I was in Minneapolis for business last month and arrived a day earlier than scheduled so I thought I would try my luck with Priceline on a four-star hotel in Minneapolis. As a starting bid, I offered to pay less than half the price of a regular standard room rate. To my surprise, The Westin accepted my bid.
So here I was at a four-star hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Having returned from dinner at the 8th Street Grille, I watched some college hoops (pre-Final Four excitement) on the room's large HDTV, caught up on some emails and went to bed.
Little did I know that my anticipated rest was not to be. About 2:30 am, I was awoken by a commotion in the hallway. From what became crystal clear – via loud talking which morphed into yelling, a group of young women had returned from a night on the town; celebrating one of the foursome’s birthday.
Unfortunately for them, and everyone trying to sleep in nearby rooms, was the fact that the person with the room key-card had entered the room first and shut the door behind her, just before passing out. The remaining members of the party were left stranded in the hallway, outside their room which happened to be right next door to mine.
Now you can imagine what ensued. The three young "ladies" started yelling at their roommate and banging on their guest room door demanding to be let in. Not to insult former or current G.I.s, but the words these women were using would have made a Marine blush.
A night manager from the hotel had responded to the noise and did his best in attempting to get the women to quiet down. But by this point there was no stopping them. They were so angry at their (now former) friend inside the room that they were not going to stop pounding on the door and screaming at the top of their lungs until she woke up and unlocked the door.
So now it’s about 3:15 am (give or take 10 minutes), and the ladies successfully rousted their roommate and gained entry to their room. It was about this time that the Minneapolis Police Department showed up to escort the ladies out of the hotel. Even with the threat of jail hanging over their heads, two members of the party continued yelling all the way down the hall to the elevators, actually hoping to wake up everyone in the hotel, with the officers still back at the room patiently waiting for the remaining two to gather their personal belongings.
Since I purchased the room through Priceline, The Westin was unable to process my request for a credit on my room. I currently have a dispute filed with Priceline through my credit card company.
I don’t fault The Westin or its employees for what happened. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances that could have occurred in any hotel, apparently even a four-star. All I was looking for was a pleasant place to rest my head for the night. What I got was a restless night along with an appreciation for what hotel managers and public safety personnel have to deal with during the ‘graveyard shift’.
While the chances of my slumber being disturbed by a similar incident in the near future are very slim, I doubt I’ll bid on a four-star hotel in downtown Minneapolis again. Maybe I'll try one of the suburbs...