Last week we drove from Key West to Hollywood Florida for a family reunion and booked what we thought was a four-five star hotel, the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida. How very wrong we were.
Hardly anything went right after our long wait to check in.
This Westin was so bad that it deserves the longest negative review I’ve ever written and believe me, it could have been longer.
• Valet $26.50 vs. self parking $20.00 per day (including all the extra days they can add onto your bill).
We were charged for Valet parking at $26.50 per day for three days and $20.00 per day for four days. The problem is, we checked in at 6:30 p.m., never used Valet and checked out a little after noon on the sixth day. We stayed only five nights!
• Go seven and one half floors to exit ½ floor below where you parked.
Even though the self parking garage across the street from the hotel is bifurcated by a bridge and courtyard, it clearly was designed to allow cars to enter and exit from the same side. However, these geniuses have blocked the exit on one side of the garage forcing parkers to go up to the fourth floor, then across and back down four floors to the exit in the next garage. We found a parking spot half way up the first floor from the original exit but had to leave by driving up three floors, then over to the next garage and back down four floors to exit. More on parking later.
• Bring your own clean bed linens. This hotel is frugal.
We requested our bed linens to be changed daily by placing the sign on the pillow but they were only fully changed one time out of five nights. The carpet was stained and dusty but we never saw a vacuum used. However, we did return early one day and found two pillows standing upright on the carpet and two lying on the sofa while the maid replaced some of the linens on the bed but not the pillow cases which she laid on the sofa and carpet. How did we know? We mark the linens each day because we’re tired of paying hotels for services and amenities which are promised but not delivered. The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida is one of those hotels.
• Bring your own soap!
We found one bar of soap in the shower and one bar on the bathroom counter the day we checked in. After three days one bar was down to crumbs and the other a small chip we left on the shower floor hoping for a new one but we were not given new soap. We were not given another new bar of soap until the last day and we believe that only happened because we were scheduled to checkout that day (this was also the only time all our linens were changed) so we think the maid thought a new customer was coming. Hopefully they clean at least once for each new customer before they arrive. Don't count on it!
• Front desk personnel were incompetent and lazy.
We had booked an additional night through Hotels.com and alerted the front desk of the new reservation which, of course, they unsuccessfully looked for in their system for two days (we gave them the confirmation number) but they never found it so they then charged us an additional night’s stay. Instead of doing their job and finding out why the new reservation did not appear in their system, they placed the blame on us. We would have gladly printed the Hotels.com e-mail confirmation but we chose not to pay for internet access (which now days should be included). Had the front desk offered to allow us to use a computer in the business office to accomplish this task, we could have cleared up the Westin’s mistake quick and easy. Instead, we must spend our time doing their job at the end of our trip! We went to our room three different times only to find we had to return to the front desk because our keys didn't work.
• In-room Internet access $12.95 plus taxes per day.
We did use the business center computer for something and we were charged $7.36 including taxes for 15 minutes. That’s over $25.00 an hour!
• Reserving a hotel room is like a box of chocolates…
We had booked the first night’s stay at the Westin website and the remainder as we expanded our stay through our preferred hotel website agent, Hotels.com. We’ve observed that after booking hundreds of rooms with online websites like Hotels.com, Pricewatch.com and Expedia.com that we invariably are given a room across from the ice machine, next to the elevator or both (even when the hotel is sparsely booked). So by booking the first night directly with the hotel’s website we don’t usually get those rooms. But then we booked an additional night at the end of our stay with Hotels.com and the Westin's front desk couldn’t deal with a problem of such magnitude. We’ll see how long it takes them to understand their short comings and correct their mistakes after we provide documentation. Could take months.
• What next, electronic ankle bracelets to go to the pool and beach?
We never visited the pool or beach because they required us to stand in a long line for security guards to lock plastic wrist bands on us (we’re senior citizens, although we were wearing our beach hoodies). Instead of four security guards and bracelets why don’t they just ask us to put our key in a machine to verify we’re staying there? Simple and cheap! What next, electronic ankle bracelets? The pool was so full of people and the beach so small we can’t believe there are that many people trying to sneak in who aren’t staying there or maybe there was a terrorist threat they didn’t tell us about?
• Go out the front of the hotel, turn right, walk to sidewalk and then turn right for the beach.
We did try to go out to walk the beach but were prevented in doing so by security guards who would not let us because we had not been banded. We were told to go out the front door of the hotel and then to the right on the side walk but were again prevented access by more security guards. Instead we were told to go past the next building where there is a public access sidewalk to the beach. So much for reserving a hotel on the beach. Location, location, location!
• Bring your own beach chair!
Beach chairs will set you back an additional first born per chair, per day.
• FINAL WARNING - THIS VEHICLE IS ILLEGALLY PARKED. IT WILL BE TOWED WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE AND STORED AT OWNERS EXPENSE.
What brought that on? We’d found a wonderful $20.00 per day self park spot in the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida garage and parked there for four days and on the last day received a big orange sticker across our window we had to peel off with the above pronouncement. The parking spot we parked in had a parking bumper and a white stripe and no signs were posted warning not to park there. Our little car fit nicely. After checking out on our final day we found the sticker stuck to our car so I did not have a chance to see if they would actually tow a properly parked car. I’d love to see these Westin idiots explain that to a judge.
• In closing, we had a very nice family reunion.
I’d always wanted to stay at the Diplomat when I was growing up in Hollywood but never did. This was my big opportunity. Dashed!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 21, 2013
Dear RD o,
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Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay. We are sorry to hear that we did not exceed your expectations during your stay. We apologize about the experiences you described with our parking, service, housekeeping, pool, and security. It is never our intention to inconvenience our guests and we are truly sorry that your stay was not a relaxing one. We will embrace your feedback as an opportunity to improve our services for you and future guests of our resort. We hope to have a new opportunity to welcome you back in the future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.