As usual, we waited for at least half an hour for the hotel van to arrive from the hotel, 10 minutes away. The driver didn’t even have the courtesy to close the van doors! The front desk staff was friendly as always though and made up for the lack in courtesy.
Sitting area are warm and enticing with comfortable seating and shelves lined with books to read. This particular day, a large convention mingled in conversation in much of the common areas as well as a meeting room set for dinner. The hotel’s accommodations for such an event seemed well enough appointed for such an event.
An elevator in need of an update or two carried me up to my room, which was comfortable enough.
Not the nicest room I’ve ever seen, however, a great bed made up for other inadequacies. Mostly. The lamp on the desk with two plugs incorporated into its base did seem to have any juice going to the plugs themselves, so I had to choose between a charged computer or desk light. I unplugged the lamp and use the wall plug for my computer and the bathroom plug for my phone. The lamp at the chair didn’t have a cap on the switch so it was unusable as well. Good thing that the light on my computer worked!
Another problem with this hotel, was the service. My phone hardly worked in the hotel at all and the internet was so slow that Skype was also impossible to use. So much for communicating with my family. Luckily, it was a short stay.
We chose to go downstairs for dinner with so little time in the city. The hotels restaurant, Treetops Cafe, wasn’t fully open yet so we sat in the bar area to eat. The only ones in the place, I would have thought that service would be quick and reliable. “Would think” and “assume” are one in the same and a dangerous game to play. The bar tender apparently didn’t want to be there and it showed. Ordering calamari for an appetizer and the Lemon Pepper Grouper for dinner was a complete disaster. First of all, the meal took entirely too long to deliver and the appetizer wasn’t even ready when the meal was being served. When we told the server that we were no longer interested in the appetizer, he was appalled and argued that the cook was already making it. The “Grouper” was definitely not grouper. One of the party has worked at a seafood restaurant and two of us in the party are from Florida. We are pretty sure that it was Tilapia due to the size, color and shape of the fish. If that wasn’t bad enough, my friend’s fish was dry and mine was like an unflavored paste in my mouth. Technically, both fish have a firm texture, however, grouper has a larger flaky texture and a more distinct taste than tilapia. Even if this was some sort of grouper, there was no flavor too it and too tin to be advertised. The wild rice on both plates was not fully cooked, and to top it all off, the waiter never returned to check on us or refill our drinks. I do not recommend this restaurant at all. I would like to believe that all of the attention was on the convention and perhaps that’s why service and food were so poor but who knows. One server should be able to offer good service to four people!
Grouper has a mild, but distinct flavor, a cross between bass and halibut. The taste of most groupers is similar, with slight differences in flavor and texture, depending on size, species and location of harvest. Red grouper is sweeter and milder than black grouper. The white meat has a very firm texture and heavy flake that remains moist. Grouper can be found worldwide in warm waters.
Many compare the taste of tilapia, which is a freshwater fish, to catfish. The texture of tilapia is slightly firm and flaky and the flavor is mild and sweet.
To wrap up my thoughts, if you are in Charlotte for a quick meeting or the night before an early flight, I would recommend the hotel for the bed only.