Submitted on 14-10-2016
I recently stayed three nights at The Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. My overall impression is that it is in need of a major facelift, and re-invigorate the staff to care about the quality of their product. It feels that they go through the motions about asking for requests, answering the ‚??Guest Services‚?? line, but the actual condition of the hotel is borderline unacceptable and the follow-up to customer requests and interfaces are lacking. Likewise, the physical plant is in need of ove...
I recently stayed three nights at The Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. My overall impression is that it is in need of a major facelift, and re-invigorate the staff to care about the quality of their product. It feels that they go through the motions about asking for requests, answering the ‚??Guest Services‚?? line, but the actual condition of the hotel is borderline unacceptable and the follow-up to customer requests and interfaces are lacking. Likewise, the physical plant is in need of overhauls.
The hotel (actually two separate buildings about 1/4 mile apart) is located just minutes from the airport. There is a shuttle available that runs every 20 minutes and as you wait for the shuttle you can see the hotel about a half mile away. The driver will ask for your name so s/he can take you to the correct building, there are two about one-quarter mile apart, they both overlook the marina. My stay was the first building at 1380 Harbor Island Drive. I was attending a conference and was happy that my room was in the same building as the event. I am Lifetime Gold, platinum for the last five years so I am a pretty loyal Starwood‚??s customer.
Check-in was quick and very pleasant. I reserved a room with a king bed, but was told on arrival that there were none available and was assigned a room with two double beds, not queen. I was solo and it did not matter. What was interesting was the website still offered king rooms for my stay duration, so either the web site or the front desk was wrong.
There are four elevators. The first head‚??s up is the room door. Given the proximity to the water they have expanded and are quite difficult to push open, a good firm push is required. This also comes into play when closing. You just cannot let the door close on its own, you have to push it closed for security.
The rooms are decent in size, mine overlooked the harbor, the other side overlooks the city. I am not sure which view is better, just a personal preference. It is very nautical in d√©cor. There were the two queen beds, a sitting chair, side table, desk, chest of drawers and two stand-alone lamps. Nautical flags and banner adorn the walls. It feels like you are a guest at a yacht club, one that tries hard to be new, but the feel is worn and dowdy.
Cleanliness ‚?? I received a pre-arrival e-mail asking for special requests. Mine were, ‚??very clean.‚?? They did a pretty good job with the basics, which should be every room, every stay. The bathroom countertop was clean, the top of the desk and night table, likewise. They did a pretty good job vacuuming. The top of the wooden headboard had a layer of dust. The sitting chair was not one I felt comfortable sitting in; the arm rests were filthy. Likewise, the leather handles on the chest of drawers were ripped, frayed or gone completely and you can almost feel the thousands of guests that previously occupied the room. The cleanliness, or should I say lack of cleanliness, of the bathroom deserves its own section and is described below.
Hallways ‚?? They are dated, and a little musty. The issue I have is the lack of care in keeping them clean. The was a conference in the hotel and box lunches were distributed one day. Some on the floor obviously ate them in their rooms and left the empty boxes in the hallway mid-afternoon. They remained, and were finally collected by housekeeping around 1100AM the following morning. Likewise, there was a leak in the hallway ceiling causing a ceiling tile to fall. I called and they brought a bucket to collect the dripping water but left the fallen tile on the floor. They then sent a person who spent time on a ladder looking at the leak. He also left without removing the fallen tile. Why not remove the tile when the bucket was delivered? The fallen tile was finally removed around 1:00PM.
HVAC ‚?? Awful. It was off when I arrived and the room was warm so I set it to my desired temperature. It worked well cooling the room. The following morning it was too cool so I increased the temperature. This had no effect on the temperature in the room.
Bedding ‚?? The bed was pretty comfortable with a thick mattress cover to make for a soft sleep.
Electric Outlets ‚?? Few and far between. There are none on the night table, one in the lamp on the desk and one behind the sitting chair. There was one next to the bed on the opposite side from the night table. This is not a hotel for the modern traveler who wants to charge numerous personal electronics.
WiFi ‚?? The speed on the free wifi is painfully slow. At some point hotels will understand that speedy wifi is expected, just like heat, A/C and TV. At least it was free, but manage your expectations on speed. If you are looking to use wifi in the lobby be prepared for an incredibly frustrating time. Those of you who remember 2400 baud dial-up will experience d√©j√† vu. Loading your gmail account will take minutes, not seconds.
Refreshment Center ‚?? I do not know the prices since I never opened the maximum security refreshment center. But I would be remiss not to mention the following, which I have not seen at ANY hotel in the world in 50 years. There is a 22% re-stocking fee, yup they charge you to eat or drink the food and beverages and then they charge you for overhead, as in the staff whose job it is to do their job. Totally outrageous.
Bathroom ‚?? Typical Sheraton configuration, with an SOT and very limited amenities and Restoration Hardware type fixtures, with a tub cover installed over the original tub giving a spongy feel while showering. The water pressure was very weak, and turning the faucets required a lot of effort.
Maintenance was not good at all.
1 - The towel hook on the back of the door was already broken off.
2 - There was a screw missing from the extra mirror, so it would only stay in one position.
3 - There was a crack on the toilet seat.
4 - The grout around the tub tile looked like it was recently replaced, and there was grout residue everywhere.
5 - One of the baskets to hold soap and shampoo in the shower was falling from the wall.
Even though my main request pre-arrival was ‚??very clean,‚?? the bathroom was nowhere close to this request:
1 ‚?? The plastic cover and the wall surrounding the light switch was filthy. I used soap and water to clean it. The towel turned black with dirt.
2 - I picked up the floor mat and a five-inch hair fell out. Not mine, but from a previous guest. Not a good way to start the morning.
3 ‚?? There were additional long dark hairs on the walls inside the tub-shower from previous guests.
4 - The shelf under the sink where the towels are stored was covered in dust.
So much for my ‚??very clean‚?? request.
Overall this Sheraton is mid-grade, at best, convention hotel in need of maintenance and adult supervision. While the common areas were totally acceptable, the condition of my room was nowhere close to this standard, in fact the cleanliness in the bathroom was closer to filthy. My request for ‚??very clean‚?? seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. The physical plant needs more than a make-over and the quality control could use better focus. The infrastructure is very much mid-1950s with a little facelift, and the upgrades and redecorating have been minimal. I would stay at this hotel on a need-to basis, not for any other reason.