Westin Casuarina Update: Hotel Also Forces You To Sleep With Strange Men

Randy saw our post earlier today about the Westin Casuarina in Las Vegas and wanted to share his own experience with them. In honor of the Casuarina’s increasingly sketchy reputation, we will add lightning to their photo. Please provide your own spooky thunder sound effects.
 
Randy begins,

After seeing the story about the Westin in Las Vegas charging for unpaid convention fees, I thought I would share my experience with the hotel from last weekend.

An organization I am involved with had a 1 day meeting at the Westin Casuarina on Saturday, March 29th. I flew in on the 28th and went to check in to the hotel around 4 or 5 o’clock that afternoon. According the the person who planned the event, everyone was going to be sharing a room with someone else from the organization. However, when I checked into my room I found a single king size bed. I assumed that i was the lucky man out who got his own room and headed out on the town. When I got back to my room around midnight, I found that the guy I should have been sharing a two bed room with had arrived. He already complained to no success because the hotel was full. He then asked for a roll away bed but they were out of those. Tired from my flight and a good times on the down I decided not to argue with it that night and pulled up come comforter and pillows and hit the floor.
 
The next morning I talked to the person who set up the event and he verified that we in fact should have had a double room. So, I talked to the front desk and asked for a manager. The lady at the desk said she could help me so I explained my dissatisfaction with the fact that I had to sleep on the floor. She apologized and explained that the hotel was full and they had some problems with some guests staying longer than expected and a lot of people requesting the roll away beds. She then said since they were full all they could really offer me for my night on the floor was to extend my checkout for later in the day. A lot of good this did me since I was going to the meeting for the rest of the day and then leaving to stay with a friend who lived in Vegas. I continued to argue with her but didn’t get anywhere.
 
I guess between my bad experience and the experience The Coaching Center had with the Westin, it’s not only a bad place to hold a conference, but a bad place to stay all together.
 
Randy

We’ve seen that plot before, but only in certain types of DVDs (ahem). It doesn’t sound quite as fun in real life when you’re trapped in a distant city for a convention.
 
RELATED
“Vegas Hotel Charges Attendees For Unpaid Convention Fees”
(Photo: Starwood Hotels)

Comments

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  1. B1663R says:

    so did the guy know him? (i mean in the biblical sense)

  2. modenastradale says:

    So much for the “Heavenly Bed.”

  3. P41 says:

    Am I missing something and maybe this isn’t Las Vegas, this is really Podunk Idaho or someplace where every single room in the city was full?

    PS I know there is a law someone can’t be kicked out of the hotel if they’re paying the bill, but I’ve been put up at no charge in a nearby hotel at no charge when they couldn’t give me a room.

  4. jamesdenver says:

    That’s just weird. I have no problem sleeping on the floor, in a tent, or a hostel dorm with other travelers.

    But to share a hotel room with businessperson would be just strange.

    I draw a clear line between work and outside life – so maybe that’s why I would have no problem sleeping on a friend of a friend’s couch – but not with some guy from the same company who lives in Phoenix or somewhere.

    Or maybe i’m the strange one.

  5. missdona says:

    @jamesdenver: You’re not the strange one. There’s no way in hell I would share a room on a business trip, but in my younger days, I would tolerate up to 8-10 people in a room on a fun trip.

  6. EricaKane says:

    Dispute the room charge, its as simple as that.

  7. mgy says:

    All I can say is wow. Unfuckingbelievable.

  8. fizzyg says:

    If it’s a conference that’s not totally unheard of in some circles (especially academia), but you just plan on sharing the room, not the bed. That’s totally in bad taste on the part of that hotel.

  9. Concerned_Citizen says:

    @EricaKane:
    From the sound of it, they didn’t pay for the room directly. They probably just checked in a credit card to pay for damages and anything missing in the mini bar.

  10. philipbarrett2003 says:

    Sorry Randy I’m with jamesdenver; I’d rather sleep alone in the Excalibur or Circus-Circus than share with someone in the Westin or even the Wynn, bed or no bed.

