Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Pizzaman, Aug 18, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    We've stayed at this hotel roughly 10 times over the past few years. Because we're only a short drive to Hershey, we visit a few times a year. We usually book multiple rooms so various parts of the family from NY can meet us here for the kids to spend time together. There's really not much in the area in the way of higher end properties. This property has always been serviceable and is fairly close to the parks.

    However, things here are not really improving. The property has been a category 3 for award redemptions since as long as I can remember. This property was a category 3 a few years ago, dropped to a category 2, and now it's back to a 3. As a category 2, there's some value. At 7,000 points a night, the rate is usually cheap enough that it makes sense to pay for rooms.

    While they've refreshed the rooms here over the past couple of years, the physical plant is in a poor state of repair. In many ways, this property does the bare minimum to comply with certain elements of the SPG program. The only area that consistently meets our expectations are the pool bar staff/room service.

    On this most recent visit, I booked the rooms the night before as we were coming back from upstate NY. I called the following morning to remind them of my request for connecting rooms and a crib. I had made two reservations, but asked when I called if a suite was available. On par for this property, I was told suites were not available.

    Upon arrival, we were checked in quickly with our request of connecting rooms honored. I asked about our crib and was assured it was in the room. There were literally no more than 20 cars total in both parking lots and suites for sale on the website. One of the new SPG benefits that started last year is 10 confirmed suite nights a year for those Plats staying 50 nights a year. While it's unlikely I would use a suite night at this property, the ability to do so this time would have saved 7,000 points. My hope is that this new benefit makes properties adhere to this benefit of the program more closely. It's pretty disappointing how bad some properties are about this, especially when the suites are sitting empty.

    Once we got to the room, there was no crib. Again, not a big surprise for this property. It's the 3rd time in a row they forgot the crib. This isn't a huge deal, but later at night when you're trying to put your kids down, having the crib ready makes a difference.

    As I said earlier, the rooms have been refreshed and are in decent shape.
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    The cupcakes were a nice touch. We had a couple of granola bars with some Hershey Kisses in the second room. Even though I was a bit annoyed about the suite and crib issues, the cupcakes put a smile on my face. Until we tried to eat them. I really can't make this up. They were rock solid. We couldn't push a hole through them with our finger no matter how hard we pushed. A positive turned into a quick negative.

    This was followed by brown water out of the faucet in the bath (not a systemic issue, more just old pipes is my guess). Then, my wife tried to heat up some water for tea in the coffee maker and got brown water instead that smelled of coffee. No pod in the machine, so assumedly someone dumped coffee into it and housekeeping just never cleaned it out.

    My daughter wanted some cereal for a snack, so I walked up to the club lounge to grab a spoon. Neither of my keys would work in the lock. It was an hour before the lounge was supposed to close, so I'll assume the key cards just don't work. It's also possible they closed the lounge because occupancy was low. But, nothing was mentioned at check-in. And, my recollection is that you can still use your key to get in the lounge after hours, there's just no fresh food out.

    Anyway, SPG motivated me to move a minimum of 25 nights a year back over to keep my Platinum status and keep working towards lifetime status. If the new suite benefit has some teeth in it that force the properties to comply, then I might be motivated to move 50 nights over.

    But, I doubt it. Assuming I don't need a stay credit the next time we're in the area, I'll probably select a new property for us. There's a Hilton Garden Inn closer by that looks new. There's also Hotel Hershey which is a bit overpriced for my taste.

    The pool area here is great if you have kids. They show movies at night during the summer for the kids to watch poolside, and they usually have a grill so you can order burgers and sandwiches.

    Expect a decent room product (despite the couple of bumps and bruises we had this time) and a good place to let the kids swim. If you come in with that as your goal, you're unlikely to be disappointed. Anything more is unrealistic.
     
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  2. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Thanks for posting.

    Ahh, the joy of staying at dumps in small town America.;)

    The confirmed suite upgrades do work, especially with properties like this who refuse to comply with the SPG policy to upgrade Plats to standard suites if available. I doubt I'd use a confirmed upgrade at a place like this, though.

    I wouldn't base an isolated stay like this on who I give my business. It's hardly representative to what gets delivered at a property away from anytown USA
     
  3. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    It's worth taking situations like this up with the SPG team, by email or on social media. At the very least they will get in touch with the property and ask them why they aren't upgrading Platinums into vacant suites... do it enough times and the manual might even be re-written ;)
     
  4. Pizzaman
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    Probably a discussion for another thread, but if my math is correct I'm 1 for 6 on confirmed suite upgrades including another stay at this property where I had to ask for the suite upon check-in. The suite upgrades may work but YMMV.
     
  5. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    I reckon I am about 50% for getting suites. I tend to be proactive and ask for one when I check in and then see if they are still selling them... the squeaky wheel gets the grease!
     
  6. SPG Champion
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    SPG Champion Official Representative

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    Can I ask if this was a recent stay at this property?

    The properties have no say in whether Suite Night Awards are granted or not, so there are no compliance issues that I'm personally aware of.

    Best regards,

    William R. Sanders
    Social Media Specialist
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
     
  7. Pizzaman
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    This was not a recent stay. We've had more recent stays where things were similar. The last stay I had an issue with my Ambassador contacting the property to request connecting rooms or a suite. When I arrived at the property, the front desk immediately understood what I was asking for and was able to accommodate.
     
  8. SPG Champion
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    SPG Champion Official Representative

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    Thanks. Often, connecting rooms are not confirmable before arrival. This particular hotel has a policy that they don't guarantee this before you arrive. Of course, we would hope that they would accommodate every Ambassador request, but sometimes they simply won't do so based upon their operational concerns.

    I did check on standard suite availability during one of your prior stays and discovered that their availability was in closed sell status by the end of the day, so they may have been right about being sold out. It sometimes takes an update or two to refresh what is truly available via the web site, so you may have picked up a false-positive there, if indeed, this was the stay you are referencing.

    Regardless, it is much easier to really know what is truly going on the day this happens rather than later, so maybe you'll give your Ambassador or me a chance to look at it closer next time. At the very least, I hope that you allowed your Ambassador to open a customer service ticket on the other deficiencies you experienced there.

    Best regards,

    William R. Sanders
    Social Media Specialist
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
     
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  9. Pizzaman
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    Thanks, William!
     
  10. adexpert
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    adexpert Silver Member

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    I was back and forth to Harrisburg a bunch for business last year and while I never did stay here (the multitude of Hilton options down the road all treated me well), the property's sales manager was hanging out in the conference room of the frequent flier lounge at MDT a couple of times handing out wine, cheese, and her business card - presumably trying to drum up some more room nights.

    Unfortunately the wine was rather undrinkable (and my standards aren't too high generally) and my colleague decided to manufacture some sort of excuse that we had to leave suddenly before we had a chance to drink more than a sip or two.
     
  11. gleff
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    This hotel has rooms with balcony overlooking a Target. It serves its purpose, and compared to most hotels in the area is a gem... :)
     
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  12. Pizzaman
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    Well, it is a NEW Target. :D

    And, there's a Five Guys.
     
  13. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    My last two five guys experience left me eating elsewhere as they were our of leaf lettuce for a wrap.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     

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