(Fourth) Rate the IL Hotel!–Norfolk


The calendar has turned to 2013 and it’s time for the game where you can dial zero for a wake-up call 24 hours a day….

(Fourth) Rate the IL Hotel!

And now, here’s your host……the man whose television always defaults to hotel information…..

Jason Benetti!

Well thank you Johnny Gilbert and thank all of you for coming along for (Fourth) Rate the IL Hotel!  We’ve been renewed for a fourth season and we’re pleased as spiked punch.  We’re so excited to tell you about the hotels the Syracuse Chiefs stay at, we’ve created a new rating system.  That’ll be unveiled after this review of the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside!



1) Club at the top of the hotel

After much key-card issuing (see con #3), the Chiefs broadcast contingent end up on the 10th floor of the Sheraton, as high as one can be at the hotel.  It’s easy to be snooty when you’ve got to put your room key into a reader in the elevator to get to your floor.

2) Water

The hotel is next to some pretty awesome naval ships.

3) Beds

Comfortable sleeping.  Cushy beds, perfect pillows.


1) Wireless irritation

The Sheraton Waterside, like most hotels which think everything is getting comped, charges for internet.  10 bucks a day.  This isn’t necessarily convenient, but it’s alright.  Everything has a cost.  So, I’m happy to fill in my room number and last name (355, Mandel is what I usually go with) to get the show on the road.  There was, however, a major issue with the internet access at the Sheraton.  Every two or three hours on average, I was asked to put my information in again.  That led me to believe the bill for the room would look something like this:

Internet, one night:  9.95

Internet, one night:  9.95

Internet, one night:  9.95 Internet, one night:  9.95 Internet, one night:  9.95 Internet, one night:  9.95 Internet, one night:  9.95 Internet, one night:  9.95 Internet, one night:  9.95 Internet, one night:  9.95 Internet, one night:  9.95 Internet, one night:  9.95 Internet, one night:  9.95 Internet, one night:  9.95

Not only does that get irritating–I will never forget room 1019/Benetti for the rest of my life–but it gets expensive, too.  The good news is, the internet was free because we were on the 10th floor.

2) Outlet maul

As a “business traveler”–defined as someone who is not in the city because he or she wants to be, but because instead he or she wants the employment which forces him or her to be–I have few needs.  One is a suitable bed.  Another is a shower.  All rooms come equipped with these (unless you’re staying at the Days Inn in Dumfries, Virginia where, in my experience, you typically share the bed with a family of bugs who are interested in coming home with you, despite your use of the shower.).  The third necessity is a power outlet or two.  Even before a carpet, a dresser, an ottoman and assorted paintings and mirrors (which all rooms have, too), I need something where I may plug in my devices.  They are essential now.  Figure it out.  The Sheraton had two outlets in the main room.  They were next to each other in an odd pull-out segment on top of the desk (which, by the way, is useless unless you have something you’re working on which is set on the desk.  Say, a computer.).  I plugged my phone into a socket in the bathroom.  Also, while I was still Lewis Black-seething about this, I walked into the hallway and saw an outlet.  Yes, CFOs at the Sheraton, do not fear!  The corridors at the Sheraton Waterside are perfect for your computing needs!

3) Room with a view….of others

Jeff Allred, the Chiefs’ trainer manages bumps, bruises, fractures, concussions and all things medical.  Bet you didn’t know that he’s also in charge of letting the hotel know who is staying with whom on the road.  This happens through a magical document called the Rooming List.  Typically, the hotel gets the first List a few days prior to the team’s arrival.  This allows management to get rooms ready and keys made for the team so the process of getting players into beds is smooth.  It also helps night-shift workers who are generally alone behind the counter when the team gets there (we showed up at the Sheraton at 2 A.M. Wednesday).  The only caveat is:  the Rooming List changes when players are called up, sent down, released or otherwise.  So, it’s a near-constant shuffle for the hotel folks to clear up room changes.  The Sheraton played 52-pickup.


Kevin and I picked up our room key which sent us to the ninth floor.  We opened the door to find one bed.  Not exactly what we were hoping for, especially considering the rooming list indicating we required two.  So, I went back to the front desk.  The gentleman there handed me a key to a different room.  Went there, opened the door…..to find…..Erik Davis and Ryan Perry getting ready to go to sleep!  Four to a room!  Nope.  Back to the front desk.  The attendant believed he had isolated which room was empty.  He called a double room on the same floor and got no answer.  Back upstairs…..key in door…..opened to a TV on……and Danny Rosenbaum!  “So that’s who just called the room,” says a bleary-eyed Triple-A rookie who just wants some shut-eye after a nine-hour bus ride.  Losing my patience, I ride downstairs one more time.  The gentleman behind the desk says, “Again?”  I say, “Yes.”  He then says he’s going to call more rooms to see which one is unoccupied.  I let him know that I’m not in the market for a game of room roulette with sleepy infielders.  I ask him what the true best way to go about this is.  He says, stonefaced, “Roulette.”  He then begins to call rooms.  I stop him and ask him to re-evaluate this plan, as it will result in players who are less-than-thrilled with me.  After some discussion, he agrees and finds a top-floor room in his system which was previously reserved for a crew from the airlines who never made it in that night (just their luck).  Worst part of the scenario:  The guy’s insistence that someone else had made the mistake.  Don’t blame your absent co-workers.  Bad form.



Two complimentary shampoos out of ten.

Stay tuned later this week for another edition of (Fourth) Rate the IL Hotel!


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