If you don't think stories like the ones below are happening at your finest of properties... think again.
The stories below are real and come from 5-star properties I visited between October and November 2012.
I arrive at a new luxury property, a luxury resort in Asia less than two years old that took eight years to build.
It's beautiful, BUT…
I check in and am taken to my room. Within 30 minutes, at midafternoon, I hear the loud sound of blowers going off, completely killing the peaceful oceanfront ambience, and it doesn’t stop. It goes on for 15 minutes until finally I see smoke seeping in from the CLOSED balcony doors. I look outside to find that there are two men with bug spray machines on their backs, and they are spraying insecticides onto landscaped areas.
Great, I am now inhaling insecticides in my room, and the room is engulfed in a cloud of bug spray.
Well, I call the front desk, try to explain what’s going on, and the operator does not understand me as she does not speak English. She connects me to a manager; I am now very, very upset as I am getting dizzy from the fumes.
The manager comes on the line five minutes later. Keep in mind the room is now one big cloud of bug chemicals. I am so frustrated that even the manager can’t speak English and has no idea what I am explaining that I resort to saying "I am having a heart attack please send a doctor," and she says, "You want dinner reservations?"
NIGHTMARE. It gets better.
30 minutes later, when I reach the English speaking assistant hotel manager, he immediately gets it and offers to collect me and move my room. We agree to meet outside the room in 10 minutes, so I can pack up.
It’s raining outside and now dark.
He comes in a golf cart to collect us.
There is very lush and intricate landscape stepping stones up and down stairs to get into or out of this mountain top individual suite in separate buildings throughout property. Well, because the landscape designer built for beauty only and not safety or convenience, I tripped in the rain while dragging my suitcase over the stepping stones between the grass and am now face down bleeding in the rain.
I get taken to the new room, really so mad that this place, within the first two hours of arrival, has turned into such a problem. Clearly, this and the next few days are ruined at least partially as I am now limping.
You get the idea.
At this same resort, when we went to dine at their showcase dinner restaurant, I ordered a Grand Marnier as a drink to start before dinner. I was brought crème brûlée. The problems didn’t end there.
I finally had breakfast with the general manager at my request. He was a nice fellow, apologized greatly and waived all my charges, including room charges for the stay.
Here is the point:
If Resort Report had been hired to go there as a secret shopper guest, we would have documented all of these problems and potential risks and overseen, if necessary, the correction of these issues. In addition, we would clear the way for future guests, ensuring that they would not have a similar experience and thus destroy the property’s social media reputation, costing them new bookings and, not to mention, repeat bookings. They also would have saved the expense of waived or refunded revenue for guest stays. Add that up for one guest. Resort Report will pay for itself in a week just on the savings achieved by reducing refunded revenue dollars for unhappy guests.
Want another story?
This one concerns a five-star resort in Thailand. At check in, the front desk associate, a manager, is rude to me despite the fact that I am a top tier loyalty member and refuses to provide concierge level access. I call this skipping over the dollars to save the pennies.
That was my hello. I go to the pool the next day at 1:00 p.m. There are four men on their knees re-staining the wood decking around the pool with a protective coating (in other words, regular not urgent maintenance) while staring at every woman in a bikini.
The remaining half of the pool area is packed! They have roped off half of the pool deck and are painting with this oil based liquid onto the wood pool deck while guests are lying at the remaining open pool area.
Problem? YES. All of the guests at the pool are now breathing in this oil base coat chemical and are coughing and furious. Can you say “lawsuit”?
I spoke with the manager and asked:
Why was this not done at 7 a.m. or earlier, rather than 1 p.m., and Why have four men on their knees painting this stuff on when one guy with a roller pole could have the job done in 20 minutes?
He had NO IDEA it was even happening. These kinds of incidents were happening in almost every area of the property.
This may or may not have been attributed to an inattentive general manager, but the Resort Report results are the only way to know for sure what’s happening on your property. It will tell you everything: the good, the great, the bad and the UGLY.
An annual Resort Report can help dramatically. One fee once a year keeps you confident that your property is operating correctly.