Hotel Review: The DISGUSTING Amway Grand Plaza, a Curio Collection Hotel
The Amway Grand Plaza hotel towers over the Grand Rapids, MI skyline. For as long as I can remember, when you drive through Grand Rapids, you would see the 28-story building from a mile away. I always wanted to stay here, but never really had the opportunity. Recently on a trip to Grand Rapids, Ben and I decided to give this hotel a shot. Now that they’re a Curio Collection by Hilton Hotel, earning and redeeming points was an extra perk.
We valet parked the car in order to get straight to the room. Check in was fast and efficient. We were informed that, due to our status, we were upgraded to some kind of suite in the historic wing. Sounds exciting! Can’t wait!
We went up to the 7th floor, and you sure could tell that this was the “historic” wing. By “historic” of course, I just mean really old. As you walked in to the room, an old writing desk was available for you to do some work. It did face a wall, so you really couldn’t do anything else other than work. Maybe that’s a good thing?
The linens, including shower curtains, were embroidered with the Amway “A” althought it looked more like the Scarlett Letter.
Nothing special to see in the bathroom, other than a strange old drawing on the wall.
The bed looked comfortable enough, but the décor was certainly dated … sorry … I mean historic.
The sitting area was straight out of 1984.
The view didn’t offer much, other than a cool shot of the near Art Deco designs on the building next door.
There was also some sort of a wet bar area, but with nothing other than a fridge.
This is when things went downhill, fast. Ben started to take off his shoes and dropped something on the floor. When he went to pick it up, he said “What the hell is this?!” I jumped out of bed, assuming the worst, and I was right. What we saw next will haunt my dreams for decades.
The room had not been vaccummed for at LEAST a decade. There is no way that this much dirt, dust, skin, hair, and grime could have piled up in the course of a week or even a month.
All of a sudden, the other health risks started to appear. Look at the air vent in the room. That hasn’t been cleaned in months.
The bathroom mirror was coated with dust.
The hair dryer’s dust was literally STUCK on to the plastic.
And to round out the petri dish of a room, the refrigerator hadn’t been defrosted in so long that black mold was starting to grow on the ice in the back.
It was at this point, after taking all the photographic evidence, we packed up, called the front desk, informed them that we would be moving rooms, and headed to the front desk.
We showed the pictures to the front desk attendant and without so much as a second glance, he started furiously typing away to find us another room. I’m not sure if he just didn’t want us making a scene at the front desk, or if he just wanted to hide the fact that this isn’t anything new, and he’s seen the complaint before.
After about 10 minutes of trying to move rooms around, we were moved to a suite in the new wing of the building. Now this is what I would expect from a Curio Collection hotel.
The New Wing
As soon as we walked into this room, we felt like we were in a truly upgraded space. There was a modern, crisp, and clean sitting area. The windows looked out on to the Grand River and downtown Grand Rapids.
The King Size Bed was the same as the other room, but there was no bedframe to have to vaccum under. This room was pristine. A small lounge was in the room as well, incase you wanted to, well, lounge.
The desk was the same furniture as the TV and again, was modern.
As a Diamond Elite member with Hilton Honors, we were given free breakfast at the hotel. Served just off the lobby, you could order eggs off of the menu and a buffet was on offer. While I’m not a fan of buffets, this one was quite well presented.
A small fruit offering was out along with a tower of pastries. These, I found out, are baked fresh every morning by the kitchen.
Yogurt and fruit was offered for a healthy selection, and the standard potatoes, bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, and oatmeal was in trough style buffet serving dishes.
Three types of cereal and a few breads rounded out the selection.
The space, was spacious and open with plenty of seating for anyone that would have wanted to belly up to the bar.
If you wanted to stick around for dinner, the Amway Grand offers one of the most famous dinners in town. Cygnus 27, on the 27th floor of the hotel, boasts 360 degree views of Grand Rapids and a modern, tasty menu. You can start off with Prince Edward Island mussels or a gazpacho and move on to paella, arctic char, or even a rack of lamb. Prices are in line for what I would expect for a nice experience at a fancy restaurant.
You know we wouldn’t leave without getting a little something for our troubles, right?
We were offered a dinner at Cygnus for almost infecting us with a dozen or so diseases in our room. As we were heading to a family event that night, we declined, but did accept a $100 gift card to return at a future date to experience the restaurant at another time.
Is it Worth It?
So, this begs the question… is it worth staying at this hotel? I suppose the short answer is it depends. If you can guarantee yourself a room in the new wing of the hotel, the Amway Grand offers modern accomodations in the center of action in downtown Grand Rapids. If you get stuck in the historic wing, run away as fast as you can.
On the other hand, do I want to stay at a hotel where it’s considered OK by housekeeping to allow the hotels to reach a Motel 6 or Rodeway Inn level of cleanliness? For years I looked up to this hotel as the pinnacle of luxury in Grand Rapids, and not only was I let down, I was smacked down and beaten while I was down.
With other options (including the JW Marriott) in downtown, I won’t be returning back to this hotel. I can’t bring myself to stay here knowing what I know, and now I’ll let you make the decision for yourself and your family.