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“Dirty, Nasty Room....”

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Omni William Penn Hotel
Ranked #6 of 73 Hotels in Pittsburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 10, 2005

My family and I checked into the Omni William Penn and had a very disappointing experience. Although most of the staff was friendly, we had a huge issue with the room itself. When we checked in we used a coupon we had received from joining the Omni "Select Guests" program. This coupon was for a free upgrade. The great thing was they moved us up to a suite that had a separate sitting room, which was nice with a large living area and separate bathroom. We knew ahead of time from reading other reviews that things could be a little "dated", which I understood, however we were not prepared for the room to be downright "dirty", especially the bathroom.
Right after we checked in we had to rush out of the room to catch dinner, and when we returned, my husband and teenagers went to catch a concert. So it was 7pm before we actually settled in to the room. I then went into the bathroom to give my two year old a bath when I started looking around the bathroom. I immediately noticed that there were hairs on the floor, and on the tub. I then started looking around the bathroom and noticed that there was dirt, dust and "stuff" all over the cabinets. I opened the bathroom cabinet and underneath was an "oozing" tube of toothpaste that looked like it had been there awhile. I was feeling pretty disgusted and planned to call the staff to complain once I got my son to bed. I put him down in the living area in his crib and noticed the room was feeling very cold. That is when I realized that the thermostat didn't work at all. It was set at 80 and the room was 65. I checked the thermostat for the other room and it worked fine, so I left the doors open between the rooms to make sure it stayed comfortable.

I then went to use the phone in the bedroom to call downstairs to complain, only to find out that it didn't work!!! My son was sleeping in the other room so I didn't want to wake him to try out the other phone so I decided to address the issues in the morning. I couldn't possibly move rooms since I had a sleeping toddler so I decided to "suck it up". I then decided to watch some television only to find out the remote did not work! I even put in new batteries and it didn't work. By this time I started to get frustrated and decided to take a HARD look around the room. What I found was very disturbing. There was dust caked along all the trim work. I made the HUGE mistake of looking under the beds and there was food, dust, garbage.... the bedskirts were stained, ripped.... The bathroom cabinets all had pieces of garbage inside them and "stuff" splattered on them. The corners of the bathroom were filled with dust, dirt, grime.... it was obvious that the floor had not been cleaned in a long time. There was mold on the shower. By then I was fuming but I wasn't in a position to call down and switch rooms since I was all alone with a sleeping toddler and my bedroom phone did not work!!

I told myself I wouldn't let this ruin my evening and decided to just read a book (since my remote did not work). I then turned down the sheets only to see what looked like a dried "booger" on the sheet.
I lost it then.... I grabbed my camera and spent the next 30 minutes taking digital photos of everything in my room. I found the presidents name in a book from Omni and plan to send in these photos of my experience to him and the Omni Select Guests program. I also made a list to give the front desk detailing all that was wrong. When I checked out the next morning I was asked "How was your visit". I said "Well, I had a few problems and I made a list". The front desk clerk took it from me and said "Thanks, we'll have someone take care of these"..... never read them, never apologized, just took the note and sat it to the side..... I wasn't even going to address it further with him since it was obvious what kind of attitude he had.

All this from a 4-star hotel? No way is this 4 star..... if you are heading to Pittsburgh, stay at the Renaissance.... we stayed there in April for 2 nights and had a wonderful time. The rooms were beautiful and CLEAN. The staff was incredible and we had a wonderful time.

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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13  Thank Lvtolvlife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,344 - 4,350 of 4,455 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2005

I recently traveled to Pittsburgh on business, scheduled for a three-night stay at the Omni William Penn. Things did not begin promisingly. After an interminable shuttle ride (take a taxi from PGH!), I checked in to the William Penn and was assigned a cramped, dingy room on the sixth floor. It had clearly escaped from renovation since about 1960, and featured a tiny bathroom and a patched bedspread. The worst part was that it sat directly above the hotel air conditioning unit so that the whole room throbbed and vibrated as if a jet plane idled outside.

When I called the front desk to request another room, I was told they were full and absolutely no rooms were available - even though it was only three in the afternoon. To add insult to injury, the staff confirmed that they receive complaints about rooms in my area "several times a week" so they are aware of the problem: they suggested earplugs!

Dreading a sleepless three nights, I insisted upon speaking to the manager. After a long wait on the phone, the manager came on and immediately and graciously transferred me to a bigger, newer, silent room on the top floor. Apparently the front desk staff had been mistaken about the lack of available rooms.

My new room was just lovely - very spacious, exceptionally comfortable bed, large bath with nice shower, great view of one of the three rivers, ample workspace, and pleasant lounge chairs. From that point on, my stay was great. Room service was prompt and tasty. The restaurant was lovely - great mural - and the food was fine. Meeting rooms were comfortable, and catered meals and refreshments were as expected. Wireless internet access was free. The William Penn's fitness room merits special mention: not only is it well-appointed with quality equipment, but it is housed in a fantastic turn-of-the-century club room with gorgeous windows and woodwork. It makes working out something to look forward to.

