Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 72
  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    Mid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    1,412

    Rude Hotels: Hotels From Hell

    Rude Hotels: Hotels From Hell
    Vir Sanghvi
    October 04, 2013


    Columnist Vir Sanghvi

    Here is a story about a hotel I stayed in last week. I write this in Thailand where I am shooting a new show. As part of the schedule, we went to Koh Chang, one of the most beautiful and relatively undiscovered parts of the country. The production company booked us all into a resort run by a leading Thai chain. Clearly, the management had been told to accord good treatment to a TV crew that might end up featuring the hotel and, therefore, give it some free publicity. We were tired after an eight-hour journey from the south of Thailand when we checked in and though I was led to what I imagined was one of the hotel’s better suites, I asked if I could have a room instead. The suite was only accessible through a spiral staircase which had got slippery with the rain. No problem, they said. So, I put my bags down in the one-room cottage they shifted me to and we went off to dinner at an open-air buffet restaurant on the property.

    The buffet did not look exciting so I asked to see the menu. No problem, they repeated smilingly. But as the steward arrived to take my order, I noticed with mounting horror that a stray cat had jumped on to the buffet table and was going from one serving dish to the other. Obviously, it was more excited by the buffet than I had been.

    I drew the manager’s attention to the rapid conversion of his buffet into cat food. He went and shooed the cat away. Then, he declared he was ready to take my order. But what about the plates that the cat had snuck its mouth into? Wasn’t he going to replace the food? Oh no, he said, he was sure the cat hadn’t eaten very much. With mounting unease, I ordered my meal. I got even more uneasy when I noticed that he was refusing to write anything down. “Oh, don’t worry, I remember,” he assured me.


    The coffee shop theorist: ITC’s Nakul Anand (above) reviews sales figures at coffee shops at his hotels to check whether standards have fallen

    You can guess what happened. He got the order completely wrong. When I pointed this out, he got aggressive. “Yes, you did order it,” he said angrily. I tried remonstrating and explaining that not only had I not ordered some of the things he thought I had, he had also forgotten to bring two dishes that I had actually asked for. Finally, somebody senior from the management came along and stopped him and we ate our meal in peace, keeping a watchful eye for any feline diners who might choose to join us.

    I returned to my room and tried the DVD player. After failing to get it to work for 20 minutes, I called for help. The technician spent another 10 minutes and gave up. He went off and returned with a new player. This didn’t work either. So, he wandered off to find a third player. And so on. By then, I was ready to sleep anyway. It must have rained heavily that night because when I woke up I found that the roof had leaked and my handbag, clothes and iPod were all soaked. After I had tried to wipe off the water and set them out to dry, I called room service for a coffee and something to eat. “No sir,” said the lady at the other end. “Our waiters are very busy till 11am. So, we don’t serve anything in the rooms.”

    I was already late for a shoot so I threw my wet clothes into a suitcase and checked out. I met two other members of my crew at reception. One of them said that his air-conditioning hadn’t worked and in two rooms, the power had failed for three hours at night. (No generators had kicked in.)

    The general manager then arrived, mortified that a TV crew which he had hoped might feature his hotel, was leaving in disgust. What could he do to make up? Would we like a free massage? We made our excuses and left.

    So, what is it that you think went so wrong? By the standards of the hotel industry, we were high-profile guests marked out for special attention because it was important to impress us. How could they have screwed up so badly? Perhaps if I had taken the luxury villa they originally offered, the roof may not have leaked. But everything else was just an example of utter incompetence. If this is how they treat high-profile guests booked in by TV companies, what happens to the average punter?

    I have a theory, which applies equally to restaurants and hotels. It is possible to have a bad experience at a good hotel. Remember that in the average hotel, 200 different guests have individual experiences every day in rooms and restaurants. The law of averages suggests that at least some of these guests will be the victims of screw ups. In very good hotels, there will be very few screw ups. But nothing in life is absolutely perfect, so yes, some people will be disappointed. The test of a good hotel is how it makes up for its mistakes.

    But, you can never ever have a good stay at a bad hotel. No matter whether your name appears on some VIP list or whether the general manager arrives at the porch to open your car door and greet you at check-in, a bad hotel will always screw up. The staff will be poorly trained (like the guy who refused to write down the order, got it wrong, and then got aggressive), hygiene standards will be poor (God alone knows how many guests found cat whiskers in their green curry), maintenance will suck (the leaking roof), nobody will check the room fittings (the faulty DVD players) and staff will be lazy (the general manager assured me that they do actually serve breakfast in rooms – when the staff can be bothered to). No amount of sucking up can mask sheer incompetence.

    So, what do guests do? How do we choose hotels to avoid being subjected to screw up after screw up? Some people use the Net and check guest comments. This may work for some of you but in my experience it has never served as a reliable indicator. There has been controversy over the way in which some such advice sites operate but what you need to remember is this: the people to whom these comments should matter the most – hotel managements at up-market properties – don’t worry too much about them. The bulk of their business is corporate and corporate clients rarely go on the Internet to complain about service.


