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Priceline and Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers

Priceline and Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers

Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 04:41 PM
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Priceline and Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers

I went through Priceline (only bidding on 4-star hotels in MTW, MTE) in an attempt to save some money on my stay in New York next week and ended up getting the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. I thought this sounded ok until I checked Trip Advisor and some of the reviews have frightened me to the point that I am considering cutting my losses ($1000 for 4 nights) and keeping the other reservation I had made at the Hotel Metro.

The most positive of the reviews of the Sheraton state that it is fine, but a bit worn down. The worst imply that it is rat, cockroach and bed-bug infested/ filled with mold.

Does anyone have any opinions on this hotel? Any advice? I understand it has a great location (better than the Hotel Metro) but this is the only positive thing I have heard thus far.

Since this was supposed to be a special Mom and daughter trip, I'd rather not have to worry about rat/bug infestations. At the same time, I'm having a hard time justifying throwing $1000 away on a hotel room I won't use!

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Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 05:55 PM
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You might consider posting your question on www.flyertalk.com in the discussion thread focusing on Starwood, where you'll find a lot of frequent travellers who stay at Starwood properties.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 06:27 PM
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The Sheraton is a big and prominent convention hotel in an excellent location. In such a large hotel, I'm sure that there are inconsistencies with both maintenance and repair, but I think you'd be absolutely crazy to throw away $1000 just because you've read some inflammatory posts on Tripadvisor. Frankly, you have to read complaints with a very critical eye. I can't deny that you might see a cockroach or even a mouse in any large building in Manhattan. This happens even in brand-new buildings. I certainly can't speak with any authority about the specific issues that might be involved in the Sheraton.

There have been several major and minor bedbug infestations in hotels in Manhattan over the past 5 or 6 years, but you really need to get a grip. A bedbug infestation happens to a ROOM, and sometimes a few rooms nearby ... not to an entire hotel. Similar problems have been reported in fine hotels in both London and Paris.

I will say, however, that the Hotel Metro is meticulous in its housekeeping procedures. They even remove shower doors and clean the runners with a cotton swab between guests.

I hope someone with some first-hand experience will ease your mind, but the Sheraton Towers is by no means a fleabag hotel, and I hope you won't jump to some ridiculous and absurd conclusions and literally throw a good deal of money down the drain.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 06:45 PM
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Gee, Doug:

If you're so confident about the very recently reported bed bug problem (Jan 2008) not being a problem, why don't you give michca $1000 and go stay in the room yourself? Unsympathetically telling the OP that she needs to "get a grip" might make you feel superior, but it doesn't do a lot for the OP.

michca: I sympathize with you. Even if the bed bug problem was an isolated incident that the hotel has since dealt with, the point of a holiday (and a special mother and daughter trip) is to enjoy the experience, not worry about critters.

Based on what the tripadvisor reviewer who reported the bed bug problem said, it sounds like the Sheraton's management did take the issue quite seriously. Why don't you call the hotel management up, tell them that you heard about the problem and ask them what steps they have taken since January to deal with the reported bed bug problem (and the rat and mold issues). Keep calling until you get a satisfactory answer. When you get to the hotel, go and inspect the room before putting any of your belongings in it. Check the bedding (on both beds), headboards and other locations. Check the condition of the bathrooms and the closets. If there is anything unsatisfactory regarding the cleanliness of the room, leave and insist that you want a different room, on a different floor and not in the same line of rooms as the hotel you were just offered. Be polite, be insistent and when you get a satisfactory room, then go out and enjoy New York.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 08:55 PM
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It would be absolutely absurd to toss away $1000, unless you want to toss it in my direction. I've stayed at the Sheraton Towers at least 5 times in the last year and never had a problem. It's a big, impersonal hotel that is well located. I've always had prompt service with the few minor problems I've had.

Don't believe everything you read on Tripadvisor.
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Old Mar 4th, 2008, 02:20 AM
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I would think that in general, most people with a negative experience post reports and exagerate somewhat. Those with a positive experience usually don't post.

