This review is from the perspective of an SPG (Sheraton) loyalty club member. Our expectations of the hotel were in line with the standard of service we are accustomed to receiving from Sheraton hotels.
Our jobs require that we travel frequently. We are avid fans of the Starwood branded hotels, and between the two of us, we typically stay 8-12 nights per month at their properties, whenever our respective companies approve the available rate. We have maintained platinum status in the loyalty club for 10 years, and gold status for the years prior to that decade. We are well-acquainted with their high standard of comfort and service.
The Sheraton Virginia Beach hotel website states that the entire property has been renovated, including the guest rooms. "Renovated" seems to refer solely to the addition of Sweet Sleeper beds and flat-screen televisions, which are very nice and standard at all of the Sheraton properties where we've stayed. However, the furnishings and textiles seemed very dated, and were not comfortable nor inviting - it was hard to believe they were part of a recent renovation. The view of the ocean was indeed beautiful, though, and kept us from seeking out alternative accommodations.
Ours was a reward stay, a Suite Night Award upgrade. We received an email prior to the trip with a variety of upgraded rooms available, and were asked to select our preferred rooms. When we checked in, we received an apology that none of our preferred rooms were available, and were given a poolside room with 2 queen beds. We got a little lost trying to find the room, and a very nice employee offered to escort us there. She apologized that we weren't given one of the "tower" rooms, and seemed to anticipate that we'd be disappointed with our accommodations. When we entered the room, designated as a "studio suite", we were immediately disappointed at the rather cramped quarters and the dated furnishings. Having redeemed a Suite reward, we expected a bit more. It was dark, small, and decorated in the dated and worn furnishings that seemed standard at this property. When we voiced our disappointment to the front desk attendant, he stated that nothing could be done for us because the property was fully booked. A short time later, though, he called and offered us a different room.
The second room was a one bedroom suite with a king bed and an oceanside view. It was equipped for differently-abled patrons, so many of the amenities were at waist-height - the closet hangers being the most awkward. It was more spacious than the first room, providing sufficient space for a wheelchair to negotiate the furnishings, but it was still unattractive and uncomfortable. The hotel website indicates that a room sleeps 4 people when a sofa-bed is available. DON'T count on this amenity if you value a decent night's rest, as the mattress is extremely thin and it is difficult to get housekeeping to provide the appropriate bedding. We let the kids take the king bed, because it was their vacation and they were super-excited at the prospect of such a luxury. We gladly suffered the sofa-bed, but at the cost of much sleep.
The room was clean when we arrived. We called for 2 additional towels...twice...everyday. It took two calls to get the towels delivered, and the cleaning staff took them each day and didn't replace them, so we had to call for them again each day of our stay. There were no towel-bars or shelves in the bathroom, so the cleaning staff used the support bars (for guests using wheelchairs) around the toilet to hang 2 bath towels and 2 hand towels. We didn't fancy the idea that our towels were hung on bars people grabbed after using the toilet, so used towels were placed on the floor for replacement instead of being hung for re-use. Had there been proper towel bars or hooks, we would have gladly participated in the water conservation effort by re-using the towels. The bathtub was clogged when we arrived. We had to request maintenance twice before someone responded to unclog the drain. Whoever performed the work tracked dirty boot-prints throughout the tiled bathroom, and the cleaning staff never cleaned the floor during our 4-day stay. Yes, we could have requested that the dirty floor be cleaned, but we got tired of requesting and re-requesting assistance from guest services. Moreover, it should've been cleaned without having to make a specific request. The doors to the balcony were also a worry, as the locks either didn't work at all or got stuck in the locked position. There was never a time when both doors functioned properly. When we called to have the locks fixed, the front desk attendant arrived with a business card which he wedged into the lock and manipulated until the lock disengaged. I hope he's getting maintenance pay for that. That was the only time we were able to get that door unlocked.
Amenities for all hotel guests were great. Free wi-fi (which was surprisingly high-speed) and free parking. Additional amenities normally enjoyed by elite rewards members were non-existent, the absence of a club lounge being the most disappointing. Typically, when a property lacks a club lounge, we are accommodated with free full breakfast or appetizers at the hotel restaurant. We were offered free continental breakfast for just 2 out of the 4 members of our family, and of course free wi-fi and parking (which are standard for all guests).
The staff was friendly, but it seemed the hotel did not empower them to accommodate dissatisfied guests. We were told that our king suite belonged to a guest checking in later that day, and that they would be given our pool-side studio. We can only surmise a similar situation happened with the rooms we had originally requested, and they were given to other dissatisfied guests. The offer of free wi-fi and parking to replace the lack of a club lounge was amusing and a little insulting. Altogether, it was a disappointing experience, and we would not recommend this property to anyone.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Warm welcomes and great ocean views greet you at the Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel. Situated on the exclusive northern end of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk with direct beach access. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Virginia Beach
- Virginia Beach Sheraton