You should only stay at this hotel if you are NOT a person of color or do not care if you stay at a property which actively discriminates against people of color. While I was a guest at the hotel, my friend and I (African American and Asian) were blatantly discriminated against by some of the staff. The server refused to serve us while waiting on the table next to us (a Caucasian couple) only a few feet away. When I asked her for a menu after she had taken their order, she gave me a nasty look and without a word handed me ONE menu despite the fact that I was sitting with another person. Although she came back to check on the couple next to us, bring place settings, water and food to their table, she never once came back to take our order. She was actually more attentive to the empty tables around us!!! Only after waiting around for a long time, did I realize that she was not planning on serving us and I wound up going up to the bartender to place my order.
However, when I asked the bartender for a glass of champagne, he told me that they didn’t have champagne at the bar. I thought that was rather odd but didn’t think too much of it and ordered something else. Strangely enough, only minutes later, my friend and I saw him pouring champagne at the bar. When my friend went up to confront him about this, he replied that he only sold it by the bottle although we had just seen him pour two individual glasses before. When she told him that we would be happy to get a bottle, he replied that they only had rose champagne and that they had run out of flutes (whereas before, he had poured regular champagne into flutes). We thought that this was very bizarre that a hotel this size, with a restaurant which does catering would have no more champagne flutes left. Despite what he said, we still wanted to buy the bottle and he brought it to us, poured it into wine glasses and left the bottle at our table unchilled. Frankly, I’ve never experienced such outrageous behavior before in any hotel that I’ve ever stayed at, whether in the US or abroad. We were two perfectly respectable well dressed women (lawyer and consultant) who were paying guests at this hotel and were treated like second class citizens for no other apparent reason than the fact that we looked different than the other patrons and those serving us.
The response from the hotel management was even more appalling. My friend and I both sent very courteous emails letting the hotel manager know the openly racist behavior displayed by his staff in hopes that something would be done. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so to speak, because he couldn’t even be bothered to respond to us directly and instead had one of his staff talk to us. His staff, although responsible for the management of the bar, claimed that he did not know who was serving his guests that night. They claim to have spoken/disciplined them, although I’m not sure how you can discipline someone when you don’t even know who was working that night. I personally suspect that their discipline involved a high five and a friendly reminder to be a bit more discrete when they’re actively discriminating.
My friend and I were utterly disturbed by the experience that we had and the response that we received from the management. I’ve stayed at the Westin Galleria only a block away on many occasions before and never once had even an iota of a similar experience. As I said, I would stay away as far away from here as possible if you are as outraged as we were by the treatment. I’ve contacted Starwood and now am waiting to hear back from them.