You know, the silent majority thing.

As someone wrote, call the hotel and express your concerns.
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Old Mar 4th, 2008, 05:25 AM
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My husband and I stayed at that Sheraton this past January for 3 nights, and it was perfectly fine. I would agree that there were a few scuff marks on the walls, but our room was quiet and clean, and the front desk staff and concierge were friendly and helpful. The location is great. Plus, the windows open a bit, which is a huge bonus in my books.

I've also stayed at the Hotel Metro, though it has been about 8 years ago, and it was fine, too.
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Old Mar 4th, 2008, 05:50 AM
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michca - FWIW, I'm staying at that Sheraton for 4 days beginning this weekend. I too read some of the adverse reports on Tripadvisor, but I'm part of a group so have no choice. I called my SIL, who lives in Manhattan, to get her input. She stayed there several times while she was transitioning from London to NY. Her standards are extremely high, and she said the hotel was fine and had no objections.
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Old Mar 4th, 2008, 06:23 AM
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Someone throwing $ 1000 away?
Send it to me. I'll stay there and I will tell you how it went.

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Old Mar 4th, 2008, 06:55 AM
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I so sympathize. I actually wouldn't bid 4* mtw anymore b/c of the Sheraton. In your shoes, I would follow the advice to check on flyertalk to see if there are some rooms/towers that are nicer/better than others and I would PHONE and perhaps also write the hotel and speak to a manager and air your concerns. Ask what they can do to assure you will have a good, bug free room.

You might also want to familiarize yourself with where to look for signs of bugs (there are lots of online guides) so you can check the room before settling in.

I don't mean to make you feel worse, but did you use either of the bidding websites to help you bid or give you guidance about pricing? $1000 for 4 nights is a lot for PL bid. The upside of that is do not feel shy about demanding the best you can get from the hotel.

You are also not the only one unhappy about winning the Sheraton. If you look on biddingfortravel.com you'll see other unhappy folks. I would write a letter of complaint to Priceline (after your stay). I think it's ridiculous this is rated 4*. If enough people complain, maybe they'll do something.
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Old Mar 4th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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I would never throw away $1000 like that. The Sheraton is a huge hotel and even if there were a room with bedbugs (which are brought in in the luggage of other travelers - not native to the hotel) you can easily be sure you don't get it.

Simply express your concern when you get there and don't bring your luggage into the room until you have checked for the bugs. If necessary , change you room - just as you would if thre were someother type of problem.

(And someone I work with recently got a room with bedbugs in a 5* hotel in Rome. When they complained the hotel resolved the whole thing - gave them a new room and new luggage and washed/cleaned all of their clothes. And blocked off the room and ones on either side for treatment. The hotel staff said they are now very careful accepting guests from an unnamed country in Asia - since several guests from there had left rooms with bedbugs behind them.)


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Old Mar 4th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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I think NYTraveler gave you great advice -

I have also stayed in the Sheraton Towers - not my first choice, although I stayed there and the smaller Sheraton Manhattan many times for business in the 90's -
but I was in the Towers twice in the last two years when I needed a room last minute and could get one there - the rooms in the club level seemed a tad better but some of those were even quite tired

Last I was there was in Sept 07 when I was helping my daughter move and the last night when I expected to drive home, we hadn't finished enough and in the late afternoon grabbed a room there, had a hot shower, went out for a great meal, and had a good nights sleep before finishing up in the morning and then I drove home -

it was fine - again, not luxurious or anything but our room was ok.

As someone said, bed bugs could be anywhere -
call ahead now as someone suggested and tell them why you are reticent if you want, and want some assurances (as best anyone can against bed bugs - they could disinfect the entire room and the person the night before you could bring them in - )
and/or when you check in do as NYTraveler suggested and ask for someone to help you up with your bags and check it all out first -

I always found it a convenient location
the rooms I had were always clean -
some tired, some could use a bit of tlc, but not a problem
the bathrooms were the oldest part of the room, but the shower pressure was great ! Which is always a bonus after a long day in NYC !




