In hindsight, I should have read the negative reviews for this property before I booked this hotel because they are all true and more! It is hard to reconcile the good reviews with our experience.
The hotel is run by a couple, Sharmila and Alex. In conversations with us during the course of our stay, Sharmila created the impression that she and Alex do all the work at the hotel with no support and work ceaselessly from early in the morning to late at night. However, this turned out not to be entirely true: there appears to be at least one employee who cleans and makes up rooms. As for the self-proclaimed ceaseless efforts of Sharmila and Alex, after breakfast, there was to be little evidence of any efforts on their part.
We arrived at the hotel later than expected due to an awful train experience on the way from Belgium – we had been given misinformation. about a connecting train which caused us to miss it, with a consequent two-hour delay in our arrival.
When we arrived at the door probably just before 11 p.m., I introduced myself to Sharmila. I was “greeted” with the following responses, “where have you been?” and “I have had a very long day,” “This is a small place “, “we wondering where you have been?” and "why didn't you send me an email?" I was shocked by this tirade and the absence of any expressions of concern about our well-being like “Are you alright?”, “Did something bad happen?” “Can I offer you something?”
My husband asked Sharmila to calm down and then explained the ordeal we had suffered.” My husband explained that, though we had tried to contact Sharmila to let her know that we had been delayed, we had no e-mail access while on trains and at stations. This should not have been a surprise, since, in an e-mail that I had sent to Sharmila, at 4:30 p.m. on the day of arrival, I had informed her that I would no longer have e-mail access for the balance of the day.
My husband, who has been travelling on business for over 30 years, was simply aghast with the chilly welcome, unprecedented in his experience, that conveyed the distinct impression that our very appearance was an inconvenience to the proprietor.
Before we retired that night, we were asked what time would we take breakfast. We asked for 8.00 a.m. (which proved to be the typical time for the other guests over the days which we stayed), her reply was, "I will wake up for you". We were thinking, “At what time does she expect guests to eat breakfast? Why she make it seem it is burdensome for her to serve us breakfast at a normal time?" This kind of reaction proved typical, since virtually every encounter with Sharmila gave rise to statements indicating that she felt aggrieved by any request for assistance. For example, the next morning, when my husband pressed the buzzer to gain access to the hotel – the hotel door was locked, we had been given only one set of keys which were not then in my husband’s possession, and Sharmila had not explained that the door was always kept locked and that we would not be able to gain access without the keys – Sharmila complained that my husband should have used his hotel keys or buzzed the room in which we were staying rather than disturb her.
Next morning, we showed up for breakfast at 8 a.m. I realized that the hotel had no dining room, and that we would be seated in the kitchen. Charming. Sharmila asked how we slept and my husband said that he didn’t sleep very well. Her response was, “Oh, I know how that feels! “. 30 mins later, together with 2 other guests whom I was chatting with were asked to finished our breakfast in 10 minutes because there are incoming guests who would like to eat and they are going to the airport!
Day 2 - When I asked for recommendations for dinner, I am familiar with the eye rolling which other guests have experienced in past reviews. “Oh, there are thousands here, it depends on what you what”. I also wondered where the hosts were as each time I came into the property, the doors to the breakfast room and the reception room were closed. There was no indication what role the hosts plan to play apart from appearing at breakfast and asking us to finish our breakfast pronto, twice. My husband had a crucial business meeting on morning the Sharmila promised to give my husband a map but never did. She even asked if we have stayed at a small place before. My husband was ready to check in at the Hilton not far away.
The Classic suite which we were offered has a very cold bathroom. I turned on the radiator and there’s no difference. I told Sharmila about it later and she said it should work. Well, it didn’t. There’s an air vent in the room which is above the bed and can be noisy if you are a light sleeper. Since the radiator didn’t work, we didn’t want to cover the vent. This would mean a cold and noisy room. After I told her the problems, she didn’t offer any solution.
If you were offered an upgrade, which we had for the last day (an arrangement before our arrival), the “upgraded” room looks renovated and is warmer. Sharmila admitted that Suite 1 is warmer and thus Room 2 is colder. I spent the prior 3 nights in Room 2.
Day 4 – knowing the situation with the breakfast room, we told her that we would like breakfast at 8 a.m as we have a train to catch at 11 a.m.
Day 5 – We arrived at the breakfast room at 8:10 a.m. thinking that we have given sufficient time to clear out and get ready. Guess what? The breakfast room is full! Alex suggested that we take our breakfast upstairs. I suggested that we take the breakfast in the kitchen and Alex said, “No, we will not have that”. We told Alex that they have chased me out when other guests would like to have breakfast immediately because they needed to go to the airport while we have to go upstairs and wait for our breakfast in our room when we have a train to catch! To avoid further delay, we went upstairs and Sharmila brought breakfast to the room. She said, we normally have breakfast at 8:30 a.m. We told her again that we had specified that we would take breakfast at 8 a.m. and the only time we had breakfast at 8:30 was on Day 4. Other days were at and around 8 a.m. Do we really need to have this discussion as guests?
I can’t believe the positive reviews I read in trip advisor. Never had we paid good hard earned money to be abused, discriminated and badly served by an establishment which purported to offer hospitality.
Our attitude towards trip advisor has changed and I would strongly advised other readers to always look at the negative reviews as part of your assessment.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.