As I was planning for my wedding in Brooklyn, I wanted to make sure my fiancé, her mother, and best friend/maid of honor could have a pleasant, relaxing evening and morning before the wedding and be able to get ready for the wedding in comfort. I decided to splurge a little bit and reserve a suite at the Sheraton Brooklyn. It was pricey, but I figured this was a once in a lifetime thing and I wanted it to be absolutely perfect.
Months before the wedding, I went onto Sheraton.com and reserved a suite. The email confirmation said very clearly:
2 Doubles + Double Sofa Bed
* Suite Non-smoking, Smoke-free
* 41 Sq.m/440 Sq.ft - 45 Sq.m/487 Sq.ft
* 42 Inch Flat Screen Lcd Tv
* Sweet Sleeper Bed
* Combined Shower/bath
* Separate Living Room
Your room is guaranteed with a(n) AMEX / OPTIMA card
I made sure to get to the Sheraton early the day before our wedding to check-in. I pulled my car to the curb and was greeted by an attendant. I told him I was checking in, but he warned me that if I left the car at the curb too long I'd get a ticket. That struck me as an odd thing to say to a guest checking in to your hotel.
I rushed to the front desk and gave my name to the young man there. He typed a few things in his computer and then said to me matter-of-factly that they had no suites available, but that he'd be happy to put me into a room with two double beds, and that he'd "only charge me the rate for the room and not for the suite".
My jaw dropped. What did he just say?
He then said something about there being a woman in my suite who decided she didn't want to check out. I was dumbfounded. I showed him the part of the reservation that said that my room was guaranteed. He went back to the manager for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, he came back and told me again that there were no suites available, but offered me my choice of compensation: a bottle of champagne, free Wifi, or Starwoods Points.
Again, I was dumbfounded. They were on the verge of ruining the night before the more important day of my life, and a $7 bottle of champagne would make up for it?
I took a deep breath and went up to check the room. Problem is, there was a party going on at the roof and they actually shut down all their elevators to guests so they could transport party guests to the roof. So I stood waiting 10 minutes for the elevator.
I finally got to the room. It was like a closet. Two double beds pushed right next to each other, a tiny desk, and a tiny, old-looking bathroom. I was furious. I went to the elevator and, you guessed it, waited 15 minutes before I decided to take ten flights of stairs down.
I asked to talk to the manager, but she was too busy for me. The guys at the desk wrote down my cell number so she could call me back that night. I waited all night for her to call and she never did.
So I had no choice but to give Lisa the dingy, cramped room. Thankfully, even though my car was at the curb for an hour by now I didn't get a ticket.
I asked her on our wedding day how her stay was. She told me the HVAC unit in her room was broken, so the room was freezing cold all night. They sent engineers to the room at all hours of the night to try to fix it but they couldn't. Not exactly a very relaxing way to spend the night before your wedding. To their credit, the staff was very professional and tried hard to make the best of a bad situation. So I do not fault them. I completely fault the management of this hotel.
Then, what should have been a wonderful morning was spent navigating the cramped space while trying to accommodate the makeup artist and photographers. Everyone was very understanding and didn't blame me, but I still felt horrible. I'd planned everything so carefully but thanks to the Sheraton I felt like a heel.
To add insult to insult, we never even received the bottle of champagne in her room that was promised.
I thought that was the end of the nightmare. But a few days later I checked my credit card bill and I saw a charge for $661.70. That's right, the FULL price of the suite.
After days of email back and forth, the Sheraton finally offered me a canned apology and refunded me. To be honest, after all they put us through I was expecting a little something else to make up for all they did (refunding the price of the room was akin to a restaurant giving me food poisoning and then saying "we're giving your meal to you for free"). But that never came.
I have stayed in many hotels, but I have never seen one so completely mismanaged as this one. If you're planning a wedding or any other important function, I would think twice before entrusting it with the Sheraton Brooklyn.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sheraton Brooklyn New York Hotel, the area's newest full-service hotel, is 1 MTA stop from Manhattan near MetroTech Ctr, Bklyn Heights, and BAM. We have 4,300sq ft of meeting space and a rooftop deck. Pool Hours: Mon- Fri 5pm-10pm Sat- Sun 10am- 10pm ... more less
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