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“Ok but hit or miss service and overpriced accomodations”

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Sheraton Imperial Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park
Ranked #35 of 71 Hotels in Durham
Reviewed 26 August 2013

I was in Durham for a job interview and the company had booked me at the Sheraton Imperial so I really did not have a say in where I stayed. That being said, I do have the Starwood Preferred Guest(SPG) Gold status, thanks to the Amex Platinum Card,and paid a little extra to be upgraded to a King Suite on the SPG floor. First the positives..the hotel is clean (but did smell of chemicals in the public areas... don't know why they can't use something more subtle ). Our check-in attendant was very friendly and the room itself was very close to the elevators and the parking so bringing in luggage was very easy.The room service food was very good and there are quite a few restaurants that deliver food to the Sheraton so you do have some choices if you want room service but would like some variety.

However, that is where the positives stop. here are the negatives

1) Room - The King suite did not have a Microwave... it is perhaps the only hotel that I have stayed in ,where a king suite on a Preferred Guest Floor lacks a microwave... it became a pain because I had my family with me (including a 6 month old infant) and we had to make sure that no matter what his mood , we finished eating food right away because of the lack of microwave..

Also, the bedroom and the living room areas had no doors/partitions for additional privacy .. I would expect this in a $200+ Suite.

There was no Mini-Bar or snacks in the room and the beds were almost too soft to the point of being uncomfortable.

2) Service- Despite the pleasant check-in experience , the service was very unpredictable and just rude on some occasions ... on one occasion , I tried to get sneakers from the car to go to the Fitness center and suddenly the access card stopped working and I was locked out .When I called the front desk from the public access phone , they said " let's see if we can send someone to let you in "... 5 -10 mins later, someone lets me in.. no apologies.. no offer to help .. asks me to go to the front desk and resolve this...keep in mind that I was using the rear exit and it is a little walk to the front desk. At the front desk, I am told that this happens a lot when the access cards are near the cell phone (First , no one ever told me this and second, me and my wife spent the rest of the stay worried about where the cards were placed relative to the cell phone.. we certainly did not want us to be locked out with our Infant in 90+ degree heat).

I was surprised that still , no one cared to apologize .. I was asked for identification (luckily, I had my wallet or things would have become more complicated). I was also told that normally, they charge $7 for access to the fitness center but because of my room, it was free. A hotel of this size and in this location should not charge money for access to the Fitness center .. period .. so if you need access to fitness center, you need to pay more to upgrade to a room with free access or pay $7/person/day .

I got new access cards and could get back into the hotel from the rear entrance but now , I couldn't get into my room.. I did have a word with the manager and it is only because of the fact that she sent me a written apology and issued me a new set of access cards quickly that I am giving the property even 3 stars.

3) Food - There was complimentary breakfast in the Club Lounge on the 9th floor , exclusively for SPG guests but again , it is only served from 6-9am on weekdays and 6-9:30am on Weekends ,so if you are in the area for pleasure or have family , you really need to be up early to take advantage of the complimentary feature..we did end up ordering room service breakfast but on at least one occasion , they forgot sending any salt/pepper/Ketchup with the Omelette and the Hash Browns and on another , the toast came without any Jam/Honey as described on the menu.

To sum it all up,I would not stay at the Sheraton again... The service is not consistent, the rooms lack amenities and you need to pay to have access to the fitness center.. I am sure there are other hotels in the area that would provide better value for money.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled on business
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Thank bohemianguy2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SIHCC, Customer Service Manager at Sheraton Imperial Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park, responded to this reviewResponded 11 September 2013

Dear Bohemianguy2001:
We do take pride in our excellent hotel, and we sincerely regret that this guest's experience was not up to our normal high standards. Please let me assure you that we want to exceed our guest’s expectations. Our commitment is to work on any areas that any guest mentions. We could not improve or change without our guest’s feedback, so again, thank you so much for your review. While we understand that your stay was not 100% satisfactory, we would hope that you would give us another chance to make your stay as best as it can be.
Sincerely,
DianeT
Customer Service Manager
SIHCC

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226 - 232 of 352 reviews

Reviewed 24 August 2013

We had a wonderful one-night stay at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center. We had a quick check in by very friendly staff. The room was amazing! Very clean and spacious with every toiletry you could need and evenhad Starbucks Coffee in the room. The convention room was huge and we had a wonderful tounament, then a pool party afterwards at the large outdoor pool. Overall, I was very impressed!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank JenMitch302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SIHCC, Customer Service Manager at Sheraton Imperial Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park, responded to this reviewResponded 11 September 2013

Dear JenMitch302:
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel on Trip Advisor. We were grateful to have the opportunity to host your event. Whenever reading about guest’s experiences, I am always so elated to read that the service is one to be remembered. We genuinely want each department to find their ways to ensure the guest has the best experience at Sheraton Imperial during their stay. We have some awesome team members who are passionate about serving our guest. Thank you for your business and we look forward to serving you again in the future.
Sincerely,
DianeT
Customer Service Manager
SIHCC

