In total I had six night in San Francisco, which like Seattle, is one of my favourite places to go and visit in the US. I had one night at the Parc 55, which is part of the Hilton group and five nights at the JW Marriott of which there’s a further review to come.
The Parc 55 is located very close to the Powell Street Muni and BART stops, giving it a very convenient and central location in the city. I’d booked the room using a combination of points and money which coupled with the very high commercial rates that week worked out a good deal.
I had checked in online using the app earlier and selected a room on the 7th floor in the corner, 701. When I checked in, I’d apparently been upgraded to 2201, exactly the same room type just on a higher floor. However given I was only there for one night, I decided not to push the point as I didn’t feel it was worth it.
I also asked for late check-out and was told the best that they could do was 13.00. Unusually, standard check-out time was 11.00 and not midday. Starwood as a mid-tier gold member would by default give me a 16.00 late check-out so I felt that 13.00 was pretty poor. I was also given a coupon for breakfast – the hotel didn’t have a club lounge.
The room itself was quite spacious, however the bed a little firm for my liking. It did seem quite 80s though, with lots of beige and yellow and acres of curtains. They also seemed quite dusty and seemed like they hadn’t been cleaned for a while.
There was also a work desk with coffee machine and all the standard amenities that one would expect. It was good to have two bottles of water there too, in addition to the little bag containing two that they gave me on check-in.
The bathroom was also fairly spacious with the standard Hilton toiletry products, however they didn’t supply any shower gel, so had to request that via housekeeping.
Given all of that, the views from the room were pretty spectacular though.
I did get a good nights sleep, so went down for breakfast in the morning, giving the lady at the restaurant my coupon. I was told that I could only have the cold items from the buffet however if I wanted any hot items that would be an extra $10. She also said that if I went over and asked the manager at check-in they would probably “upgrade” me.
I found that response quite bizarre, but went over and asked the manager. He gave me some spiel about only having to offer continental breakfast, and frankly couldn’t be bothered to argue. He gave me a little card to give back to the host which I did and I was seated. Breakfast was fairly meh anyway, and didn’t bother taking any pictures.
After my stay, I received a link to a survey from Hilton and so filled it in, honestly. I wasn’t impressed about getting an upgrade that wasn’t really one at all. I wasn’t impressed about being given a 1pm “late” checkout. I wasn’t impressed about trying to be charged $10 for breakfast. A few minutes later, I received an email from the hotel.
“Thank you for taking the time to share your experience about your recent stay at our hotel. As a Diamond Hilton Honors member, you are among our most valued guests. We sincerely appreciate your feedback and we’re very sorry for the challenges you faced during your stay. Should you find the time to stay with us again in the future, please let me know, so that I may personally oversee your stay and ensure you have a more positive experience with us.”
Looking at the email I noticed a couple of things. It didn’t actually address any of the points I made in the survey. It was a generic “sorry you had a poor experience email”. I also noticed the double space “As a Diamond” also implying that it was a pretty generic form email.
If you’re going to write a service recovery email, then I’d actually expect someone to bother tailoring a response to the particular issues encountered.
I guess that sums up my stay, pretty poor. Not awful, just poor. Plenty of other places to go in the city instead that would actually value my business.