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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

GRR - Grand Rapids, Michigan / Crowne Plaza

November 2014, Weekday, 1-night, King Club Level Guestroom #410

Status perks and check-in
At check-in, I was recognized as a Platinum member and offered 500 bonus points or a goody bag. I chose the points; however, they did not post to my account with my hotel points after the stay. I filled out a missing points request online, and I then received my points within 24 hours. I had reserved a regular king guestroom, and I received an upgrade to the club level. 

Guestroom 410
This guestroom is in the north wing on the south side of the hall. I wish I had taken more photos of the guestroom. As many times as I have stayed in this hotel, I was surprised to see that I have not provided more information and photos from prior stays. I have often been busy with something else around the time of my stay, and did not take the time needed to share my entire experience. Links to some of my prior stays and photos are at the end of this review. Keep in mind that photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

The king guestrooms on the club floor are not all the same. Some have sofas, and some have only one chair. Some have a very small bathroom, and some have the bathroom vanity located outside the bathing area. I have stayed in guestrooms with a suit valet stand and shoeshine polisher, which are also larger rooms. They all have a balcony.

This guestroom had a closet at the entrance across from the bathroom. The closet contained hangers, extra bedding, and a folding luggage rack. I am sure it also contained an iron and ironing board, although I did not use or look for this. There was not a bathrobe in the guestroom; however, I called to request one, which was delivered within 15 minutes.
mold in the corners

The bathroom was very small with minimal counter space or room to turn around. A single-serve coffee maker with supplies was on the bathroom vanity. The towels were good quality; however, there was mold in the shower.

The guestroom area contained a king size bed, two nightstands with lamps, a clock, a flatscreen TV on an armoire, a desk and chair, and a chair and footstool.

The alarm clock did not work correctly. The time was set at 12:00 when we arrived. We were able to reset the time; however, we could not get the alarm set. There were no available outlets by the bed, so we had to plug our phones (alarm clock!) in at the desk. I have experienced this in all of the guestrooms in this hotel. This could be resolved, if the hotel would swap out the bed lamps for the kind with outlets in the base.

The balcony was dirty and there were leaves and debris on the floor. These were not recent leaves, as our leaves had all fallen from the trees a few weeks prior to our stay. In fact, it snowed the day we departed.

The Internet connection speed was good. We could hear the neighbors TV quite clearly in the hall. Fortunately, it was not very loud in our room.

Food & Beverage
We visited Aryana lounge during Happy Hour, which is Monday - Friday from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The last time we stayed in this hotel it was also a Tuesday, so the Happy Hour food items were similar. The Happy Hour menu for Tuesday says: Slow Roasted with special in house seasoning Baby back rip tips, In house made potato chips, Beer cheese n crackers, Wrapped Pickles. Actual food items were: cold ribs, wrapped onions, and Gardetto type mix. No chips, no beer cheese or crackers, and no wrapped pickles.

The service was attentive when we arrived just before 5:00; however, it was poor after this. This was not because our server was too busy to attend to us; she was visiting with other patrons. Our bill was incorrect at the end, and after waiting five minutes for her to return, I went to the bar and had the bartender correct it. We had been charged for one more beverage than we received, and our bill did not reflect Happy Hour prices. Our bill was almost $10 less after I had it corrected. I think the exact amount was just over $7 difference.

Business center
I used the business center to print our boarding passes. I needed to enter the password from our key packet to access the Internet. There were only three sheets of paper in the printer, and I needed four to print all our boarding passes. Since there was no paper in the room, I reinserted one of the pages in the printer for the last page. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to insert it so that the last page did not print on top of one of the other boarding passes.

Club lounge
Guests receive one complimentary beer or wine in the club lounge. The beer choices were Budweiser, Miller, and Stella Artois. I do not know the wine brands, although I thought the red wine was acceptable. The food served in the lounge included ribs, wrapped pickles, vegetables and dip, and cheesecake. The same food items were served in the club lounge and the lobby bar during our last stay, too (June 2014; I did not get a review of that stay posted here). This time, it appeared they did not have enough wrapped pickles for both lounges, and the club lounge got them. I thought the wrapped pickles were better tasting than the wrapped onions.

The attendant in the lounge was the same woman we have seen during most of our visits. She does not welcome guests, and she does not smile. During our last stay, a very pleasant personable woman assisted us, who I had never met before. During that visit, we learned she is the breakfast attendant and was filling in that evening. We always have an early flight when we stay at this hotel, so I have never visited the club lounge for breakfast.

Shuttle service
One of the reasons we choose this hotel when we have an early morning flight is because of the dependable airport shuttle. This visit, we were not as satisfied with the shuttle service. We had signed up for the 4:30 a.m. shuttle because our morning flight was departing just before 6:00 a.m., and the shuttle runs every half hour. Hotel staff called our guestroom after 11:00 p.m. when we were sound asleep! They had called to ask if we could go to the airport at 5:00 a.m. instead. I said no, and I also mentioned we had been sleeping. The agent then proceeded to inquire about our flight time to make sure we could not wait until 5:00. I again said no, as I told her our flight time, and I said that we needed to be there before 5:00 to check our luggage. She then asked if we could go earlier because they had two full shuttle busses of 17 people at 4:30. I said we could do that if we had to, and then I asked why she had chosen us to call and ask us to make the change. She said that the other guests were all airline people. I understand the importance of airline crew for flight departures; however, I think I am an important [repeat] guest, too. I did not say this to her.

A male employee then started talking to her in the background. A few seconds later, he took the receiver, explained the entire situation to me again (unnecessarily, as I had already grasped it), and he then told us they would call us a cab at 4:30, if we did not all fit on the shuttle bus. This call lasted much longer than needed, and it was unnecessary in the end!

The next morning, I inquired about the shuttle situation when we got to the lobby. The front desk agent said she had been the one who called me the night before, and that they had it worked out. She said, "It's a good thing you are not big people." She offered no apology for the unnecessary wake-up call the evening before. When we boarded the shuttle bus, I observed nine seats in our van, and one seat remained unfilled. If there were nine seats in each van, that means there were 18 available seats, so it did not make any sense to me why they would have called us when only 17 seats were filled.

When we returned from our trip and called for the shuttle pickup from the airport, we received similar service. The employee who answered the telephone said, "Who are you with?" I said, "What do you mean? We stayed there before we left. Is that what you mean?" She then explained that the shuttle driver was on his way back to the hotel with a flight crew, and he would be back to get us and another flight crew after that.

When the shuttle driver arrived, we approached the van with our luggage while the flight crew (from our flight) remained inside the airport. The shuttle driver said to us, "We're going to be here awhile, because we have to wait for the flight crew." He walked away before we had a chance to reply or tell him the flight crew was already waiting. We opened the door and got inside the van since it was cold and snowing out. A few seconds later, the flight crew noticed the van and walked out from inside the airport. The shuttle driver returned from inside the car rental/parking garage area where he had walked several seconds after this. The entire process did not take long; however, we felt like we were treated very rudely.

Misc. and overall
I have stayed in this hotel several times, and this is the last time I plan to stay here. There are several airport hotel choices, and there is not much about this property that makes it any better than the rest. I did not like the mold in the shower, and areas of the hotel were starting to look neglected, even though it has not been long since the hotel was remodeled. Since I am a Platinum IHG member, and a repeat guest at this hotel, it would be nice if I was treated like a valued guest. We did receive an upgrade to the club level, although the guestroom we received is one of the smaller club floor rooms.

Here are links to my other reviews in this blog, which account for less than half of my stays at this property in the last few years. January 2014 and August 2013, December 2011, May 2011, August 2010.