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2013

As I was going to bed on our last of three nights, I was all set to give this place a 4. The facility is definitely a 3, but the staff had been so great that I would bump it up to a 4. Then came the next morning when we were woken up at 8:00 and 9:30 by a housekeeper. I wouldn't have been nearly so upset if it weren't for the fact that, upon check-in, we were specifically asked what time of morning we would be checking out and we said we would not be checking out until the 12:00 check-out time. We were there to take the NC Bar Exam and knew we would want to sleep in after two days of getting up early to take six hours worth of exam a day. When we did check-out (right before noon, as predicted), we registered a complaint and were told that, because it's a business hotel, they just assume that everyone's gone by 8:00 am. Why ask us upon check-in if they're just going to ignore it and assume everyone has left anyway? When we asked the lady at the front desk that very question, she just started her explanation about it being a business hotel over again and never made any real apology. So, if you want any chance of sleeping past 8:00 am, don't stay here.

Like I said, the facility was completely average. The building has obviously been renovated recently enough, but there was nothing particularly special about it. I did not find the bed terribly comfy, even though other people seem to love them. The carpet really needs a cleaning too; the bottoms of my white socks were very brown by the end of the day.

Aside from the overeager housekeeper and the unacceptable response to our complaint from the front desk, the service was excellent. We had a great conversation with the lady who checked us in. We had a problem with our toilet, so we called down to the front desk as we were about to leave the room. Before we had a chance to leave, there was a maintenance man at our door. Housekeeping did keep the room nicely cleaned up, even though we had bar review books and materials thrown everywhere.

Bottom line: this hotel simply isn't worth the price they charge ($171 was the standard rate during our stay) unless you are there for some special event, like a conference or the bar exam. There are several other hotels right around that are more reasonable and better rated. Also, know that there's a very limited selection of restaurants around the hotel.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms by the entrances and elevators. Room 124 was by both.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kelly K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SIHCC, Customer Service Manager at Sheraton Imperial Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2013

Dear Ms Kelly L:
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comments about your overall experience at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel. Let me apologize for the disruption of your scheduled sleep in. Unfortunately, we dropped the ball on this request. I trust you will accept that the difficulties you experienced are certainly not reflective of our normal standards. Let me assure you that your comments are not taking lightly and were shared with the Director of Housekeeping and the Front Desk Manager for training purposes. Again, thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback, we would hope that you would give us another chance to make your stay as best as it can be.
Sincerely,
DianeT
Customer Service Manager
SIHCC

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Reviewed 19 August 2013

5-day road trip with family. This was night 2. We spent 4 nights in 4 hotels reserving 2 rooms at each hotel, but this was the only night we had connecting rooms. What a convenient difference. Patricia, at registration, was welcoming, friendly, and efficient - so nice after a hard day of travel. Douglas, our bellhop, was wonderfully attentive, calm (never rushing us), and helpful (useful advice included). The rooms were comfortable and clean. This was also the only facility with convenient parking on the premises for our oversized vehicle . . . and it was free! Such a nice change. This Sheraton saved us the aggravation and frustration involved with parking, valets, and congestion (because we take up too much space while off-loading luggage). This was the only hotel where we didn't have to ask multiple times for a luggage cart. The services provided felt comfortable and personal.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SIHCC, Customer Service Manager at Sheraton Imperial Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2013

Dear Mr. Burleson:
Thank you for taking the time out not only to visit our property but to leave a review on your experience with us. At Sheraton Imperial, we take much pride in satisfying our guests at all times. Your feedback will be shared with the Sheraton Team. Again, thank you for all your valuable comments. If your future travels bring you to the Durham area again, we hope that you will give us another opportunity to serve as your hotel of choice.
Sincerely,
Diane T
Customer Service Manager
SIHCC

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Reviewed 6 August 2013

We stayed at the Sheraton Imperial for 2 days to take the NC Bar Exam. The hotel staff knew about the event and our needs. For example, at check-in, I mentioned the need for quiet and I was given a room at the very end of the hallway and on a higher floor. We faced the pool (away from the highway), but being high up, we didn't have any noise issues. The room was very comfortable, particularly the beds (pillows galore!). We ate lunch at the pool one afternoon while laying out and studying. The pool was very nice, not packed, and they delivered the food out to the pool (it did include the $3 room service charge - fine...). The food was delicious, although pricey - but, like most hotel restaurants, it was expected. We ate at the buffet each morning. It was delicious and priced well given what the buffet offered (about $10 per person; includes eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, oatmeal, made-to-order omelets, etc.). The staff was phenomenal during our stay - from the front desk, restaurant, and bell staff! We had a group rate, so the value was great for us (I don't know the regular rates, so I can't weigh the value at a higher nightly rate).

