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Starwood in Birmingham, Alabama: Sheraton, Four Points, and aLoft

Starwood in Birmingham, Alabama: Sheraton, Four Points, and aLoft

 
Old Apr 20, 05, 8:58 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: In the sky
Posts: 58
Starwood in Birmingham, Alabama: Sheraton, Four Points, and aLoft

I'm new to FlyerTalk, however I've been staying at Starwood for over a year now.

Does anyone have any experiences at the 4 Points Birmingham, Alabama? I am considering trying it out prior to leaving *Wood all together.

I have spent several weeks at the Sheraton Birmingham and have about had it. The purpose of this post is not to rant but to find out about the 4 Points and simply describe a recent occurance. Below is a description of the most recent incident. If anyone knows what type of remediation is standard for these incidents I would appreciate the info.

EMAIL SENT TO CUSTOMER SERVICE:
Background:
I have been assigned a long term engagement in Birmingham through the
summer. Since there are only two Starwood hotels in Birmingham (one
downtown and one by the airport) I chose the Sheraton downtown, even
though there is a Marriott and Hilton (Hilton) directly across
from the client. I choose to drive 6 miles every day for the comfort
of Starwood.

Inconvenience:
At 7:15am I called the front desk, gave my valet #, and asked that my
vehicle be pulled around. Upon arrival downstairs at 7:45am I handed
the ticket to the valet manager and asked that my vehicle be brought up. He
politely explained that they are busy and he will have it down in 10
minutes. After 30 minutes went by (now 8:15am) and now I am approaching
being late for work, I asked the manager the status on my car. He
brought me in the valet room and explained that he and his team had
misplaced my vehicle and don't know where the keys are. So essentially
my car was gone. I told him that when they figured it out to come get
me from the lobby.

Outcome:
1 hour later at 9am they told me that they found my vehicle in the
public lot with the keys in them. So as a result I was 1.5 hours late
to work and stressed out beyond belief. I was compensated by a $50
reduction in my bill. However with my rate per hour and reputation loss
(for being late), the discount does not exactly add up.

Your thoughts and remedies on these incidents would be appreciated. Is this the usual remediation for problems with Starwood? If so, the risk for a lost vehicle isn't exactly worth the $50.
ajlindsay is offline  
Old Apr 21, 05, 6:20 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Programs: Hilton Diamond, Starwood Lifetime Platinum, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Diamond, Delta Platinum
Posts: 2,188
Originally Posted by ajlindsay
I'm new to FlyerTalk, however I've been staying at Starwood for over a year now.

Does anyone have any experiences at the 4 Points Birmingham, Alabama? I am considering trying it out prior to leaving *Wood all together.

I have spent several weeks at the Sheraton Birmingham and have about had it. The purpose of this post is not to rant but to find out about the 4 Points and simply describe a recent occurance. Below is a description of the most recent incident. If anyone knows what type of remediation is standard for these incidents I would appreciate the info.

EMAIL SENT TO CUSTOMER SERVICE:
Background:
I have been assigned a long term engagement in Birmingham through the
summer. Since there are only two Starwood hotels in Birmingham (one
downtown and one by the airport) I chose the Sheraton downtown, even
though there is a Marriott and Hilton (Hilton) directly across
from the client. I choose to drive 6 miles every day for the comfort
of Starwood.

Inconvenience:
At 7:15am I called the front desk, gave my valet #, and asked that my
vehicle be pulled around. Upon arrival downstairs at 7:45am I handed
the ticket to the valet manager and asked that my vehicle be brought up. He
politely explained that they are busy and he will have it down in 10
minutes. After 30 minutes went by (now 8:15am) and now I am approaching
being late for work, I asked the manager the status on my car. He
brought me in the valet room and explained that he and his team had
misplaced my vehicle and don't know where the keys are. So essentially
my car was gone. I told him that when they figured it out to come get
me from the lobby.

Outcome:
1 hour later at 9am they told me that they found my vehicle in the
public lot with the keys in them. So as a result I was 1.5 hours late
to work and stressed out beyond belief. I was compensated by a $50
reduction in my bill. However with my rate per hour and reputation loss
(for being late), the discount does not exactly add up.

Your thoughts and remedies on these incidents would be appreciated. Is this the usual remediation for problems with Starwood? If so, the risk for a lost vehicle isn't exactly worth the $50.
I haven't stayed at the 4 Points in Birmingham but you won't have to worry about the valet losing your car. But with the area of town that the 4 Points is in, your car might not be there the next morning...
bigjim is offline  
Old Apr 21, 05, 8:10 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Colorado
Posts: 251
You are right about this not being in the best part of town, but it looks nice enough (saw it just last weekend, as a matter of fact).