The William Penn is located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, near all the stadiums and the convention center. The building itself is an historic landmark and harkens back to the days of Pittsburgh as a steel boom town. It's history gives it character that most modern hotels can't hope to match.

Overall, I would recommend the William Penn to any business traveler to downtown Pittsburgh, and it wouldn't be a bad place for a sports getaway or even a vacation. Don't settle for a noisy room, though!

3  Thank CaptainH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2005

Yes, the hotel is old but it is still very nice. We are in the select guest program and the rooms are huge, extra pillows are nice, and the morning beverage and newspaper is great. The room overlooked the street but on the 11th floor it was hard to see anything but buildings. The service was excellent and the concierge was very helpful. Went to a Pirates game and the walk was very nice and took less than 15 minutes. Ate at Atria's (Excellent) and had a wonderful night cap in The Tap Room.

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
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1  Thank jaymdennis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2005

Stayed here for four nights using a AAA rate of average price of $140. The lobby and restaurant are very pretty, but our room was dark and dated. I had used a travel agent (paying extra) instead of Expedia with the hope that I might have more "clout" if my room was not up to snuff. Alas, it was not, I wasn't able to get a requested non-smoking room with a king bed (it was never confirmed), and my "clout" got me nowhere.
The room was large but only had one small window; seemed that the wattage in the lamps are deliberately low as I was always wishing for more illumination. The bathroom had mold, and the fixtures are well worn and need refurbishment. On the positive side it was convenient to have Starbucks in the lobby, the Pub had good food at reasonable prices, and the restaurant was attractive with fair prices.

Stayed: September 2005
1  Thank Robert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2005

This is a nice hotel that has wonderful charm. Guests need to keep in mind that this is a old hotel. The room was very nice, the floor was a little damp and there were some marks here and there around the room but overall it was very nice.
The bed's were super comfortable. The bathrooms were a tad dated. The a/c unit was old and difficult to figure out but ran well.
The restaurants were nice, the ballrooms were nice.
Room Service was very accomodating at 2am (I wanted a grilled cheese & fries and they were willing to make it even though it was not on the menu), the service was quick.
We reserved the room at a $99 a night AAA rate, which was great. We were also Select Guest members (free frequent traveler program), this is one of the best frequent traveler programs around. Not only was our room large (twice as large as a friend staying there paying $150 a night), but it was filled with extra foam pillows & extra towels as requested. The select Guest program also offers free bevg. service in the mornings which is delivered to the room fresh.
I would definitly stay at this hotel again and the Select Guest program makes me want to stay at Omni properties elsewhere.

  • Stayed: September 2005
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2  Thank Ry42013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2005

A very Nice and Classy Hotel!. Rooms are big and Beautiful. Nice Lobby and we love the Tap room. A lot of visiting sports teams stay here. Real nice prices though Hotels.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
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1  Thank Amishcowboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2005

Stayed here over a busy Labor Day weekend. Many downtown hotels in my price range were full when I booked through Expedia. But this was generally affordable and in a good location. So we tried the Omni and had an enjoyable stay.

Location was very good. Easy access to the subway which we took to Station Square to ride the inclines and to catch a river cruise (Both “musts” in my opinion when visiting Pittsburgh.) But it was also an easy walk to PNC Park to watch a game, go to the Warhol, to go to Point State Park, etc. Near the Convention Center and a quick cab ride (or longer walk) to the Strip District. We did valet which was comparable to other downtown hotels but I must say the valets always gave us great directions and were very helpful. (Staff also gave great suggestion for dinner one evening.)

The room was large and while a little older, the room was clean and ready at our late check in. This is a large, historic hotel so know that going in. (No pool, older décor, etc.) We ate once in The Tap Room and while a limited menu, it was actually pretty good. Never ate in the main dining room nor did we go to Starbucks in the lobby. Used the snack shop a lot, which stayed open until 10 or 11.

No real problems at all. We were charged for 2 movies when we watched only one but they removed it without a fuss. All-in-all a very pleasant stay.

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ballhatguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Omni William Penn Hotel

Address: 530 William Penn Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1820
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Pittsburgh
#2 Romantic Hotel in Pittsburgh
#2 Business Hotel in Pittsburgh
#2 Luxury Hotel in Pittsburgh
Price Range: $139 - $338 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Omni William Penn Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 597
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This classic downtown hotel, known as the "Grand Dame" of Pittsburgh, has defined history and elegance since its opening in 1916. A recent multi-million dollar renovation modernized this property to meet the needs of today's traveler. This luxury property is known for its outstanding service, guest room accommodation, award-winning dining and its city center location. The Omni William Penn is situated in the heart of downtown with easy access to sporting, culture, shopping and dining. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Omni Hotel Pittsburgh
Omni Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Omni

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