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W Chicago Lakeshore 2007, Chicago, IL [Master Thread]

W Chicago Lakeshore 2007, Chicago, IL [Master Thread]

Old Oct 27, 10, 7:22 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 151
Angry

This was the single worst hotel experience of my life and as someone who does a lot of leisure and work travel, I have had my share of hotel stays. I actually live in Chicago, but as there was a music festival right downtown and I had some free nights through an SPG promotion, my wife and I thought it would be fun to stay at the W Lakeshore during the music festival. The first night was fine – as a SPG Platinum member I was given a room on one of the top floors with a spectacular view.

The second night, however, was a different story. My wife decided to return to the hotel earlier than I, as I was staying out late to see another band perform. She returned to a dark hotel room to have someone jump out of our bed and scream “What the **** are you doing? Get the **** out of our room!!!” Before she could leave the person physically pushed her out the door. According to her, it was the single most horrifying experience of her life. She was in total shock.

She tried calling me, but unfortunately the music venue I was at had poor reception. After collecting herself she went to the front desk to explain that inexplicably some people were in our room. The front desk shocked her with their response. We had been checked out of the room because, according to this person, state law required luggage to be in the room for them to charge us for the room. Since the cleaning personnel saw no luggage in our room, we were checked out. Since we live in the city anyway we only had brought with us a single bag and had returned home that afternoon. The front desk person went on to tell her that the place was totally booked and there were no available rooms. My wife went home.

By the time I found out I was furious, but it was late and my wife was shaken up and wanted me to come home. I figured it would be best to deal with the manager the next day. When I phoned the following day, all I could get was the manager’s voicemail. So I instead called the SPG Platinum Desk and explained the situation to them. They were shocked and claimed they had never heard of such a policy of checking people out automatically if no luggage were in the room. I explained I wanted to know why our keys still worked if they checked us out and pointed out that my wife was put in a potentially dangerous position by the hotel with how this was handled. I went on to ask why they made no attempt to contact me to notify me I was being checked out by the hotel even though they clearly had my phone and email available. The Platinum Desk told me they were filing a complaint and the GM of the hotel would contact me within 48 hours.

Here was the response I received:

Good evening,
I received your file from Starwood Corporate and I apologize about your experience last night. As you stated, we had your reservation through today but when my Style team serviced the room, there were no signs of any guest staying in the room. I personally inspected the room around 10pm and the room was still vacant. At that point it is Starwood’s policy that we must check out any vacant room even if their reservation is through the following day. The only way the hotel can leave a room registered is if we were informed there would be someone taking over the room or if there are physical signs of someone occupying the room. Again, I am very sorry that you and your friend had to experience this late last night. I would love to personally WOW you on your next visit to the W Lakeshore, so once you have made your plans and reservations please contact me and I will make sure you have a wonderful experience. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Warm regards,
Grant
Grant Bruce |Welcome Desk Manager
W Chicago Lake Shore
644 North Lake Shore Drive |Chicago| IL 60611
t: 312.943.9200 |f: 312.255.4499
[email protected]

I replied that I had no plans to stay at their hotel again. I said I would like an explanation as to why I was never contacted to be told I was being checked out. I also said I would like to know why, if we were checked out, our key still worked for the room placing us in an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation.

The following day I received this email from the General Manager:

Well Hello There,
Thanks for visiting us at the W Chicago - Lakeshore. We miss you already.
How was your escape? Did you experience Whatever/Whenever service? Why not whisper how your escape was to us? We would love to hear from you!

Email me your thoughts on your visit and how we can grant your wishes in the future at [email protected]
Warmest wishes,
Heather Steenge-Hart, General Manager

I sent Heather my issues with our stay and the same questions I had sent to Grant. I never received any response from either Heather the General Manager or Grant the Welcome Desk Manager.

I think for the W to give any guest this treatment is absolutely detestable. And the fact that I am at the highest level of their customer loyalty program (Platinum) says that this status counts for nothing when it comes to common courtesy and respect.

I should also point out that the W Lakeshore never credited back the free night that they took away from me by selling the room to someone else the second night of my reservation. When I realized the night had never been credited back to my account I had to again call the SPG Platinum desk and explain the situation to them before I was finally credited back the free night.

