Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Dear Fairmont Hotel Vancouver,

fairmont.jpgPlease stop sucking.

For $250 a night, give me a shower which doesn’t fluctuate in temperature and pressure. Give me a door which keeps out hallway noise and light. Don’t have your cleaning staff re-arrange my things so your things (like the room-service menu) can take up space on the desk I rented from you. When I try to check out, try to have a working computer system. Or even, take a tip from modern business hotels, and slip a bill under my door, so I have one, and don’t need to talk to your front desk.

When I buy your $25 breakfast, get me coffee before I’ve finished the meal. Denny’s does that, and they only charge $5.

Finally, if you’re going to pretend to know my name, please pronounce it correctly. (“Show-stack.” Not “Shoostack,” “Shestack,” “Shestock,” or “Shustack:” Your staff went zero for four.) If you actually know me, feel free to pronounce my name however you like. I don’t tend to get hung up on it, except when it highlights your service model failures. If you’re trying to provide service, try using the hard-to-mispronounce “Sir” or “Ma’am.” It lets me get to telling you what I want without having to wait for you to hesitate, mis-pronounce my name, and then ask me if you got it right.

You’re not being a great high-service hotel, you’re being annoyingly slow and ostentatious.

(In fairness, $250 was the conference rate. I think my employer got a slightly better rate, but I’m also sure we paid too much.)

10 comments on "Dear Fairmont Hotel Vancouver,"

  • Stiennon says:

    My, my, Adam. Already experiencing the expense account snobbery of the high life with the Borg? 🙂
    Seriously though I entirely agree about the annoyance of hotels cluttering flat space with stupid tent cards, menus, and sales brochures. I often just sweep everything on to the floor when I am setting up to do some work in a hotel.

  • Adam says:

    Heh, no. I’d rather stay in a Mariott, or a Westin. I also tend towards little boutiques, which I find you can usually find for about $120-$150 depending on the city, and are often just delightful.
    I always move everything off the desk–uniquely, they put it back, and move my things out of their way.

  • Chris says:

    Like you wouldn’t be mad if they called you “Ma’am” :^)

  • Adam says:

    Like it doesn’t happen already when people see just my hair.

  • Ross says:

    Amen to most of that, though I didn’t have that problem with the shower. My top find for breakfast was a very well concealed deli in the lobby of the HSBC building in the next block which sold me tea (proper, decent tea) and toast for the princely sum of $2.45 after tax. Google Maps is my bitch.

  • Jason says:

    I feel you pain Adam, I had my most disappointing stay to date at the Fairmont Winnipeg; stay at the Fort Gary Hotel when in the ‘peg.
    My company’s office is a block away from the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver but my preference is for Pacific Palisades on Robson (Kimpton Group Hotel). It only a 5 min walk from the Fairmont and besides the great rooms, the service is just wicked. (and you can throw a rock at >6 sushi joints from
    the front door)
    The Renaissance Harbourside, where CanSecWest is held, is also nice.
    I’m with you all the way on the boutique hotels.

  • Robin says:

    If you tell them you’re name is Backtrace, they won’t mispronounce it. Works for me… I’m just sayin’

  • Nikita says:

    The thing I hated most about the Fairmont is that they put me in a “Smoking Optional” room. I’ve been put into smoking rooms before, though usually they’ve been able to move me right away, but the whole idea of calling the room “Smoking Optional” (and they really did try to emphasize the “optional”) just adds insult to injury. What, do other hotels have smoking required rooms?

  • Lyger says:

    The Hilton in Las Vegas had its quirks (some mentioned by Adam), but the worst was that when checking out at 4:15am, they only had ONE person on staff and a line of six parties. The gentleman in front of me turned around to me to say “can you believe they only have one person…” but then he saw my hair and said “Oh, excuse me, Ms. Shoestack.” 🙂

  • beri says:

    I agree with Stienon. Life in the fast lane, expense account lane, is just hell.
    Move to the Motel 6 side and you’ll be much happier.

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