so that the astounding surrounding gross dirt and hairs did not counteract the purpose. Skeezy. Went out to lunch, took a walk around downtown and went back to the hotel. Bizarre - occurred to me that I had yet to see other guests except for a few guys who had just gotten into town later than I did the night before. Up to the room. Went to flush the toilet and the handle stayed in my hand. Couldn't see any place where it could grab on to another part. Went down to front desk and after I said what happened, I was asked "Well then how are you going to flush the toilet?" I kid you not. I said "I was hoping you might tell me." "Oh, then we have to give you a different room because it's Sunday and Maintenance is not in on the weekend." Again, I kid you not. I had enough.I only had four modest requirements, and one was now gone, I went back up to get my things. When I went back down, I asked for a refund for the second night (it was only around 4 PM). I was readily given back the cost of the second night (if I was a hotel manager and somehow I allowed the place to be run like this one, I would have given a full refund for both nights to the guest). Salim then said I can leave if I want (a little creepy), but before I go I should take a look at another room, and if I don't like it, I could leave. He told me it was room 310 and accompanied me up. I knew that room well. It was a suite, and on my many stays under the former, competent management, I stayed in that room many times, often hosting a party there for my associates on the last night of our job. OMG - where the nice, full kitchen used to be there is now a jacuzzi. Its steps (moldy carpeted) are partially blocked by the wall which used to separate the living room from the kitchen. Seriously? I sure wasn't going to use the jacuzzi. I checked the rest of the suite and though shabby and funky (and this was "renovated - our best room - it's the room I stayed for three months when we first bought the building" said Salim) I was still tired and didn't feel like shlepping and paying for a taxi to Johnson City or another close suburb where there is a large selection of normal. trustworthy hotels - and back the next morning when I would leave. As the relic of what used to be a charming suite at least appeared bug-free, I reluctantly chose to stay the night. A few minutes later, just when I was preparing for a hopefully better shower than that morning, someone knocked on the door - incessantly. Though I asked him to come back in 15 minutes, he kept knocking. It was another young man who seemed to work there (not clear who, if any, were employees as it pretty much just seemed at any given time like family or friends of Salim hanging out - in very casual street clothes - shorts, graphic T-shirts, etc.). What was so urgent that I needed to drop what I was doing? He came to give me the key to the room as Salim had opened the room when I checked it out. But,I had told them that for the rest of the day I would likely not leave as I had a lot of work to do on my computer, using my phone as a hot spot modem, and that I would come down at some point for a key. Was that it? Naaaah. He also wanted the money for the night (as it had already been refunded - and I guess even though I agreed to stay at this place a second night despite all of the outrageous conditions, I must have been the one not trustworthy.) I gave him the money, and he told me I was very lucky. "This room is over $200 so Salim is really giving you a big break." That hand-written slip at the front desk listed the rack rate for the suite as $159).
These folks at first seemed nice enough. They are not evil, but honesty is in short supply there. The photos on the hotel's website are, at best, misleading - especially the dazzling banquet facilities and grand, historic entrance. If it weren;t so sad, I would burst out laughing at just the thought of anyone choosing to hold their wedding or any event at the current iteration of the Grand Royale. Shame on me - I should have checked more recent reviews and ratings rather than relying on my happy memories of this hotel under different, real management.
Hotel operation is not my industry. I am also not a train operator but would surely recognize when a train derails. It is reasonable to imagine that there are fundamental exams and/or requirements by the city, county or state which must be met to be granted licenses needed to run a hotel - and pass subsequent inspections. Over the course of my painful two night stay, I saw absolutely no manifestation of even the most remote trace of knowledge, experience or judgment which any guest should reasonably expect when lodging. Knowing first hand how enjoyable and pristine the Grand Royale used to be - not so terribly long ago - it is particularly heartbreaking to see what has become of it. I would beg all relevant regulatory agencies to put this hotel out of its misery and shut it down. The good people of Binghamton and visitors to this down on its luck but strong city deserve so much better.