This hotel should be total perfection but it most certainly is not. One arrives and is struck by the beauty of the location right on Shem Creek. A room at the front of the property will provide a view to die for and a room ( identical to the car park facing ones) that incorporates all one needs. A
Large king size bed, bright decor, good lighting, quiet aircon, a creek facing balcony and a bathroom that whilst smaller than most has all that is required to make a stay at Shem Creek memorable. However the memory that will linger is the front desk, a desk more suited to a disinterested government bureau than a hotel that seeks to impress its guests. Shem Creek is living on what it has, a fantastic location, an interesting building, great adjacent resterauants and generally excellent weather. What is lacks is a manager. Not once on three days were we greeted with as much as a smile, we could have been bin men! The room is maintained the breakfast area most certainly is not!!! Our first breakfast when we arrived at 8.45am led us to clean a table for ourselves, they were all filthy with the debris of other diners. The cereal counter was a disgrace. The coffee area told the tale of many spilt cups, an excess of suger laid on the surface areas and a floor that was in dire need of a sweep. The manager or lady manning the office arrives. She makes a coffee whilst announcing to the girl who we assume should have been maintaining basic hygienic standards with the line "you have too many plastic cups out" and duly removes half of the high mountain of plastic cups and places them in a drawer. The fact the whole area was dirty failed to be noticed. Were this an odd occurrence it could possibly be excused, it was repeated at least in part on day two. At nine am there was a dearth of food, the doughnut trays stood empty, the table surfaces were empty, yes not an experienced one should suffer at a hotel carrying the reputation we had read about. It would be more American to be greeted with have you had a good day, do have a good day etc but at Shem Creek a smile comes as a true bonus. Yes we are visitors to the USA (not for the first time by any means) and this trip we have stayed at a variety of what one may call plastic chain hotels but all without exception provided us with the anticipated American cleanliness and a level of warmth and greeting for which the nation is famed for which Shem Creek is lacking. As an international traveller of some experience I beg this most beautiful hotel to get its act together and not to rely on the assets it does not control to continually fill its rooms.