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“Not what you'd expect from the Sheraton brand”

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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront
Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in New Bern
Raleigh, NC
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Not what you'd expect from the Sheraton brand”
Reviewed November 10, 2006

* intermittent wireless and cable at night or in adverse weather
* mold on the walls
* mold under the glass in framed pictures
* dust layer on the lamp shades
* dirt and grime on the in-room air unit
* stains on the sheers
* blue goo on the drapes
* rust on the ceiling in the bathroom
* broken fan in the bathroom
* water so soft you come out slimy and want another shower
* gook on the desk
* burn marks in the carpet in a non-smoking room
* no free breakfast; and room service leaves a lot to be desired
* lobby has a smell and is damp
* rooms smell damp and musty

Sound like your ideal place to stay?

This is what we found on our recent visit to the Sheraton New Bern for two nights for a nearby conference at the New Bern Convention Center. The convention center is within easy walking distance, but there is a low area that you must walk through without an awning or covering. If it is raining, be prepared to wade through ankle-deep water to go back and forth from the Sheraton to the convention center.

We stayed in room 316 which has a nice view of the marina – and one of the boats advertising river tours in giant letters. The wall against which the two double-beds are placed is covered in mold – including mold under the glass in the framed artwork. If you have mold allergies – this is NOT the place for you.

There was mold and marks and cracks on other walls, stains on the sheers, blue goo on the walls and drapes, gook on the desk, and much, much more. The beds themselves were clean and presentable with several pillows and sheets that appeared white – but given the overall condition of the rest of the room, who knows?

Wireless internet and cable service were intermittent, especially at night or during adverse weather. I was knocked offline several times one evening, the next evening while watching cable TV, the service kept blinking out and back on. It was most annoying.

The furniture is a fake knotty pine. The room has a coffee maker and very limited selection of coffee/accessories. There is a hair dryer, but no refrigerator. There is an ice bucket and bottled water – but the bottled water has tags indicating that you will be charged $3 if you drink it. Better bet – go to the Wal-Mart one or two exits north on Highway 70 and buy your own. Snack machines sell only Lance brand items and looked horribly under-serviced. Many slots were empty and a couple items looked like they had been in the machines for years.

No free continental breakfasts here – so unless you are attending a conference at the convention center where breakfast is served, bring your own snack items or be prepared to either pay for room service or go elsewhere to eat.

Room service is horribly unpredictable. I ordered the same items for breakfast both days. The first day breakfast came on a wooden tray with handles, beautifully arranged, with silverware, a selection of jams, cream cheese, and butter, and a cloth napkin. The second day breakfast came on a round tray used by wait staff, with a cloth napkin draped over it, and everything crammed or stacked on top. The room service steward neglected to bring silverware, butter, jams, and even one of the ordered items. When asked for the missing item, butter, and silverware, he returned with only the butter and missing item. I was forced to use my finger to spread my bagel.

After breakfast the first day, the room service tray was politely left outside for pick-up. When housekeeping came through, they did not remove the tray. In fact, the tray was left outside the room until well past 5 pm, when we asked the front desk to have it removed. Front desk staff told us simply that the on-site restaurant was responsible for removing it, and she would call them to let them know it was still there. No apologies.

Speaking of the on-site restaurant, it has a very limited menu. There are a few tables which seat only 2 from which you can overlook the river and marina, but unless the restaurant is very full, they won’t seat you there. The dinner menu consists of only the following items, horribly overpriced:

* grill rib eye
* steak and shrimp
* new york pepper steak
* boursin grilled chicken
* crab cakes
* salmon
* seafood platter (shrimp and scallops with one crab cake)
* stuffed manicotti
* chipotle trio (shrimp, scallops, and chicken over pasta)
* tuscan shrimp
* feta chicken Florentine
* blackened scallops

That’s it. Yes, that’s right – that’s the ENTIRE dinner menu.

For the prices, you’d be better off crossing the river and going to either the Outback (2 1/2 miles away) or the Ruby Tuesday (3 miles away). It is a very short drive, but the menu and service are much better. Or, have Papa John’s deliver pizza – you can even order it online.

We will not be staying here again if we can help it.

We gave it a 2 because there was no gunfire in the streets, the locks did work, no moving cockroach floors, and we were actually able to sleep in the room without fleeing. Otherwise, we’d have given it a 1. For the price we paid, though, it was close.

