The OMNI Louisville
Friday, August 13, 2021
"A Very Long Review."
My friend said it best: It's not as luxury as they want you to think.
You know that feeling when you’re about to ‘go out’? SO EXCITED! A brief change of pace and lifestyle. That’s how my invite to come to LOU was. A chance to change out of my feral lifestyle and put on a DRESS and MAKEUP and experience civilized life in the BIG CITY again – after a LONG absence.
The drive there was FAR more tedious than I had anticipated. People weren’t even driving the speed limit on the left side of a two-lane interstate. I had wanted to put on my adaptive cruise and cruise my way down the road, but that was impossible. And it was making me mad. I wanted to arrive at the hotel in time to enjoy it before having to get ready to meet my friend. More specifically, enjoy the POOL, which looked very inviting from the website, with a fabulous view of the city. Have a good cocktail, a cool swim, and prep myself for my brief ‘stay-cation’.
Luckily, I did find spots en route where I could speed far more than I needed to, and I must have made up time because I arrived to check in right on ‘schedule’. Yes, I know, I shouldn’t schedule a fun outing, but it happens.
But this is where my ‘excited to be among the civilized in the big city’ fantasy hit a snag.
Well, it happened before I ever left. I had gone online to book the hotel and had signed up for the rewards program for any goodies once I arrived. But only ten minutes after booking I looked again AND THE PRICE HAD GONE DOWN BY ABOUT HALF! I was offended. How unfair. I made a note of what their own website was charging, only minutes after my non-refundable booking, and was going to address this with the person when I checked in.
I opted for the valet parking ($37!), and that person took my luggage and rolled it inside, but said it would be another person who would take this to my room. It’s been a while since I’ve traveled anywhere and I stood there confused as to how he would know the luggage sitting there was mine since there was no ticket issued. But I left the bell area and walked to the front desk area where the first person told me that she was logging out to go on break or lunch or whatever and to move down to the next clerk.
This clerk and I began to have ‘issues’ right away when I told her about the drastic fee change RIGHT AFTER my booking. I won’t go into all the details, but at one time she accused me of video taping her because while I was looking at my phone to read my notes the camera part faced her. I asked if she was getting aggressive with me. This was not the welcome I had excitedly looked forward to when booking a “4-star” hotel. “Uh-oh. Have I made a mistake? Should I have stayed elsewhere?”
After our ‘row’ things calmed down a bit and we were able to get my room fee lowered slightly (no where near the latest advertised price, but at this point something was better than nothing). On the plus-side, she did put me in a quiet room with a good view and tub (Room 1428). But it was a rough start getting there. PS – things like this don’t happen in real 4-star hotels. I remembered how much I detest Corporate BS. And, it’s everywhere. Totally ruins the experience.
Then it was ‘I wonder where my luggage is?”. I figured that once I check in, something would flag their system, and perhaps the bellman would come up to the room, and I didn’t have to stand around waiting for him. --- It was a long wait, and I got bored wasting precious pool time, so I went to my room with hopes that he’d be up soon after. But it was disconcerting not knowing where my things were or when they would be brought to the room. We are having a bumpy start to this trip.
He did arrive and that part went smoothly.
And, I had time to go to the pool. A plus.
Having just that little bit of time in the pool and Jacuzzi, enjoying light conversation with interesting people from other places, set me back on track to enjoying my 24-hour getaway. It started feeling like a vacation again. Yay! I needed this!
My friends and I were going to the James Taylor and Jackson Browne concert, with dinner at Seviche beforehand. Both were good times. Then we came back to the hotel for a nightcap and we discovered something I didn’t know was there: a speakeasy! Make that a speakeasy with a BOWLING ALLEY! What a cute and interesting find!
My friend and I had one cocktail, and then a load of wedding guests came in and it got a bit too loud, so we called it a night. Went back to the room for a very good night’s sleep. The beds were comfy as were the linens. The TV was a bit confusing, tho. And, also weird, was the fact that while I HAD a room phone … there was no phone attached to it. Yeah, I didn’t get that, either. Something that looked like a phone SHOULD have been in the room was there and hooked up, but the actual phone part wasn’t there anymore. (???) I had questions, like how to use the streaming services, or hey, I’d actually like more than two creamers for tomorrow’s coffee, but didn’t know how to get answers without using my cell and trying to reach the front desk from there. Again, a true 4-star hotel doesn’t let little things like this slip.
