Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hotel Review: Sheraton Dulles AKA Sheraton Herndon

My second mattress run for the 4,000 Starwood point per stay promotion. I decided to stay at the Sheraton Dulles for a $75 all in price. The package I book included high speed Internet and breakfast.

I took a bus from Tysons (a major business area in Virginia) to Dulles (IAD) which took 40 minutes. When I arrived at IAD, I went to 2H (where the hotel shuttles pick-up occur) to call for my shuttle. After calling the hotel for a shuttle, the hotel employee informed me that she would call me back after finding the shuttle. I never received this call. Also, she never informed me to look for the Hyatt Place shuttle, not the Sheraton shuttle:

The shuttle that pick me up and drops me off

It turns out that the company that owns this specfic Sheraton owns the Hyatt Place next door. I think its great that they share a shuttle. Shouldn't they tell their guests?

A blah looking hotel!

The hotel's decor reminded me of your grandfather's study decorated by grandmother. The lobby has a few places to sit and check-in desk to the right"

Check-In was a breeze. I was thanked for being a Starwood member and given a room on the fourth floor. The hotel has five floors.

The fourth floor is the Starwood Preferred Guest level. I am a basic member, but it helps reinforce why I still come back.

I was given a monster room. Monster room!


The King bed was comfortable.

The room had a large desk and a very comfortable leather chair and ottoman.

Each room had a large chest....

with plenty of places to hang your clothes.

The bathroom had french doors:

The bathroom had a large shower.

The shower was not clean. Not clean is an understatement:

I packed-up and went back downstairs to complain. They gave me a new room and access to the club floor on the fifth floor. Once you exit the elevator, the club room is directly there. The lounge is open for breakfast Monday through Friday from 6:30 am-9:00 am and for Hors d'oeuvres 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

On the weekends, guests can get complimentary appetizers and breakfast downstairs at the bar.

Very Old Country Decor

Vegetables, Cheese, Fruit and something hot, which I could not figure out what it was:

The hotel had an amazing gym with free weights, cardio equipment, and other fitness equipment:

The hotel had a pool, which is open only when there is a life guard on duty:

 Since the hotel is located in an office park, there is very little around it open at night. Therefore, everyone hangs out at the restaurant, Capitol Connection. From the looks of this sign, Happy Hour looks great:

The breakfast buffet. 

I never got to try the buffet because I got downstairs to late (10:30 am). The restaurant ends breakfast at 10:00 am, on the weekend. Therefore, my breakfast coupon went to waste:

There was no notification on the slip that the restaurant closes at 10:00 am for breakfast. This pissed me off. What place closes at 10:00 am for breakfast on the weekend? The front desk attendant did not tell me about the early close of the restaurant. My hotel room did not have a book about the details of the hotel. If I was lead in the dark than how many other hotel guests make the same mistake.

The second part of my package was High Speed Internet Access. The Internet was not high speed. Every 20 minutes the Internet would freeze. The only way to unfreeze the Internet was to reboot the entire computer. This made movie night very difficult.

When I made my complaints about the Internet and breakfast, the answer from the front desk agent shocked me. In regards to breakfast, "go next door to our sister hotel and visit their cafeteria." I sure bet Starwood would like to know that the answer is to go to a competitor. The solution to the Internet was to use the computers downstairs:

I left the hotel upset. It stuck with me for the entire day. The stay was terrible. First, the hotel is not near the Dulles, its in Herndon, a 10 minute drive from IAD. Second, not getting the package I paid for stunk. Yes, I should have questions and not assumed, but the staff could have been more proactive. That leads me to the final point: the service. While the product was great, the service was terrible. The staff did not seem like they enjoyed working for this hotel. I even heard one employee tell another that "she would not stay at this hotel." The second one agreed. Not a good sign.

My guess is the attitude of the employees comes from the top. I called the hotel's general manager, a few days later, to discuss my stay. I received her voice mail and left a message asking "her" to contact me to discuss my stay, which was less than pleasant. A few hours later, I received a call from a front desk worker to discuss my phone call. When a customer calls upset, why does the General Manager return the call? My guess is that she gets lots of these calls and did not want to take another one.

The front desk attendant offered me points, a free night, or something else. I declined. I knew I would be writing this review and did not want the offer to cloud my judgement.

My final assessment is still the same a week later. The hotel has a great product, but the staff's attitude ruined  my stay. Would I recommend this place to others? All I will say is "stay at your own risk."

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