I've stayed several times as a platinum member at this property and seen the quality of the stay go down each time, but this time took the cake.
When I checked in, after having specified in the comments field to give me a tower room instead of atrium, the front desk clerk breezily told me "we have you in a beautiful room in the atrium building!" They finally found a room in the tower building (barely), and then proceeded to try to authorize my card for double the amount of the reservation, rather than the birthday rate it clearly stated I had on the reservation. Got to my room and found out that despite being a platinum guest, it's exactly the same size room as on the reservation, no "platinum upgrade". This visit, the "inability" of the staff to give a room upgrade is blamed on the same thing it was blamed on the last two times I stayed here as well, occupancy. It's funny that other hotels see a reservation coming in for a platinum guest and will PRE-block off an upgraded room just to take care of platinums. But apparently the Sheraton Birmingham only gives an upgrade the day of arrival, to milk the system for every suite it can sell to someone else. They're perfectly in their rights to do so, but it certainly doesn't make a platinum guest feel "VIP" to arrive over and over as a repeat guest and find out there is NEVER an upgrade.
Got check in straightened out, and went to my room to connect to the wifi before heading back to my car for my stuff. Put in my name and room number and... "this guest isn't registered in the system." That's funny, I JUST REGISTERED. Over and over, same thing. They sent a maintenance guy to my room (this was around 11 PM). Couldn't understand how this could be a "maintenance" issue (nor could the maintenance guy). He called the 1-800 techie number (which I couldn't call myself since there appears to be a typo on what should be a ten digit phone number on the splash page, and the "phone number" given is at least 12 or 13 digits long). The tech people of course put us through all the usual pointless "troubleshooting" steps that did nothing, before finally doing what they should have done to begin with, acknowledge that it's a problem on their end not mine, and manually connect me.
I then went to the concierge desk and asked for a luggage cart. Was told a guest couldn't have a cart. So fine, can a bellman come to the garage since that's where I'm parked? Sure, but he's busy with some other guests. No problem. 15 minutes later, it was starting to get tiring standing around, so I told the concierge I'd head on over to the garage, and my car was right in front of the elevators, gave her the floor number. I go to my car, get my very few things out, and it's now 11:30 going on midnight, waiting, waiting... Still no bellman. I'd left my cell phone in my room, and alone in the garage with my stuff on the floor I had no way to leave to find him without reloading it all into the car just to take it back out again when he finally did show up... Actually considered pushing the "emergency call" button on the garage intercom to ask the garage if they could call and find out where the guy was... Two guests walked by on their way in and I asked them if they could mention to the concierge that I was out there, apparently forgotten about, no way to call? The guy finally shows up after a 20 minute or more wait, loads my stuff, and I'm thinking this endless day might finally be over. Not even close.
I get to the room (my beautiful literally-RIGHT-OVER-the-highway room) and when washing my face and brushing teeth notice the sink isn't draining. Fiddle with the drain lever, but nothing changes. Figure I'll deal with it in the morning, as it's midnight or after at that point. Head toward the bed and only then notice that my pillow, which had been perfectly clean when I gingerly put it on top of my stuff in the garage waiting on the bellman, was now covered in black motor oil soot. Since I didn't have a different pillowcase, I wiped it off as best I could and turned it inside out. I then hear dripping from the bathroom and walk back over to find out the sink is draining all right, all over the bathroom floor from the trap underneath. I call downstairs and tell them I need extra towels to sop it up but that I'd like to wait till the morning for anything else as it was VERY late. They insist on sending maintenance to do plumbing - after midnight. I had him in my room until nearly 1 AM. Every time someone had to bring towels or make another maintenance run, it was up and down, open the door, lie back down, another knock, back up to the door, then lie back down. Sooooo relaxing.
I get up the next morning thinking thank goodness that's all behind me, only to find out that out of the bare minimum items I brought in from the car (two pants, two shirts, two pairs of shoes), the BRAND NEW shoes I'd looked forward to wearing for the first time were now one shoe. I spent the second day of my trip tearing through my car, visiting the security office of the garage (twice), peering into garbage cans in the garage, and talking to hotel security about what happened to THE OTHER SHOE. Best part is, the shoes were discontinued by the manufacturer some time ago and are no longer available. All the "compensation" in the world couldn't get me a shoe that's no longer in existence. I sent an email to the manufacturer hoping to find a discount store they'd sent the last pairs to, combed ebay, and spent the next night combing sites and yet another night combing a Ross and a DSW in the area looking for a replacement, with no luck.
The second day of my visit, I'm in my room in a towel having just showered, with the do not disturb sign on the door handle, when there's a standard knock and "housekeeping" call at the door... ?? I cracked the door and felt outside for the door handle, and yes, sure enough, there was the "DO NOT DISTURB" sign, hanging right there on the handle. At this point I could hear the housekeeper outside saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry"... but seriously?
The last full day of my visit I get up and switch the AC/heat over to heat since my feet are like ice cubes (they'd probably be warmer with TWO SHOES, after all). I wait for warm air to blow out of the vents, but nothing. I turn the temp higher. Still nothing. Even higher. Stlll nothing. I'm well aware that it's 90 degrees outside, but that says nothing to the fact that the temp in my room is frigid. I called downstairs and asked for maintenance to please come fix my heat. Nothing. No one came. No one called. Apparently no one cares. Big surprise.
Check-out day: the bill under the door. Is it for the birthday rate, which was ignored upon check-in but "fixed" at that point? Nope. The first day is the full rate. The second day is a "government rate" at $25 higher. I'm not a government employee. The rest of the bill is gibberish, all entered manually, debits and credits seemingly made at random with zero explanation for each line, absolutely indecipherable.
All in all, I can't for the life of me imagine what they DIDN'T do wrong.
The property is located in an area very near the jail, and locals as well as posted signs in the area warn of a high likelihood of car break ins if you don't park in the garage. The nearby park is FILLED with seedy characters as well. I've been warned several times not to stay in this neighborhood but have ignored the warnings because I wanted to stay at a Sheraton. I will never even remotely consider staying here again. There are more affordable properties south of town in much nicer neighborhoods, where I can carry my own things and thus have clean pillows and my things aren't lost by sloppy bellmen, with no semis rumbling by literally right underneath my room and free (safe) parking.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.