A Review, Not my Cup of Tea.


Review of the Omni hotel in Asheville N.C.

   We stayed for free because of my wife work as a chef she had been invited to the 2017 food show. Traveling from the low midland of South Carolina to the hill country of the Appalachians. We had been amazed by the many high-quality photos online and therefore had expected much. Sadly we both felt the urge to leave in less than an hour after checking in. It was not our cup of tea.

   Having never stayed before in such a high-end ($200-$450 a night) hotel. We found ourselves surrounded by a whole host of extrovert type people, a quality we ourselves do not have. My wife described them as “A Type” and we got to see many of them. They gather to all the public places to find the spots of high visibility to video chat, talk on cell phones or hold their important conversations while thin women slowly swirl with jeweled hands the last sips of some dark wine for effect in clear glasses. I found myself at four in the morning laying on the surprisingly rock hard mattress they provided. Wondering if hotels like this, draw these types of people simply by nature of payment status.

O yah, the bed. Before I forget and wander off talking about general human weirdness. Let me give a breakdown of what we got when we stayed in the “Vanderbilt wing” of the Omni hotel. After coming to the realization that all the normal rules that we have come to know about hotels do not apply when we discovered that we were going to need to pay fifteen dollars for the privilege of parking. We walked into our decent sized room to be greeted by the pinging and banging sound of a “water hammer” effect of bad piping somewheres, banging away within the hotel walls.

   After my wife quickly discovered that if you drink any of the bottled water provided, you will have the cost deducted out of your credit card. That to me, set off a red flag in my mind that this place will try to nickel and dime their customers. So I opened my eyes and carefully read the “service of terms” for the internet. The unclear and extensive document was evasive enough that we opted out and created our own hotspot with my wife’s cell phone.

   The room provided two rock hard double beds just slightly above par with motel 6 and far below many La Quinta hotels. Like, say… for example the pillow top king we stayed in Twin Falls Idaho for $90 a night.

. No exhaust fan in the bathroom, so “things” get to linger with you for the rest of the room.

. Green painted cabinets that the veneer is bubbling up on.

. Hotel coffee from a Keurig machine that leaves a strange after taste. Not sure I am going to finish it this morning.

   After looking at the posted prices for food, I found myself REALLY wanting to call dominos pizza. Simply because I would love to see the shocked look on their faces of the staff when they drove up to deliver. But that’s part of my inner desire just to poke people with a stick from time to time. So we opted out of the big dinner party they were going to hold for everyone at 7 and found a little shop in the building that offered an assortment of fine tourist trinkets including food. And walked back to our rooms with our $23 dollar sandwiches and chips in the brown paper bag.

   The next morning we attended the food show and as a guy, I loved the fact that every corner I turned, someone was putting a sample in front of my face to taste. I ate at least eight different versions of roast beef, chili, bacon, shrimp, bread and something good made of rice. The Omni had provided them lots of open space, extra rooms and generally seem to get out of there way. I saw no apparent evidence of them trying to micromanage the food service people who were running the show. But, unfortunately, we could only last a little over two and half hours before our introvert meter “clicked” and we had to leave. The vast roaring sea of a thousand voices around the thirty some odd vendors was simply too much for us, so we headed home.

   Now this old hotel with the stunning views overlooking Asheville, with its rock walls and multi-layer parking garage that is built into the hillside. Certainly, should charge a more for all that it offers, I totally get that. It has many nice looking restaurants, golf course, shops, massive fireplaces and the list goes on and on. But it’s kinda like, somewhere’s along the way they forgot some of the basics, like a non-painful bed. Come on guys, not only have we stayed in many hotels and we currently work in one, that has a restaurant with shops. But we can tell when things are getting overlooked. Have a meeting with your maintenance crew and spring for the upgrades I bet they will suggest.

   Also, a little better signage at the elevators would be outstanding, after getting lost trying to find my way back to my truck and inadvertently taking a grand tour of many places around your hotel. I finally realized that not every elevator is going to take you where you want to go.

   Loved the ginger house display that you have just beyond the wall of celebrity faces including the former president’s wife that I helped to vote out. It’s a true work of art and more people should know about it.

   Add a couple of “You are here maps” in a few places, like the parking areas under the hotel and repaint the “elevator” sign down there with something big and bold. It really would help.

   Fifteen bucks to “park” seriously???

   Would I come back? Well, considering the fact that most of this trip was paid for by the food service who we deal with, I would say no. It’s not my cup of tea. We don’t care about being seen by other people or anything like that. As introverts, we can pay less for a far better bed, while still having great food in a nice setting someplace.

   This place is built for the A-type people who often believe their own press. Who enjoy black tie events with names of wines you need a college degree to pronounce. It’s not built for people who enjoy a good starry night with friends around a campfire in a national forest wondering if that’s a UFO, meteorite or satellite that just zipped across the night sky above them.

   So, I always wondered what it would be like in a place like this, and now I know. It’s not our Cup of Tea.

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