Never have I ever.....
....stayed in a 5 star hotel that was just so, so bad.
Booked a 3 night stay in a Club room while in Minsk, and thought that the 5 star Crowne Plaza would be the way to go. Hotel rate was normal, not discounted and thought I would get a premium service since booking Club.
* Pillows were plentiful
* Club rooms are pretty spacious
* Free and good wifi
* Breakfast staff
* Lobby is small and unpleasant. Hotel security are like club bouncers and loom everywhere instead of being helpful. They even (very obviously) followed me around occasionally to watch my moves.
* Reception is only ever manned by one person. Check-in took over 40 minutes because the one receptionist was dealing with a group who paid individually. Senior reception staff were "around", but not helping. My own check-in literally took 5 mins to complete. What the hell?
* Mattress in the first room was mismatched with the bottom half, so there is a step before getting on the bed which could lead to serious accidents. Not professional!
* I booked a Club room, which meant I had access to the Club lounge, but this was not told to me upon check-in. Luckily I knew already, but not great that they didn't mention it.
* Bathroom supplies were not restocked consistently. I ended up having to ask for more supplies. This should not happen in a 5 star hotel!
* Welcome fruits were a nice touch and were not fresh and most were rotting.
* Free water in room was not consistently replenished.
* Spa was good, but got burnt by amateur masseuse doing a hot stone massage.
* Hotel could not help me post a letter. Was told to go the post office.
* Concierge was non-existent.
* Club lounge was hard to find, not properly sign-posted, not mentioned, and unmanned when I went there. There were also a lack of refreshments on offer (1 bottle of still water)
* Air conditioning was atrocious. Complained and the receptionist did nothing but lie about "checking" and then about "sending over a technician". Never happened and they they further lied to say that the aircon was broken in ALL parts of the hotel, even though it was working fine in other guest rooms and in the main lobby. Had to leave the windows open which wasn't great since it was facing the road and had traffic noise at all hours. The next day, I demanded to get a room change (this was not offered, by any means, and I did have to demand it) to one that had working air conditioning. However, though the electricity was working in the new room, the output was pathetic. Again, slept badly with open windows.
* "Ladies of the night" occupied the lobby/bar area in the evening, which isn't pleasant especially if you were bringing children to this hotel. Should sort this out.
* Reception did not know when money changer (done in front of casino) was opened and I ended up having to go to ANOTHER HOTEL to exchange money since they had a person manned all they time. Seriously, guys?
* Throughout the hotel, there are severe electrical inconsistencies. Some lights on, while some broken/off. So this made public areas dark at times and very much unacceptable.
Having stayed at numerous 5 star hotels around the world, this one has got to be the worst one ever. I have stayed in hotels with less stars that have better quality and service.
Cannot say that I will ever use this hotel again, and even more so, will make me reconsider staying in Crowne Plaza hotels in general.