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Old Oct 26, 10, 7:46 am   #1
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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HI San Francisco Civic Center

I have stayed at the HI CC 9 times in the past three years, and the quality of the service I have received has always been inconsistent. The most recent stay was my worst by far, but more about that later.

Location: Being a short walk from the Civic Center BART/Muni Station makes it convenient. I have read some negative comments regarding the homeless and street people in the area, but you see that all over San Francisco.

Facilities: The hotel has undergone a renovation during the past year, so it's much nicer than it was before the upgrade. The lobby is actually inviting, unlike the old lobby which was drab and cramped. There are still some issues with the rooms, though. The sliding doors to the balcony are tough to open and close, there is noise from the hallways, and the hot water can take some time to get hot.

Priority Club Recognition: I was Platinum during my two most recent stays. The first was on points, and the only room I could book was a 2-double bed room and that is what they gave me. The second was a paid stay. I booked a king room and got a king room on the 14th floor. Access to the 12th and 14th floors is restricted. Other than that, I see no difference from other floors. I think all PC members are given a coupon for a drink in the bar, but there was no recognition of my status, other than an "upgrade" to the 14th floor on my most recent stay.

Other: On my most recent stay, I returned from dinner to find that the hotel's wifi was not working at all. I called the hotel operator to report the problem, and she told me that it would be down until the next afternoon at the earliest. I have stayed in hotels where the wifi was flaky, but I have never stayed someplace where there was a long-term outage. I asked her what the issue was and she connected me to someone who was supposedly a manager. His attitude was very dismissive. He said that they were surprised by it too, but the provider decided to go ahead and change systems without telling them. Interestingly, the wifi was working OK before dinner (around 5 p.m.), but not when I returned after 7 p.m. I find it odd that the provider decided to wait until the evening to change the system. Why didn't the provider or hotel have some sort of back-up system in place for guests? I asked the manager what guests who needed wifi were supposed to do. He said that the business center was free because of the wifi being down. That's OK if you don't need to use your own computer or if you don't mind waiting to use one of the two computers for the 389-room hotel. The other options? Move to the Whitcomb or get a refund and look for another place to stay (in the evening without the ability to see online what was available).

The day i checked out, I sent an email to Priority Club. Later that evening, I received an email response from the hotel's guest relations manager with a general apology that did not address my concerns. In fact, I received two identical responses within the space of 30 seconds, one addressed to me and one addressed to someone else and both sent to my email address. Nice.

I responded again the next day, and after not receiving a response for 4 more days, I contacted Priority Club once again. They sent an apology, offered 3000 points, and said my comments would be forwarded to the hotel. That was a week ago, and I still have not received a response.

I've always considered the HI CC a decent alternative when my favorite SF hotels were full or prohibitively expensive. As someone who relies on the internet to access work and personal email, make travel arrangements, and check the status of flights, I consider the lack of a reliable internet connection to be a serious flaw. Even worse was the response of hotel management during my stay and in the two weeks since then. I won't return.
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Old Oct 27, 10, 1:44 pm   #2
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I have a 3 night stay coming up, starting 1st November... Will post my experience too... Thanks for the heads up.
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Old Oct 27, 10, 3:10 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by BingBongBoy View Post
I have a 3 night stay coming up, starting 1st November... Will post my experience too... Thanks for the heads up.
4 nights in Feb at the tail end of a TP run for me, would be interested to hear your opinions BBB. Not worried about the location etc, more about quality of the rooms and staff etc.
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Old Oct 27, 10, 4:16 pm   #4
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4 nights in Feb at the tail end of a TP run for me, would be interested to hear your opinions BBB. Not worried about the location etc, more about quality of the rooms and staff etc.
No Problem... It is going to be a bit of a downgrade from a one bedroom suite at the IC on Howard Street, but no great shakes...!

Stayed at the property a number of years ago, and will be interested to see what they have done with the place... I don't mind the location to be honest. A firm "no" to the homeless when they ask for things, and all is well.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 11:17 am   #5
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I am at the property now and they are STILL having internet problems. And, in all honesty, they don't seem to care. They keep saying "The business center is free whilst this is going on..." But that is a business center full of kids playing online games and the likes, with no control from parents or employees. It is completely unacceptable. One of the reasons I come to HI properties is for the Wifi, which is given as part of the product that is offered, yet when it is not, there seems to be no one particularly bothered by it at all... The manager is quite useless and has done nothing to suggest any form of recompense etc...

