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GONE : Westin Diplomat, Hollywood, FL [Master Thread] : Left Starwood 30 Oct 2014

GONE : Westin Diplomat, Hollywood, FL [Master Thread] : Left Starwood 30 Oct 2014

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Old Feb 24, 14, 4:26 pm
  #646  
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It seems that I like to follow LovetoTravel83's posts with extremely negative property reports. This post will be no different.

I had a ridiculous stay at this property. Booked it a half-year in advance to bring my mum and siblings (five ppl incl. myself) down for Presidents' Week to spend time with our almost 93 yo grandfather. I had booked one room on a BRG ($233/nt) and the other using the SPG35A offer for a five night stay.

PRE-ARRIVAL REQUESTS

I had put in an SNA request for one room at the time of booking. I later put in another request for the other room since I never heard back on the first request. Within a half-hour of submitting the second request, I got denial E-mails for both.

I had put in a Your24 request a day or two before arrival. The PC agent said this was okay, but I received an E-mail stating I was ineligible because it was within 48 hours. Not sure why the PC agent didn't inform me of this, but whatever.

I wasn't terribly disappointed by these rejections since the suites do not come with double beds (from what I understand), and we had arrived around 15:00.

UPON ARRIVAL

The place is besieged with my friends from the North. Is it Prime Ministers' Week in Canada? Not sure, but there were 3-4 FD agents, and two queues. I joined the SPG queue and was seen by someone about 30 minutes later. I was informed that neither room was ready because the check-in time was 16h. I enquired about where my family could change, so they could start taking advantage of the resort. During the explanation, a room magically appeared. The FD agent said she would block off the room next to it, so that we could have adjoining rooms. Okay. I presented my Discover card as the card I wish to use to pay for the stay (this becomes important later). I get a bunch of keys and proceed to the room.

IN THE ROOM

Our first room was exceptionally dirty. Most surfaces were sticky and the bathroom floor looked like it hadn't seen a mop in weeks. There are a set of sliding in-room shutters that awkwardly separates the WC from the rest of the room. This was broken. The kids also reported difficulty using the in-room internet. Starting off a trip with a barrage of complaints was not what I envisaged for this trip. Since the Service Express line was busy, I had opened a file with PC in re: these issues. My family changed and went off to the pool. A few moments after they had left, I received the housekeeper, who started screaming at me for complaining about her "work" as if it was my fault that she had cut corners in servicing the room. I didn't engage her in a shouting match, but left the room to speak w/ the FD Manager. He apologised and gave me an account credit.

DURING THE STAY

I eventually received keys for the second room, which was next to our original room, but 6 floors up. My sister would get a lecture about how room type and location is not guaranteed despite the fact that we were assured by the FD agent that our rooms would be adjoining. Upon entering the second room, I found that it was a king-sized bed (not what I requested) with a couch that was awkwardly jammed into a corner. At almost the exact same time, the reservations manager had E-mailed me (as if I weren't even at the property) to inform me that my request for two rollaways (I only asked for one) was denied because a rollaway wouldn't fit into a room with two-queens, and the other room had a couch with a fold-out bed.

Among my other "trivial" complaints include:

1. The internet never did work at 3/6 MB up/down despite SPG PC assuring me that their IT Dept would get in touch with me. They never did.

2. Room keys would work for some things but not others. Some keys opened the room. Some keys opened the club lounge. Some keys opened both, and no keys let me out of their infernal garage. I ended up queuing at the front-desk at least a half-dozen times during the trip (each experience was 15-30 mins of my time lost).

3. Lounge silverware and dishes were often dirty and/or covered in spots/grime. It totally didn't stop the lounge attendants from asking for tips.

4. On the final night of my stay, I tried to print out our boarding passes. Went to the computer in the club lounge only to find that the printer had a "phantom"-paper jam, and that it hadn't been functioning all day (according to one of the lounge attendants). I went downstairs to try and locate the public computers, which were tucked away near the South Tower. Again, one computer was broken, and the other was occupied by someone checking their *pt balance (prolly an FT'er). I wasn't going to deprive him of his "Moment of Zen," so I went to the concierge for a print out.

5. BMO branding everywhere. Their logo is almost as vomitus as the London 2012 logo.

PAYING THE BILL

I was careful to mention earlier in this post that I had presented my Discover card at check-in to pay for the entirety of the stay. Some people like the SPG points from their AMEX, and some people like the cash back and 0% interest. I'm a "cash is king" type of guy. Don't judge me.

