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“Decent hotel, but several irritations” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Crowne Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh South

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Crowne Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh South
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   164 Fort Couch Road, Upper Saint Clair, PA 15241 (Formerly Holiday Inn Select)   |  
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Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Decent hotel, but several irritations”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh South for four nights around New Year's Eve.

On the plus side, the room was nice and clean, the room service staff did a good job, the gym is 24-hour access and clients have free access to the LA Fitness center about a 10-minute walk away. LA Fitness has a nice lap pool of which I took advantage.

Unfortunately we had several irritations with this hotel: For checkin, we dealt with a very unfriendly receptionist who made a big issue out of the breakfast vouchers. (I had reserved their "Book Early & Save with Breakfast" deal.) At first the receptionist said the problem was that I had reserved with a third party website (e.g. Expedia). This was totally untrue, and I showed the paperwork to prove that I had reserved through IHG. After that, the receptionist said there must have been a glitch in the system because of a wrong code. However the receptionist refused to help us, until I remained at the counter reviewing the details of the reservation. I never got angry, impolite, or raised my voice. The receptionist eventually fixed the problem, however grudingly and with a single word: "Whatever". I'm not sure I have ever witnessed this level of unprofessionalism at a hotel.

On the first night we found three cigarette butts in a stairwell which reaked of cigarette smoke. Later that night, around 6am, there was a fire alarm and we had to evacuate the rooms. Surely these two things were unrelated, but it was hard not to wonder ... In any case, being awakened by a screaming alarm is a terrible way to pass the first night in a hotel.

Another reviewer commented about confusion with their breakfast voucher system, and we had the same confusion our first morning at breakfast. The language of the reservation/website suggests, and the breakfast vouchers state in clear language, that the vouchers provide a free breakfast buffet (see pic). However that is not true -- in reality the breakfast buffet costs $3 per person (with the vouchers) due to some interesting accounting (see pic). Still, $3 per person for a buffet is a good deal, but the actual costs should be stated more clearly in their paperwork. I would suggest they simply write "$12 off breakfast".

I had been told over the phone by the hotel that we could stay in a pet-free area, however I crossed paths with other clients near our room who had a pet with them. When I reviewed some signage on our floor, I saw that only circus animals are disallowed (see pic).

With all the complaints I have about this hotel, one might ask why I gave it 2 stars instead of 1. The fact is that the hotel was functionally decent ... we just had a strong feeling of mistrust after all those little irritations. Usually my girlfriend and I go to a hotel bar for drinks, order up food, watch a movie or two, etc.. However with the bad vibe we got from this hotel, after the first morning we abstained from spending any money on hotel services and avoided talking to staff. We felt downright uncomfortable in the hotel, although that subsided after a couple of days.

I'm sorry to deliver such a bad review of a decent hotel, but these were our experiences. Maybe we just got unlucky -- the hotel does have a lot of good reviews -- but at any rate we will not be back any time soon.

Room Tip: The eighth floor is not pet-free (well, circus animals are excluded ..).
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill E, Director of Sales at Crowne Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh South, responded to this review, January 7, 2014
Thank you for taking time to tell us about your recent stay. We are truly sorry about the confusion with your breakfast coupons - both at check in and in the restaurant. We have followed up with our staff to correct the situation. Whether the front desk staff misread the package code for your reservation or not, there is no justification for not treating you with the respect and appreciation you deserve. The breakfast coupon you presented IS valid for the entire cost of the breakfast buffet. After looking into it, we discovered that the server you had that morning typically only works dinner shifts, and she was not up to speed on the breakfast coupons. Again, we are sorry for the mix up. It is especially unfortunate as it caused you to lose confidence in our ability to deliver the level of service you should expect at a Crowne Plaza.

The floor you stayed on is a pet-free floor. If someone had a dog on your floor, they must have snuck them in. It is difficult to police this situation, but it is typically not a problem.

The cigarette butts in the emergency exit and the fire alarm were not related, and we understand your concerns regarding both issues. We are a smoke free facility, and most people are totally compliant with the policy. Someone apparently felt it was acceptable to use the emergency stairwell... The fire alarm was a false alarm, but it was not verified as such until the alarm itself went off. We are really sorry about this; I know how much this would disrupt your sleep!

Again, we really appreciate your input. I am happy to know that you found your room to be clean and that the room service staff and the availability of our gym and LA Fitness were positives for you. If you should be planning a return trip, please contact me directly. I would like to make certain that your next experience at the Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh South completely exceeds your expectations.