The only negative I have is that they only staffed one bartender at the bar during the evening/night hours and it took a while for the bartender to get to us - we actually left and just came back later. Maybe we came at an unusually busy time, but it was our opinion, at the time, that during the night hours (with guests ordering both drinks and food - I only wanted ice cream), the bartender was overwhelmed and had more than her share of work to do. Given that a such small portion of our time was spent at the bar each evening, it wasn't too big of a deal for us.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
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Thank tkg04d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SIHCC, Customer Service Manager at Sheraton Imperial Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2013

Dear tkg04d:
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comments on Trip Advisor about your overall experience at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel during the NC Bar Exam. It was a very exciting time for us to have the opportunity to host this event. I am please to hear that we were able to exceed your expectations with our great service, cleanliness of our home, and the quiet atmosphere we try and provide for all our guests. Your feedback will be shared with the Sheraton Team.
Again, thank you for all your valuable comments. There are of great importance to us and allow us to monitor and improve our service continually. We hope that in the future you will allow us the opportunity to serve your future lodging needs.
Sincerely,
DianeT
Customer Service Manager
SHICC

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Reviewed 30 July 2013

I was the meeting planner for a conference held at the Sheraton Imperial. The staff was great to work with. The facilities were top notch. The bathrooms kept clean all the time (and we had some very late meetings).

Our hotel room was very nice. The bed was super comfy. I only wish it had a refrigerator.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
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Thank GatorInNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SIHCC, Customer Service Manager at Sheraton Imperial Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2013

Dear GatorInNC:
Thank you so much for your comments. Whenever reading about a meeting planner experiences, I am always so elated to read that the service is one to be remembered. We genuinely want each department to find their ways to ensure the guest has the best experience at Sheraton Imperial during their stay. We have some awesome team members who are passionate about serving our guest. I will be sure to share your review with the team. We appreciate that you chose us to host your conference.
Again, thank you so much for sharing your review. We hope that in the future you will allow us the opportunity to serve your future lodging needs.
Sincerely,
DianeT
Customer Service Manager
SHICC

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Reviewed 23 July 2013 via mobile

I have a background in the arts so when I read Imperial after the word Sheraton I expected some Roman quality greatness. Well lets start by saying that unfortunately there is none here. I have stayed in Sheraton hotels way back in the 80's and 90's when quality and superior touches meant something and where synonymous with the brand. So, I was surprised to find this hotel chain become somewhat mediocre. I find it out of place with its high prices. That being said there are some good points to mention :
The bed , a double , was quite comfortable. And it's pillows kept me engulfed in bed way past breakfast every morning. The room smelled fresh with clean linens and sheets. Bath towels can be fluffier maybe add some downy to help in that.
The service is good but I will admit I hardly used it. The hotel was quiet and appeared to be empty, lucky for me as I was seeking relaxation and silence. The pool is like those found at a cheap condominium and small and it looked like it was sitting in the middle of the parking lot. There are no 'imperial frizz' here just plain down to earth basics and necessities. The decor is a bit depressing, dark neutral colors and the room is lacking modern technological touches. The world runs on technology so having a night table that can juice up my iPhone next to me should be a standard asset in any contemporary hotel room. I kept having to get up to read several important texts that where coming in at night. I find the hotel overall lost in the past, archaic. Maybe in that context we can then bring the 'imperial' quality to it. This is an establishment best suited for big firms needing the convention center a lot of rooms for their staff . It is not near any important locations and you will need a car to get to the important spots most of which are about five to seven miles away. There's nothing , absolutely nothing near by or within walking distance. I was expecting much more than what I got. A note of caution, don't go to the establishments recommended by the staff. In particular the Texas grill restaurant was depressing and with mediocre food. Needless to say I lost my trust in their word after that . Too pricey for what you get...

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank Byronlove64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SIHCC, Customer Service Manager at Sheraton Imperial Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park, responded to this reviewResponded 5 August 2013

Dear Byronlove64:

Thank you for taking time to write that detailed review and telling us about your stay. We are very grateful for your patronage. We pride ourselves on quality, both in product and service.
I was delighted to hear that you enjoyed one of our best features - our guestroom featuring the Sweet Sleeper bed. The Sweet Sleeper bed is a signature item made exclusively for Sheraton Hotels by Simmons. It is a plush top mattress 11.5”. It is understandable that you were so comfortable that you were able to sleep in during your stay. We have many upgrades scheduled for our guest rooms which we hope to complete by the end of the year and will make for an even more relaxing stay. We want you to know that your valuable time spent responding to us will not go to waste and will be shared with the General Manager, Mr. Michael Martino. We truly hope to have the pleasure of serving you again should future travels find you in our area.
Sincerely,
DianeT
Customer Service Manager
SHICC

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sheraton Imperial Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park

Address: 4700 Emperor Blvd, Durham, NC 27703-8424 (Formerly Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > North Carolina > Durham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#22 Business Hotel in Durham
Price Range: £78 - £203 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sheraton Imperial Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park 3.5*
Number of rooms: 331
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Imperial Hotel Durham
Sheraton Durham
Durham Sheraton

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