Decent, clean rooms. Nice, helpful staff, and priced well, for a hotel in the middle of nowhere.
Downside: confused management.
Issue: our group of 9 suites requested transportation (a day in advance), at 615PM yesterday, to a restaurant less than 3 miles away. Included in our party: 9x 65+ yrs old relatives + one handicapped in wheelchair, with aide.
We were assured of timely pickup (Saturday, hence all restaurants full, thus imperative for early arrival). 30 mins later, I called, concerned. Was told van would arrive 15 mins, after picking up guests -these thing happen, no prob.
30 mins, after, nada. Repeated queries met with reassurances of "no worries,10 minutes." Reservations at restaurant were forfeited.
Sheraton Plantation driver, finally arrived with 2 other passengers (Time: -40 mins late). We get in, beg for drop off at at restaurant 7 mins away (handicapped wheelchair relative precludes us walking to chain restaurant safely).
We have been long term annual guests for cruises here for years - with status. 2 guests in in van unapologetic and aggressive. Very Dismissive and entitled.
Kind driver, Cesar, asks for our patience, while other guests remain insouciant. We inquire re lateness, and ask politely for drop off to nearby restaurant due to delay.
Other guests refuse. Insist on waiting for third party due to getting ready - 2 mins. We acquiesce. 15 mins pass. We are anxious. Very worried.
Reservations long past. Friends meeting at restaurant calling in concern. 2 other guests in van remain insouciant, and repeat 2 mins, relaxed.
We politely reminded that nearly 20 mins had passed, and we had FIRST requested transport earlier that day, and waited that evening.
When reminded of promised 2 min wait, plus long delay, abuse from other guests ensue - of a racist nature (some of our group were from Spain, referred disdainfully), as well as screamed statements of "Who do you think you are? Do you know who we are?!?"
Seriously - are we all adults here? Perplexed, and getting angered + insulted + treated like 2nd class citizens due to Spanish friends (us: 2 Brits, 3 Spanish, 2 Americans).
We retort that race, country, or individuals did not matter, but as we had booked trip earlier and had precedent, reservations, + meetings, would they mind being considerate. Chaos. Foul language in creole - we did not let the "ladies" know we spoke French, as well as multiple languages. Abuse.
Latecomer finally arrives 10 mins later, unapologetic. All are defensive. Other guests refuse to allow us to be dropped off first, and wait.
Disparage Spanish-speaking friends. I was personally screamed to go back to the country from which I came. I am: a) Asian; b) grew up in the the UK, and speak English with a Brit accent, but am fluent in French, Spanish, etc.
Further abuse ensues as we are dropped off. Things escalate, as everyone gets insults.
Local FLL friends meeting us for dinner are mortified, and drive us back to hotel to avoid repetition of - we are too embarrassed by imbroglio to ask for return hotel ride.
Driver - Cesar - was in tough place. We understand, and apologised.
When Sunny, manager, was approached by a lady in our party re this for assistance in resolving, she was told we were high-maintenance (due to relative in wheelchair, who did not accompany us that night, and had an aide), and they had done what they could, and we should not to ask for more.
Is empathy, assistance, resolution, proper management, too much to ask? We did not ask for punishment or restitution. Just tried to clarify matters. I suppose so.
We have been loyal customers of the Sheraton Plantation. This experience has left a bitter, racist, taste In our mouths. We have been considerate, polite, and generous guests.
The lack of understanding, empathy, apparent misogyny, and indifference by management at the Sheraton Suite Plantation has been exceedingly upsetting.
We - as a group - travel a lot around the world, and are loyal gold/ platinum members of SPG. Please be assured we do not feel either entitled, or unreasonable. This is not an issue of entitlement, nor snobbery.
BUT when we politely ask for a favour/ ride, are assured it is not a problem, are kept waiting 50 mins, losing our restaurant reservations, and screamed and abused by strangers - who we were later informed were not regular guests - it is upsetting. To be told to return to where we came from - further insulting. We are more fluent in English, and other languages, vs the aggressive "ladies."
FYI, majority of us are US citizens, polite, yet outraged, and the foreign/ disparaged Spanish visitors are repeat customers, in suites, for extended durations. Not that this sort of loyalty is of issue.
The response of Sanny/ management to an upset lady member of out group was inexplicable. She was told the Sheraton Plantation had done the best they could, and told not to whine.
We do not fault Cesar, the driver. He was in a Sisyphean situation. The other guests threatened to to take a cab, yet refused to do so, when offered (we offered to pay).
There was no reasoning with them. Racism, classism, and entitlement clearly played a role. The other guests did not respond to polite overtures, and there was rancour on both sides.
At the end, I am left wondering who is to blame? We feel chagrined and embarrassed to be dragged into such a situation, yet incredibly outraged. Management's response to a polite trilingual lady in out group was dismissive. Unacceptable.
Result: we will try to resolve this politely tomorrow. Most of us will no longer - ever - stay at the Sheraton Plantation Suites, or perhaps, SPG hotels, regardless of status. Alternatives abound - and we no longer feel loyalty.
We feel sad, and disappointed, that this incident has occurred, and shared this with socially prominent friends, over dinner.
This experience. will be posted on my FB,Tumblr, Twitter, Weibo, blog, Instagram Video, YouTube, G+, Snapchat etc pages. For purposes of transparency, all responses will be published.
Apologies for the long write-up. This has been most upsetting. After my stay at the Excelsior in Rome, in early May 2014, I will be likely more loyal to Park Hyatt, and small luxury hotels of the world...
Do respond, if so inclined.
MOST disillusioned, and sadly offended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale Plantation is an all-suite, newly renovated, full-service hotel within walking distance to the Broward Mall, close to major office complexes, and just 10 minutes from the beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Suites Plantation, Ft Lauderdale West Hotel Plantation
- Sheraton Plantation
- Plantation Sheraton
- Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale Plantation Florida