I drove by it on a Sunday afternoon, and it looked like it had a fair amount of cars in the parking lot, so maybe there's safety in numbers.

Good luck.
illa bells is offline  
Old Apr 21, 05, 8:19 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: In the sky
Posts: 58
Follow Up

Does anyone have experience with what happends after the investigation is conducted?

BELOW IS THE RESPONSE FROM THE CUSTOMER SERVICE REP:

Dear,

Thank you for your recent message to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. I welcome this opportunity to assist you.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has a company value where we succeed only when we meet and exceed the expectations of our customers. We have a passion for excellence in our service and meeting customer satisfaction. Through each comment we receive both positive and negative, we are able to seek knowledge and growth to better serve our business and leisure travelers.

Please be assured that Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Starwood Preferred Guest strive to maintain the highest quality of customer service, this experience is not the standard but an exception. We hope that you would allow the opportunity to make this up to you, by serving your travel needs in the future.

I have added you comments from the XX of Month 2005 to file XXXXXX. As advised you should expect a response within 10 days.

As for your stay on the XX of Month 2005, I have opened a Corporate Services File and have forwarded it to the hotel's General Manager on your behalf. The matter that you brought to our attention will be fully investigated and you will be contacted within the next ten days. Your file reference number is XXXXXXX.

We appreciate your patronage of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] quoting the above file number.

Best Regards,

Jeremy Davie
Specialist, Hotel Corporate Services Department
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
ajlindsay is offline  
Old Apr 21, 05, 8:47 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cullman, Alabama
Programs: Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold, IHG Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 647
Thumbs up

Does anyone have any experiences at the 4 Points Birmingham, Alabama? I am considering trying it out prior to leaving *Wood all together.

I have spent several weeks at the Sheraton Birmingham and have about had it. The purpose of this post is not to rant but to find out about the 4 Points and simply describe a recent occurance.

(I have had nothing but good experiences at this hotel. True it is right off the interstate but it is designed to be connected to the Birmingham Jefferson County Civic Center. This hotel has plenty of meeting space and in fact, has a medical forums building attached to it. This is an excellent location to stay for a concert, festival, sporting event or to hold a meeting.

Hotel Staff was very friendly and accomodations were above average. I would say the only draw back is that you need a shuttle to take you to places such as southside, mt. brook or hoover. Overall, I give it a thumbs up
SimpleManToo is offline  
Old Apr 21, 05, 6:48 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Programs: Hilton Diamond, Starwood Lifetime Platinum, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Diamond, Delta Platinum
Posts: 2,188
Originally Posted by SimpleManToo
Does anyone have any experiences at the 4 Points Birmingham, Alabama? I am considering trying it out prior to leaving *Wood all together.

I have spent several weeks at the Sheraton Birmingham and have about had it. The purpose of this post is not to rant but to find out about the 4 Points and simply describe a recent occurance.

(I have had nothing but good experiences at this hotel. True it is right off the interstate but it is designed to be connected to the Birmingham Jefferson County Civic Center. This hotel has plenty of meeting space and in fact, has a medical forums building attached to it. This is an excellent location to stay for a concert, festival, sporting event or to hold a meeting.

Hotel Staff was very friendly and accomodations were above average. I would say the only draw back is that you need a shuttle to take you to places such as southside, mt. brook or hoover. Overall, I give it a thumbs up
I'm a bit confused about what you are saying here....

The downtown Sheraton has historically struggled - I was actually surprised to find that they had valet service again. Last I had heard, they had discontinued the valet service.

Out of curiosity, if you live in Birmingham, why so much experience with the hotel?

4 Points has only been open for a few weeks. I believe that it is a re-conditioned Quality Inn or something of the sort...it is in an awful area of town, but certainly convenient to the airport.
bigjim is offline  
Old Apr 22, 05, 9:07 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Programs: AA, DL, SPG, Hilton HHonors, Flying Saucer UFO Club
Posts: 111
Recent Experience

My husband stayed there just over a month ago. Upon checking into his room, he noticed that his sink was dirty (as in actual dirt!) and notified the front desk. They apologized and offered a discounted rate to him.

