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Occasionally I procrastinate when booking a hotel. My luck is such that I somehow time these episodes when there are major events in town and I am left with a limited range of options to pick from that don’t require me to donate a kidney. That is how I ended up at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel on this stay.
Starwood has a nice range of coverage in Atlanta. I’ve stayed at several of the properties in the past so I had it in my head that this was a specific downtown hotel. I was thrilled to get it at a rate that was a fraction of what other properties were running that week. I knew immediately when I pulled up that this was NOT the hotel I thought it was.
I arrived in Atlanta just in time for rush hour traffic. I passed the property twice without noticing it because my GPS kept insisting it was on the opposite side of the street. I also was convinced I was looking for a large hotel tower. I finally found it on the third try and pulled in the driveway.
I had to pick between self parking and valet. The entrance to the garage was right next to the front desk so I figured I’d be frugal and park in the garage rather than use valet. Big mistake.
The garage maze deposited me in a parking area at least a block away. I tried to follow signage to get out of the hotel (navigating stairs as I went – the parking garage and access to it is not ADA-accessible) and got spit out mid block on a sidewalk as Atlanta traffic rushed by. I realized this couldn’t possibly be correct but alas, the door had shut and locked behind me so I was stuck.
I had NO idea where the hotel was so I paused and pulled up walking directions on my iPhone, twice being hit up by people for money as I stood there – totally sketchy and not safe. I was a block away from the hotel and two blocks away from the front entrance.
I trudged up to the hotel, now sweating from Atlanta humidity and immediately asked what I did wrong. The staff told me there was a walkway I could have followed but it was not clearly labeled.
Check in was fast and efficient. The front desk staff could not be more friendly – true Southern hospitality in action!
My Platinum status was recognized and benefits were explained to me. I chose the points as my amenity.
My room was in one of the two hotel towers so I had to walk to that bank of elevators to access my room.
I passed several modern art pieces along the way.
The hotel had a musty, almost mildew, smell that was worrisome.
My room was 1267 and had the same musty smell. The hotel seemed like something out of a time warp.
There was minor damage and wear visible in the room – chipped dark wood paneling and trim, worn out/dated carpet, and furnishings that had seen better days.
There were plenty of outlets once I located them (a full power strip under the nightstand plus four plugs in the bathroom) but it was clear that this was a workaround from the days prior to portable electronics.
The room was clean however and the bathroom was spotless – but it was too small to get a decent photo of. The toiletry selection was fantastic – I had every possible toiletry one could think of in a US business hotel.
I had a view of the other hotel tower which reminded me of some kind of 1970s convention hotel.
I could see other tower hotels (where I have previously stayed) in the distance.
The room looked much better in the daylight the next morning but looked very sad the night before. The bright daylight also meant I had to employ the binder clip technique to keep the sun out.
The hotel has a spacious and nicely furnished Club Lounge.
Evening offerings were unimpressive but breakfast was more extensive.
The staff could not be friendlier – definitely a highpoint of this lounge.
I found it sketchy that every time I accessed the lounge there seemed to be people lurking around the door who followed me in.
Check out was fast and my bill was accurate. The staff confirmed for me again how to get to my car without going outside (very important as I was in full business attire headed to an important meeting – sweating was not an option). I was still unimpressed with this path – I had to walk up the down ramp of the garage, basically following the path I had used to access my parking space. Stairs were again involved. I also got delayed getting out because a bus was unloading and blocking the exit from the hotel. I would NEVER self-park at this hotel again.
Not a bad option if price is important or you (like me) have procrastinated to the point that it’s the only Starwood option left. I think there are much better hotels available however if one is flexible and plans ahead.
I would stay here again, but I would only valet if I had a car. It was not worth the parking drama. I think if this hotel remodeled, it could be a sleeker facility – and the staff is golden!