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Old Mar 4th, 2008, 12:26 PM
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I agree with Doug that is would be nuts to throw away $1000 because of some negative reviews.

Firstly, the Sheraton is a huge hotel and if you don't like your room or have problems, go back down to the front dest (do NOT call from your room) and politely explain to the front desk clerk that your room is unsatisfactory and you would like another.

If for some odd reason, the will not work with you. Standing at the desk, ask for a supervisor and politely explain the situation to them.

If you still are unhappy with the situation, call Sheraton headquarters. I guarantee that will work.

The Sheraton Hotel and Towers are two big convention hotels that are across the street from each other.

I think you'll be fine.
 
Old Mar 4th, 2008, 04:00 PM
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You might not have much of choice due to arrival times etc., but try to check-in as soon as you arrive in the city, that way if your room is not up to par you'll have a better chance of another room being available to move to. If you check in late night you may not be able to move (if you need to) until the next day.

Don't cut your losses, take the steps mentioned above by other posters and hopefully all will be well. Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Mar 4th, 2008, 04:26 PM
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Thank you all for your comments, I really appreciate them!

Mclaurie, I have followed the bidding site suggestions, including using free rebid zones etc. I started bidding at $120 2 weeks ago. I agree that $225 (roughly $1000 for 4 nights including taxes) is a bit high for Priceline. I am kicking myself as the Metro pretty much worked out to roughly the same price once you include the cost of breakfast.

I should note that not one successful 4* bid for my timeline had been posted on any of the sites at the time I placed my bid.

This is not my first time using Priceline, but I fear it may be my last, at least for larger cities.

I've discussed options with my Mom and we are planning on going ahead with the Sheraton and hoping for the best (armed with all of your advice of course!).
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Old Mar 5th, 2008, 06:12 AM
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I just read your post on Priceline (capam94). Indeed, some of the reviews on Tripadvisor are less than enthusiastic. I read the first 20, and there was no mention of bugs.

Checking on Expedia, the lowest rate for Sheraton at that time is $317. In general, I personally would not bid more that 1/2 the lowest rate.

I checked the other successful bids on PL, and the next 4* MTW was the Hilton NY - $125 2/29-3/2, and the next was 4* MTW Sheraton Towers $140 2/23. I know that's not your time frame.

Better luck next time.
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Old Mar 5th, 2008, 06:53 AM
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Street-talk says you can avoid bedbug problems by 1. placing feet of the bed in cups/pans of water (don't have a clue what the Sheraton beds are like, whether they have feet, or where you'd get 4 pans of water) because they can't crawl up the legs then, and 2. make sure you don't put your luggage under the bed (see note re: what I don't know about Sheraton beds).

;-)

Seriously, you'll do future guests a favor if you complain about whatever you see that's unsettling and/or insist on room change if it's appropriate. You'd think the Sheraton would catch on by now, but apparently reviews don't bother them.
 
Old Mar 5th, 2008, 08:07 AM
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My dad stays here on business all of the time and has nothing but good things to say about it---I know he likes the sauna and breakfast in particular. The location is great if you're looking for something in midtown. I went up to his particular room last time he was in town and I didn't think it looked tired at all. I imagine at a hotel that big though it's possible that the rooms vary.
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Old Mar 5th, 2008, 09:51 AM
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Cassandra - that would not work since the bugs are already in the bed (they hide between and in the seams of the mattress/box spring and headboard) - as well as any upholstered furniture in the room. And putting the bags on the floor or any surface can pick up the bugs.

The only answer is to check the room - and not stay in one with bed bugs.
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Old Mar 5th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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Jed:
Capam94 is not me- someone else who had obviously been trying for some time for a hotel in New York for similar dates unfortunately also ended up with the Sheraton!

And you are right- there are virtually no other successful bids that I have seen posted for my time frame.

It's nice to point out cheaper rates for other dates, but unfortunately those rates haven't seem to have transferred to the week coming up. At least not yet.

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