The hotel does indeed have valet service, but the front desk staff did not explain the procedures and in the end the hotel charged him $17 on our card and the valet service had already been paid directly (per their request). I got this straightened out promptly with an email via spg.com.

Other than this, he was really pleased with the hotel itself.
Nymph is offline  
Old Apr 26, 05, 12:19 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 381
Agree with Nymph's comments

Agree with these comments. Had a housekeeping issue immediately upon check in (a former occupant's nasty-... dirty gym socks were in the room, in somewhat plain sight, despite the rest of the room being clean). Management dealt with it well -- switched me to a better room, gave me what I think is an appropriate number of promise points, etc. Satisfied with that aspect of the stay. This place is kind of worn out, but the management and staff really are trying.

FWIW, the hotel does not have high-speed Internet in guest rooms.

Originally Posted by Nymph
My husband stayed there just over a month ago. Upon checking into his room, he noticed that his sink was dirty (as in actual dirt!) and notified the front desk. They apologized and offered a discounted rate to him.

The hotel does indeed have valet service, but the front desk staff did not explain the procedures and in the end the hotel charged him $17 on our card and the valet service had already been paid directly (per their request). I got this straightened out promptly with an email via spg.com.

Other than this, he was really pleased with the hotel itself.
EWC-JMU is offline  
Old Apr 28, 05, 2:34 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 381
Thumbs up for the 4 Points BHM

Just spent a night at the 4 Points Birmingham Airport and had a good stay. As mentioned in other posts/threads, it is recently renovated. Staff was very friendly. It has the new 4 Points bed which I would equate to the newer Sheraton beds. Decent business center with free computer usage and basic printing. Didn't try the restaurant. The place seemed exceptionally clean too. Bathroom was good too. Small, but great water pressure and Heavenly Shower-esque Speakman showerheads. Big ^ there.

As mentioned earlier in this thread, it's not in the greatest part of town, but it does offer easy access to the airport (duh) and highways. I'm working out at Healthsouth HQ this week and it took me ~20 minutes to drive out there at rush hour.

Overall, a good stay and I would recommend the hotel.
EWC-JMU is offline  
Old Apr 28, 05, 5:58 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Nashville
Programs: DL DM 2 MM AA PLAT HH Lifetime Diamond Marriott Plat AMB lifetime titanium Hertz PC
Posts: 5,847
Originally Posted by ajlindsay
EMAIL SENT TO CUSTOMER SERVICE:
Background:
I have been assigned a long term engagement in Birmingham through the
summer. Since there are only two Starwood hotels in Birmingham (one
downtown and one by the airport) I chose the Sheraton downtown, even
though there is a Marriott and Hilton (Hilton) directly across
from the client. I choose to drive 6 miles every day for the comfort
of Starwood.
I think the hilton you are talking about use to be a starwood unitil about a year or so ago?
troyintn is offline  
Old Jun 6, 05, 6:42 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Programs: Hilton Diamond, Starwood Lifetime Platinum, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Diamond, Delta Platinum
Posts: 2,188
Extra charges on bill

I was hoping that Starwood had learned its lesson on this. I had two stays at the new Sheraton 4 Points recently. The first time I didn't catch it until I got home. The next time, I was ready

In addition to your room charges and related taxes, they are charging a $1 safe fee plus tax. There is a placard on the safe that says if you don't want to utilize this valuable benefit, notify the hotel at checkout and they will remove the $1 fee from the bill.

I hate this crap.
bigjim is offline  
Old Dec 7, 05, 9:38 am
  #12  
lex
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: SFO
Programs: AA PLT, SPG PLT, Hhonors Diamond
Posts: 148
4points birmingham

had an overnight stay at the 4 points birmingham on 12-6. (Im still here now, typing from their free Wifi inroom).

Overall: Bad Experience.

Review:
Checked in after a late 8pm flight into BHM. The girl at the desk said my rate was $35, and was expecting payment. I told her I was staying on an award stay, and I said, I have to pay $35? she was expecting me to give her a credit card or something.. finally she found the room key for me, and I proceeded up to the room.

