We stay at this hotel frequently, for two reasons- its proximity to the events we attend and the unavailability of other, near-by hotels. The latter reason alone should be revealing about this hotel.
I have stayed at this hotel on and off for over 12 years, albeit under different ownership at times. Somehow, it just never seems to get any better overall.
The fixtures in the room are usually poorly assembled or installed. Things from disjointed crown molding to remote controls with dead batteries to chairs with loose legs are minor items at best. However non-working HVAC units; uncaulked shower tubs; stained shower tubs; drinking glasses with lipstick; mattresses with stains; ripped phone books- those items are more than bothersome. This is not to say you'll encounter all of this in the same room at the same time. But you can at least bet on one of those items per stay.
This past weekend, we had to move from a room because the HVAC unit (both A/C and heat) did not work. At all. After moving from a king to a two double-bed room, we discovered that the stairwell doors (our room was adjacent to the elevator lobby) are not oiled or maintained as from approximately 11pm until 4 am, they routinely squeaked and slammed, with a loud metallic clang echoing through the building structure. After walking around (since I could not sleep) I discovered that every single stairwell door in this "hotel" had some form of problem- enough to be disruptive of the rooms in the immediate vicinity.
Later that sleepless night (as we found out in the morning) a local high school prom began to fill the hotel and we were treated to loud, obnoxious, inconsiderate and unsupervised kids who filled the halls with noise and smoke (on non-smoking floors). The haze of smoke was thick enough as to obscure the far end of the hall and the stench was overpowering.
Then we were treated to rap music being blasted from room 201- an entire floor below us and on the other side of the lobby from us. This is the most fortuitous aspect of our stay as the room we had initially been given (with the non-working HVAC) was room 301: directly above the new dance club room.
I saw no hotel security or any other personnel other than the woman at the front desk whose only recourse was to call the Winston-Salem Police Department... four separate times. And they came out... four separate times. For a while during my sleepless roamings of the hallways, I listened to this beleaguered woman take call after call from angry hotel guests and respond with little more than, "I've called the police, sir." Great customer service to be sure.
After not sleeping, we had to catch a flight in Greensboro at 7:30 so we left at 6am. The woman at the front desk, when asked about the night's revelry, said that the hotel policy was no rooms may be booked by anyone under 21. After an evening of not sleeping, I found that amusing enough to laugh out loud. When I inquired how she was going to make the situation right by us, she responded with that corporately fatal term which is basically suicide for customer service: I don't have the authority to do anything. You might as well just spit at a customer and call him an idiot for patronizing your company.
Frankly, the only thing that popped into my mind was the familiar blue and white logo of the Ritz Carlton and their superlative, do-whatever-it-takes customer service. But we're not paying Ritz rates at the Sundace, are we? Well, it cost me almost $100 for a night of not-sleeping, smoke, noise and an education in how not to structurally maintain a customer-friendly hotel. $100 won't get you much at the Ritz but I would've slept better in my car in a Ritz parking lot.
As I've said before- I've stayed at this hotel many times. I've never been compelled to write a review as I find myself very forgiving and understanding about things that happen in a hotel.
To be fair and clear, this hotel has certainly made some improvements. But I fear they are less substantive and more superficial.
So in exchange for "I don't have the authority to do anything," I will take my 6-8 weekends a year I spend at this hotel and stay at another hotel in Winston. I will also not spare anyone else I know my story. I might normally bring my problems to the attention of higher-ups in the Clarion chain but if their front-line people are taught to say "I can't do anything," I can only imagine the pre-packaged response I'd get from upper-management. Frankly, it's easier to take my business elsewhere than to remind a purported hotel chain about the basics of hospitality.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Relax and leave the details to us at Winston Salem Hotel & Spa, minutes from Interstate 40 and walking distance from Wake Forest University, the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum Complex, the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds, Ernie Shore Field, shopping and dining. Our lovely boutique-style Inn is pet-friendly and close to cultural attractions such as the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, as well as hiking, fishing and local wineries. The Winston Salem Hotel & Spa features a refreshing day spa and onsite restaurant and lounge as well as free Wi-Fi Internet throughout the hotel and free continental breakfast. Our spacious guest rooms include Microwave, Mini Refrigerator, Coffee Maker, Hairdryer, 32 inch flat panel TV, and free high-speed Wi-Fi. Soak up the sun in the outdoor pool and work out in the fitness center. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sundance Plaza Hotel And Suites
- Sundance Plaza Hotel Winston Salem
- Clarion Winston Salem