Apparently, the initial FD attendant did absolutely nothing to change the card I had originally used to book the room (my debit card) with the one I had presented her at check-in (my Discover card). I first found this out on day 3 after my debit card was declined, whilst trying to pay for an amazing lunch at Swine in Coral Gables. Yes, I highly recommend the restaurant.

Anyway, as the geniuses at the Diplomat put the hold on my debit card, the tax man attempted to cash my property tax payment, which I would have had more than enough money to clear were it not for the hold. I called my bank immediately to have the authorisation removed by explaining that I had presented the Discover card to the Westin at check-in, and that their hold was unauthorised. They removed the hold within ten minutes, but the damage had already been done. My tax payment was returned for insufficient funds because of the Westin's unwillingness/inability/wanton laziness to honour my preferred payment method request at check-in. As a result, I will have to pay the returned payment fee and a penalty of 2,5% for a late payment. I've never paid my taxes late... ever, so their mistake will cost me a few hundred dollars to fix. Additionally, there are two charges in the amount of $85,- that appear on my debit card. I have no idea what these charges are for, and these charges (or credits) do not appear on the bill at check-out.

CONCLUSION

I am absolutely livid despite having kept calm throughout the entirety of my stay. This was supposed to be a stress-free vacation, but all it did was cause me to return more stressed than before I left. After the debit card incident, I had asked PC to get a hold of the GM for me, because the Service Express agent refused to transfer me to the FD manager and was playing like she couldn't hear/understand me. I had been assured that I would hear back from "a manager," but I ended up leaving the property without hearing from a soul. The general impression that I got was that not a single person gives a bullocks about anything when it comes to the non-corporate guests. Perhaps, they should work harder on listening to their guests instead of sucking up to Banque du Montréal.

P.S. Some help from the Lurkers would greatly be appreciated at this point because there's no shortage of words over this series of guffaws.

Last edited by uxb; Feb 24, 14 at 5:01 pm
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Old Feb 24, 14, 4:34 pm
  #647  
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Originally Posted by uxb View Post
...P.S. Some help from the Lurkers would greatly be appreciated at this point because there's no shortage of words over this series of guffaws.
My apologies if your stay experience was poor. I would suggest sending an email to Corporate Customer Service at [email protected] so a customer service file can be created or, if you prefer, send us the details via email and one of us will handle the file creation personally.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
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Old Feb 24, 14, 4:43 pm
  #648  
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
My apologies if your stay experience was poor. I would suggest sending an email to Corporate Customer Service at [email protected] so a customer service file can be created or, if you prefer, send us the details via email and one of us will handle the file creation personally.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
I had the original file re-opened earlier this afternoon because it was apparently closed. Still haven't heard from anyone because there is absolutely no sense of urgency at this property. I'm not expecting any sort of formal response from the GM.
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Old Feb 24, 14, 5:33 pm
  #649  
 
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Originally Posted by uxb View Post
I had the original file re-opened earlier this afternoon because it was apparently closed. Still haven't heard from anyone because there is absolutely no sense of urgency at this property. I'm not expecting any sort of formal response from the GM.
So disappointing to hear your tale. The Dip should be so much better than this. I do hope the GM responds properly. I admire your patience. I would have had a meltdown if I had been in your shoes. Thank you for sharing so the rest of us can be on alert.

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Old Feb 24, 14, 5:38 pm
  #650  
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Originally Posted by Flews View Post
So disappointing to hear your tale. The Dip should be so much better than this. I do hope the GM responds properly. I admire your patience. I would have had a meltdown if I had been in your shoes. Thank you for sharing so the rest of us can be on alert.

Cheers,
There was actually a guy that was having a meltdown next to me as I was speaking with the first FD manager on day 1. It was a sight to behold, but not surprising at all knowing what I know now.

