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1 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

We are writing to complain about our sta...

1
Awful
by
Reviewed Mon 1st of November 2004

"We are writing to complain about our stay this weekend at the Westin in Dublin.

On arrival Friday night, we asked what time we could eat in restaurant, only to be told that the restaurant was shut to hotel guests for both Friday & Saturday night for private functions! We were directed to the Mint Bar downstairs as an alternative source of food. However being Friday night it was absolutely heaving with people and it was not the ambience required by us after a 15 hour day and flight. I have to say that our idea of a 3 course meal at a 5* hotel does not include burger, or associated bar snacks as per the Mint menu, nice though I’m sure they are! We were told we could go out, but again, what we wanted was a nice meal in a 5* hotel not fight our way through the weekenders out for a wet Friday night in Temple Bar! So on Friday night, we ended up sharing a sandwich and a cheese board in the Atrium bar.

Saturday morning after excellent sleep in lovely bed (one of main reasons we go to Westin hotels), came down to find we had to wait in a queue for 20 minutes to even be allocated a table-not exaggerated-we timed it! When we went to get our cooked breakfast-there was no sausage or bacon left, so my husband had mushrooms and potato, and I had a croissant! The pregnant woman in the queue by us was none too happy at this state of affairs either.

Anyhow, we went into town, came back at 3.30pm to have a lie down to find the room had not been cleaned nor the bed made! At this point, we asked to speak to the duty manager. He came out to talk to us and he informed us that rooms are cleaned any time between 9am and 5pm!!We have stayed at a number of 5* hotels over the past few years and have never walked in at 3.30pm to find the room untouched!

We then asked him why we could not eat in the restaurant on either night, and was informed that someone had booked the whole ‘Exchange’ restaurant for a function-he said 120 people, and that as this was good business sense then they got the booking. He said it was better to have 120 people eating in the restaurant like that, than 30 or 40 people, which is what they might normally get from hotel guests! We asked what about the other residents staying in the hotel-surely it is not good business sense to turf them out if they have paid good money to stay in a 5* hotel?-hardly likely to be singing the praises of Starwood hotels as a result we would think! Firstly, why should we have to go out to eat?

The Westin prides itself on being a premier hotel-how can it possibly call itself this when the facilities that are on offer on the internet and its advertisements, are not actually available to guests staying at the hotel?! We said to him that although we thought Dublin was lovely, there is no way we would consider staying at the Westin there again, and we would not be recommending it to our friends and business colleagues either-we were appalled at how the guests were treated-in a 5* hotel, there should be no reason to complain.

Anyway the room was then cleaned within about 40 minutes and we carried on. We booked a meal at another hotel, (Morison’s Hotel) which by the way, cost us 8 euros each way in a taxi and prior to going, my husband went down to order us a cocktail in the Atrium Bar, to find that not only was the Exchange Restaurant shut, so was the Atrium Bar for ‘a private function!, although the sign outside the Exchange Restaurant stated that although it was closed the Atrium Bar was open! So now, we have no nice quiet cocktail bar and no restaurant! The Mint Bar was as usual, heaving and not we came to the Westin for-peace and relaxation.

We had a lovely meal at the other hotel, and were given some names of quality hotels in Dublin by the taxi drivers, for when we return. This morning (Sunday),we queued yet again for breakfast, and after 10 minutes we were offered to go through to the Banking Hall for breakfast as an option rather than stay in the queue. There was a limited breakfast selection there, and when I asked if I could have some fruit, I was pointed in the direction of 8 slices of watermelon and half a dozen berries!!(The previous day, when we were finally seated the choice of fruit and compotes etc was excellent, which at least part made up for the lack of bacon and sausage-which did eventually turn up but not until we had even seated for about 10 minutes, by which time, we had assumed no more was forthcoming).

On arrival we had asked if we could keep the room later on Sunday as our flight back was not till the evening. The hotel had said we could stay until 4pm free of charge, which was fine by us. We therefore went out Sunday morning, and on return at 3pm,found a message on our TV reminding us we should have vacated at 12pm.I phoned down to say that we had arranged this on Friday night, and the receptionist asked me (bearing in mind we had dealt with this on Friday) ‘Was I a Starwood Preferred Guest and if I was, what level was I?’!I replied that yes I was but could not remember what level, as I had not taken my card. She then asked ‘Have you a name?’ which I presume referred to who I spoke to on Friday-her whole manner was again inappropriate for any hotel-let alone one of this supposed calibre.

Although we had a lovely time in Dublin, the whole weekend was marred by this stream of petty annoyances from the Westin. We maintain that if someone has booked a function for 120 people, surely they should be using the Banking Hall, and leaving the Exchange Restaurant for the other hotel residents? Or as happened in other quality hotels we know, if the main restaurant is booked for a function, then an alternative room is turned over to a restaurant for residents instead? Surely although we all acknowledge corporate business is important, it is equally important to look after your ‘bread and butter’ customers who return year after year? The Westins are hotels we hold in high regard, and we would hope that is not indicative of the change in standards"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 1st of November 2004

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