And the award for best way to upset guests goes to…

By | Category: Travel rumblings

one of the hotel corridors with the carpets ripped up. No signs warning hotel guests of the problem could be seen

When things go wrong or are not what hotel guests expect, senior hotel staff should be on hand to explain, apologise and mollify.

This wasn’t the case at the Warner Leisure’s Bembridge Coast Hotel resort on the Isle of Wight yesterday.

The hotel was pretty much full with guests. It also had a number of workman relaying carpets and sprucing the place up who had been working there since last Friday. Corridors were having carpets ripped up with some acetone like substance being used to break down the glue used to affix them. Two ladies required medical assistance as the smell of the substance affected them. Has the hotel not heard about health and safety assessments?

guests in the queue yesterday – not for the restaurant but to complain

There was no warning to guests staying at the hotel that refurbishment was underway; no discount for the inconvenience that would be caused and no mention, even now, on the website about the sprucing up of the hotel.  This was despite the fact that some guests had paid up to £800 for their stay.

Certain areas were unable to be used by guests such as the Solent Bar or the coffee shop; only the Admiral’s Lounge was open and that had to cope as a passageway as an event location and as a lounge. Wallpaper was being replaced and wooden areas given a makeover.Today the reception area is being given the makeover treatment. Those staying in the Garden Suites have been disturbed by cleaners jet washing the rooves.

workman hard at work at one of the entrances/exits

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that guests were unhappy. One couple I spoke to were on the verge of checking out and they weren’t alone. Long queues formed at reception as the staff faced a barrage of questions. And when I say staff I mean the front of house staff, those cleaning rooms and those in the restaurant.

The senior staff didn’t show themselves or at least they hadn’t by Wednesday lunchtime. By the evening some small apologies were noticeable. A free glass of champagne was available to guests but there was no signage indicating it was free and some guests thought it was to be bought. Others got boxes of chocolates as a thank -you for tolerating the inconvenience but, again, not everybody received a box.

furniture stacked up preventing the room from being used by guests

Coming on the day that the Institute of Customer Service announced the results of their latest Customer satisfaction Index rankings it would have been appropriate for senior managers at the hotel to be apologising.  warner’s sister company Haven was in the top group. Warner wasn’t and it may not be next time since, if you glance at TripAdvisor, you will see that the hotel has a number of glowing reports and staff respond to comments listed. Additions reviews that will be made in the next few days will not be so glowing.

and the guest satisfaction form – hardly big enough to list the complaints according to one hotel guest

Today, (Thursday) some apologetic notices have been posted.

Why couldn’t the Warner’s let people know in advance of the work going on? Why couldn’t messages be left in the rooms explaining the situation? Why, on arrival, wasn’t there an apology for the company by the reception staff?
And why was the refurbishment happening? Because next week the hotel will be used by the company to hand out awards. Is there one for Worst Way to Antagonise Guests?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,