From a service-oriented standpoint, this stay was perhaps the worst hotel stay that we have ever experienced. We booked a last minute hotel reservation back in the summer with an internet site that put us in a Doubletree in Florida and loved that hotel. So when choosing a hotel for a marathon in Columbus, I really wanted to stay at Doubletree. We even settled for a smoking room to stay at Doubletree.
When we arrived, we noticed that half of the parking lot was blocked off by busses. The spaces were not taken up by the busses, but rather blocked by the busses. We knew that there was a large cheerleading competition in town and figured that was the reason, but with the large crowds at the in-hotel restaurant, there was no parking for hotel guests like me.
When we arrived in the lobby, we quickly realized that UGA's football team was staying at the hotel (they were playing Auburn the next day) and during the check-in process it was evident that we were going to be treated like second-class citizens during our stay.
Earlier, I had picked up a friend’s race number at the marathon expo and called him to tell him to meet me in the hotel lobby. When my son and I returned to the front lobby to sit and wait for him, we were told that the sofas, etc were for the “players” and we could return to our rooms or go outside. The website has photos of the lobby and there was no indication that common areas would only be available to VIP guests. Needing to meet up with my friend, we were forced to stand outside in the cold.
While outside in the cold, another family with small children had also been shuffled outside. They were in town because their son was enlisting in the army. While there were other people loitering around the hotel hoping to get an autograph, etc, neither my family nor that second family even cared that a football team was there and should not have been displaced like second-class guests. Perhaps the staff should have simply asked for us to present our room key to be in the hotel common areas?
When I pulled out my phone to touch-base with the friend I was meeting, I was told that there was no photography allowed while the team was on the premises. I wasn’t even planning to take a photo! From that point on, we were intimidated by hotel staff with glares and various other verbal and non-verbal tactics as we were told “you can’t stand there”, “you can’t be here”, “you need to clear this area” etc.
Before checking out, my family wanted to sit outside on the pool deck while I showered. Nope! They weren’t allowed there either! Our family of four was basically confined to our room the entire duration of our stay.
When I book a hotel room, I assume that I have access to common areas, pool decks, and other amenities mentioned. There was no signage or any other indication that other guests would be an inconvenience if we left our rooms. I have stayed at hotels before when celebrity guests were present, but never was I treated in this manner.
I should note that I am not at all a football fan. I can’t even name a single player on that team. If the team didn’t want to be around other guests, they should have rented out the entire hotel, stayed in the meeting room where their meal was being served, or you should have simply moved other guests to one of the other properties in the area.
I am in Columbus at least twice a month for work and about half of those end up being overnight trips and I can assure you I will be staying at other brands and properties for the foreseeable future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover a Georgia home on the road at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Columbus, where there is always a warm welcome and a fresh warm DoubleTree cookie on arrival. Just off I-185, this Columbus, GA hotel is eight miles from Fort Benning and 90 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL) International Airport. The "Fountain City" makes an elegant host for business and leisure travel. Play the fairways at over a dozen golf courses in the Columbus, GA area. Enjoy the comforts of home in a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Columbus guest room. Watch the 37-inch HDTV from the calm of your bed, or use complimentary internet access and remote printing to stay connected. Accessible rooms are thoughtfully designed to ensure comfort. Savor Georgia specialties and American cuisine at Houlihan's Restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything from Houlihan's kitchen is created from scratch and made to order. Let our friendly team help plan successful meetings and events in our Columbus hotel, with wedding venue and meeting space options to suit your needs. Choose from four meeting areas able to accommodate intimate meetings and grand celebrations alike, creating an unforgettable event in our Columbus, GA hotel. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Columbus
- Four Points Columbus