Best Regards,
Bill E
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253 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

stayed in this hotel at start of our 17 day trip around America we stayed here for 4 nights in Nov 2013 , we had pleasure of staying in one of the more luxurious suites which had a jaccuzi . When we opened the room door wow room looked brill had out own little kitchen area with sink , microwave and fridge along with coffee maker and as for the room with the jaccuzi well my boyfriend loved this soaking away while watching the football on the overhead plazma what more could you ask for , room was always spotless drank in bar few times which was pleasant enough location is brill right across the road from a big shopping mall and train station nly about 10min walk would deffo stay here again recommend this hotel

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

This is probably the only hotel around for miles. I truly enjoyed our stay and the rooms were clean and nice. I also liked the amenities (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc). I've never heard of templespa products before and that is what was in my room. In fact I loved the amenities so much that I had to google templespa and I've already ordered from their website. I definitely recommend this hotel and we did enjoy our stay!!!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, PA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

Myself and two work colleagues chose this location because it was close to some businesses we were visiting. Upon arrival we were immediately checked in and found our rooms very clean and accommodating.
We ate dinner in the restaurant and the staff was very professional and efficient. We wanted to visit a local lounge for a cocktail, but did not want to drive. The shuttle driver offered to take us to a local restaurant and pick us up in 2 hours. (Going above and beyond!).
In the morning the housekeeping staff greeted us as they were doing their rounds and asked if they could help with anything.
Overall, we felt the staff and the hotel was really nice. We'd stay here again!

Room Tip: Elevator access to all rooms
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, MD
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

Hotel staff is friendly and the hotel is clean. The location is was close to shopping and restruants. The hotel is bit dated but it is was still an overall great experience. Eric, at the front desk, took great care of us, giving us a complimentary upgrade to the jacuzzi suite. Thanks!!

Room Tip: Go for the jacuzzi suite with the fireplace, you won't regret it!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

Due to a death in my family, I needed rooms on short notice and the front desk accommodated my needs perfectly.
The breakfast buffet was wonderful and Meghan did a great job serving.
Karin allowed us to unwind at the bar after a long day.

Overall, the staff was professional and always helpful.

Brian - the GM - runs a great property

Thank you Crowne Plaza!

Room Tip: Just ask the staff at the front desk. They'll certainly work to get a good fit
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staveley
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

Pittsburgh downtown hotels were sold out with the hockey and football teams playing at home over the weekend so we chose the Crowne Plaza near South Hills Village because of its easy light railway access into the city (10 minute walk). The building is uninspiring and is located in urban surroundings opposite a large mall with a Macys etc.

The hotel reception staff were very welcoming and helpful especially the head receptionist Lauren who organised taxis, flight check in, resolved a breakfast billing dispute and some cash for me. The rooms were spacious and well equipped with a comfortable bed.

The bar is soulless and uninspiring; and although breakfast was good, none of staff in the restaurant on either day understood that pre-paid breakfast vouchers with a face value of $12 also covered the breakfast buffet (normal cost $13.99) without me paying the extra $1.99! The service was otherwise good.

We had dinner in the restaurant on Saturday night only and in truth I could not recommend it despite cheerful service as my wife's salmon was seriously undercooked, the potatoes very poor and her substitute shrimps were limp and tasteless. My pork chop with baked potato and green beans was nice and good value.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh South, responded to this review, November 25, 2013
Dear Bridgehouse_10,

Thank you for staying with us and taking the time to provide feedback. It was great to read you liked our location and helpful front desk staff. We are constantly striving to provide our guests with the highest level of service that they have come to expect from our hotel. We apologize if the bar atmosphere and food selections fell below your expectations. Your feedback is greatly appreciated as it aids us in ensuring such issues are resolved.

Again, I appreciate your valuable comments and hope we will have the opportunity to serve you again.

Sincerely,

Zelyn N
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Crowne Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh South

Address: 164 Fort Couch Road, Upper Saint Clair, PA 15241 (Formerly Holiday Inn Select)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Upper Saint Clair
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Upper Saint Clair
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Crowne Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh South 3.5*
Number of rooms: 179
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our contemporary suburban, full service hotel is conveniently situated in the South Hills, just 7 miles to downtown Pittsburgh. We feature the latest in lodging decor and technology with comfortable accommodations, executive suites and extended stay residences. We have recently upgraded our bedding and have added 37" flat screen TVs with an incredible high definition programming package! We’re located in the beautiful South Hills area within walking distance to upscale shopping, theaters, and restaurants. There is plenty to do from the convenience of our hotel. With light rail transportation service located within walking distance, a trip into downtown Pittsburgh is both convenient and hassle-free. Take time to see why we are, once again, Rand McNally’s "Most Livable City." Explore world class galleries, museums and cultural venues or catch a game with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center or Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field only a short drive from our hotel. We have an intriguing variety of rooms and suites. PJ's Grille & Bar delivers gourmet cuisine as well a casual fare in a comfortable atmosphere. Join us, in season, at our outdoor poolside patio bar "PJ's Back Porch" offering weekend specials from 5 PM till closing. Our meeting & convention services are sure to exceed your expectations. The latest in style and functionality are yours to experience whether you are planning your wedding, graduation, reunion, or corporate meeting. Our facilities and professional planning staff anticipate your needs. We offer the perfect location for your bridal or baby shower, and can accommodate your function while pampering your out of town quests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Crowne Plaza

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