Impressions, behaviour and attitude

I have just come back from my holiday and have mixed feelings about the hotel we stayed at. It started off so well and gradually after a few niggles here and there, I felt deflated by the time I left.

We were staying at a resort hotel and were a very late arrival which meant that we were “upgraded” as they so graciously phrased it. The hotel we were moved to which was part of the same group was pretty much next door, so no major drama there. The reception staff were a delight and they were happy to arrange anything you wanted They transferred us to our rooms and had given us a complimentary bottle of water, bottle of wine and some sandwiches to settle us in. All going well.

The next morning at breakfast, I asked for some tea and was presented with a pot of hot water and told I could get my own teabags which were on the far side of the restaurant. I did not have an issue with this, it was more the manner in which I was told this. I then asked if there was any Soya Milk available. I was again told no. You have to pre-order that. This was not quite the response I was expecting.

I was travelling with a party of 12, so I asked the waiter (the same waiter who would not give me a teabag) if he could put all the tables together for us. He said no. You have to pre-book if you want to sit altogether. So we moved to another part of the restaurant where there was a table of 12 and we asked the waitress in that section if we could sit there and she was very obliging. The table was not set up so she started to set it up, and then was told we would have to sit in the main part of the restaurant. We were then escorted back to the original section and the waiter who initially refused us started to put the tables together, after his manager told him to do so. So now as you can imagine my impression of the restaurant service was going downhill. The behaviour and attitude of this one waiter was affecting the service. The requests I was making were very reasonable and his attitude was “everything is impossible” rather than “anything is possible”.

Although the saga does not end there. A few days later in the bedroom once it had been serviced, the towels had been replaced although the housekeeping staff had not given us a fresh bath mat, replenished the toiletries, or tea and coffee making facilities. Again the minimum standards you would expect in any hotel. So we mentioned this to reception. They were straight on the telephone to get housekeeping to replenish the toiletries and missing bath mat…. however with regards to the tea and coffee making sachets – they would be replenished on request for an additional charge. 

There were other niggles such as back in the restaurant, the salt and pepper were in the wrong containers. So every time you used them you had to double check first what it contained. At breakfast a 3 minute boiled egg was under cooked with the white not being cooked, and a 5 minute egg was hard boiled – more like a 10 minute egg.

Despite bringing this to the attention of those concerned the attitude was very much – “that’s how we do it here”.

What was clear to me was that at this particular establishment the difference in service levels between the Reception staff and the Restaurant and Housekeeping staff was about behaviour and attitude. Those that showed they cared gave a fantastic service,and those that were not so passionate showed this in their inconsistencies which ultimately lead to lower standards and poor service.

When I go away on holiday I like to take off my “audit head” and enjoy the experience, however unfortunately that was not possible here. Also having contracted a 24 hour bug whilst staying at the resort – it was not the most enjoyable week of my life.