Maybe I'm no longer the core demographic of the W brand and at 38 have "aged out" of their marketing mix. I do remember when blase, aloof service from well-dressed, well-tanned younger employees may have seemed cool to me or connoted an elite vibe that I guess I may have wanted to be a part of.
For my money, however, in it's effort to be so cool this W misses the most important component of hospitality: effective service with a smile.
1. Don't welcome me to the hotel two days before with an email that asks how you can help me unless you're going to monitor that email. The General Manager's email address was provided to me in this welcome email, which I promptly replied to, asking for restaurant recommendations and some reservations. This was about 36 hours prior to checking in. The email was not returned until well after check-in and first meal was over. A harried concierge did apologize and send up a complimentary chilled bottle of water and a cake lollipop. Good gesture, but I really would have simply preferred a timely response to the email.
2. Apologies, but "do you mind if we put you in a room that faces the swimming pool, with a DJ that plays dance music until 2am on two of the nights you're here?" .. Me: "I guess not." .. Front desk: "Okay great, that is a big relief to (other front desk person standing nearby)". Apparently I was not alone in preferring to actually sleep in my $260/nt hotel room, but glad I could oblige.
3. The little speaker system in my room didn't work; I commented to a nonchalant front desk agent upon leaving in the evening. "Okay dude."; had to call back down the next day to have it replaced. The engineer who came up to replace it (and a television set that wasn't functioning properly) was gruff and clearly wasn't trained on the W guidebook of how to be super cool, dude, to everyone he came in contact with.
4. The staff, all of whom are younger than me, couldn't quite figure out what to call me (in the sense that I wasn't their age, but don't have gray hair, either). Particularly obnoxious was being called "boss" several times by several different employees. I understand that "sir" or "you" may not be appropriate for the W brand, but I could do without being called "boss" or spoken to like I am your freshman frat-mate. Come to think of it, let's just stick with "sir"; can't go wrong there.
5. Employees with cloying way-too-friendly scripted dialogues. This is a problem, I've found, in a lot of more expensive corporate-hip hotels like this (see my most recent review of a stay in Melbourne, Australia). "Hey, boss, how are you? Are you dining alone today? What table would you like - as you can see, the whole room is yours! Great! What kind of water can we get for you today?" .. Or worse, the tip-grubbing valets: "Howdy, can I get your last name? Great, do you need directions today, Mr. (mispronounced name)? Have a great day, Mr. (mispronounced name)!..
Please someone in management explain that classy service comes from understatement and subtlety. And to the young man waiting on me at lunch on Sunday, I didn't need the explanation of why you forgot to bring the coffee to the table (though I am sympathetic that you were busy blowing up balloons for a memorial party for the death of a fellow employee... did this little memorial really need to happen at the hotel restaurant during lunch hour, and did I need to hear about it as your excuse for lame service?)
Not to be completely negative, the hotel scores on these points:
1. Modern and well-located (if you can call anywhere in Arizona "well" located, that is).
2. Gym was clean, equipment worked. Pool was clean and worked. Facilities were clean.
3. People were nice. Despite my gripes above, no one was downright rude.
I've got a few more W stays this year, but if this one was any indication, maybe my old self needs to look at other Starwood brands, and kiss my W-going years goodbye.
Ask to be located away from the pool.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hello, and thank you for taking the time to provide this review of your recent stay with us. I am sorry to read about some of the experiences you had during your visit. We usually receive great feedback on our Talent.
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It is never our intention to provide scripted service, and I am terribly sorry it felt this way. We will take your feedback seriously, and I agree that those greetings you describe could be better presented. We do cater to a wide variety of guests at W Scottsdale, and it is always our goal to make sure each guest feels welcome and appreciated.
I know that we can provide the level of service to you, and really impress you with out Whatever/Whenever service. Please feel free to reach out directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org in anticipation of your next stay.
Thank you again,
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC