I had an overall great experience at the Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown but there were a few things that kept it from being really excellent.
There were lots of positives--
* great location that was really easy to find and convenient to where I needed to be for meetings (James Monroe Government Offices)
* Very clean lobby, room, bed, sheets, bathroom... everything! Very clean. :-)
* I was on the 15th floor which is a club-level room with lounge privileges. At first I was a little freaked out because the lounge was closed that evening but I found out that, in its place, they were holding a full buffet Priority Club Members party on the 2nd floor so I would not miss out what, for me, is a free dinner. The spread included a wonderful veggie, fruit, cheese and crackers tray, meat lasagna, an pasta casserole with vegetables in alfredo sauce, and General Zso's chicken. They were also providing free alcohol and sodas and cannoli's for dessert. It was a nice gesture for its Priority Club Member guests and a pre-St. Patrick's day party.
* Free wi-fi is always a win in my book and there's worked quite well.
* Convenient parking garage attached to the building (discounted parking for hotel guests).
* Anthony, the shuttle driver, was my savior for getting me to my client meeting and back when my rental car wouldn't start and Sherman (one of the bellhops) was my savior for helping me to get my car to start when I returned from my client meeting. Without these two wonderful men, I managed to still get to my meeting on time and to the airport on time for my flight home. Seriously can't say enough about how above and beyond these two Crowne Plaza reps went to help me out. I can't say the same for the nice, but non-helpful front desk staff (see below).
* Suuuper thin walls; I could hear every word of the guest next door who was on his phone and you could tell he was speaking at a completely normal volume. I had no issues sleeping because he must have turned in around the same time so I really wasn't bothered by the thin walls, but I definitely wanted to point out that, if you have a neighbor who is on a different sleep schedule than you who might want to watch tv all night, you will likely hear every word.
* Pillows were too thick for my sleeping preference so, despite how comfy the bed was, I had a lot of trouble falling asleep. Would love it if they offered at least one feather pillow in the room because then I would have slept like a baby.
* The front desk staff were all very nice but could have done several things to really be of service to me as a guest at their hotel. 1) I had to call down to get the code for the free wi-fi... this should have been automatically included in the key packet as it usually is at other Crowne Plazas. Minor issue, but it was irritating to not have it readily available when I was trying to log on. 2) I was not asked any details about the car I parked in the garage at check-in. The clerk just noticed I had a ticket for the garage and put the charge into the computer for my bill. If she had just asked what color and make/model of car I was driving I could have avoided the next morning's debacle of having a dead car battery. Note: I take full responsibility for leaving the rental car fog lights on but the parking attendant noticed that they were on shortly after I got out of the car so this could have been caught early enough to save me a dead battery if they had been able to match up that a red Ford Focus had its lights on and I was one of their guests who checked in driving a red Ford Focus. Instead, they weren't able to locate me and the the front desk clerk said, "Oh, you are the guest who was driving the red Ford Focus? Yeah, we knew about this yesterday but didn't know how to locate you because we forgot to ask you what you were driving upon check-in." She was nice but also was just sort of smiling apologetically and saying sorry as I stood there struggling to figure out what the heck I was going to do to get to my appt at the James Monroe building in the next half hour. When I asked how long it would take me to walk, she just shrugged her shoulders and stared at me saying sorry again. I tried calling AAA (45 min to 1 hour wait) and asked her and one other lady behind the desk if they could please ask if anyone on staff had a jumper cable. They asked one guy on the radio and that was it. I went back out to the parking garage to see if MAYBE I could catch someone who was leaving the garage and see if they had cables to jump me and, just before I gave up hope, I ended up chatting with the parking garage attendant who said, "The front desk gals should have told you that they have a shuttle service that can surely take you to your meeting at the James Monroe Building." Finally, a ray of light! Thank you parking garage attendant! Why didn't the sweet, but unhelpful front desk clerk or her colleague mention that when I was working with them to figure out a solution to my transportation issue? So, I went to the bellhop and asked about the shuttle service and away I went (Anthony saved the day-- see shout out in the positives list above!). And, after my meeting he picked me up and, while I had been at my meeting, found out that a bellhop colleague of his, Sherman, had gotten jumper cables from a taxi driver and was able to jump my car with his in the garage! Hallelujah! Again, why didn't the front desk gals ask the bellhops if they had jumper cables? Seriously, I have managed condo/apartment communities and run educational facilities across the Southeast and would never have let my residents, students, or prospective clients ever just suffer on their own without doing everything in my power to find them a solution. That is how I felt that Anthony and Sherman were-- they were determined to help me and were GREAT representatives for the Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown. The front desk clerks were nice but could have given a crap about helping me figure out a resolution in my time of need. Thank Goodness for Anthony and Sherman's customer service (and the taxi cab driver's jumper cables) or I would have been in a real mess that day. They really demonstrated how to go above and beyond for an out-of-town client in need.
Other than the thin walls, the fat pillows, and the customer service issue with the front desk staff, I otherwise had a fantastic stay and would absolutely stay at this hotel again if I brought my own pillow or called ahead to make sure they had a feather pillow I could use during my stay. The thin walls don't bother me since I am a heavy sleeper but I would caution light-sleepers that could definitely be an issue for them. Overall... very good hotel but it could be excellent with a few tweaks on the things they have within their control (pillow variety, improved front desk service).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Visit the Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown and discover all that downtown Richmond has to offer. You are in the heart of the financial district, shopping, dining, and entertainment. You are within easy walking distance of Shockoe Slip, Shockoe Bottom and many of Virginia s Fortune 500 Companies.The Crowne Plaza overlooks the newly restored Canal Walk and the Tredegar Civil War Museum. We are centrally located to many of Richmond's attractions with convenient access to Interstates 95 and 64, only 9.8 miles from Richmond International Airport. You will have room to work, relax and make the most of your day. Complimentary high-speed Internet, business center, and 7 layers of comfort bedding mean every night is a great night and every day starts right. Considering these options, the Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown is the superior choice when deciding on a facility that has style and class, yet is ideal in location for anyone. Now open The Great Room proudly serving Starbucks Coffee, fresh pastries, gourmet sandwiches and soups, The Great Room features soft seating, large screen TV, wired and wireless free high-speed Internet connections--a great place to start or end your day! Attractions: The Carpenter Center for Performing Arts, Landmark Theatre, the Governor s Mansion, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, Richmond Ballet, Richmond Convention Center, Virginia Science Museum, Shockoe Slip. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown Hotel Richmond
- Richmond Crowne Plaza