    Pristine paradise: Koh Chang is one of the most beautiful parts of Thailand. The production company booked us into a resort run by a leading Thai chain


    Another method is to trust media reviewers. This makes some sense but is subject to an obvious handicap. When I visit a restaurant or a hotel, I am often conscious of not getting the same experience as other guests because I have been recognised. The same, I imagine, is true of other travel and food writers. On the other hand, if I have a really bad experience despite being recognised, then it does tell you something about the calibre of the establishment.


    High standards: The Grand Hyatt in Bangkok; in recent years, I’ve been impressed by the consistency in service and food at the Hyatt

    These days, when I am travelling abroad and do not know individual properties well, I tend to rely on the reputations of the big American chains. Not every Starwood property is perfect but I still pick Starwood hotels because the chances of things going wrong are relatively minimal. In recent years, I have been impressed by Hyatt (this column is being written in the excellent Grand Hyatt in Bangkok) where the service and food are consistent.

    The only reliable method, of course, is to ask locals. They always know, better than anyone else, what the best hotels in their cities are. They will tell you if standards have dropped or if a hotel is living off a reputation based on past glories. ITC’s Nakul Anand, the most cerebral hotelier I know, always reviews sales figures at coffee shops at his hotels. His reasoning is that the coffee shop is the hotel’s link with the local community. When coffee shop sales fall, it means that locals are giving up on the hotel. Because Nakul understands numbers better than the rest of us, he has worked out a formula to demonstrate how a drop in coffee shop sales always, but always, leads to a drop in room occupancy with a time lag of a few months.

    But of course, there is no surefire prescription. Sometimes you will have wonderful experiences at cheap, out-of-the-way hotels that nobody has ever heard of. And sometimes the world’s greatest hotels will relieve you of your money and then treat you like dirt. Sadly, that is the way of the world.

    hindustantimes.com
    Last edited by Mid; 06-10-2013 at 11:17 AM. Reason: formatting

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Last Online
    02-08-2020 @ 12:51 PM
    Posts
    26,669
    Well written story.

    As far as the Hotel on Koh Chang goes, anyone who knows Thailand will have a little giggle .

    Typical Thai incompetence at its best.

    I must add, its never happened to me though, the exact opposite really.

    The vast majority of my stays have been blinding value and vastly enjoyable so there you go.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
    Albert Shagnastier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Last Online
    22-03-2015 @ 09:09 PM
    Location
    City of Angels
    Posts
    7,164
    ^It's in the mindset Tel - I mean, what's wrong with the cat having a little chow down eh? - no need to be kee Niew

  4. #4
    Member
    metisdead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Last Online
    18-10-2013 @ 11:02 PM
    Posts
    149
    I ordered my meal. I got even more uneasy when I noticed that he was refusing to write anything down. “Oh, don’t worry, I remember,” he assured me.
    The typical ignorant, arrogant, delicate Thai.

    Writing down an order would be a declaration that they are not intelligent enough to remember it.

  5. #5
    god
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Bangladesh
    Posts
    28,220
    Not writing down an order is the norm for a semi-literate Thai.

    Many can only read the pictures.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
    DrAndy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    25-03-2014 @ 05:29 PM
    Location
    yes
    Posts
    32,027
    ^ ^^ oh dear

    whilst that guy may have had a bad experience, the fact he mentions the Grand Hyatt as having high standards gives the game away

    Does he expect the normal mass tourist resort to be as well run as one of the most expensive international chains?

    whilst they do try, the money for the best staff and good training is not there. It didn't sound like a "hotel from hell", just one that did not match up to his spoiled-baby high standards
    I have reported your post

  7. #7
    Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Last Online
    26-01-2014 @ 06:58 AM
    Posts
    262
    After being a hotel manager for about 30 years I can truly state that Indians are by far the worst guests. Over demanding, discount seeking lot they are. I could write numerous stories about Indians in hotels.

    In India they burn and bury people in the Ganges, only to wash and drink the water a few meters/miles downstream, people use the streets as toilet, hardly any clean drinking water and he is worried about a cat on the buffet table....

    They wanted special treatment, most likely a discount too and "maybe" featuring the hotel in "his" show..... That too I have heard many times, never materialised.

    In the end he probably got what he paid for, not much!
    If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
    DrAndy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    25-03-2014 @ 05:29 PM
    Location
    yes
    Posts
    32,027
    ^ nothing like a bit of racism in a thread

    he was just a spoilt little princess seeking a freebie and not getting it

  9. #9
    Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Last Online
    26-01-2014 @ 06:58 AM
    Posts
    262
    Got nothing to do with racism, just 30 years of experience!

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
    Kurgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    04-07-2020 @ 12:00 PM
    Location
    Shitsville
    Posts
    8,815
    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    we went to Koh Chang, one of the most beautiful and relatively undiscovered parts of the country
    built all over and crammed with Russians last time I went.

