Dear Westin and Marriot Bonvoy,
I think you have a big problem.
While the “Element” is a gorgeous hotel in downtown Omaha, conveniently next door to my sister-in-law and her husband, it stinks. Literally. Your carpets are stained from dog pee and poop. Your rooms reek of cleaning fluid and other, underlying odors. There were dogs everywhere, but more about that later.
There are no individual thermostats in the rooms. The guests staying there exist in whatever temperature the manager decrees.
You overbook. You don’t honor room requests, even those booked a month ahead of time. We never did get our double queen room, even after three attempts by your frazzled receptionist. We ended up in a handicapped King room with a broken handheld shower.
Your breakfast offerings are dismal. The eggs were cold. The handful of sausages, obviously microwaved several times, were served in a little casserole dish with a chipped and broken glass lid. A dog accompanied its owner to the breakfast area and was hand fed food by your breakfast “cook” while the rest of us watched in disgust.
We left a day early and fled to a Fairfield Inn & Suites that did not allow pets. The next five days of our road trip would be spent at this hotel chain, where the air was fresh and we didn’t have to breathe chemicals and fight headaches.
Yours was not the only hotel with this problem, but your hotel was by far the worst.
We had spent previous nights in Best Western hotels in Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska. The smell of cleaning fluid in their lobbies was strong. The odors in the rooms were dispelled with the AC turned to a low temperature and the fan on “high” while we went out for dinner. Did I request pet-free rooms? Yes. But I was told that there were no guarantees.
I love dogs. I have volunteered years of my life to animal rescue, fundraising and fostering homeless dogs. I am happy people can travel with their dogs. BUT can’t hotels set aside a floor of rooms that did not welcome dogs and therefore wouldn’t require such heavy cleaning fluids for other guests to have to suffer through?
In the meantime, I hope you clean up your act (and your carpets, rooms and breakfast area).
[Mrs. Banjo Man]