A month ago I was in San Diego and made a last-minute booking at the Sheraton Mission Valley. The hotel was going for $149/night, but I booked 3 rooms for just 9000 points total.
Despite the terrible reviews on Tripadvisor, I went against my better judgment and trusted the notion that the property had recently undergone renovations. Let me start by applauding the contractor that managed to screw over a corporate giant like Sheraton and get away with it. Although on the surface everything looked nice (the lobby, the rooms, the bathrooms) it’s upon closer inspection that the veneers fall apart before your eyes and all you see are the ugly pre-reconstruction stumps. It was clear in the dirty sheets, the peeling wallpaper in the hallway, the rusty shower heads and tiles in the bathroom, the mold dripping from the ceiling, and basically every other repulsive visual you can imagine.
I don’t think the hotel had valet parking or a bellman. We were parked outside for a good 15 minutes while I made the reservation and nobody came out to offer us valet parking or help with our bags. I walked up to the Gold/Platinum line and was greeted by a very friendly agent. I asked her if she could make sure the rooms were close to each other. She proceeded to put us on different floors, handed me the keycards, then exclaimed “I forgot! You wanted to be on the same floor!” retracted the keycards and put all the rooms on the 4th floor. For my Gold amenity, she offered me 250 points per room, free drinks, or free wifi. I chose the points for two of the rooms, and free wifi for the other. I was surprised to receive an amenity for each room, especially since I had booked them all on points.
The front desk staff were friendly and welcoming, though they didn’t exactly have it together. For example, there were three computers and four agents. The fourth agent inexplicably offered to help the guest behind me, even though he had no computer to work with. So he stood while an agent assisted me, then waited until she was done to check the woman in. It didn’t expedite the process for the guest behind, if that’s what he was going for.
My sister came over to get her cardkey and asked the rep for a luggage cart. There were two in the lobby being used by guests. The agent told us those were the only ones the hotel had. I found it strange that a hotel of this size would only have two luggage carts. It wouldn’t have been such a hassle, but my sister and brother-in-law had my 1 year-old niece with them, not to mention all the extra bags she travels with.
There were several people in line complaining that their key cards didn’t work. When I tried to get into my room, I found out mine didn’t work either.
At first glance, the rooms looked pretty nice. The furniture looked new, the beds were nicely made, the bathroom looked sparkling clean.
Then I looked at the floor and the main color of the carpet was stain. The white bedskirts had black marks all over them (in all 3 rooms), the door to the balcony wouldn’t open, the toilet in one of the rooms wouldn’t flush, the windows were practically black with dirt, and the tv wouldn’t turn on.
I called the front desk about the toilet and a plumber came up 30 minutes later to fix it, while we were out. When I came back, it still wasn’t working. I called the front desk again and they moved me to another room. Like all the other rooms, this one had dirty bedskirts, and stains all over the carpet and walls. If it wasn’t covered in a thick coat of dust, it was dirty in some other way.
When it came time to order room service, we discovered there were no menus in any of the rooms. I don’t know too many people that would steal room service menus, so I wracked my brain as what could have happened to the menus?!?!
The phone in my room wasn’t working, which I feel is a safety hazard. Plus, if someone in that room asks for a wake-up call, they are not going to get it. When I called the front desk with my cellphone to notify them of the broken phone, all I got was “Oh no…Is there anything I can do?” Well, geez, let me think…
The front desk agent promised to send up menus, which took another 15 minutes. When our food arrived, it was practically cold. At this point the bar was set pretty low so we let it slide. Everything at this hotel fell short in some way: The service, the rooms, the amenities, the room service. The employees were nice, but resigned to the fact that this was a dysfunctional hotel and no amount of effort on their part was worth it.
For a 1-night stay and at just 3000 points, this was a decent hotel. However, I wouldn’t stay here again for any reason, nor do I recommend staying here for more than 1 night even if it is just 3000 points. As my sister put it, this place definitely has “the ick factor.” I felt bad for the German tourists who had inexplicably flocked to this property. Not only were they shelling out $149/night, but I can’t imagine what they must have thought when they flew all the way out here to visit America (which comes with all kinds of connotations of luxury) and ended up in this kind of place.
When I got home, I noticed I had been charged for wifi and 2 days of parking. None of these charges were disclosed to me at check-out. The manager first insisted the charges were legitimate, but when I broke it down for him, he refunded them, offered me 7500 points and a free night certificate for my troubles. The certificate is for this hotel only and has my name on it. I don’t intend to return so if you’re interested in a free night at the Sheraton Mission Valley, let me know by commenting below and I’ll see if I can transfer it over to you. Maybe you can use this to earn a stay towards elite status.
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