I held off on writing this review in the hopes that Sheraton would try to do something about our experience, but unfortunately the lack of management of this issue only made our impression of Sheraton worse. I originally called Corp the night we checked in and although they promised to give us a call back they never did and had the local manager email us. After our vacation I wrote a very detailed experience of exactly what had occurred because it was not acceptable. After not receiving a reply to my email for 13 days, I decided to write Corp about my experience and not receiving a reply. The next day I received a response from the local manager, never from corp, which leads me to believe they aren't concerned about customers. The response tried to justify what happened with the following: "Our hotel is unique in that we are not your typical property where check-in is at 3 and check-out is at noon. A lot of our guests are airline employees and, in the summer, tour attendees. Because of their fluctuating schedules, we constantly have guests checking in and out at all hours of the day and night " My check in time should have been 4pm that day, but a room was still not ready for me at 3 am. When I finally got one it was filthy- including fecal matter in the toilet and stains all over the carpet. I find this completely unacceptable they continue to do this to people. I've chosen to post this review because it isn't an isolated occurrence and people should be warned. I paid more to stay here based on its high ratings. I was appalled by my experience and response from Sheraton.
My email detailing my experience: I'm not sure if the complaints we addressed last night were expressed clearly to you or not, but I can assure you I felt that the situation presented to us was extreme and unacceptable in every way. I have worked in management and customer service now for over 15 years and can appreciate the gravity of online reviews, which is why I'm taking the time to write you now and clearly explain to you what happened in the hopes of a resolution to the issues and for this not to happen to others.
First, I chose the Sheraton over the Marriott based solely on how great the online reviews were. At the time of booking, being at the Sheraton meant I was spending hundreds of dollars more over the Marriott and other choices. I made the decision to pay the extra money since you were currently the highest rated hotel and I felt assured that our time there would be comfortable and we would experience cleanliness and excellent service. Sadly, this was not the case at all. I travel a decent amount and have stayed everywhere from hostels in Thailand to Ritz Carlton's and I have to say I have never experienced anything like this in my life.
After landing we got our rental car and promptly headed over to the hotel. Upon arrival we were told they didn't have a room ready for us. Seeing as how it was after midnight and we'd already paid for the entire day at the hotel this seemed very odd to me, but we were understanding and polite about it. We were told it would take 30 minutes and the front desk associate recommended we go to have a drink and relax at the Polar Club behind the hotel and she would call my cell phone when our room was ready. We had a couple drinks while waiting as patiently as we could, but exhausted as well, for the phone call that our room was ready. Half an hour passed, then an hour, and still no call. An hour and a half into our wait a random woman at the bar approached us and started telling us how she had just gotten out of jail for stabbing someone in the same bar we were at. She started crying, telling us in detail about the event and making us feel very uncomfortable. We promptly closed out our tab because I was not feeling safe in the bar that was recommended to us and headed over to the hotel. Upon arrival we found a lobby full of people waiting with their suitcases for their rooms to be available too. I checked in at the front desk to hear that our room was still not ready. An hour and a half later! She assured us it would only be 20 more minutes and to have a seat and they'd grab us as soon as the room was ready. We took a seat and again waited as 20 minutes passed, then 30 minutes. I again approached the desk and was told that they, "Didn't want us to have to wait any longer and that she had arranged for us to stay at the Marriott for no additional charge." First, when I was booking hotels, the Marriott's price was significantly lower than the Sheraton's and I chose to spend the extra money based on reviews. I understand prices fluctuate and perhaps at that exact moment the Marriott and Sheraton prices were comparable, but I didn't find this an acceptable solution. First, if I had wanted to stay at the Marriott, I would have booked the Marriott. Also, she had just sent us over to have drinks while we waited and then she was suggesting we get in the car and drive somewhere? I basically told her I was exhausted, wanted my room there and was not able to tolerate anymore for the night. I told her I didn't understand how if our supposed check in was earlier that day a room could not be ready for us at this point. She explained that you guys have a contract with cruise ships and pilots and give them extended check out hours so in theory you're double booking the rooms and making the customers paying more wait hours on end and this is just a policy you have there? I am perplexed. Anyhow, at this point magically a room was instantly ready and supposedly clean and ready to go.
We went upstairs to our room to find housekeeping in the room next door. We could hear smirking and laughing and I looked to see who it was, only to find it was the same gentleman who had been at the front desk when we first arrived and then was out back smoking and laughing with a group of people as we walked over to the bar that was recommended to us. Suddenly it seemed to make sense that the room that was supposed to be ready in 30 minutes wasn't for over 2 hours if he was indeed who was in charge of cleaning the rooms. To add insult to injury, when we walked into the room it was not clean at all. There was still fecal matter stuck to the side of the toilet, the bed was disheveled looking and there were stains all over the carpet. This is when we placed the call in regards to the room to corporate and basically received no help at all. We were told they would check in with the staff and then call us back, which never happened.
The next morning we went downstairs and had breakfast while we got together our plan for the day. I realized I'd forgotten something in the room so 20 minutes into breakfast I ran upstairs to grab it- we left the hotel room and immediately went down to eat, no stops in between- and found that our room had already been cleaned by housekeeping and was finished as far as they were concerned. Is there really that big of a discrepancy between night and day staff that a daytime housekeeper takes 20 minutes and a night housekeeper takes over 2 hours? The stains on the carpet remained, but the toilet was finally cleaned. Because I didn't want to deal with this situation while trying to have a mini vacation I decided to just deal with the given situation and enjoy the other aspects of Alaska as much as possible. Based on our reservation and other reviews I was really expecting a pleasant stay with great customer service, and was upset by the experience we had. While I always make a note of above par service, I also usually let below average service go and rarely complain, but I have to be honest with you in saying that this was a really horrible experience for me overall. With our booking it mentioned club level access or something to this effect, but when we checked in there was no mention of this. On our second to last day I inquired about it and found out that we were supposed to have been given a second key to access it and would have been provided with coffee and breakfast every morning if the front desk had given us this information. Instead we paid for breakfast and Starbucks every morning.
After checking in and being shocked by what was occurring we did go online to look at the reviews again and found that there had been several poor reviews after I'd booked the hotel complaining of very similar issues, which further upset me. It seemed that this issue had been going on for weeks without any resolve, which really leads me to believe it was not a priority of management's if it continued to happen and huge steps had not been taken to avoid the same issues. I want to believe that this is not a Sheraton issue across the board, but I couldn't believe 1. the experience we had at the rates we paid 2. that the corporate phone number we called and left a message with never returned our call 3. that the original email I received as a response was pretty unapologetic.
I'm not sure if the depth of detail wasn't conveyed properly or if these circumstances weren't viewed as being as big of a deal as I believe them to be. I have taken the time and effort to write all of this in the hopes that with the details of my experience it will be taken more seriously. I've opted to write you first instead of making an online review because of my experience in management and I believe it's fair to give management a chance to make things right and correct staffing issues without one "off" night being recorded and shared with all, but I also feel that if this really is an occurring issue others should be saved from having an experience like mine, especially with how much money we spent to stay there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa is luxury lodging with amenities like Ice Spa, Jade Restaurant, Steak & Seafood and 24,000 sq ft of meeting space. We're near Elmendorf AFB, Sullivan Arena, and Alaska Railroad. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Anchorage
- Anchorage Sheraton