I have just returned from a 4 night stay in the Husa Patagonia Hotel in Arinsal.
The staff in reception were friendly and helpful, answering all our questions on arrival. Later in the week, we requested information about the ski bus and the receptionist on duty was not very helpful, probably because she didn't know. We had to stop the bus outside the hotel and ask the driver for the times. This is pretty basic information that all the staff should be aware of or why not display it in the hotel?
The position of the hotel is excellent for people who want to be close to quick access to the slopes but it is difficult to return to the hotel after 2100 when the ski bus stops. After a hard days skiing and a night out, the last thing guests want is a long walk home. A suggestion is that they provide a late night (not free) shuttle bus, every hour, until 0100 in partnership with the Crest Hotel next door.
The room was comfortable. The heating was superb and the bathroom had plenty of hot water. We were supplied with a small shampoo and bath gel on arrival but we had to ask for more, it wasn't replenished daily. The floor was dirty with dust and hair in the corners and this stayed the same throughout our stay. There was hair in the plug holes of both the sink and bath when we arrived. The self catering facilities could have been useful if even a pan, 2 cups and a teaspoon had been provided. As there was no equipment whatsoever the kitchen area was useless. Guests should not have to hire or buy basic equipment in an aparthotel.
The first evening, one of us had a superb massage.
The bar area was adequate and prices reasonable for a hotel. We were not impressed with the barman drinking beer behind the bar whilst on duty and serving waiters with drinks whilst they were on duty.
The main reason we are writing this review is about the food and catering staff. This is the worst experience we have ever had in any hotel, anywhere in the world. The following are observations, personal experience and some suggestions.
On our first evening: Monday 12 January.
The food was disgusting. We live in Spain and frequently eat menus of the day for less than 10 euros. These have all been of superior quality to the food served in your hotel. The soup was a caldo stock with no other ingredient. The hot food was cold and not being maintained at a temperature required for health and safety. Some of the dishes appeared to have been prepared then reheated, increasing the risk to guests. The chips were cold. An example of the food was large aubergine slices stuffed with minced beef; the aubergine was raw. The taste of these dishes were disgusting. I asked the waiter and head waiter if this was the normal standard of food in the hotel. He just raised his eyebrows and said sorry, then walked away. We ordered a bottle of wine and one waiter attempted to teach another waiter, at our table, how to open the bottle. We were not amused at our wine being used for training purposes whilst we were having dinner. This basic training should be given to staff before they serve customers. Another evening a waiter struggled to open our wine (13 euros) and broke the cork!
Breakfast was adequate although the eggs were always totally overcooked and the hot food served cold again. We also observed the staff helping themselves to food for their own breakfast. Most not even waiting to go in the kitchen before eating it.
The following evening the hot food was also served cool. I'm not sure why the bain marie was not keeping food hot. The soup at least had a added ingredient and the salad bar had a little more variety. This evening we observed the headwaiter and a waiter making comments about guests and this continued throughout the following two evenings. They were clearly making rude remarks and laughing.
The last evening was disgraceful. The food once again was cold. I asked the waiter and headwaiter to taste the food on my plate and they agreed it was cold. They checked the bain marie and the burner under the chips, both were not working. They couldn't explain why they had not been turned on. They approached the chef at my request. The chef said the food was being maintained at the correct temperature. I asked the headwaiter to bring the chef out to talk to me. I told him that the food temperature was not acceptable and that it was not to health and hygiene standards. He apologised and went to check the bain marie and turned it up. He said he would also replace the food but he only replaced some lasagne. This meant that the remaining food had been cooked, reheated, then reheated again in the bain marie!
The whole attitude of the headwaiter was dismissive.
On the final morning, the staff were once again helping themselves to food from the buffet. One waitress picked up a piece of ham from the cold section with her fingers! She then picked up an apple and literally ate it as she walked around the dining room serving people! The barman, off duty, was in jeans and hooded jumper in the kitchen. He was waiting for staff to bring food out to him and eventually came through himself, with a jug, and filled it with juice. He should not have been in a commercial kitchen in off duty clothes, and certainly not handling food.
There were a lot of other small things such as: running out of plates, cups and cutlery during service, taking plates away before people were finished, dragging chairs across the floor making a lot of noise during service etc.
The restaurant is a complete shambles. The staff have not been trained properly, the headwaiter is ineffective and behaves inappropriately, the staff are not motivated and this is not surprising if their role model is the headwaiter. The staff need some proper leadership and training. The headwaiter should be retrained or given 'early retirement'. They should seriously consider employing a head chef who can improve the quality of food and lead an effective team in the kitchen who work within health and safety regulations.
We were in room 504 and we noticed that the staff room (if it was a staff room) was opposite us, next to the gym. Staff were eating, drinking and smoking there. The smoke and noise from this was unacceptable and permeated the whole corridor. In addition, why is smoking allowed, particularly by staff, in a public area, next to the gym anyway?
We have given this feedback to the hotel but haven't had a reply as yet. It's very unusual for us to complain in this way, in fact we have never done so. We are very tolerant and realistic when evaluating places we stay. If you read previous reviews on trip advisor you will find other people making similar comments about the quality of food. Surely they take notice of this? If not, they do not deserve continuing business. Potentially they have a nice hotel, but poor leadership and catering lets it down. I will certainly not be staying in a Husa hotel again and will not be recommending anyone else to do so unless someone can convince me that the Patagonia is not typical of Husa quality.
I would recommend that if you choose to stay at this hotel try to get a room only deal or at the most B&B.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.