I would like to introduce a VeryGoodPoints contributor, Plush Adventures. You can read more about Plush Adventures on my Points People page. John, the author of Plush Adventures will share travel related content to VeryGoodPoints. You can follow him @PlushAdventures on Twitter.
By Plush Adventures:
This past week, I stayed at the newly opened, one week to the day, Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter. As I knew the property was still under renovation, I was not sure what I was going to find upon arrival for my one night adventure.
The property includes a Club Level, which is a new amenity being introduced into the Le Meridien product line. In reviewing the rates online, I was happy to see that 2,800 Starpoints +$45 as compared to the flexible rate of $359 was yielding a considerable value at the property…a Club Executive Suite offering an over-sized room with 800 sqft, evening drinks and hors d’oeuvres and continental breakfast.
The parking lot was filled with construction materials, construction worker vehicles and guest vehicles. I took comfort when I found a sign pointing to registration.
Walking through the side entrance, I thought, “wow” as I entered. The lobby was an amazing crossover between a Westin and a W Hotel.
Greeted promptly at registration, the check-in process was moving along swiftly until I received a push notification on my iPhone just after my American Express card was swiped. The notice was that $560 was authorized on my card. I immediately questioned why. The agent acknowledged that I was on the 2,800 Starpoints + $45 rate but had authorized the full rate plus an amount for incidentals. I hope authorizing the full rate is not a sign of things to come.
Upon opening the door to the suite, I was greeted by a warm and inviting living room with an amazing coffee machine.
And then, the plush bed in an over-sized bedroom…
From the bedroom, you entered the rather small bathroom. The shower had great water pressure and lots of hot water…
Next up, off to the Club Lounge to get something to drink and a snack.
I brought along my laptop, but was surprised to learn that the lounge does not offer free Wi-Fi as they have desktops and printers available for free use. I tried to purchase a paid plan that would be complementary under my SPG Lifetime Gold benefits, but this proved to be a challenge.
I was directed back to the front desk by the lounge staff, as I could not access the Wi-Fi login with my name/room number. Was working with the gentleman at the front desk to find a solution, but he up and ventured off to speak with one of the construction workers while helping me. Finally he brushed me off to an 800 number. Decided to go with the free Wi-Fi in the lobby and forgo a paid plan for access in my room and the Club Lounge.
Evening drinks and hors d’oeuvres were pretty sparse…some veggie sticks, crackers, hummus and olives plus a few other things. No hot items were available. Limited soft drinks and coffee were available. Alcoholic beverages were for purchase but kept under lock and key.
I was up and off to the gym the next morning which had a nice selection of cardio machines and free weights. Would love to come back in the summer when the pool is open, as it looked very inviting with cabanas.
Next up, continental breakfast in the Club Lounge of cold cereals, mini muffins, yogurt and fresh fruit…nothing hot again. There was a toaster, butter and jams, but no bread? The bread basket was bare – not even a crumb. I was informed that if I wanted a “fuller” breakfast, that the buffet was available in the lobby for $17.00.
Back to the room for a quick shower as the water to my room was being turned off at 10AM…discovered this when I found a notice under my door. The front desk agent had not advised me of this when I checked in…would have been a nice touch.
Overall, it would be tough for me to recommend this property until it seasons over the coming months as the renovation comes to a completion. As for the Club Lounge, I have come to expect a level of service from sister properties – The Westin and Sheraton. Until the Le Meridien Club Lounge catches up, I’ll be staying elsewhere and avoiding the Wi-Fi fees and very limited food and beverage benefits.