  11. #11
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Last Online
    06-10-2018 @ 05:27 PM
    Posts
    18,769
    The Nasa Vegas hotel in Bangkok may well be a bit sneered at but the lobby bar and restaurant was one of the best run places I've been to, and I've drank in many hotel lobbies. The food is very good too, the staff never got any order wrong and were friendly. Room service was prompt and all that I ordered was very decent and well priced.

    Goes to show that many of these high end places feel they don't need to bother being efficient or friendly, usually trading on past glories or reputations.....

  12. #12
    Member
    Morden's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Last Online
    02-07-2014 @ 11:10 AM
    Location
    Don't Remember
    Posts
    906
    The resort is probably recognisable from the image and so has effectively been named. If my understanding of the relevant Thai law is correct, the author could be sued for defamation. I'm not sure what the law says about public forums that publish it.

  13. #13
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Last Online
    06-10-2018 @ 05:27 PM
    Posts
    18,769
    I always found that the small local run beach bungalows offered much better service and availability of good local food. Not run by uppity staff but just locals

  14. #14
    god
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Bangladesh
    Posts
    28,220
    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz View Post
    After being a hotel manager for about 30 years I can truly state that Indians are by far the worst guests. Over demanding, discount seeking lot they are. I could write numerous stories about Indians in hotels.

    In India they burn and bury people in the Ganges, only to wash and drink the water a few meters/miles downstream, people use the streets as toilet, hardly any clean drinking water and he is worried about a cat on the buffet table....

    They wanted special treatment, most likely a discount too and "maybe" featuring the hotel in "his" show..... That too I have heard many times, never materialised.

    In the end he probably got what he paid for, not much!
    Indians can be the most obnoxious of demanding guests in all of the world!!!

    They can also be the most ameliorating visitors you may receive.

    Others,(of whom I have met some of the worst specimens of humanity), are total claptrap,...boasting a large family/clientel base to decide a tarrif at an hotel/guesthouse i in Asia, yet still abuse my staff because they think tjat their high status as rupee or baht or any other Asian currency status allows "favourable status" !!!!! WTF!!!

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
    Kurgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    04-07-2020 @ 12:00 PM
    Location
    Shitsville
    Posts
    8,815
    Quote Originally Posted by ENT
    ameliorating
    on a Sunday morning, bastid!

  16. #16
    god
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Bangladesh
    Posts
    28,220
    Heh heh, come visit me in CM in 6 wks. ....

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
    charleyboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Last Online
    20-05-2020 @ 09:22 AM
    Location
    Cha-am.
    Posts
    3,700
    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    The only reliable method, of course, is to ask locals. They always know, better than anyone else, what the best hotels in their cities are.
    Why would the locals know?

  18. #18
    I am in Jail

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    05-09-2019 @ 03:51 PM
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    1,951
    Should of stayed at ''Paddy's Palms'' is all I can say.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Last Online
    02-03-2020 @ 10:36 PM
    Posts
    854
    A cat stuck it's nose in the food and he didn't bother to get rid of it? Give me strength the stupidity that goes on in Asia really does have me wondering?

  20. #20
    R.I.P.
    patsycat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Last Online
    08-11-2017 @ 09:54 PM
    Location
    Geneva
    Posts
    7,393
    Cats are very fussy eaters, so if the cat was enjoying the food then it must have been good.

  21. #21
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Last Online
    02-03-2020 @ 10:36 PM
    Posts
    854
    Send for Sontamslap chief cat exterminator......

  22. #22
    Member
    SpicyMartin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Last Online
    18-02-2015 @ 11:40 AM
    Location
    Chiang Mai (Maejo)
    Posts
    221
    Terrific thread for some lazy Sunday morning light entertainment! Love the bit about "Koh Chang, one of the most beautiful and relatively undiscovered parts of the country!" Bloody hell!

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat
    MeMock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Baan Nok Ubon / outback Australia
    Posts
    11,129

  24. #24
    Lord of Swine
    Necron99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Nahkon Sawon
    Posts
    13,025
    Cant have a good stay at a bad hotel? I beg to differ.
    Plane problems caused my flight from HK to Darwin on Brunei Air to stop overnight in Bandar Seri Begawan for two nights.
    They put us in a cheap ass shit hotel in chinatown, the rrooms were dirty and smelly but it did have a bar at night time and in the day time served beer in coffee pots in the restaurant.
    Some (most?) complained about the standard of the rooms and they moved us to a hotel outside of chinatown that was marginally better but dry.
    I moved back the same day.

    Thai resorts are hit and miss and anyone who has been to one knows generally to not expect "hotel" quality service and standards.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat
    DrAndy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    25-03-2014 @ 05:29 PM
    Location
    yes
    Posts
    32,027
    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz View Post
    Got nothing to do with racism, just 30 years of experience!

    I don't think this was necessary or relevant

    In India they burn and bury people in the Ganges, only to wash and drink the water a few meters/miles downstream, people use the streets as toilet, hardly any clean drinking water and he is worried about a cat on the buffet table....
    the people who need to live like that are forced to by poverty, nothing to do with Indians being unhygienic

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •