Leave the gun, take the cannolis.
Falls Church, VA
What would you do if a bomb exploded, shaking the entire hotel and woke you at 6:30am? Would you be scared? Would you want to know what was happening? Would you try to call the front desk?
I was traveling with a friend to Nashville and was happy to see that we had bid and "Named Our Own Price" at the Aloft Nashville West End on Priceline.
Though parking was expensive ($22), our check in at around 7:30pm was pleasant. We went into our room and it was ok. However, two incidents occurred which were greatly upsetting and reflect very poorly on this hotel and Starwood.
At 6:30am, we were awakened by an explosion that shook the entire hotel. It was so violent, that we felt that it HAD to be in the hotel or very close. I immediately picked up the phone to call the front desk to find that there was no ring tone! My friend ran to the door and said that he didn't see any smoke or fire but we should get dressed and leave the hotel.
I had the sense to use my smart phone and call the hotel's main number. It was immediately answered by a female who sounded very calm. I told her that we had heard an explosion and were very concerned. She asked if we hadn't noticed all of the construction (ummm no, we were supposed to?) going on down the street and stated that a new hotel was being built down the street. The builders/city used explosives two or three times a week at 6:30am to clear the grounds. She further stated that the hotel was not given notice when these explosions would occur and it wasn't their responsibility. I asked that since the hotel knew these explosions happen, shouldn't the hotel notify guests that this *might* occur? She then brusquely reiterated that it was not the responsibility of the hotel to inform their guests because they are not given prior warning from the city, so it was out of their hands. I was shocked.
We are from Washington, DC. We both had had experiences in our lives with terrorism, bombs etc during 9/11 and since then. Clearly our lives were/are affected differently than someone from Nashville. The Boston bombing was only a few weeks ago. When the explosion occurred, my first immediate thought was of Oklahoma City and terrorist attack.
I was too upset to sleep so I took a very long shower, packed and went downstairs to the front desk and told the person there, Hugo, that I wanted to speak to a manager about what had occurred that morning. Knowing I was so upset, I made sure I was speaking in a low, calm, carefully modulated voice. I realized there were other guest behind me and didn't want to create a scene as they didn't seem upset at all.
Hugo was immediately defensive and angry. He said that general manager wasn't there and when I asked if there a manager on duty, he said no. Rather than addressing my concern, he asked if I wanted someone to look at the phone and see why it wasn't working. When I said no, he asked if I wanted to close out the room and have my car brought around from the valet.
I told him my friend was still in the room and would be down shortly. Instead, I wanted to find out how to contact a manager. He went to the other side of the desk and brought back a business card for the general manager. As he handed it to me, it stated once again that the manager wasn't there. At that point I asked what his name was and wrote it down on the card. He asked once again if I wanted to check out. Since it was clear that he wouldn't help, I said yes
As I waited in the lobby for my friend, I overheard two employees behind me talking in the breakfast nook area and spoke to another employee. I asked him if there was a manager on duty and he pointed to Hugo. "It's the guy at the front desk". I was puzzled, and asked again. He stated that Hugo was the front desk manager and in charge until the manager came in around 10 or 10:30am. When he asked what was wrong, I told him what had happened starting from the explosion, to the call, to what Hugo had told me. I was SHOCKED when he said that the explosions don't happen two or three times a week. THEY HAPPEN EVERY DAY! He said he'd have the GM call me when she got in.
The second my friend came down, we left immediately. As we walked out the door, Hugo said "I'm sorry about YOUR problem."
When I got home, I sent an email to Starwood. No response. No surprise that the GM at the Aloft never called, even though I called and left a message too.
I'm sure the hotel didn't want to lose business if they explained about the explosions. How greedy! You might have gotten my business for one night but how many customers will you lose now?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Aloft Nashville West End hotel is located in the heart of Tennessee's music scene right on Music Row. Our hotel features loft-inspired design, custom room amenities, and free high speed internet. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Indigo Nashville
- Indigo Hotel Nashville