On the good side, Platinum recognition was good. Upgraded to an Executive Room and voucher for a drink offered.

Unfortunately, when I arrived, the San Francisco Giants had just won some big game and the place was absolutely crazy. The noise outside went on till the early hours and all I wanted to do was sleep, but that was not going to happen. That would be all over San Francisco though.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 11:43 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BingBongBoy View Post
I am at the property now and they are STILL having internet problems. And, in all honesty, they don't seem to care. They keep saying "The business center is free whilst this is going on..." But that is a business center full of kids playing online games and the likes, with no control from parents or employees. It is completely unacceptable. One of the reasons I come to HI properties is for the Wifi, which is given as part of the product that is offered, yet when it is not, there seems to be no one particularly bothered by it at all... The manager is quite useless and has done nothing to suggest any form of recompense etc...

On the good side, Platinum recognition was good. Upgraded to an Executive Room and voucher for a drink offered.

Unfortunately, when I arrived, the San Francisco Giants had just won some big game and the place was absolutely crazy. The noise outside went on till the early hours and all I wanted to do was sleep, but that was not going to happen. That would be all over San Francisco though.

Good to know you made it back to SF after your journey to Latin America. Sad news about the internet at this place...maybe you should ask to have a word with the General Manager, as opposed to the Manager on Duty? Having kids on computers intended for business and serious matters is awful. No hotel or lounge should allow unlimited and unrestricted access; it sends the wrong message. Maybe if they have wired access in your room, you should ask if they will reimburse your expense due to everything you've mentioned.

The SF Giants won the World Series, which is some sort of really big game
Expect all kinds of parades and craziness over the next few days.
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Old Nov 3, 10, 2:56 pm   #7
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Good to know you made it back to SF after your journey to Latin America. Sad news about the internet at this place...maybe you should ask to have a word with the General Manager, as opposed to the Manager on Duty? Having kids on computers intended for business and serious matters is awful. No hotel or lounge should allow unlimited and unrestricted access; it sends the wrong message. Maybe if they have wired access in your room, you should ask if they will reimburse your expense due to everything you've mentioned.

The SF Giants won the World Series, which is some sort of really big game
Expect all kinds of parades and craziness over the next few days.
There is no wired connection in the room, only the wireless non working one...

I spoke to the duty manager again and he insisted on getting his iPhone out and showing me accessing the HI website... I said that I could access that too, but that was the only thing that I could access... Nothing more, nothing less...

I will take it up with Customer Relations afterwords, I am getting no where with the people in the property...
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Old Nov 3, 10, 6:12 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by BingBongBoy View Post
There is no wired connection in the room, only the wireless non working one...

I spoke to the duty manager again and he insisted on getting his iPhone out and showing me accessing the HI website... I said that I could access that too, but that was the only thing that I could access... Nothing more, nothing less...

I will take it up with Customer Relations afterwords, I am getting no where with the people in the property...
Well I hope they are closer to fixing it by the end of Feb... I have 4 nights booked at $99 per night plus tax and am quite tempted to spend the $450 equivalent on HIX stays in the UK and earn Sweet Dilemma nights instead and then use them in the IC...

Decisions, decisions...

Good that their Plat recognition was up to scratch though
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Old Nov 6, 10, 4:39 pm   #9
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Just a reminder, that this forum is not about discussions but about the stay reports.

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Old Mar 8, 11, 3:48 pm   #10
 
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Just a quick update on this property...

Stayed for four nights in early March. As discussed previously no more than 100 yards from the Civic Center BART station, so an easy option from the airport.

Check in was fine, free drink for plat, upgrade to 14th floor etc. Room was very nice in terms of the furnishings but you could definitely see that it was a "soft" refurb of cosmetic appearances rather than a full one IE balcony doors were the same ones that had been there for years and the bathroom had been redecorated rather than completely refitted.

Staff were fine whenever I interacted with them.

The major downside as previously mentioned is the internet connection. It now works (which I guess is positive) but at a snails pace and with the propensity to cut out and reconnect on a regular basis! That said it was more of a frustration than a complete dealbreaker although you have to wonder how difficult it would be to sort this out once and for all...

I would guess that it is an investment cost that they don't wish to make. Personally I feel this is shortsighted as nowadays good internet access is becoming a prerequisite for many travellers, myself included.

Would I return? At $99 a night, yes certainly.
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