Stayed in this hotel for two unexpected nights due to a business trip that went sideways. I have visited the Grand Hall a few years back (simply visited and did not actually stay). Over all the Grand Hall is the single most impressive aspect of this hotel (building), the rest of the old architecture is 2nd most impressive.
Arrived at the front desk with my luggage/gear from the Drury Inn Union Station – I think my reservation was originally for a room in the old part (I probably would have preferred that), but it wasn’t ready so I took one in the newer section as it was and was told it had been newly renovated.
I read somewhere about how getting around this place was like the old “Get Smart” intro – pretty accurate. Once in the newer section it did look and smell newly renovated walking down a long hallway. The room was your usual modern double and seemingly appointed by 4star standards.
The staff was friendly and check in was easy.
Had a cocktail and watched the light show in the Grand Hall – pretty neat.
Where I think there were some deficiencies:
The ‘mall’ is basically dead but if old train stations are interesting then then stroll through is.
The restaurant is way expensive – Hard Rock a better value IMO. The little shop is cheaper but is overpriced (energy drinks were about 2x a 7-11) if that gives you a scale. No included breakfast – coffee in your room – if the cleaning people left some.
Had to reboot browser as wifi stalled out.
After being on the road longer than expected I need to do some laundry – the humidity in St Louis caused more sweat than I’m used to in dry Denver. I figured they would have had a laundry – the Drury Inn Union Station did and most everywhere I have been has. Though I usually only find their laundry by accident and not needing it. This trip I would have like to wash some clothes. I was flipping through the hotel pamphlet only to discover that they only offer a Laundry Concierge – not cheap either (IMO) $9.50 to wash pant and like $4.50 for a shirt.
Heck I had jeans (doing some technical work not selling a multi-million real-estate deal), this would cost like $30-40.00 to wash a change of clothes. I swung by the front desk and asked what options I have (which was a Sun – the Laundry Concierge isn’t even open!) They confirmed that and then confirmed there is no laundry onsite, they then checked to see if a neighboring hotel would allow me to wash clothes there – which the answer was no. There suggestion was to go to Soulard and find a laundry – I’m from out of town, I don’t know where that is and then to schlep around a part of unfamiliar town with dirty clothes looking for a laundry??! The front desk people were polite but utter useless – imo. But I suppose they can only do what management equips and empowers them to do…
I winded up pulling a Rick Steves and washing jeans in the bathtub . There’s an iron so I figured that would help dry them if hanging them didn’t work. Went out for the day. And on return they weren’t dry. The iron didn’t work either. Thank God the hair dryer did.
The toilet had to be primed to flush – i.e. giggle the handle.
The hot water faucet leaked, had to be on for approx. 30sec but undeniable that it did.
Mind you this was a 4 star hotel and the room freshly renovated. I can live with the giggle handle bit and the leak, but it shouldn’t occur given the circumstances and the cost of this room.
Tip crazy in my mind too. I had a late flight out and needed to store my bags until the flight, actually I needed to store my bags while I went off and solved the work business. Then I needed access to my one bag and re-shuffle my stuff into a checked bag and a carry-on and then have them store it again. I’ve done this before at other hotels and the Front desk has always held the bags. This place herded me to the Doorman where it was held in an outside closet. There was an expectation of a tip for everything -??
Hold a bag – give me money, give you your bag – give me money. Open the door to a cab that was already parked waiting on a ride – give me money. The little shop they have – buy a toothbrush – and there’s a tip on the ticket. Buy a sandwich – give me a tip . I don’t give people at 7-11, McDonalds etc a tip and this action was no different. Lest a reader think I’m uncouth – I always leave a tip for the cleaning people, and maybe you ought to give the Doorman ONE tip for a day if there are multiple actions they’ve done that actually helped you. But seriously, this was uncomfortable.
Given how awesome the architecture is I would stay again but come fully prepared to not need any of their help. The staff is friendly but not very helpful in my mind – not due to their individual acumen but by how they’re equipped and empowered.