The furniture in the room has a little pull tag that says “18 Established 1778 Louisville Kentucky”. I don't know what 18 means. I love the artwork above the bed - it’s an aerial photo of somebody's property but I don't know who's. That’s a bit strange. It doesn’t look like Churchill Downs, or anything recognizable. Odd.
I set my air conditioning to 60 on high fan and I think it’s having some trouble keeping up with my coolness needs. But it is working and I didn’t sleep hot. Just seems like it’s having some trouble actually being 60 degrees --- or even 65.
The next morning, I wanted coffee. I always want coffee first thing, but I don’t like having to get dressed to leave the room to go out for coffee. The do have a mini-fridge, but sadly, I forgot to bring any almond milk, so it was go out in public for coffee, or try the crappy in-room coffee (which brings up other ‘issues’ like why do hotels insist on keeping those single-serve PLASTIC coffees with 'not real food' coffee mates? Irritating that at home I try to reduce, reuse, recycle and it's just a thimble of water on an inferno. Whereas THEY could actually make a dent.).
Another thing that’s a bit confusing is there are exit signs on your floor but they don't lead to the elevator necessarily, just the stairs. It would be nice if there was directional signage leading to the elevator instead of just many exit signs pointing to various ways down the stairs (and when you're on the 14th floor that's a lot of stairs).
Another “and it’s not even 9:00 am” issue is that there's no place to go for coffee. Let me rephrase that to “in the hotel”. But that's not really true either. If you take a nice (long but attractive) stroll down to this very interesting market there is a Heine Brothers (which is my friend's favorite coffee) and a place to get crêpes and all kinds of interesting food ... and if you stand in line to get your “dirty chai” which is chai tea with a shot of espresso (it sounded weird and I wanted to try it) and once you get through the line you're told you can't charge to the room because they're not connected to the hotel. Well they ARE connected to the hotel because I just left my room and didn't have to go outside to access this Market! It looks like it's where hotel guests go to get their coffee in the morning and their breakfast and maybe snacks for lunch, etc. because I can't find any other place in this alleged “4-star hotel” for a nice cup of coffee. And in the room we have those dastardly plastic individual pots which are not Earth friendly and the very crappy (not actually a real food) Coffee-Mate. And since I forgot to bring my almond milk I guess I'm stuck with that or hike back to the room to grab my credit card and make the two-mile trip down to the market and wait in line again. I didn't even see any place to sit and eat and drink once you buy this food so I'm quite confused this morning. And if you can’t tell, pissed-off, for not the first time here.
Since the dining options were limited and possibly zero (at this point I’ve lost interest in the hunt), I searched for an interesting place to eat on my way out of the big city. Found an interesting Brunch in Shelbyville and made an 11:00 am reservation.
Time to pack up and check-out of the OMNI Louisville.
Typically, I’m not one to go over a bill. Don’t even bother ‘checking-out’, I just leave. But this time there was the option to check-out from the TV, so I thought I’d do that. Boy, I’m glad I did. There were so many charges from the “Pin + Proof” speakeasy that I decided to stop by the reservation desk to investigate. Remember, my friend and I only had one drink each. (And mine was so shallow a pour it was pitiful.). Another reason to feel ripped off.
But before leaving the room I had to use my cell phone to call and hopefully get the right person to help me with my bags. I waited and waited and they never showed up. The housekeeping guy checked on me because I had my door ajar, but I got tired of waiting for the bellman, and had my Brunch reservation, so I dragged my belongings to the elevator and through the lobby. Yes things fell along the way. Still pissed. Still NOT 4-star.
The first lady who I encountered – my “welcome hostess” – was still at the front desk. I think the OMNI only has 5 people working there and they have to work 24/7. This could be the problem. They did have one other clerk and the three of us worked out that the bar had charged me twice. And charged for their own TIP (and a different service charge, and another fee for who knows what else). (This is me shaking my head, “tisk-tisk”.). The drinks were not cheap – but the pour was. (another tisk-tisk). Of course it being Sunday, the accounting office was closed. She told me they would send this for their review Monday. I’m thinking … ‘yeah, and how many days will it take to see a credit back on my card???’.
It had been at least 20-minutes since I had called for my car. Luckily, with the time it took to get the bill figured out, I walked out the door to my newly arriving car. FINALLY something goes right. Nobody got a tip because no one did ‘Jack Schitt’ for me.
Now for the short answer:
I am not impressed with the OMNI Louisville.