It's very hard to define what hospitality is, but you know it when you experience it. I have experienced hospitality at really humble two star motels while I'm traveling, and I have experienced it also at very nice boutique hotels in big cities. They are completely different types of properties, but the bottom line is - when someone is happy that you choose to stay with them, you will know. That said, for a supposedly four star hotel, the staff at Sheraton San Diego Hotel certainly does not know what hospitality means. They come across as folks who hate their jobs, and they are snooty whenever they can at every interaction with their guests.
My husband and I wanted to go to San Diego for our honeymoon. On Sheraton San Diego's website, Bay Tower rooms are shown as bigger rooms than the rooms in the Marina Tower. We decided to book a Bay Tower room with a king sized bed. When we arrived to check in before midnight, we were told that all rooms at Bay Tower were already gone. They "gave it away", whatever that is supposed to mean (cue Seinfeld's speech about the point of making and holding a reservation here). Instead, they gave us a room with two double beds in Marina Tower instead. I explained very nicely that this is our honeymoon and that we would like to have a room with ONE bed. The person who checked me in said that they would not be able to accommodate. I asked hesitantly if the room that he was giving me was a nice one, he said curtly, "Yes". Tired from the traveling, I said "okay" and hopped back in the car and asked my very sweet and equally tired husband to drive us to the Marina Tower, probably about half a mile to a mile down the road.
When we arrived at our room, I was horrified. It was very small, not at all like the picture I had seen on Sheraton's website. Moreover, the two double beds took up most of the room. The room was on a low floor, so instead of seeing a nice view of the marina as the hotel had advertised on their website, we had a good view of lots o' gravel. I called front desk immediately and explained that this was not acceptable. After an hour of waiting and follow up's on my part (they weren't enthusiastic about calling me back, I had to be the one who calls back), suddenly, they announced that they had a room with a king sized bed available. By this time, it was 1am. I doubt that a guest had checked out unexpectedly from midnight to 1am. My guess is that they did not want to give me the room that I had asked for (a room with king sized bed), and was hoping that we would eventually "go away". I feel that it is unfair -- they charged me at the rate that we agreed upon, but they made me grovel after traveling for a room that I was supposed to have in the first place.
There are other smaller incidents at the hotel which made me feel like their staff are not well versed with the concept of"hospitality". I will just list a couple of highlights here:
- The card key did not work in the pool area. When I called the hotel near the pool area asking for a new card key that would work on the gates around the pool area, they told me to go to the front lobby and get in line. I explained that they were 50 people in business suits waiting to check into the hotel for some kind of conference, and asked if they could work with me and send someone to meet me in the lobby so we could do a card key exchange, they very curtly refused with 'tude.
- They did not do any type of housekeeping during my stay there. I definitely did not ask for this.
- I called the front desk at one point for some fresh towels and coffee packets (again, due to lack of housekeeping). My phone rang later and I was informed me that they could not deliver me the towels and coffee packets due to the DO NOT DISTURB sign placed on the door. "Oh, go ahead and knock," I replied. The person on the phone gave me a mini lecture about how when the DO NOT DISTURB sign is on the door, hotel staff cannot knock on the door. Really? I just called for some fresh amenities, and am giving you verbal confirmation that it is OKAY to knock on the door for said amenities -- which was supposed to have been refreshed during the day while we were gone in the first place -- and you are going to give me a lecture about your hotel policy? Doesn't the policy exist to ensure that guests like I will enjoy my stay while I am at your property?
If as a paying customer, you enjoy being given attitude and lectures by the staff everywhere you turn, this is the perfect property for you. Otherwise, I would strongly advice you to STAY AWAY!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- San Diego has established itself as a destination featuring world class spirit with genuine warmth. The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina offers an authentic San Diego experience. Iconic sunsets and a waterfront destination…it’s comfortably upscale without pretense. As an architectural cornerstone positioned at the point of entry into the city - by air or sea - the imposing facade of the hotel reflects an architectural design inspired by the region’s naval influence. In the mid 1800s, city leaders realized the potential of the San Diego Bay and, with the anticipation of the opening of the Panama Canal, the importance of improving the harbor for commerce. Significant modifications were needed to the Bay to accommodate large ships. As a result, Harbor and Shelter Island were developed, as well as much of the land beneath the San Diego International airport. Today’s San Diego has evolved into a place to meet and share inspiration. Overlooking the scenic San Diego Bay and a private marina, the hotel is a place where San Diego soul and contemporary style go hand and hand. A Bayside resort with urban accessibility, the hotel is a waterfront hub connecting you to the destination’s renowned attractions. Ideally located within easy reach, the historic Liberty Station, the waterfront districts of Point Loma, the energy of Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter offer convenient, lively dining and entertainment venues. Amongst exquisite lifestyle decor and a relaxing atmosphere, the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina reflects a perfect haven for the active lifestyle that is woven deep into the region’s DNA. There are waterside fire pits and three pools - each with a unique personality. But most importantly, the hotel is designed to make best use of San Diego’s average 72 degree year-round sunny weather. Sitting on the dock of the Bay, the hotel offers access to water sport rentals and sailing tours to provide an extraordinary perspective of San Diego. Along with the diversity that found home in San Diego, the intense energy that the destination acquired offers a remarkably unique experience. Naturally, this energy worked its way into the foundation of the hotel. From the moment of arrival, the hotel is designed to offer a scenic environment with unmatched flexibility and capability. The nautically inspired guest rooms and suites come with an elegant array of amenities and social enabling conveniences. Social travelers seeking something astonishing can choose one of the spacious and well equipped suites for a unique and luxurious home away from home. Reflecting the needs of the world’s social traveler, a great hotel is built with much more than awe-inspiring design. The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina enlists a warm, friendly and tenured staff that is connected to the urban energy of downtown San Diego. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Sheraton San Diego Hotel And Marina
- San Diego Sheraton Hotel Marina
- Sheraton San Diego Hotel Marina