  • Liked — Promixity to convention center.
  • Disliked — Room cleanliness was terrible and room service unpredictable.
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay someplace else!
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
9 Thank review_grrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2006

This is not a luxury hotel, but this was a quite decent hotel. There are 2 features that make the Sheraton New Bern worthwhile, which are the outstanding view of the river and marina, and the location.

The view is just amazing. You can watch the bridge turn, and boats come and go from the marina. As my boyfriend described it, the traffic is distant enough to not be disturbing, as in noise or fumes, but it's interesting to watch the little cars and trucks on the bridges that frame the view.

The location is ideal. Guests have free parking at the Sheraton, and you're right in the middle of all the action. The Tryon Palace is a pleasant few blocks' walk on a nice day, and you are even closer to the historic district's shopping and dining. It makes it convenient to venture out for short excursions or a meal and not need to take the car.

Upon checking in, we were informed that our room was not yet ready, so we waited about 30 minutes. On a warm October afternoon with no scheduled plans, this was not too much of a hardship, but it could definitely be inconvenient for other travellers. There also seemed to be some confusion about our reservation, so I was grateful I had the computer printout of my information handy. Once provided with that, the Sheraton staff got everything sorted.

The toiletries provided were nice, consisting of Pantene shampoo, conditioner, 2 kinds of soaps, and mouthwash as well. There was a bathrobe hanging in the closet. The towels and linens seemed adequate, and the top cover on the bed seemed satisfactory. The bed and pillows were comfortable.
There was complimentary bottled water in the room.

There were minor glitches in the housekeeping, such as neglecting to provide the liner for the ice bucket on the 1st night, and only 1 bottle of water instead of 2 on the second night, but towels, linens, and bathroom facilites seemed clean.

The issues that we had the most grievances with, besides the minor hassle of checking in:

1. My boyfriend was not pleased with the TV channels selection. He found the choice of channels to be lacking, and I agreed with him. I've seen worse, but in his words, there were far few TV channels than what you would get with basic cable at home (with the exception of HBO).

2. The air conditioner was weak, and noisy when put on the high setting, so much that it rattled through the wall and headboard of the bed and made it impossible to sleep, so I shut it off. On a cool October night, this was tolerable, but would be sheer misery in summertime. The air conditioner had difficulty keeping the room cool inside on a 75F degree afternoon.

3. We had a fridge in the room, but did not discover it until day 2. It was not well marked, and was hidden in the cabinet under the TV. It was adequate for chilling a few drinks, but I wouldn't trust it for foods that require cooling.

Neither he nor I are particulary bothered by cigarette smoke, but if you are highly sensitive to it, be forewarned that the lobby area and some of the hallways are thick with it.

What really made our room special was that we had a balcony room. The top floor of the hotel has rooms with balconies that look out onto the river and the pool deck. Off-season, the noise was minimal, so having a sliding glass door helped us ventilate the room and provided us with a very romantic place to stand and watch the river activity.

In summary: In spring, autumn, or winter, this would be a great place to stay, if you reserve a room with a gorgeous view, and can put up with some minor inconveniences.

  • Liked — The outstanding river view and the convenient location
  • Disliked — Problems with checking in, poor TV selection, glitches in housekeeping
  • Tips/Secrets — Take your reservation confirmation papers with you, and expect minor problems
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank TravelErica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynchburg, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2006

The Sheraton New Bern is a nice hotel overall but nothing spectacular. The view is wonderful! And there are some good features: the staff is very friendly. In fact, they resolved a major room problem in a very professional and courteous manner, and made some good restaurant recommendations. Obviously they are trying to offer visitors a good experience.

Sometimes maintenance problems are not communicated to the front desk as they should be, as when they assigned us to a room in which the airconditioner had been removed. The staff were surprised when we reported this, but quickly assigned us to another room.

The only other problem is that the bed in our new room was situated so that the airconditioning unit blew right on to us. This was uncomfortable to say the least. Turning the room around--placing the bed against the other wall would solve the problem.

Overall this is not the worst place to stay by far, and is quite good overall, they just need to work on some problems.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank Fsmith58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh NC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2006

What a great location but what a terrible hotel. I expected better from Sheraton.

We have stayed here twice - I love the city of New Bern but will indeed stay elsewhere next time. Why?

