According to the “About” section, “Essentials” subsection, of the Four Points website, it states “Get everything you’re looking for with style and service you want, all at a great price.” Further, it states, “We have what matters most to you...[p]lus lots of other extras you’ll love...” I am happy to report that this property delivered the Essentials and exceeded our expectations for the special, surprise staycation.
My partner reached his one-year anniversary of alcohol recovery/sobriety, which we will be celebrating (again as a surprise) this Saturday, March 9, with many friends from his hometown of Winter Park/Orlando, Ocala, and new friends from Jacksonville.
I like to end with positive feedback, so I will list two minor issues:
1. Entrance canopy: signs of repainting with different shades of the same color and rust on
the overhead beams
2. Keycard deactivation: When we returned to your property after a busy Saturday, our
keycards did not work. When we went to the Front Desk to have them reactivated, we were advised the keycards are deactivated around noon. I do not recall being informed of this and is slightly different than what I am used to for multi-night stays.
Now, on to the highlights, my favorite part.
Carrie, Director of Sales
I sent a terse message after requesting a callback when I booked through the iPhone SPG app. A previous stay at another local property soured my impression on communication, but Carrie more than made up for it. She informed me that the special requests in the comments section would only print on the morning of our arrival, so I profusely apologized for the misunderstanding.
I informed Carrie about my partner’s achievement in remaining sober for one year and also indicated that he had a heavy workload as a University of North Florida student. Carrie offered many options to enhance our stay, from a couple’s spa/massage package at an affiliate spa to a special breakfast menu, as well as flowers and chocolate and my request for a handcrafted carafe of infused water consisting of cucumber and lemon.
When I checked in by gentleman Wade (more on his excellence later), Carrie was actually at the Front Desk with a bowl of white rose petals. She warmly greeted me and accompanied me to our room. Carrie asked how I was doing with the smoking cessation and whether my partner knew about the surprise. As is typical with other Starwood properties, I instantly felt like this business transaction became more personal. Carrie’s warmth and welcome validated my decision to stay here.
As a bonus, Carrie placed us in the corner room on the SPG floor, being sensitive to my partner needing to study and work on projects, and also to keep the elevator noise to a minimum. Carrie understands service and hospitality and executes with competence.
When we entered our room, Carrie and I continued with genuine, not forced, conversation, as she worked her magic setting up the room with rose petals leading from the door to the bed. My partner took at least 24,674 photos. Carrie, you are a rockstar!
Wade, Front Desk Agent
When I checked in, Wade was the kind, warm Front Desk agent. Also quick to flash a smile, he proceeded to explain hotel policies, requested which Gold amenity I wanted, and congratulated me on my partner’s success. Throughout our stay, he remained professional yet warm, and served as an excellent first impression and face of your property.
Because the stay was a surprise, I asked if a keycard could be left at the counter for my partner to pick up when he arrived. Without hesitation, he made another keycard and reserved it for my partner’s arrival.
What truly blew me away was when my partner arrived and told me about his interaction with Wade. My partner told me Wade excused himself from the desk, shook his hand, and congratulated him on his tremendous achievement. Wade’s gesture was unexpected and further proof that your team of associates go out of their way to deliver exceptional service.
Unknown Housekeeping Attendant
When I checked into the room, no detail was spared. I stay at many hotels and have a penchant for noticing the little things. Aside from what looked like a small mildew spot in the corner of the shower, the attendant who turned over the room left it impeccably clean. I filmed a walkthrough not only to document each room we stay in, but also to let others on YouTube view what isn’t captured through photos. Check it out: http://youtu.be/lO38bgz9Td4
The bed was made as if out of an expert handbook, the toiletries were smartly placed in a linear fashion, the towels were folded and placed as if we were staying at a Westin or W. The furniture was clean and arranged in a manner worthy of professional photos for your marketing collateral.
Even the beverage station and condiments were placed to satisfy my OCD tendencies. This unknown attendant deserves recognition for exceptional attention to detail.
Tatyana and Sam, Restaurant Extraordinaires and General Manager
I booked the flexible rate with breakfast for a buck. Tatyana warmly greeted us on the first morning and gave us a tour of the buffet area after receiving our meal tickets. The food was delicious and fresh, with a fabulous selection of warm proteins, fruit, and my weakness biscuits and gravy. Tatyana was quick to check on us numerous times during our meal without being obtrusive. What an excellent way to start our day.
Sam, when you stepped in to make my Denver/Western omelet, I asked for the General Manager’s name because I wanted to recognize his leadership. Little did I know that I was speaking with the General Manager who was not above making my omelet because one of your team members was absent. Not only was the omelet perfectly cooked and delicious, but also your leadership demonstrates your commitment to do what it takes to satisfy your guests. You even remembered that Carrie was handling special requests for my partner and me.
Tatyana again was all smiles as we were eager to take advantage of the buffet. This time, she asked me if my partner and I wanted to have children. I immediately smiled and told her we want at least three: 2 boys and 1 girl, the middle child. I explained that the elder son would look after the younger two, while the younger ones would pick on their older brother. She laughed and asked when we wanted to start our family. I told her “soon” and her excited reaction gave me the warm fuzzies.
Amanda, Front Desk Agent
When Wade was not at the Front Desk, Amanda was the agent who was also quick to flash a smile, greet me good morning, and to ask if there was anything she could do to enhance our special stay. I let her know the treatment we received was nothing less than 5-star and requested her name so that she could also be recognized. Amanda, you are bubbly and full of energy, when many people aren’t even awake until noon!
For being a value brand, not once did I feel the property was as such. This hotel is now our home base for future staycations!