I am writing this letter to express my frustration regarding my membership as Platinum status with Sheraton. I'm specifically upset about my most recent stay at Sheraton Towers in Chicago, August 9-11, 2013. My understanding is that my room should be automatically upgraded if the room is available. In fact, the last time I stayed at this hotel, I WAS upgraded without an issue, and the customer service during my stay was equally fantastic. However, this time it was not the same, and my status was ignored to benefit the hotel.
Upon arrival, at approximately 7pm, I was informed that there were no suites left, as the hotel was completely booked. That evening, when I approached the desk to get a new key for my room, the gentleman at the desk asked if I'd like a suite since they had a few available. We were surprisingly pleased to hear this news, as we have three children, ages 3 months, 2 years and 3 years, and fitting two pack n plays in a standard room is quite tight, not to mention a family of 5 in a standard room with two double beds. However, the individual then stated he needed to just confirm with his manager, and when he returned, he responded that his manager stated that the room cost $150, but they would give it to us for $100. This was absurd! Clearly, the hotel had set aside suites for paying customers; and when they were not reserved, they were then being offered to existing customers for an additional cost!! This was a clear case of the hotel taking advantage of families, in order to benefit the hotel.
Returning to my standard room, I then contacted Sheraton Card Member Guest Services, and the representative was surprised to hear that the upgraded room was not offered, but rather provided for an additional fee to a member with Platinum status. She then placed me on hold and contacted Guest Services at the hotel. When she returned, she stated that the suite was considered “premier,” so it could be offered as a free upgrade at the discretion of the hotel. Maybe this would have made since, if I hadn’t previously been upgraded to the exact “premier” suite during my last stay, without any of these skeptical activities. To say I was frustrated is an understatement. In fact, during the last 10 stays at a Sheraton hotel, I have never been upgraded; and now, when there actually WAS an upgrade available, I was not automatically offered it, but instead was solicited to pay for it – even though I have been staying at numerous Sheraton Hotels, and spending a significant amount of money, in order to maintain a Platinum status. To make matters worse, I requested to have the manager contact me on my personal phone, in order to discuss my cancellation options, and he failed to call me. No follow-up was made by the manager, by the hotel staff who took the message, or by Sheraton Card Member Guest Services. Obviously, my concern was of no importance.
Not only was this incident a disappointment, but it makes me question whether it is worth being a customer of Sheraton Hotels, as their customer service is mediocre to say the least, and their “benefits” are hardly justifiable. As someone who travels on a regular basis, and recommends hotels to many co-workers, clients, friends and family, I would be more than happy to direct future business to a hotel that actually cares about how their actions can influence their business, and that employs management who cares about their customers and their personal needs, as well as understands the power of customer referrals. Sheraton Hotels are clearly out to benefit their business, rather than their clientele.
Ultimately, I’m quite displeased with this occurrence with Sheraton Towers in Chicago, and their lack of customer satisfaction. I will be sure to submit a review on such social media platforms such as Trip Advisor, Yelp, and Google, in order to ensure that other travelers (specifically Sheraton Members) are aware of such instances, and do not has similar, negative experiences.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Sheraton Grand Chicago is Chicago's premier downtown riverfront hotel, just off Michigan Avenue, and within a short walk of Navy Pier, Millennium Park, museums, shopping and entertainment. The hotel offers spectacular views of either Lake Michigan or the city skyline. Guests enjoy deluxe accommodations, including Sheraton's Sweet Sleepersm Beds, in-room safes, coffee makers, in-room refreshment center, high-speed Internet access, cable television with movies and video games. Club guest rooms, located on the top four floors, feature plush robes, turndown service, complimentary continental breakfast and afternoon hors d'oeuvres. There are five distinctive restaurants and lounges, including the acclaimed Shula's Steak House, health club, indoor swimming pool, sun deck, sauna, and massage therapy. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chicago Sheraton