Follow-up on my Charleston (SC) Aloft stay

Aloft Charleston Airport   (Photo: Aloft Charleston Airport)

Aloft Charleston Airport (Photo: Aloft Charleston Airport)

I wrote in late December about my disappointing stay at the Aloft Charleston (SC) Airport just after Christmas. One of my biggest frustrations was the fact that the hotel's SPG Keyless server was down and I was not able to use the service to unlock my hotel room with my iPhone. In and of itself, that was not a major problem but SPG was running a promotion that offered 2,500 Starpoints for using SPG Keyless. Unfortunately, there were other problems during the stay. Housekeeping was not completed for the room and certain basic amenities like bars of soap were not replenished when the room was last cleaned before our arrival. Overall, I was very disappointed in the attention to operations detail at this property and felt the location was not living up to the Aloft brand promise.

I made my feelings known as part of the standard survey Starwood sends after a stay. Fortunately, Starwood customer service is not lacking and they addressed my concerns and deposited 3,500 Starpoints into my account to cover the SPG Keyless promotion and the operational shortcomings. I received the following email from Pilar Herrero who is Starwood's "Takeover Team Lead."

Dear Mr. Cook,

First and foremost, I would like to personally thank you for your continued loyalty.

We would also like to thank you for contacting Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Corporate Customer Services department. We are always glad to hear from our guests. I regret it was your disappointment with your stay that prompted you to contact us. I sincerely apologize for the difficulties and frustrations you experienced at Aloft Charleston Airport & Convention Center.

The problem with the SPG Keyless service, the housekeeping issues and the lack of soundproofing in your room, which you describe, are certainly not acceptable for our standards. You may be assured the inconveniences encountered do not reflect the true level of service we strive to extend to our guests. Perhaps even more troublesome was to learn that the management of the hotel failed to respond to your concerns in a timely manner.

Please be assured that your comments and issues will be addressed. As a gesture of apology for the inconveniences encountered at the hotel and your Make a Green Choice Starpoints, I have taken a liberty of requesting 3,500 Starpoints to be placed into your Starwood Gold account. Please allow 7 business days for the Starpoints to appear in your online account.

We look forward to welcoming you to a Starwood location soon so that we may display the type of hospitality and service we are certainly capable of delivering.

Best Regards,

Ms. Pilar Herrero
Takeover Team Lead
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
— SPG email response regarding my Aloft Charleston Airport stay

With any chain the size of Starwood, certain locations will fail to live up to the brand standard. That is understandable, and while disappointing when it happens to you, it will occur from time to time. The key is that these occurences are infrequent - they have been with my Starwood experiences - and how corporate handles the situation when a property fails to deliver. I think this email is a great example of how corporate should take care of any customer, whether it's a gold/platinum/diamond guest or Joe Traveller who is staying for the first time with a chain. It is easy to just complain so I want to be sure to highlight when a company does the right thing. Kudos to SPG corporate for a job well down!