  11. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    This happens all the time in Vegas hotels, especially on the weekends. Spring time is convention time, and that means full convention centers, and therefore full rooms in hotels. The OP shouldn’t have assumed he was the “lucky man out”, instead he should have checked with the front desk to see if anyone else was sharing his room, and if so, if they could change his room to two double beds or get a rollaway up to his room, ASAP. Coming back at midnight on a Friday, there aren’t going to be any new rooms or cots available. If people decide to stay a couple days longer, and there are rooms available in the hotel, the hotel is going to let them, and they certainly aren’t going to make people change rooms.

    Its even worse when people show up to check in at 3am Friday night and expect their King-bed non-smoking Strip-view room…that’s just not going to happen, usually you will get a Queen-bed “smoking optional” room.

    When you book a room in Las Vegas, it is based “on request and by availability”, so you room isn’t always going to be available, even though the hotel will do what they can to accomodate you. It’s in best interest of the hotel for the guest to be happy.

    /former hotel management at a Las Vegas Strip resort

  12. joeblevins says:

    I imagine that most times, when a convention has you share a room, those aren’t normal coventions. Our OP isn’t some high flying sales manager in charge of multi-million dollar sales. I would be very surprised if he isn’t some kid looking for career or sales coaching.

    If you were a true business traveler, with status at the hotel or flying for your company, it is rare to have to share rooms. That is a very low status way to be handled.

  13. ninabi says:

    How creepy is that? Bedsharing with a stranger?
    Nobody should expect “business time” on a business trip but the hotel certainly took steps to create an intimate encounter
    scenario.

    I wouldn’t pay nor stay. It sounds like something out of Chaucer. “The Two Travelers”- a tale of merchants on the road and sharing a bed at the inn.

  14. humphrmi says:

    @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: I agree, I go to Vegas a lot. The airlines biggest discounts are for flights arriving into Vegas late at night, and for good reason. Everyone who’s been there wants to arrive early to get the best rooms. I arrived one time at midnight, got to our room (at Caesars) and ended up with a room with a view of the back of a building and a bunch of A/C units.

  15. PeteRR says:

    “Those aren’t pillows!”

  16. dorianh49 says:

    How ’bout that Bear’s game? Uh, yeah. Go, Bears.

  17. uberbucket says:

    I get to be the big spoon.

  18. flidget says:

    @PeteRR: Damn, you beat me to it.

  19. jonworld says:

    @fizzyg: I hear Wal-Mart makes their executives share rooms…in shitty hotels. Definitely reflects on their reputation as a company.

  20. tubesteak says:

    Knowing the Vegas hotel scene, this is Starwood’s initial foray into the Vegas market (with a forthcoming Aloft, Element and W), many a Starwood point is redeemed for stay at this Westin.

    Additionally, it is not unlikely that the group coordinator didn’t correct “block” an appropriate amount of a given room type, and based on this property, and for that matter Vegas in general running a very high occupancy during this season – they will most certainly provide a requested room type to a transient guest paying a higher rate over one staying in a group block paying a lesser rate.

    End game: this happens everywhere, every night. Hell, for every reservation NOT booked via a hotel directly the room type is only by “request” not “guarantee”.

  21. whatdoyoucare says:

    He really doesn’t say this is a business trip. He said he was there with an organization. So Randy, just between you and me, what kind of convention was it?

  22. nez77 says:

    I stayed at this exact hotel in September and had a good experience. it’s just unfortunate that he got such a bad time there, but understandably so.

  23. Black Bellamy says:

    @P41: PS I know there is a law someone can’t be kicked out of the hotel if they’re paying the bill,

    No, there’s no such law anywhere.

  24. thelushie says:

    Women would have just shared the bed. And, no, they would not have gotten to know each other in the Biblical sense.

    Just be happy that he was complaining too and not patting the other side of the bed with a come hither look, saying “Right here, Big Boy.”

  25. consu_consu says:

    i don’t understand why someone in this day and age hold a convention of any sort in Vegas. Vegas is a fraud. Go somewhere else, like Austin or even Denver,CO and do your business there.

