I arrived very late at night (after midnight) as part of a large tour group. Every room in the hotel was booked for the night. Although this is a 100% non-smoking hotel, unfortunately several of our rooms HAD been smoked in on the 2nd floor (and other floors)! My room was particularly awful. Due to having a severe allergy to tobacco smoke and other chemical smells, I simply could NOT sleep in there. Even after just walking into the room and back out again my eyes had puffed up and my throat was swollen. After returning to the front desk and explaining the problem, I was told there were no other rooms to be moved to. I knew this was true, since I was travelling with such a giant group. Several others had also come to the desk with the same complaints. This led the desk staff to believe that our rooms were NOT actually smoked in, but it was simply a "ventilation issue" and smoke was being pulled in somehow from outside. (I know when a room has been smoked in, and ours definitely had been smoked in, trust me). They sent housekeeping to open up the windows, and to spray the rooms with Febreeze (I'm allergic to Febreeze). I decided to take up residence on a couch in the spacious (if cold and noisy) lobby. I asked for a pillow and blanket, which they provided. I would just make the best of things for the next 5 short hours before we had to depart again. I had a very long day ahead of me. I desperately needed some sleep or it was going to be a miserable day, but I consigned myself to working on my laptop through the night. I reasoned that maybe I would doze for a few winks or maybe I could try to sleep on the bus later on...
Soon after settling on the couch a man named Robert Wooten rushed over (I assume he was the night manager). He showed deep concern for my plight. First, he offered to call other hotels nearby to get me a room and shuttle me back and forth all free of charge. I assured him that would be a waste of time since our large group had actually filled up 5 hotels in the area. Also, time was of the essence, since by now I only had about 4 1/2 hours left before I had to leave again, so even if he did manage to find a room, it wouldn't be worth all the trouble. Mr. Wooten went away, but returned a few minutes later, apologizing again, and told me they actually had one suite upstairs undergoing some major renovations. It only had a pull-out couch in it, no bed, but he wondered if that would be OK for me to use? I eagerly accepted! The room was spotlessly clean, smelled fresh, and fit my needs perfectly. I was able to get 4 solid hours of well-needed sleep plus a nice hot shower before having to check out of the hotel. Mr. Wooten was watching out for me when I came back down, and immediately inquired if I had slept OK. I thanked him again for his kindness. I told him truthfully that sleeping on that sofa bed was actually the best sleep I've had in a long time. It was surprisingly comfortable, and not at all like usual sleeper beds I've experienced. He was happy to hear my review, since they were investing in these newer more expensive sleeper couches based on claims of comfort. (so there you go, I am now the first official reviewer for their new sleeper sofas)
I certainly cannot fault the hotel for having terrible guests who broke the smoking rules! (I hope they track them down and fine them!) My only criticism would be how the problem was dealt with as soon as the smoke was discovered. When the cleaning crew entered those rooms more than 12 hours before we arrived they would have easily smelled the cigarette smoke and known the rooms were severely damaged. At that point, they should have immediately told the management, and the entire team should have leapt into action to air the rooms out, clean the carpets, spray them, and do whatever else it took for damage control to make the rooms inhabitable before our entire group would descend 12 hrs later. Twelve hours is a LOT of time to make a big difference in cleaning up a mess if you really invest some effort. At the very least, these rooms could have been opened up and aired out all day long until we arrived. I think that would have made a tremendous difference. As it is, I am not sure where the ball got dropped or how it all went down. All I know is that when we arrived, many rooms were unbearably filled with the smell of cigarette smoke. It sure would have been nice if they had told us up front they were aware of the issue and apologized, instead of hoping we simply wouldn't notice and then having their night desk crew swamped with frantic calls and complaints. As it was, dozens of people in our party were subjected to the smell of second hand smoke in their rooms, and the headaches that always brings. Most went ahead and slept in their rooms because that's all they could do. It was late. We were exhausted. Some felt OK afterward. Others felt ill afterward. It was an unfortunate situation for all involved.
I would strongly advise this hotel to please post NON SMOKING signs EVERYWHERE both inside and outside of the rooms (every room should clearly have a no smoking sign on the doors which they do not currently have) and make it 100% clear to guests that smoking is NOT tolerated inside this hotel and a fine WILL be charged if the room is found having been smoked in. I know it is a Marriott policy to charge a $250 fine for smoking. Other Marriott hotels I've stayed at have these signs clearly posted, but as far as I could see, this one did not.
And, if this really is due to a "ventilation issue" as some staff insisted it had to be, then for heaven sakes, get it FIXED!!
I want to thank Mr. Robert Wooten again for taking such kind care of me personally. He really went above and beyond and showed great kindness. He was tireless until he found me a place to sleep and made sure I was OK. He and his night staff were truly wonderful. I really appreciate everything they did for me!
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