Sheraton on the Falls boasts “the best falls view rooms around!” When Jared and I were checking in, we asked if we could stay in a falls view room. The desk clerk told us that there would be an extra charge… Of $80 per night! Needless to say, that ended that idea REAL quick. Funny- There is absolutely NO mention of having to pay extra on Sheraton.com for the falls view rooms…
After we were all checked in, we were told that we had to move our car out of the registration area and find a parking spot. We had three choices: (1)Park on the street, which there wasn’t a lot of availibility for legal parking (2)Pay $19 PER DAY for valet parking (3)Pay $8 PER DAY for parking in a garage that was a block away. We chose the least expensive of the three. Frankly, we were appalled that we actually had to PAY for parking when we were paying so much per night! Unreal.
After parking, we walked back to the hotel with our luggage and headed to the elevators to settle in to our room on the 19th floor. There is a Starbucks right near the elevators. Since I took a red-eye, I wanted a coffee. I asked for a caramel macchiato. Unfortunately, this Starbucks doesn’t sell the specialty drinks. And, a regular cup of coffee is $2.50 plus tax. We passed on the coffee and waited for the elevators.
You see, there are only 2 elevators that go to the 22nd floor. They run from the lobby to the 22nd floor, but are supposed to only hit the 12th – 22nd floors. Of course, they’re NOT express elevators. So, anyone on any floor can get onto them. They aren’t air-conditioned. They aren’t even decorated. And no music! Now, tell me: What elevator doesn’t have music?? The elevator in Adams Hall at The George Washington University was better than the elevators in this “Four Star” hotel. There are three elevators that run to the Penthouse (13th) floor, but don’t go any higher than that. (It’s called the Penthouse even though it’s in the middle of the hotel because they built onto the hotel later on. You’d think that they’d have the sense to build on some more elevators!) I waited 25 minutes from the time we got to the elevators until the time I got to my room. Absolutely ridiculous and completely appalling, if you ask me.
When I opened the door to my room, I was totally shocked– and not in a good way. The room was a little smaller than my bedroom at home. It had one queen-sized bed, 2 night stands, a table and 2 chairs, a dresser and a television. Everything was crammed in there like a college dorm room. The bathroom was a bit bigger, though. Nice-sized vanity and a good shower with strong water pressure. But, a nice bathroom doesn’t make up for a tiny living area.
The conference facilities are terrific. The sound system was great. At one point, I sat in the back of a room full of at least 700 women, and I heard absolutely everything that the woman on stage said. The lighting was perfect, as were the video screens and such. This is a great place to have a conference, especially a very big one. However, I just don’t recommend staying there.
When my mother arrived, she brought the dress that I was going to wear at the closing dinner. The dress was originally $249, but I bought it on sale for $49 plus tax. (What a steal!) Sheraton on the Falls offers dry cleaning that will take place the same day, if you get the items in before 9am. I didn’t need the dress until two days later, so I called for them to pick it up at around 1pm. Someone immediately came up and picked up my dress. She let me know that my dress would be ready on Saturday morning. (I needed it on Saturday night, so that was fine.) She also commented on how beautiful she thought my dress was. She was really nice, and rushed my dress off immediately.
That same afternoon, I wanted to get a massage at the spa located on the 14th floor. I called and made a same day appointment for 2:30. When I showed up at 2:15, the woman that was going to give me a massage (Lisa) wasn’t there. At 2:30, she wasn’t there either. Finally, at 2:45, Lacey the receptionist called her cell phone and asked her where she was. Apparently, Lisa thought that she had the day off and didn’t come in AT ALL. She hadn’t checked her messages or anything, so she didn’t know that I was waiting. Lacey apologized and sent me on my merry way.
What is funny is that the spa has a cancellation policy where you cannot cancel without losing money after 24 hours before your appointment. So, if I canceled, the $55 would have been charged to my room regardless. But, Lisa didn’t show up at all, and everything was hunky-dory.
I called the front desk and spoke with a woman named Celia. I told her what had happened with the spa and how ticked off I was. She apologized and told me that she would get back to me. I didn’t hear from her AT ALL for the rest of the time I was there. I called the front desk on Saturday morning to find out why I hadn’t heard from Celia, and they (of course) apologized. They credited my room with $55 for another massage. I booked a massage for half an hour for later that afternoon. Unfortunately, I got stuck on the border into Canada after tooling around Buffalo for a little while, and, even though I called in advance to say that I was running late, $30 was charged to my room.
When I got to the hotel at 4:00 on Saturday afternoon, my dress was nowhere to be found. I called to find out where it was. Guess what? They delivered it to the wrong room. They got it and brought it up to my room. As I put it on that evening, I noticed a HUGE tear where the strap on the right shoulder is. I wore the dress once before, and it was in PERFECT condition– it just needed to be pressed. Now there was a big tear in it due to the dry cleaning! I called the front desk and told them what happened. The woman that answered snapped, “We don’t take any responsibility to what happens to clothes when they are sent out for dry cleaning.” Then, she promptly hung up on me.
Whenever we had dinner in the Sheraton on the Falls, we were incredibly disappointed. Sure, they were cooking for a lot of people, but that really isn’t an excuse for the garbage we were served. The desserts were stale, the chicken was rubbery, and the pasta was unidentifiable. VERY disappointing.
The location of Sheraton on the Falls is terrific, I must admit. There are a lot of places to go shop: Hershey’s Store, Coca Cola Store, a lot of souvenier shops, some clothing stores, and so on. There are also some tourist restaurants nearby, including Planet Hollywood and Hard Rock Cafe. There is Casino Niagara right near by for those gamblers out there. And, of course, you’re within walking distance to Niagara Falls.
My goodness! I nearly forgot!!! On the Sunday morning that we were to leave, an alarm went off at about 4:30am. A voice came over the PA and told everyone to stay in their rooms while they investigated what was causing the alarm in the Penthouse restaurant. (Don’t forget that the Penthouse is the 13th floor in this hotel.) My mother, who was now staying with my step-father on the 9th floor, ad already gotten out of the building. There was massive panic going on in the upper floors. 15 minutes later, the voice came back on and said that it was a false alarm. Not even 5 minutes later, the alarm sounds again, and the voice tells us to take our room key and evacuate the building as quickly as possible.
I headed down the staircase with about 300 other guests. I was shocked– NO hotel staff members were directing us of helping us downstairs. We had 19 floors to go!! It was a jumbled mass in non-ventilated stairways. Honestly, it was terrifying. Babies were crying, a woman was standing in the corner looking like she was having a heart attack, two other guests were helping a man in crutches down the stairs… It was absolute chaos. To make matters worse, we kept stopping! I hate to be morbid, but visions of 9-11 kept running through my head. The only time I saw anyone from the hotel staff was at the bottom floor, holding the door open for us. People were hyperventilating, getting hurt, being pushed… It was absolutely ridiculous. shouldn’t Sheraton have some sort of emergency plan?
Overall, Sheraton on the Falls was a major disappointment. It is NOTHING like how it is advertised on www.sheraton.com. I felt cheated as soon as I checked in. I’m 100% positive that you can find a better hotel in the area, such as the Brock Hotel right nearby.
Incidentally, this is not the first time I have had lousy service with a Sheraton. Perhaps I should start staying at a different hotel chain…