So this week, I have been in New York, again. I am at another of my glorious industry meetings where we are trying to change the way suppliers and retailers conduct business. The fun is just absolutely beyond words.
I picked a different hotel for this trip. I have been staying in the Hilton Rye Town each of my previous trips. It’s close to my meeting locations, but it’s a crappy Hilton. Some of you may thing that’s a repetitive statement. I think it’s crappy because, even after you pay the $9.95 for internet service, you’re not guaranteed to actually be able to connect. The showers and bathrooms, in general, aren’t clean. That means the floor hasn’t been mopped upon check-in, the mirror is smudged and the shower/tub is stained or has residue. Finally, the beds pretty much suck.
So, faced with the option of sleeping at the Hilton for 4 nights, I decided to shop for a new hotel.
My company pays $187/night for the Hilton. (What a rip off!) I wanted to ensure I paid no more than that for another hotel. The options were Marriott Courtyard in Rye ($139), Crowne Plaza in White Plains ($169) or Westin in Stamford, CT ($170). Marriott tends to be reliable, but usually there is a reason for a $40 different in hotels. Some colleagues are at the Marriott, and I am taking it out of my option list based upon their feedback. YUCK. The Crown Plaza is a near a mall, and has good restaurants nearby. It was booked for this week, but I think it is becoming my hotel of choice in the area.
Ultimately, I chose the Westin for this trip. I love the heavenly bed and shower, in general.
Unfortunately, this Westin is not up to snuff. In my Starwood member profile, I have requested a non smoking King room. However, upon check in, they gave me a room that had someone else’s stuff in it, and next to the ice machine. So, I headed back to the front desk. When I told the guy, “there’s someone in the room”, he gave me attitude! I asked, “since you’re getting me MY OWN ROOM, can I have one that isn’t next to the ice machine?” Again, I got an eye roll. A few minutes later I got a room. It was empty. It was a non smoking room. It wasn’t a king. But I was tired and not ready for another fight.
The good news was wireless was available and free.
There are only three WEAK lights in the room. It is too dark!
The layout of the room is poor. For example, if you want to watch TV while sitting on something besides the bed, you’re SOL. The desk IS the same continuous piece of furniture as the dresser and the TV is on it. So along the wall opposite the beds you have a dresser, with a 25” TV on it, right next to the TV is the desk work area with phone, right next to that is the minibar and then the “chair” against the window but facing the beds. So if you chose to sit in the chair, you can watch the beds, but couldn’t see the TV. AND you can’t move the chair; there is no place to move it. If I want to work at the desk while watching TV, I am approximate 12” from the TV. Not an optimal watching scenario.
Parking is in a garage under the hotel. As a woman traveling alone and sometimes late at night, I don’t feel particularly safe in the garage. So, I have to use the valet, at an additional charge. I did use the garage the first day, but last night, I used the valet. Maybe I am being paranoid, but I didn’t see any cameras in the garage, and I just wasn’t comfortable with the risk
The restaurant is “gourmet”. You can choose from a $7.00 bowl of clam chowder (this is an appetizer quantity too) or a spring mix salad for $12. There are a few other options, but if you’re not a cuisine type person, you’ll not be pleased with the options. There are many entrée’s available, but the prices range from $25-$52 per plate. For these prices, I’d rather go to a “good restaurant” that doesn't just serve as a profit contributor to the hotel. If I am going to pay at least $25 for an entrée, make it a steak and a good one.
Monday, for lack of options, I ate the chowder and went to bed hungry. Tuesday, I ate at the bar and had a Kobe Burger. The other options at the bar were less gourmet-y, but not to my liking. Wednesday, I missed dinner altogether, because I was at my meetings until very late. Tonight, I will avoid the hotel for dinner at all costs. I’ll find SOMETHING as an option.
So, for all the benefits of the heavenly bed and shower (and I do like them), I won’t stay at this Westin again, most likely. Let’s hope my next New York trip has more notice and I can get into the Crowne Plaza.