Here are some things I noticed about the room:
1. Door stuck really badly. Was on the 4th floor - spg gold and plat floor??
2. went to get ice. Ice machine on 4th and 3rd floor NOT working, had to walk to the 2nd floor
3. There were TWO larger BAD stains on the carpet in two different areas of the room.
4. stain on shower curtain
5. My room had no hand towels. Only 3 bath towels, one washcloth and one shower mat towel.
6. mismatch outlet covers/AC recepticle covers (white and creme)- tacky
7. stain on bed sheet
8. crumbs/small debris on carpet edges, where was not vacuummed well.
9. just noticed water damage/mold stain on ceiling in room.. (almost wet)

The next morning, I get a folio under my door that says $35 + tax ($39 total) I go to the front desk, and the lady says It ok, it was an award stay and kept the paperwork, I dont think this hotel runs as a fined tuned machine.. beware.. good for an overnight award, but look elsewhere if you want something nice. Its not in a good neighboor hood either.

This property is absoluetly the worst sheraton I have stayed at. In disrepair, and not well maintained. YMMV
lex is offline  
Old Dec 9, 05, 8:09 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: DFW, AA Plat, HH Diamond, SPG Platinum, ...
Posts: 66
Originally Posted by ajlindsay
I'm new to FlyerTalk, however I've been staying at Starwood for over a year now.

Does anyone have any experiences at the 4 Points Birmingham, Alabama? I am considering trying it out prior to leaving *Wood all together.

I have spent several weeks at the Sheraton Birmingham and have about had it. The purpose of this post is not to rant but to find out about the 4 Points and simply describe a recent occurance. Below is a description of the most recent incident. If anyone knows what type of remediation is standard for these incidents I would appreciate the info..

Here are the scoops on SPG Birmingham hotels...

The 4 points use to be a nasty motel ("Roadside Inn" that you would gag at and was out of business before SPG bought it. They totally refaced the outside of the hotel to make it look nicer. I've never stepped foot in it, but the inside would have to have been totally renovated since when I drove towards the airport, the rooms looked totally gutted. Not the best part of town, but they do have a fence around the lot!

The Sheraton BHM has some of the worst service I have encountered at hotels around. Their staff isn't trained well at all. If you're staying there a lot it helps to get to know the different managers by name. They will expedite fixing the issues. A couple of items to expect > Inconsistent housekeeping, bad room service, and poor attitudes. If you adjust your attitude to expect that, then your stays are much better
FreeLunch is offline  
Old Feb 1, 06, 12:35 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Gila, NM, USA
Posts: 1,044
Just had bad stay at Sheraton Birmingham

I just spent 4 days and 3 nights there for a meeting. The catering and the meeting and AV people were terrific and those facilities were excellent, no complaints and in fact kudos for that side of the operation.

But the hotel side is another story. I had a very bad check in experience in which the agent ignored me in the SPG line for a long time, then when they finally let me get to the counter they tried to put me in the very old and run down side of the hotel, which shocked me as a platinum. The platinum concierge had called ahead and asked for a suite for me, and I would at least have hoped for an atrium room. I could not get the desk clerk to give me a suite but after complaining she did at least put me on the newer side. However my joy was short lived when I found the heat did not work in my room, the breakfast coupons she promised me since the club lounge was closed never arrived, the TV made a horrible loud squealing noise that made it unusable and the toilet malfunctioned.

I guess I was lucky as I heard from my colleagues staying in the old part that it was much worse than this. Anyway, I was working 14 hour days and not spending much time in the room. I will not go back there if I can avoid it. I did call the management to fix the heat and the toilet and they did, though they never did the breakfast or TV things. I asked for some Service Promise points and they told me they no longer have the service promise, a change I had not noticed (the number I called was marked Service Promise on the phone). Anyway, a manager did eventually agree to give me 1,000 points, but then only 500 were posted.

I would avoid this hotel if possible. I felt bad because the meeting I attended had 200 some people and many were put on the old side of the hotel and had worse complaints than mine. I was on the committee that chose the hotel and I had advocated for it since it was a Starwood and none of the other options were. In retrospect, I wish that I had not been so blindly loyal as to expend influence getting the metting at that location when the hotel does not live up to Starwood standards. Once before I had influenced this group to move their meeting to a Starwood, but in that case it went great and everyone thanked me for getting us into a better hotel than they had planned without any extra cost. This time, nobody is thanking me and I feel pretty bad for sending business to this hotel.
Steffo is offline  
Old Aug 8, 07, 2:00 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Programs: Marriott Amb, UA 1K, HLT DIA
Posts: 54
Sheraton Birmingham Sept 1, 2007

Does anybody know when the spg.com site is updated because on the first page it shows rooms for Sept 1 and when I click book now there are no rooms? I just want to make sure there are no rooms because if there were I would want one for Sept 1.
cocacolaenjoy1 is offline  

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