If you like clean surroundings, pleasant service, basic courtesy from staff and value for your money, then avoid this "hotel" like the plague.
I attended a 5 day conference at the Normandie (cost of $8,500) and grew more appalled, ashamed, and disgusted with each passing day.
SERVICE - The horrible service began the week before when I called the front desk to enquire about their rates. When I asked if there were special rates offered to attendees of the conference to be held there from Monday, the man who answered responded with "Eh? Wha conference?". After explaining to the hotel employee what was going on in HIS hotel, he advised me to call back in the morning to ask again since "the people who could help already left". Basic customer care would have dictated that he take my number, get the information, and get back to me as soon as possible. I braced myself for more poor customer service in person if this was the best they could offer on the phone but nothing could have prepared me for the nightmare that would follow.
SURROUNDINGS – As you can see from the pictures, the appearance of this hotel (which is totally false as represented online) would make anyone cringe...sanitary bins overflowing and surrounded by flies (even up to TWO days after we complained to the front desk about this!), cobwebs in the conference room which was musty, dirt and grime on bathroom tiles and sinks, paint peeling off the walls, "ornamental" plants that had died and dried up and used as "decorations", black boxes filled with decades old plastic plants in the "conference room", toilets that wouldn't flush, badly wrinkled table cloths, old plastic jugs for us to pour from and the list went on. Some of us actually developed rashes on our skin after sitting in this room for a couple days in addition to severe aggravation of our sinuses from inhaling all the dust on the dirty, old carpet.
SERVICE - the staff was extremely unfriendly and unprofessional and apparently needed a few days to warm up to us since we only saw a hint of a smile late on the third day of the conference. Perfect example...on going downstairs for lunch on the first day, a couple of us assumed that the soup bowls and large soup pot set up next to the lunch station contained soup/a first course for our meal, but when we asked one of the servers if we should go to that station first for soup she shouted back "SOUP?! SOUP?! It doh have no soup here!" almost in a rage that we dared ask a perfectly reasonable question. Example 2 – Never mind the fact that we paid almost $10,000 to attend this conference, most of us had to beg the staff for reasonable servings of the food. I actually had to beg the server on the last day for another piece of lamb to add to the scraps she deigned to give me, and she LITERALLY went picking through the dish to find the tiniest piece of lamb which she then carelessly and angrily slapped onto my plate. Afterwards we saw them generously packing Styrofoam containers with the food that WE PAID FOR.
The worst part of this whole nightmare was that the owners were there almost every day...their website says that “Mr. & Mrs. Fred Chin Lee, have taken great pride in establishing a unique boutique-style Hotel, through their continued dedication and passion.”...surely anybody who had an ounce of integrity would take one look around and realise that their “hotel” badly needed gutting, cleaning and refurbishing...but then again, why spend money to make anyone feel welcome when they could just pretend that they are running a clean and decent establishment while continuing to line their pockets with people’s hard earned money.
This is a national disgrace and the owners and staff should all feel ashamed of themselves!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set between the rain forest and Queen’s Park Savannah, Hotel Normandie features 70 rooms, 6 meeting and conference rooms, an outdoor swimming pool and bright, attractive accommodation. Just 1 Km from the Savannah and 3 Km from Ariapita Avenue, at the end of The Nook Normandie manages to relax you with its tranquil surroundings. Each stylish, air-conditioned room and suite at The Normandie has colourful décor and includes a coffee/tea station, cable TV, and complimentary Wi-Fi; some of the rooms include a refrigerator. The Normandie also has a restaurant that offers a continental/international breakfast and an Italian flavour for lunch and dinner, a 24-hr front office, 24-hr security, complimentary parking, a concierge, a spa, and provides a tour desk and the only pilates studio in Trinidad through our in-house partners, Island Experiences and Madeleine Miller Pilates. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Normandie Hotel And Conference Centre
- The Normandie Hotel & Conference Centre Trinidad/Port Of Spain