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“Not a pleasant stay.” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel

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Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel
Ranked #12 of 85 Hotels in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
california
1 review
“Not a pleasant stay.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2009

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.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank delta087
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelManagerMJ, Owner Representative at Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel, responded to this review, 29 September 2009
We truly apologize for the unsatisfactory stay that you experienced. This is not indicative of our service or hotel and we would love for you to contact us directly so that we may address these issues with you. We are excited about opening a new restaurant concept this fall and hope that you will come back to give us another opportunity to show you that this experience is not what we are known for.
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1,211 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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ct
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2009

regular room w/king bed not big enough to accomodate my son's wheelchiar so we upgraded to a jr. suite-it was huge, 2 large rooms separated by a hallway/entry foyer. very comfortable bed, very accomodating in the upgrade process. easy parking and access to club room w/snacks and drinks. very nice recently remodeled bathroom.computer in room for free.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CtGtt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelManagerMJ, Owner Representative at Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel, responded to this review, 29 September 2009
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us! We hope to see you and your family back soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hebron, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
36 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2009

I could not imagine a better place to stay for business or pleasure. If travel brings me back to Philadelphia, this would be my hotel of choice!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank George06483
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelManagerMJ, Owner Representative at Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel, responded to this review, 29 September 2009
We hope to welcome you back soon! Thank you for posting your comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martinsville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2009

Abondoned car totally dirty with spots rubbed off on the windows as if someone was looking inside to see if there was a body inside, Slashed tires. I mean dosen't anyone check this garage out? Such a tight squeeze in the garage that you scratch the bumpers turning the corners. Hard to turn into the spaces. Horrible feeling and poorly designed. I felt like I was on a CSI episode in a really scary part of town. No door man to help you unload and no one in the lobby to get you service. I had to drag all of my luggage through the garage from hell to the elevator.

Check in went fine. The room was tired looking. Wall paper peeling, dusty, dirt spots on the table. Nice tv and internet.

Room service was a disaster. Ordered specific items due to a hospital procedure the next morning and they brought an item directly off the menu. They assured us they would accomodate our request and they didn't even come close. Ordered plain grilled chicken breast with steamed vegetables and received chicken on a roll covered with onions and melted brie cheese and red peppers. Do not agree to deliver what you have no intention of doing. No time to wait for another item to be prepared due to time contraint of eating by a certain time. This is a total disreguard for a persons safety. It was most important to comply with this food order.

If you are in need of a room close to the hospital, please stay somewhere else. Your health and safety will be meet somewhere else.

I did not have the time or patience to confront the front desk since I was trying to deal with the pressure of an ill family member and trying to get through the ordeal of the day.

Please do not stay here. The hotels in Center City are not that far, stay at one of them. Very, very dissapointed!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dplnj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelManagerMJ, Owner Rep. at Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel, responded to this review, 14 July 2009
Thank you for posting your comments about your recent stay with us. We truly appreciate your feedback and sincerley apologize for the unsatisfactory experience. We value comments such as yours as they help us to improve our services to our guests. Our security team has had the abandoned car removed from the garage and patrol the garage 24 hours a day. The safety of our guests is a top priority. Our room service team understands the importance of correct food orders as we have many requests with dietary restrictions. We apologize that we failed to meet your requests. Your experience is not indicative of our hotel and team. We invite you to return and experience the changes.

Deanna Gonzalez
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Peapack-Gladstone, New Jersey
Level Contributor
102 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2009

convenient to U of P campus, ICA, walk to World Cafe Live - quiet breakfast, good value for hotel meal - very nice room with free computer and internet access in room - hotel is overall bland and a little beat up but better value than hilton in same neighborhood

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank babette50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelManagerMJ, Owner Representative at Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel, responded to this review, 27 June 2009
Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with us! We value all of our guests and always want to hear how they enjoyed their stay. We look forward to seeing your family again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2009

My husband and I chose this hotel because we are able to use Starwood points and because it is within very easy walking distance from the Presbyterian hospital; our primary Philadelphia destination. The time left after our appointments also gave us time to wander the city and do some sightseeing - the hotel is not in a prime location for this, but also not bad and we are seasoned travelers who live in an urban setting; we found it quite easy to get around the city from this home base.

We go to Philadelphia by train, and this Sheraton is only a few blocks away from the station and therefore a brief and inexpensive cab ride. The desk staff are always courteous and efficient and we appreciate very much that we are always upgraded to the club floor.