  26. Snowblind says:

    @consu_consu:

    Based on what I saw at the last convention I went to it is because it is a good place for an “uncle” to take his “niece” to dinner.

  27. dancemonkey says:

    I have worked in hospitality for 13 years, and this takes the cake, especially since it was at a Westin. They should have “walked” him, which is find him another room in the city and covered the bill, or walked one of the guests who requested the extended stay when they didn’t actually have the rooms to cover the extended stay.

  28. kidnextdoor says:

    All I gotta say is that this character Randy missed the boat on a totally hot porn scene waitin’ to happen.

  29. DCGaymer says:

    @modenastradale: LOL… *Some locations may substitute hellish floor.

  30. TheBigLewinski says:

    Hey, maybe they were filming “Brokeback Conference”, you might be a star…

  31. lemur says:

    @thelushie: “Women would have just shared the bed.”

    I’m not sure what you want to imply. My wife thinks pretty much like I do and would not share a bed with some stranger, of any gender. That’s a discussion we’ve had just last November when I went for a conference and I had to decide on what kind of lodging would be acceptable.

    Besides the ick factor of having a stranger in one’s bed, there’s the very real risk of inappropriate touching. And I’m not talking about the other touching me, although that certainly can happen. I’m more concerned about me inappropriately touching them by accident.

    Here’s the deal: after spending 11 years sharing a bed, my wife and I have developed some automatisms. By automatisms, I’m talking about behavior which is not always fully conscious. That behavior would be inappropriate with just about anyone else. When I’m traveling alone and I’m in bed half-awake, I sometimes forget where I am and reach for my wife. I’m not interested in reaching out and caressing some stranger, man or woman. My wife is no more interested in finding herself in that situation than I am.

    Someone might think that if it is truly an accident, then you can just both laugh it off and move on. Hmm… right. I’m going to trust that a stranger is going to trust me when I say it was not intentional. Sure. A little brush may be unintentional, but there are plenty of other moves that my wife and I share that won’t be interpreted as innocent by strangers at the receiving end.

  32. Chairman-Meow says:

    You should have done what they did in the olde days(tm)

    Go to the front desk and ask for a bundling board.
    [en.wikipedia.org]

  33. sleze69 says:

    @joeblevins: /agree. It was probably an Amway convention.

  34. nffcnnr says:

    “…I decided not to argue with it that night and pulled up come comforter and pillows and hit the floor.”
    If i were this guy, i’d be less worried about the stranger and more concerned about that comforter!!

  35. mrpenbrook says:

    I would have grabbed a comforter and a pillow, gone down to the lobby and settled in to sleep on a couch. When someone complained, I’d say, “Fine, then find me somewhere more private to sleep, because I can’t sleep in my room.”

    Okay, I would not have done this, but I would have wished I had done this.

  36. Bye says:

    Abe Lincoln would think you all are wusses.

  37. Alger says:

    @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: Your schizophrenic attitude is why we all hate the hotel industry.

    You say that “It’s in best interest of the hotel for the guest to be happy.”, but you keep giving rationalizations for things hotels do that pretty much guarantee the opposite result.

    And blaming the victim here doesn’t make you look like you really want happy guests, either.

  38. Alger says:

    @joeblevins: “Low status way to be handled”? Many companies have people double up in rooms when sending a large contingent to a conference, or holding a large company meeting. It’s a legitimate (but annoying) way of cutting costs.

    Just because they did this, it doesn’t mean that he’s not a “true business traveller”.

  39. Vicky says:

    I’m confused by the whole “by request” idea. When we went to Vegas in December we had reserved 3 nights in an upgraded suite at the Mandalay Bay and we paid 3 months in advance. When we checked in they tried to give us a junior suite at another hotel. We had reserved a room at that particular hotel to be close to the rest of a wedding party and that’s what we wanted, yet the staff seemed just flabbergasted that we expected to get what we had reserved. After about 10 minutes of protesting that they had no suites whatsoever, suddenly they had a exactly the upgraded strip-view suite on a high floor that we’d pre-paid for, and that is what we got. The experience made me wonder what sort of game they were playing at – obviously they had lied when they said there were no rooms, and I can’t figure out why. We didn’t even have a block discount, so it’s not like they were saving it for someone who was going to pay more… right? I don’t know.