I would recommend avoiding this hotel and staying at the Westin River North or the Westin Michigan Ave.
Amy28 is offline  
Old Oct 27, 10, 7:50 pm
  #107  
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: Delta - Gold; Starwood - Platinum; HHonors - Diamond & Avis Preferred
Posts: 10,869
tsk...tsk...tsk.. That's horrible, but I can't say I'm not surprised. This place IN MY OPINION is the pits!
KENNECTED is offline  
Old Oct 27, 10, 8:41 pm
  #108  
 
Join Date: May 2009
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What an awful experience. But I'm not sure I understand...you WERE planning on staying there again after the concerts that night, right? But there were NO personal effects of yours in the room? No nightwear, no slippers, no toothbrush, no change of clothes for the next day, not even one pair of clean underwear?
Eujeanie is offline  
Old Oct 27, 10, 9:34 pm
  #109  
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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Originally Posted by Amy28 View Post
My wife decided to return to the hotel earlier than I, as I was staying out late to see another band perform. She returned to a dark hotel room to have someone jump out of our bed and scream “What the **** are you doing? Get the **** out of our room!!!” Before she could leave the person physically pushed her out the door. According to her, it was the single most horrifying experience of her life. She was in total shock.
This is a horrifying story for both your wife and for the guests who were given the room. Given that the hotel charged you for the night, I am bemused as to why they would feel the need to check you out and give themselves the privilege of reselling the room. Hotel management seems to be taking it more lightly than I would like, had I been your wife.
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Old Oct 27, 10, 10:05 pm
  #110  
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Seattle WA
Programs: Kimpton IC, Hyatt Diamond, Gold Marriott, Lifetime Platinum Starwood
Posts: 8,664
That is an absolutely horrible story! I am glad that your wife is OK though. There are times when a hotel guest may have had lost luggage through the airline and may not have anything in the room. I had a conversation with the GM Ms. heather today about my poor stay at the W City Center this past weekend.

Although she seemed lovely, I have to admit that it was difficult trying to get a hold of her since she does split her time between the two hotels - I would give her another day or so to respond. She seemed to be a good listener.

I hope that your wife is OK and recovered from what had to be a VERY scary experience.
ldsant is offline  
Old Oct 27, 10, 11:31 pm
  #111  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 681
Originally Posted by Cheap Elite View Post
tsk...tsk...tsk.. That's horrible, but I can't say I'm not surprised. This place IN MY OPINION is the pits!
Its amazing...I have had several stays here and I can find only compliments.
I long for the next stay and even February weather doesn't dampen my spirits.
Had some great times and fabulous memories.This is my Windy City Hotel.
aussiechris is offline  
Old Oct 28, 10, 12:27 pm
  #112  
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 7,317
Originally Posted by Amy28 View Post
This was the single worst hotel experience of my life and as someone who does a lot of leisure and work travel, I have had my share of hotel stays. I actually live in Chicago, but as there was a music festival right downtown and I had some free nights through an SPG promotion, my wife and I thought it would be fun to stay at the W Lakeshore during the music festival. The first night was fine – as a SPG Platinum member I was given a room on one of the top floors with a spectacular view.

The second night, however, was a different story. My wife decided to return to the hotel earlier than I, as I was staying out late to see another band perform. She returned to a dark hotel room to have someone jump out of our bed and scream “What the **** are you doing? Get the **** out of our room!!!” Before she could leave the person physically pushed her out the door. According to her, it was the single most horrifying experience of her life. She was in total shock.

She tried calling me, but unfortunately the music venue I was at had poor reception. After collecting herself she went to the front desk to explain that inexplicably some people were in our room. The front desk shocked her with their response. We had been checked out of the room because, according to this person, state law required luggage to be in the room for them to charge us for the room. Since the cleaning personnel saw no luggage in our room, we were checked out. Since we live in the city anyway we only had brought with us a single bag and had returned home that afternoon. The front desk person went on to tell her that the place was totally booked and there were no available rooms. My wife went home.

By the time I found out I was furious, but it was late and my wife was shaken up and wanted me to come home. I figured it would be best to deal with the manager the next day. When I phoned the following day, all I could get was the manager’s voicemail. So I instead called the SPG Platinum Desk and explained the situation to them. They were shocked and claimed they had never heard of such a policy of checking people out automatically if no luggage were in the room. I explained I wanted to know why our keys still worked if they checked us out and pointed out that my wife was put in a potentially dangerous position by the hotel with how this was handled. I went on to ask why they made no attempt to contact me to notify me I was being checked out by the hotel even though they clearly had my phone and email available. The Platinum Desk told me they were filing a complaint and the GM of the hotel would contact me within 48 hours.

Here was the response I received:

Good evening,
I received your file from Starwood Corporate and I apologize about your experience last night. As you stated, we had your reservation through today but when my Style team serviced the room, there were no signs of any guest staying in the room. I personally inspected the room around 10pm and the room was still vacant. At that point it is Starwood’s policy that we must check out any vacant room even if their reservation is through the following day. The only way the hotel can leave a room registered is if we were informed there would be someone taking over the room or if there are physical signs of someone occupying the room. Again, I am very sorry that you and your friend had to experience this late last night. I would love to personally WOW you on your next visit to the W Lakeshore, so once you have made your plans and reservations please contact me and I will make sure you have a wonderful experience. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Warm regards,
Grant
Grant Bruce |Welcome Desk Manager
W Chicago Lake Shore
644 North Lake Shore Drive |Chicago| IL 60611
t: 312.943.9200 |f: 312.255.4499
[email protected]

I replied that I had no plans to stay at their hotel again. I said I would like an explanation as to why I was never contacted to be told I was being checked out. I also said I would like to know why, if we were checked out, our key still worked for the room placing us in an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation.

