Location is convenient to convention and arts center. Rooms are tiny, halls are dark and low ceilinged -- felt like I was back in the 70's once I left the lobby. Two different days, the room was not serviced by housekeeping -- which is no big deal except that we really did run out of towels (even after re-using them) and we also had to call for toilet paper because when the room was attended to, housekeeping did not notice that. These are small things, but when you are traveling for a busy convention they eat up minutes and also create a sort of hassled feeling. One day I returned from a busy day of meetings and the room still had not been freshened up by 4 p.m. I called guest services and asked that they at least come up and take out the trash/exchange the towels before we returned at 9 p.m. It was still not tended to, so as we were preparing to sleep, we had to stay up and wait for housekeeping to do what they should have done at 9 in the morning or at 4 p.m. when I asked. The poor evening housekeeping staff looked at us like we were a nuisance, but it wasn't their fault-- or ours -- it was the previous shift's.
Note that at this hotel you only have the option to call "guest services" for everything -- no separate lines for the front desk or housekeeping. There was not one time that I called guest services and got directly to a person. You have to listen to a recording and then be put on hold when you call for help.
Next, the internet access in this property is arcane and byzantine. Aside from the fact that it costs $13.00/day, it is hard to access. The front desk had blocked ours (because we were listed under more than one name, but it was all on my credit card which they had on file downstairs) and after repeated requests to get access it was repeatedly impossible to log onto the internet. This problem persisted over multiple days and shifts even though the front desk said they would fix it. This headache forced me to go across the street to work and catch up on correspondence at Starbuck's. I am flexible and experienced at travel and willing to put up with a hurdle or two, but this was just dumb. After the first or second ask someone should have just made sure I got what I needed. I did call the 800 number on the card on the desk and the line was always busy. I have to say I NEVER have this problem at Marriotts -- even the downscale properties like Fairfield Inn.
There is a sort of internet cafe in the lobby with the offer of printing boarding passes free. It does work, but 9 out of 10 people get pretty confused about how to make it work -- and I am talking about sophisticated business travelers who find this property's particular log in to check in screens confusing. There is no reason for it to be confusing or for grown men and women to have to stumble around asking each other for help. I saw numbers of people decide to just leave and get their passes at the airport after being frustrated.
I went to the concierge at one point to inquire about transportation for a special event. She was on the phone on what was clearly a personal call ...giggling, making small talk with a friend or lover, while several of us stood and waited and the line grew longer.
And though this is an expensive convention hotel in a major downtown area, we were harrasssed by a homeless creep right in front of the property. The man followed us into the building and would've gotten into the elevator with us had we not retreated and asked the front desk to call security. Security was there in a jiffy and the fistfight did not last long. I know that this creeper was not the hotel's problem, but on the other hand I have never had to witness anything like this in any other fine hotel. Just a heads up to anyone coming down here for a convention, just because you are paying top dollar for this Sheraton doesn't mean you will be safer or more secure.
Three blocks up the street on Van Buren is a Springfield Suites hotel. It costs half as much, is probably just as safe and the rooms are bigger, the beds are bigger. Breakfast is free there, the internet is free there and it works and the pool is outdoors and about the same size as this one. For your money you will get a better night's sleep there, not have to wait as long at the elevator, not have to beg to get your room made up and only walk about a block further to get to the convention center.
We ate a $17 breakfast here that was not very good. It should at least be good in a property like this. No kidding, the waffles are just as good at that free buffet up the street at the SpringHill.
It has been a long time since I have felt this "had" by a chain property. More than one guest services/desk/housekeeping person had a chance to make the impression different, but instead I was made to feel like a nuisance. (Except for one employee at the front desk named Jess -- she was professional, positive and tried immediately to make things better)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel is conveniently located in the center of the city, adjacent to the Phoenix Convention Center and just five miles from the Sky Harbor International Airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Phoenix