The room: Simple, clean, and comfortable; decorated in light neutral tones with nice artistic photographs of Philadelphia scenes decorating the walls. Our room had a king bed, a sitting area with armchair and side table, and a long desk with a complimentary computer as well as a variety of hookup options for your own laptop if you bring it. Complimentary wireless internet is a feature that we really enjoy when we travel and the setup is very easy. The computer in the room had is plusses and minuses: the obvious pro is that you don’t need to bring a computer along unless there is a particular portal or software package that you need. The only downside of the room’s computer was that it is slllllooooooowwwww. Pages that normally come up in a blink on our home computer take up to half a minute to load on this one. Still, for what I used it for – briefly checking in – it was fine. My husband, however, was glad to have his own laptop along so that he could get some work done remotely.

The bedding linens are white, crisp, and impeccably clean, topped by a very light down duvet and then topped by a poly coverlet. Two pillows apiece, one very thick and firm, the other smooshy and downy. The bathroom had a marble-topped vanity, bright chrome fixtures, and a shower with fine water pressure. The closet has plenty of hangers, an ironing board, and of course bags to send your clothes out for cleaning. They include bottles of water in the room every day which is a nice touch for us. We didn’t see any recycling facilities in the hotel itself, but we ran across plenty when we were out & about and tried to drop the bottles off when we were near them. Turndown service is not automatic but can be requested and is a nice way to get things ready for the evening – drawing the curtains, leaving new glasses & water, refreshing the towels, etc.

If you happen to stay on one of the upper “club” floors, you have access to the 20th floor clubroom lounge where they have light breakfast fare every day and evening happy hour snacks (with cash bar) during the week. Selections were nice. Breakfast had a selection of Kashi cereals, Stonyfield organic yogurt, Starbucks coffees and teas, juice, quiche, croissants, and bagels. Evening service had two hot items per day (chicken wings, mini quesadillas, mozzarella sticks, etc.) with trays of nicely prepared fresh fruit, veggies, and cheeses. During our recent visit we were a bit disappointed that the nice spread of crackers and breads had been replaced by a basket of cellophane packets of saltine crackers and that the hot food options weren’t vegetarian friendly as they had been in the past. The woman who usually works in the club room is, if anything, a little too helpful (e.g. I know what brie is and I know how to work the mini fridge where the bottled waters & sodas are, thanks…)

The hotel staff are very accommodating – one morning my husband and I arrived to the breakfast spread about 45 minutes before it was closing and the pickings had become rather slim. (It was pretty busy and they were down to Fruit Loops, decaf coffee, and muffins and told us they weren’t going to be replenishing.) We decided to have breakfast elsewhere and checked in with the front desk to let them know about it. We were immediately given vouchers for full breakfasts at the hotel restaurant which we really appreciated.

There are several decent restaurants within a couple of blocks of the hotel and it’s a very short walk from the subway station at 34th & Market which will take you all the way down to the historic area(Liberty Bell etc.) in under 15 minutes for $1.40 apiece. We didn’t use them, but the conference and fitness facilities looked nice and well-maintained. Also, we didn't use the concierge but they have one during the week if you need help planning outings.

This hotel is not in the main touristy area, but if you’re in town to be near the universities or hospital then this is definitely a great pick. We've been here several times now and plan to return when we need to go to Philadelphia again.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank serarosedc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelManagerMJ, Owner Representative at Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel, responded to this review, 27 June 2009
Thank you for your kind comments and continued loyalty! We truly appreciate you taking the time to write about your experiences with us. Our team is taking action with the issues that you noted about the slow internet service provided through the in-room computer, as well as the club lounge being full stocked during service hours. We are always looking for ways to better improve our service and comments such as yours help us to do this. We look forward to welcoming you back!
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SC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2009

What a fabulous hotel my family and I stayed at in Philly! Great location on Penn Campus with wonderful local shops and restaurants in the area. The renovations going on at the hotel are looking great--newly designed fitness center was perfect for our daily workouts and the pool had a nice outdoor deck perfect for enjoying the beautiful weather. I must say, the staff was very friendly and helpful in suggesting attractions to visit and places to eat. Thanks Sheraton Philly Univ. City Hotel for making our trip to Philly a wonderful experience!! We look forward to returning on our next trip to Philly!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ScPalmetto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel

Property: Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel
Address: 3549 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > University City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#23 Family Hotel in Philadelphia
#28 Business Hotel in Philadelphia
#35 Romantic Hotel in Philadelphia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 316
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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Philadelphia University City Resort
Philadelphia Sheraton

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