I must have had really bad luck the 3 days that I stayed here. I have never written a review before, but found that I must express my experiences at this property. First, the good: the restaurant food (although a bit pricey), free internet with a computer in the room and the cool location on Penn's campus. It was a nice area to walk around--there are local shops, restaurants and museums all within a few blocks of the hotel. Penn's campus is very attractive with park benches all along the brick walkways. The location is a little far from the historical areas of the Liberty Bell and Independence Park, but found a lot of cultural things to do in the immediate area of the hotel.
Now the unpleasantness: unhappy, unhelpful staff; dirty rooms; and unmaintained rooms and hotel. As they say, first impressions are everything--my first impression: waiting in a line with 3 other guests and 2 staff members at the desk. One was assisting another party and the other was laughing and joking with the maintenance staff. There was a family of 4 with all kinds of luggage and no bellman on duty (in my 3 days--did not see 1 bellman or any staff member to assist any guests with luggage). The staff member who did not care about the line that was forming ended up being the guest services manager! She eventually checked me in, but could care less about assiting me with information on the area or where my meeting was located. She could not wait to get me away from the desk. (A younger fellow in the afternoon was very pleasant and very accommodating. He kept apologizing that there was no concierge on duty.)
The rooms were supposedly recently renovated. I really couldn't tell since there were several dark stains on the carpet, peeling wallpaper at the seems throughout the room, closet doors with scratches all over them, an exhaust fan that was louder than a motorcycle and an a/c unit that would not get cool (it was 90 degrees in the east with humidity). I called for someone to come to take a look at the unit, but after 2 calls that night, no one arrived.
I asked the next morning to have someone up to look at the unit and was given an attitude that it was my fault that the a/c was not working. I was told that I did not know how to work the thermostat and when I return after my meeting to stop by the desk and they will have someone to show me how to work it. It was a basic looking thermostat which I have been able to work before. (It turned out that there was a problem with the thermostat that needed adjusting and it finally worked on day 2.) Public areas were not any better--several lights were burned out in the elevators and never replaced during my stay, no a/c in the lobby (hottest days in August and it was more humid in the lobby than outside), this brought in the gnats.
The overall cleanliness of my room was not good. The room was dusty, hair in the tub and it looked like someone's face print in oil on my window. I pulled back the sheers to get in some light and was surprised to see someone looking back at me!
I was surprised that the restaurant did have very good food (Healthy Start Omelette!) They were short staffed for breakfast (the chef even delivered the food to the dining room) and there was no one in the restaurant for dinner (I was the only table for about 30 mins.) The restaurant is changing hands. The morning server made sure that we were all aware of that--it is becoming an Asian Noodle House? and her back was bothering her (not something all customers need to hear about).
The morning of my check-out day, I stopped by the front desk to ask about speaking with a manager about the overall room condition and my experience. I was told that she was busy and would contact me before I checked out for the day. I am still awaiting that call.
It is obvious that there is no leadership at this hotel--it just runs (and not very well). I have stayed at other Sheratons and have not had this kind of experience. It seems like other travelers have had mixed reviews about this property. Mine was not a pleasant one.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Surrounded by Philadelphia's famed education and medical centers, the Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel is a great choice when visiting Philadelphia for business or leisure. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Philadelphia University City Resort
- Philadelphia Sheraton