Friday, April 28, 2017

Why the Westin Cincinnati is likely the very worst Westin in the country.

How do we count the ways in which the Westin Cincinnati is a very, very bad hotel?

First, the good news:  friendly staff and great location.  That, however, is the only good news.

1.  Let's start with safety.  There should be at least one telephone in the room that works.  It would be nice if it's by the bed, but let's not quibble.  The phone should work.  Mine didn't when I arrived, so I used my cell phone to call the front desk.  After a four-minute wait, a staffer said that she'd send someone up to fix the phone.  The person who came up was quite nice.  I now have a phone that doesn't make odd sounds.  It does connect to humans.  But the volume can't be adjusted, so the humans sound as though they're on a different continent.  One expects working phones in a hotel, especially at a solid chain like Westin.

2.  It takes a very, very long time to reach anyone on the staff.  It's about a 5-minute average, no matter what time of day I call.

3.  Room service is delicious, and it should be, given the extraordinarily high prices of any off-the-menu things like a side of fruit.  That side of fruit, at $14 for a bowl, was mighty tasty, except for the bad taste in my mouth that the overcharging created.

4.  And the winner for why staying at this hotel is never, ever going to be worth it:  there were a lot of us milling around in the lobby last night, because none of the elevators worked.  That makes it difficult for guests to get to their rooms.  I understand the importance of staff members staying calm in the face of angry guests, and they were calm--and as I'd mentioned before, very friendly.  What they weren't doing was getting repair people out to fix the elevators.  After hearing again and again that the repair people were coming (and I'll find out later today if they came, of course), I climbed the 12 flights up to my room.  In the dark.  In a back stairwell.  It's a good thing that I always carry a flashlight.

Here's the thing:  Westin says that it cares about customer service, and I've been assured repeatedly that management will do something to make amends for its many failures during this stay.  I'm still waiting.

This is a very, very bad hotel.  Not as bad as this other hotel, maybe, but bad nonetheless.  There are so many great hotels within a block of this one that I can honestly stay that staying anywhere else within this block would be better than staying here.  If Westin cares about its brand as much as I hope that it does, then it should figure out how to fix the many things that go wrong.

Oh, and by the way, when the front desk calls (on that sounds-like-long-distance phone) and says that a manager will call me at 7 a.m., it's probably a good idea to call me then.  Otherwise, this happens.

P.S.  It was lovely to see a treadmill in my room.  It really was.  But there is no way to get the plug out so that the treadmill has electricity.

UPDATE:  The manager called me at 7:40 a.m.   He was very nice, and he addressed my concerns.

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