Ever been locked out right after your spa treatment?

Like I mentioned yesterday, I had a rigorous ten days of work travel and I just got back into Mumbai on Saturday. On Sunday, I was booked to drive away a few hours from Mumbai and stay at a property which is a 6 month old addition to a leading brand of hotels across the world. This one is a Retreat and a Spa, and one of their largest properties I’d like to believe. Except, as a leisure property, it has amazed and disappointed me so far.

I’m not going to name this one just yet, but a little bit of Google skills should help you find out if you’d be very curious. Google for “320 acres retreat spa” and you will have them on top. The occasion was to spend some time with my parents who live in a different city, and bring in their marriage anniversary. A little more about this retreat, the base category villas go out at $400+ a night, or 60,000 points.

Now, it is going to be just about 24 hours since I’ve checked in, and here are the positives I’ve gone over:

  • A massive massive massive property
  • No rooms only villas, and upgraded to the best villas they have
  • All food is organic
  • A wonderful spa

Now, lets go over the negatives. Some of them are common and one is a first:

  • The approach road is full of mud and not the smoothest drive ever
  • They decided to charge an arbitrary corkage charge for a bottle of liquor in the bag (hey, my dad only drinks a particular brand of whiskey!)
  • Internet connectivity for Hilton Gold and Diamond members is complimentary, however, you get coupon codes which do not work. I have a stackful of those in the room, and I try my luck with them all.
  • The mobile phone networks suck
  • This morning, the phone lines in the room got disconnected, and they fixed it, and they got disconnected again!!!! I was lucky to have a cellphone on hand which worked, else I was going to be in the jungle without anyone to call up.
  • There are electronic drawn blinds, which do not work. Even the staff does not know how to operate the darn remote.

Now here is the worst one of the lot, and a first one for me!!!! This being a family getaway, and this being a Spa retreat, I signed up everyone for Spa treatments. They were good, except on my way back to the room (sorry Villa!), the touch key cards won’t work at all. Oh boy, imagine the embarrassment of being in the midst of nature, with a spa robe on (because you’d need to wait a while before getting a shower!), and no access to your room because they only configured your key card for one night.

I asked to reach out to the General Manager, who offered to comp the entire stay. I’m still scratching my head on is that the right thing to do? I left it upon him to make it right, and got a call back later telling me that the GM wants to offer us all complimentary spa treatments now. My family outing is practically ruined now because I can’t look my parents in the eye and tell them that someone else screwed up!

What would you have done? And what is a fair compensation for such troubles??? Please let me know!

Oh, and if you’re wondering why did I take the trouble to come here, I hope this justifies a little bit of my IQ.

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. I have been to that property, and the same happened to me. However that property has butlers , and they follow you round always. after the spa treatment ,how did you get back to the villa. Did you walk all the way in your robe. or did the butler come with you.

    in my case, the butler dropped us and when the key did not work the butler opened the door and got a replacement.

    If i were the GM, i would hv comp the whole stay nor a spa discount. perhaps invited youll to use the fnb outlet. or invited youll back for a comp spa treatment only.

  2. I would accept the offer. At least they’re trying to make good the wrong, and your money could be better spent on another holiday. I guess its not just being locked out of your room in a bathrobe that’s frustrating – that episode was the straw the broke the camel’s back. Teething problems in a new resort is natural – but we don’t have to be guinea pigs by paying $500+ per night.

  3. “My family outing is practically ruined now because I can’t look my parents in the eye and tell them that someone else screwed up!”

    Wow, read what you just wrote. Can’t look your parents in the eye because your keycard doesn’t work? You know how many times that has happened to me? Plenty. Mistakes happen. It sounds like they are having some growing pains but you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. And if you go to the middle of nowhere for a retreat, how can you expect to have perfect roads and cell service? If its that upsetting why not take the manager up on the offer? Sounds like he is trying to make it right.

    By the way, I suggest reading this. Its short but mind blowing, might help put everything in perspective 🙂 http://www.freewillastrology.com/beauty/beauty.main139.shtml

    • @tri i can’t get where is the self-entitlement if there is a $500+ per night hotel getting all the basics wrong!!! Please do point it out to me. And yes, please remember, I haven’t accepted the GM’s offer to comp the stay.

  4. Mistakes happen, especially at relatively new properties. The offer to comp the whole stay is generous and claiming the vacation is ruined because of a few negatives is blowing things out of proportion. IMO

    • @Cody, I was looking forward to this stay and I guess you’d agree that these negatives should have, and could have been taken care of well before our arrival. It is a matter of few people not doing their jobs correctly i believe.

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