About the only thing that I saw maintained at this property was the air filters. Maybe I caught them on a good day, but engineering came by asking for permission to replace the filters in our room. That almost never happens at huge hotels. The fact that the air was actually clean was pretty much the only thing I can applaud from this stay.
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Old Feb 24, 14, 5:59 pm
  #651  
 
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Originally Posted by uxb View Post
I had the original file re-opened earlier this afternoon because it was apparently closed. Still haven't heard from anyone because there is absolutely no sense of urgency at this property. I'm not expecting any sort of formal response from the GM.
It's like you're living in Bizzaro World. Might I suggest next time staying at the Four Points Miami Beach.
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Old Feb 24, 14, 6:56 pm
  #652  
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Originally Posted by LovetoTravel83 View Post
It's like you're living in Bizzaro World. Might I suggest next time staying at the Four Points Miami Beach.
Haha! No!!! I'll have to stick w/ the Westin Colonnade going forward, which sucks because it is nowhere near the beach.
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Old Feb 27, 14, 12:00 pm
  #653  
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This is becoming a huge nightmare. The property keeps adding charges to my card, and keeps closing out the file. Starwood has been of no assistance in getting me to the GM, or getting permanent resolutions. I'm at the end of my rope.
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Old Feb 27, 14, 12:52 pm
  #654  
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Originally Posted by uxb View Post
This is becoming a huge nightmare. The property keeps adding charges to my card, and keeps closing out the file. Starwood has been of no assistance in getting me to the GM, or getting permanent resolutions. I'm at the end of my rope.
The hotel certainly appears to have done you wrong, but I have a question that hasn't been asked. Seeing that you are a long-time member of FT and therefore I assume an experienced traveler, why did you use a debit card in the first place to reserve the room?

I regularly read about the pitfalls of using a debit card to reserve hotel rooms and rental cars and I'm surprised you did so.
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Old Feb 27, 14, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by uxb View Post
The place is besieged with my friends from the North. Is it Prime Ministers' Week in Canada? Not sure, .....BMO branding everywhere. Their logo is almost as vomitus as the London 2012 logo.
I'm sure by now you've realized that BMO has their global mining conference each year in the last week of February at the Dip. Thus the reason for the BMO logo and the loads of Canadians. They really do take over the hotel during this period.

Doesn't explain your service issues which I'm finding really surprising given my experience with the Diplomat over the years.
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Old Feb 27, 14, 1:05 pm
  #656  
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Originally Posted by controller1 View Post
The hotel certainly appears to have done you wrong, but I have a question that hasn't been asked. Seeing that you are a long-time member of FT and therefore I assume an experienced traveler, why did you use a debit card in the first place to reserve the room?

I regularly read about the pitfalls of using a debit card to reserve hotel rooms and rental cars and I'm surprised you did so.
I use my debit card to guarantee the room because it is the number that changes most often. My bank, or the stores I shop at, consistently get attacked or hacked, so it is easier to just leave that floating on the web than individual credit cards.
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Old Feb 27, 14, 1:16 pm
  #657  
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Originally Posted by Mozzarella View Post
I'm sure by now you've realized that BMO has their global mining conference each year in the last week of February at the Dip. Thus the reason for the BMO logo and the loads of Canadians. They really do take over the hotel during this period.

Doesn't explain your service issues which I'm finding really surprising given my experience with the Diplomat over the years.
Don't get me wrong. I love the Canadians, and most of them love me, but I left feeling that the hotel completely dropped the ball, and the fact that I need to continue attending to this stay is telling. I just wrapped up my stay at 4PTS LAX. I got in and got out. Here - it just doesn't end.
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Old Feb 27, 14, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by LovetoTravel83 View Post
It's like you're living in Bizzaro World. Might I suggest next time staying at the Four Points Miami Beach.
Ha. Good one.

Cheers,
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Old Feb 27, 14, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by uxb View Post
This is becoming a huge nightmare. The property keeps adding charges to my card, and keeps closing out the file. Starwood has been of no assistance in getting me to the GM, or getting permanent resolutions. I'm at the end of my rope.


Whatever happened to Diplomatic Amy. Or Eric?

This is horrible news for us Dip fans.

Just keep hounding them, I guess.

Cheers,
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Old Feb 27, 14, 3:01 pm
  #660  
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Originally Posted by Flews View Post


Whatever happened to Diplomatic Amy. Or Eric?

This is horrible news for us Dip fans.

Just keep hounding them, I guess.

Cheers,
The better question is: what happened to the GM? If he had taken ill, then I'll back off. I understand that. Short of that, there appears to be no skipper and incompetent front-line managers filling the field. As for hounding, I don't want to be that guy (even though I'm well beyond the point now). I know *wood can do better.
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