My mother always told me to say nice things, so here they are: The Westin Portland is in a good location — close to the famous food courts — and the decor is quite nice. The room had a window that opened a bit and the doorman is very nice and helpful.
From there, unfortunately, this hotel didn’t meet my expectations of a Westin hotel at all.
Right from check-in, a bunch of things were missed. Didn’t get a key for the minibar… things that I’d asked to be in the room were ignored… the Internet was supposed to be free but their system prompted us to pay, etc.
There’s no hotel concierge, but the affable front desk clerk said he could help — wanted to know what plays or musicals or shows were in town. He only knew one show in town (the big one) and in the end just had someone bring up the local entertainment newspaper to the room. Granted, he wasn’t a dedicated concierge, but I sort of expected a Westin front desk person would be able to do more than get me a newspaper. Hell, I could have done that myself.
The room had no desk phone, only a wireless phone which could only hold a charge for about 10 minutes before going dead (once, right in the middle of a critical call with my bank).
And then dinner. Ordered room service and there was a 22% service charge. I’m used to there being a small delivery fee, but 22% is quite hugh. And then, there was a $2.95 surcharge on the service charge. Huh?! Reading the fine print on the bill, it said that 16% of the 22% service charge would go to the server (so… 16% of 22%, meaning only 1/5th of the fee goes to her? or did they mean the majority of the 22%?) and yet there was an ADDITIONAL line reading “Tip.”
I wanted to be sure that I tipped the server, so I asked her if the 22% WAS her tip, but she didn’t even seem to understand English well enough to know what I was asking.
Worst of all, housekeeping seemed to be a pretty lazy job. A newspaper that I left on the floor remained on the floor — and the vacuum marks on the floor showed that the housekeeper actually just vacuumed AROUND the newspaper instead of picking it up! Socks that were by the bed were also left there and vacuumed around. All in all, there wasn’t a lot of evidence that they had cleaned the room at all.
The flat sheets on the bed weren’t tucked in — they were just placed on top of the mattress. So within minutes of lying down, the sheet was all bunched up and you were sleeping right on the raw mattress itself all night. I mentioned it to the front desk person on the way out, in time for them to, you know, tuck the sheet in, but upon returning to the room at the end of the day, the sheet still wasn’t tucked in.
Of course, none of these are dealbreakers. You might call them “first-world problems” — and no hotel is going to get everything right. But it seemed like there were so many of these little things that it really made me wonder why I just didn’t stay at the Holiday Inn where the service quality would have been about the same and the price one-quarter of what the Westin charged me.
UPDATE: The manager was very polite and apologetic and comp’ed our entire stay. Still not sure if I’d try them again, but it’s nice to know they listen.