  40. richcreamerybutter says:

    @nffcnnr: ugh, I know! I got itchy when he mentioned doing this. The first thing I do upon arrival is remove the comforter from the bed.

  41. richcreamerybutter says:

    Also is it unreasonable to think that a hotel might have 3rd party access to rollaway beds in Vegas? Are there no 24-hr hotel supply warehouses that can deliver last-minute rental items, especially during peak occupancy times?

  42. juri squared says:

    This has happened to me at fan conventions; I book a double bed room and get stuck with a king. Fortunately in those cases I’m staying with friends and it’s not a big deal. Sharing with a stranger? Creeeepy.

  43. CaptainSemantics says:

    @nffcnnr: Good thing it wasn’t a convention for consumer affairs news reporters. They’d all have their blacklights with them, searching for a story.

  44. Craig says:

    Another sensationalist headline from Consumerist. First, it wasn’t a stranger…the article clearly states it was the guy he was supposed to be sharing the room with. Second, he wasn’t forced to sleep with him. Lastly, the headline is phrased to imply that the hotel forces women to sleep with a strange man.

    Having said all that, the hotel was clearly at fault for allowing extended stays when they were overbooked.

  45. traezer says:

    @Craig:

    He didnt know the guy, the just belonged to the same organization.

  46. thelushie says:

    @lemur: What I am “implying” is that women seem to be less, oh what is the word, anal about those things. If I were at a professional conference (which this wasn’t, but I attend conferences of the academic sort and have shared rooms with prefectly wonderful people) and it were a king size bed and if there was no other choice (and it appears there was no other choice in this matter), many women would just share the bed. One on left side and one on the right. In a king size bed, no one has to touch. Now I would have a problem with sharing a room with the stranger of the opposite sex. Not that I think all men are rapists or whatnot, I am just shy and don’t like that idea.

    And about your situation with touching, that is something that should be shared with the bed fellow. If, then, it happened, it could be laughed off. And of course, this is if there is no other choice. I just couldn’t bring myself to have someone sleep on the floor.

  47. sean77 says:

    The point is, the convention had booked that room for those two specific individuals.

    This entire story boils down to “they gave me a single when I asked for a double”

    For all we know the hotel told the convention they only had X doubles and the convention booked a couple of singles.

  48. lemur says:

    @thelushie: I see. So you are making a sexist generalization.

  49. Upsilon says:

    Great, now Consumerist is cutting corners and can’t supply me with the promised thunder sound effects!
    Well, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to contact The Consum– …Wait… Dammit!
    lol
    But no, seriously, that sucks… I, being a… well, I don’t know the actual term for it, but I call it being a “germaphobe,” would have been freaked out about sleeping on the floor.

    You know, come to think of it, I would have been freaked out about sleeping in the bed too…
    Maybe I could sleep on the balcony?

    ~Y

  50. @Upsilon: I blame the rising fuel costs.

  51. oncebittwiceshy says:

    What’s the hotel’s policy on sleeping with strange women?

  52. UNSTOPPABLE says:

    @Vicky: No, what they were looking at was someone who was planning a longer stay than yours therefore more money for the suite. Vegas hotels try it ALL THE TIME during busy periods. Best thing to do is dig your heels, most importantly be calm, and be a SERIOUS pain in their asses until you either a) get what you payed for or b)get FAR more than you paid for. Most of the time people will whine and yell then just roll over. If you refuse to give in the hotel WILL cave in even if it’s just to make the bad noise stop. MGM tried to screw me out of a reserved months in advance Strip view king room last April. I dug in, raised hell and ended up in an upgraded suite facing South instead of West.

  53. prescott says:

    This is outrageous for a Westin Hotel! You should insist on your money back and even a free stay.