I used to stay at the Westin Seattle fairly frequently, but hadn’t been there in nearly three years until a one-night stay a few weeks ago.
It’s still pretty much as I remember, of course. Rounded, two towers, some decent views.
I prefer the location of the Sheraton usually, and also the W, within the Starwood space. And I love the breakfast at Hyatt Olive 8. So I don’t make it back often at to the Westin.
Still, it works just fine. It’s an escalator ride upstairs to the large lobby. I’ll never forget Wandering Aramean opening about half a dozen bottles of wine in the lobby after the bar closed. Years ago there used to be a Roy’s restaurant off the lobby, but that’s long gone.
I have no beef with the rooms, they’re perfectly comfortable though the bathroom is on the small side.
Here’s what struck me as odd though. It’s truly the ultimate in #FirstWorldProblems and isn’t actually a problem, just a process that surely could be improved and yet is something that was obviously done on purpose.
I arrived at the hotel around 1 a.m., and by the time I woke up and got moving it was the business day on the East Coast. I had a ton of stuff to do while I got dressed, and wanted to order room service. So I looked around for a menu, and found none.
Finally I called down to Service Express. After being transferred around, I was able to ask where the room service menu was, figuring they’d need to send one up (thus delaying my breakfast ordering).
Instead they told me what television channel to find the menu on.
Now, I’ve been to hotels where you can order room service on the television. That’s how you submit the order.
And I’ve been to hotels that don’t have paper menus, they put the menus on an iPad in the room instead.
But this system wasn’t either of those. You flip your television to the room service menu channel, and you wait for the page you want to come around. The first time through it didn’t pause long enough for me to figure out the options and decide what I wanted, but all of the other pages took way to look to cycle since I had no interest in those. But I had to stay by the TV, lest it cycle past the page I needed to see. And so there I sat like an idiot, getting dressed and not able to work, sitting there transfixed so I could decide what to order.
I could have just put the problem on whomever was on the other end of the phone, I suppose, ordering something generic that they must have and not in the way they’re used to having things described and then hoping they could just figure it out. But I didn’t want to be that guest, so I decided to wait and wait — and wait — and wait.
Surely this is ripe for a business process improvement…