The following day I received this email from the General Manager:

Well Hello There,
Thanks for visiting us at the W Chicago - Lakeshore. We miss you already.
How was your escape? Did you experience Whatever/Whenever service? Why not whisper how your escape was to us? We would love to hear from you!

Email me your thoughts on your visit and how we can grant your wishes in the future at [email protected]
Warmest wishes,
Heather Steenge-Hart, General Manager

I sent Heather my issues with our stay and the same questions I had sent to Grant. I never received any response from either Heather the General Manager or Grant the Welcome Desk Manager.

I think for the W to give any guest this treatment is absolutely detestable. And the fact that I am at the highest level of their customer loyalty program (Platinum) says that this status counts for nothing when it comes to common courtesy and respect.

I should also point out that the W Lakeshore never credited back the free night that they took away from me by selling the room to someone else the second night of my reservation. When I realized the night had never been credited back to my account I had to again call the SPG Platinum desk and explain the situation to them before I was finally credited back the free night.

I would recommend avoiding this hotel and staying at the Westin River North or the Westin Michigan Ave.
I hope that you pursue this with the hotel and make them PAY for their mistakes. This is absolutely brutal and the "rules" they are referring to is hogwash.

I have about 130 stays a year and MANY times I will be on a quick stay, just check in, go directly to dinner and don't even stop by my room till very late.

William, this is disturbing, I hope you can step up and make this right.
tommy777 is offline  
Old Oct 28, 10, 12:32 pm
  #113  
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 7,317
Originally Posted by aussiechris View Post
Its amazing...I have had several stays here and I can find only compliments.
I long for the next stay and even February weather doesn't dampen my spirits.
Had some great times and fabulous memories.This is my Windy City Hotel.
Don't mind him. If he has a bad experience with a hotel, he's like a broken record
tommy777 is offline  
Old Oct 28, 10, 12:33 pm
  #114  
Company Representative - Starwood
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Marriott Employee Level
Posts: 31,593
Originally Posted by tommy777 View Post
...William, this is disturbing, I hope you can step up and make this right.
Que?

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Online Guest Feedback Coordinator
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
Starwood Lurker is offline  
Old Oct 28, 10, 12:36 pm
  #115  
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 7,317
Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
Que?

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Online Guest Feedback Coordinator
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
If correct, I think this is the worst thing I have ever read on the Starwood forum. I think some special attention to this case is warranted to make sure the customer gets a much better resolution than what was posted...
tommy777 is offline  
Old Oct 28, 10, 12:58 pm
  #116  
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Location: New York, NY
Programs: Delta - Gold; Starwood - Platinum; HHonors - Diamond & Avis Preferred
Posts: 10,869
Originally Posted by tommy777 View Post
Don't mind him. If he has a bad experience with a hotel, he's like a broken record
Look at this properties track record, they have those who like/love it and have had great stays. On the other hand there are those of us who have had horrendous, not bad, but absolutely horrendous experiences.

You have your opinion/experience at this property and I have mine.

Obviously there are still severe issues at this property.
KENNECTED is offline  
Old Oct 28, 10, 1:04 pm
  #117  
Company Representative - Starwood
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Marriott Employee Level
Posts: 31,593
Originally Posted by tommy777 View Post
If correct, I think this is the worst thing I have ever read on the Starwood forum. I think some special attention to this case is warranted to make sure the customer gets a much better resolution than what was posted...
I can agree that it was a very poor stay experience; however, any special attention to the situation and especially alternative resolutions are not among my abilities to secure. The OP has the email address of the GM and no one can ensure a better outcome other than her.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Online Guest Feedback Coordinator
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
Starwood Lurker is offline  
Old Oct 28, 10, 4:40 pm
  #118  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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This is most outrageous!! Shame on this W, shame shame shame!

I don't even know why people stay at this place It's just a pimped-up Days Inn as far as I'm concerned.
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Old Oct 28, 10, 6:09 pm
  #119  
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
This is most outrageous!! Shame on this W, shame shame shame!

I don't even know why people stay at this place It's just a pimped-up Days Inn as far as I'm concerned.
I couldn't agree more!
KENNECTED is offline  
Old Oct 28, 10, 8:23 pm
  #120  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: South Korea
Posts: 1,017
Originally Posted by Amy28 View Post
The front desk shocked her with their response. We had been checked out of the room because... ...state law required luggage to be in the room for them to charge us for the room. Since the cleaning personnel saw no luggage in our room, we were checked out.
Can someone with a legal background confirm whether this is true? It sounds folly.

Last edited by jaejaez; Oct 29, 10 at 4:04 am
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