Our review of the Grande Hotel Borromees is as follows . I prefer to state facts and leave it to the reader to come to their own conclusion.
1. The property is lovely and the location is very convenient to town.
2. As many others have written, service comes with a definite attitude. Should you dare to complain about anything, it will be handled abruptly and without concern for the guest. Our room was, in US dollars, roughly $800 per night (572 Euros rack rate). We certainly don't need to deal with negative attitude when we are paying that kind of money.
3. Ice is not available on the floors. When we asked for ice, there is a charge of 5 Euros ($6.75) for a cereal bowl with some ice in it. Really ? At $800 a night ? We had ice once only and the hotel, after complaining, reluctantly removed the charge saying it would be for this time only !! Not very nice at the rates they charge .
4. Breakfast buffet is included - Eggs are only offered in a large warmer and are "soupy" looking scrambled eggs. I'm sure the reader will know what we mean by "soupy" looking- loose and watery. We requested to have plain fried eggs instead and were told that sunny side up eggs would be at an extra charge of $13.30 in US funds for each of us. (10 Euros). Seems ridiculous to me and we have never seen this before at any hotel we have stayed at in the world.
5. Internet- Don't even think about using their so-called "free lobby internet". You are given a code to sign in with at the lobby which is only good for 30 minutes. HOWEVER- as their internet provider Swiss Com explained to me- those who use free internet are put at the back of the line when trying to use bandwidth as compared to those who are paying for it. As such, there will be an internet charge of 7 Euros (roughly $10) per night to use the internet. The so-called free internet is extremely frustrating to try to use. It's awful.
6. Air conditioning - This is a real problem as well. We were there for a 7 night stay and 3 of those nights we had no air conditioning. I have heard of this from other travelers as well regarding this property. The outside temperature was 32/33 degrees Celsius - or, 92 degrees Fahrenheit. The nights were unbearable. We did complain about it each day yet it was never repaired, nor was any compensation offered for the lack of service.
7. We didn't want to get into a lengthy discussion at check out, so we paid our bill in full in good faith and were credited only for the internet in spite of going 3 days with no a/c. I felt that I would pay the bill and simply write to the management when we returned home to ask for an adjustment to our bill due to not having any air conditioning for those 3 unbearable nights. I was hoping to resolve this with them like gentlemen and not have to write a negative report for the hotel on Trip Advisor. Unfortunately, after several emails, their response was that the air conditioning did not work at 100% for a very short time, the weather was exceptionally hot but the discomfort was negligible and the temperature in the rooms acceptable. Acceptable ? In HIS opinion, but certainly not in the customer's opinion. When it is 93 degrees outside, believe me- you need to have air conditioning. I was further advised by the manager that, in his opinion, the lack of air conditioning was not a problem and that they would not reply to any further correspondence regarding it. I suspect the reader can sense the attitude I have been referring to.
8. As a previous Trip Advisor writer wrote, the club sandwiches are, in fact, 24 Euros - basically $32. A simple club sandwich as we are used to having for roughly $8 - $10 anywhere else.
Clearly, while we would have loved to give this property a stellar review, it's just not possible. The property itself, physically and location, are very nice; however, the attitude that we experienced was awful. We basically felt an attitude of "Pay your money and get lost back to your home." As you can see from the responses we received from the hotel manager, their attitude towards the customer is exactly that.
As a Trip Advisor reader, you will notice that there have been SEVERAL replies to customers negative reviews from the hotel manager. I should have noticed that and asked myself before selecting this hotel : "Why is it that there is a need for the hotel manager to reply to so many poor reviews on Trip Advisor ? " That, in itself, should have been a strong warning sign.
For the extremely high prices they charge, they need to be more concerning towards the experiences of their guests. To display the attitude that was displayed to us after making a sincere attempt to resolve our concerns, and having paid the entire bill in full, was extremely disappointing and for this reason, and the comments outlined above, I can not rate this property anything above 3 stars. As travel advisors, I simply can not recommend this property as a result of the treatment we received.
Finally, I suspect that the hotel manager will, again, send yet another reply to Trip Advisor defending the hotel's position as he already has many times before; however, sooner or later people are going to start to ask why it is necessary for the hotel to be so defensive when they are charging these extraordinary rates. Frankly, there should be no responses from the hotel because if they had provided first class service, and taken some responsibility for their short comings and not be "nickel and diming" their customers with these petty charges, I would then surmise that the reviews for this hotel would be nothing short of stellar and therefore not requiring any such defensive replies.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.