> The bathroom door did not lock
> The pool was littered with limes and cig buts from the previous nights party
> Service is terrible

Stayed July 2005
3 Thank PDWKPK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these New Bern hotels

Hobe Sound, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2006

As a 150 to 200 nights on the road per year frequent business traveller, checked into Sheraton based on previous experience and Starwood membership. While previous stays at this hotel (in the new annex adjacent to the main building) had been good,except for lack of sufficient heat in winter, this stay ran amuck in a big way.

After an international flight and early evening checkin, I retired to my premium room on 5th floor. At about 9pm the door was flung open after a cursory knock with a "housekeeping delivery." Only it was the wrong room. Not a pleasant thing, but forgivable. Down went the in room door hook.

As the wall mounted room unit air conditioner groaned all night, I rested, listening to the folks next door, normal speech audible throiugh the walls. Cigarette smoke filtered into my non-smoking room through the extraction ventilation in the bathroom near midnite, choking me awakeand perhaps indicating a problem with the arrangement of the ductwork or the main extraction.

In the morning, while clearing my eyes in the bath, I looked into the wastebasket, and beheld a large, used feminine sanitary item. And it was not mine ! That was the final straw.

While the manager on duty listened attentively and took notes on my complaints (a correct response in my mind) and offered a free night and an upgrade as recompense, I checked out - paying for the room in full, and relocated to the Comfort Inn a short walk away. The room there was actually cheaper, cleaner and smoke free.

The Sheraton main building has been undergoing repairs for some months now, possibly dealing with the shifting columns you can see in the ground level restaurant -visibly out of line by several inches ................... The pool was closed last summer when I visited, but perhaps Sheraton hotels with outdoor pools are not required to actually open them in the summer.

This hotel should be audited by Sheraton for review and possible revocation of it's chain affiliation. Despite visiting New Bern on business several times a year - I will never stay at the New Bern Sheraton again. There are fine hotels and B & B nearby - do not fear. The Comfort Inn is at the top of that chain's standard, and definitely worth a visit.

  • Stayed March 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11 Thank yachtsurvey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 22, 2006

It didn't start well. Our non-smoking reservation was not honored. They were booked solid due to a large wedding party. They made it clear we should be thankful for a room, any room. Read the remainder of the review with this in mind (no, I was NOT happy).

The room we got was not up to Sheraton standards. I wasn't aware that there were 3-star Sheratons, having only been familiar with the full service ones.

The location is terrific, walking distance to everything and with a lovely view. The food was mediocre. The outdoor patio - lovely place to sit if you don't mind the cigarette smoke fog. Don't bother ordering anything other than the standards, they'll just stare at you. Mojito's - forget it. I had to explain a Cape Codder.

Comfort Suites at the end of the block is cheaper and has the same views. We'll be staying there next time!

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, VA
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2005

We stayed here in December 2005. We wanted a quick quiet getaway on which we could take our dog, a boxer. Most hotels that allow dogs are low quality and lower class and I half expected this Sheraton to be of the same quality or class as an Econo Lodge, but it was actually very nice for the price and 3-star rating. I have stayed in some of the country's finest hotels and I have stayed in disgusting South Beach slum motels disguised as 2-stars hotels. We are 30-something professionals who usually I prefer the former, but this hotel suited us just fine. The room did not even smell bad (even though the place allowed dogs. Our room was in the annex building which is a newer bldg. Rooms with water views are not more expensive, by the way. There were many dog owners there and the marina-side walkway has pooper-scooper stations.

Some quick facts:
Dogs are only allowed on 1st floor rooms.
1st Floor rooms do not have King Beds.

Hmmm... The walls were pretty thin, we could hear just about everything our neighbors said. We could also hear the housekeepers in the morning in the hallway and they were loud. Housekeepers weren't that great, but were friendly. The local restaurants are not that good, but we highly recommend MJ's.

In general, seeing as how I never get to travel with my dog AND stay at a decent hotel, I WILL be back. But even without a dog, this was a decent, clean, comfortable establishment. Clean being the most important to me.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank FreqFlyMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront

Property: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront
Address: 100 Middle St, New Bern, NC 28560-2144 (Formerly Hilton New Bern/Riverfront )
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > New Bern
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in New Bern
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront 3.5*
Number of rooms: 170
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront is conveniently located in the heart of the downtown Historic District with beautiful views of both the Neuse and Trent Rivers. We are just minutes away from the area's premiere shopping, restaurants, and attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton New Bern/Riverfront Hotel New Bern
Sheraton New Bern
New Bern Sheraton

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