I’m in San Francisco for the day on Cosby Sweaters business. I decide last minute to leave the night before. I’m booked at the Westin. I land at SFO, get my bag, my driver takes me to the hotel. Check-in is easy, I get to my room, I have West Hollywood internet access, I’m content. I go down to the bar, talk with a nice couple from the hat, bar closes, I leave. It’s 11:30PM. I’m jet-lagged from my hour and a half flight from Southern California so I decide to go for a night cap. I put my feelers out there and SF is dead. I thought they could handle the rain. I have no interest in getting acquainted when I’ll be back in sunny weather in less than 24 hours. I finally find the room service menu after going through four other pamphlets and brochures that explain how I can purchase the mattress and current exhibits at the de Young museum. I’ve been a “Friend” of the de Young museum since some girl tricked me into going to the Yves saint Laurent exhibition over two years ago. This is all just useless paper to me.
I find the in-room dining menu and flip to the beverage section. “Available from 12:00PM to 1:00AM.” Perfect…it’s over an hour before cutoff time. I reach for the telephone, use my ear as a coupler, and touch the button for “service express.” “Service express” is a registered trademark I might add. I’m greeted by a hotel representative to which I say, “Good evening this is Iceman. I’d like to order a night cap to my room please.” Unfortunately my request is not well received. “I’m sorry Mr. Iceman, we stopped serving room service at 11:00PM.” At this point I speculate she didn’t hear my request and thinks I’m trying to order food. All-day dining ends at 11:00PM whereas drink orders go to the stated 1:00AM hour. Check the photos for proof. Time for me to clarify. “I want to order a drink to my room. It says here on your menu that you serve beverages until 1:00AM.” Ms. “Service” representative replies, “I’m sorry but everything is locked up and we don’t serve past 11:00PM.” At this point I become frustrated because I’m looking at a menu that is replicated across countless other rooms and can’t seem to figure out why a disparity would exist between the times beverages and food are served if they never intended to offer them at different periods of time in the first place. That thought takes place in a nano second. I give her three long seconds of silence so she can apologize again. She does. “I’m so sorry. Is there anything else we can do for you this evening?” Now I’m more confused. Anything else they can do? How can you do something else when you haven’t done anything at all? At this point I decide it’s not worth my time or energy to get into a pointless debate about how I was misled to believe I could hydrate myself before I get in a bed they want me to buy so I tell her, “No thanks” and hang up the phone. Whatever, at least I can enjoy the 360 in my room.
Dear Westin, as a Starwood Preferred Guest I’d like you to please add the following request to my rider: respect the printed hours of service as stated in your in-room dining menu.