2 November 2013, 1pm
It was a horrible stay at Planet Holiday Hotel, Batam for me and my friend as we were looking forward to staying at the hotel as per the good reviews on Trip Advisor. We couldn’t be more wrong.
We came to the hotel early at 1pm and was told that the rooms booked would not be ready until 2pm. We then told the hotel front desk staff that we would have a drink at the hotel lobby bar while waiting and to inform us when the rooms were ready at 2pm as promised.
At about 2.15pm, we actually had to go to the reservation desk to ask about our rooms instead of being informed as above even though we are just seated at the lobby bar across the reservation desk, only to be told that only one room is ready is the other would only be ready in 45 mins time. It is very important for the hotel staff to convey the right information to guests as we are wasting time waiting in the hotel lobby to only know the truth when we went to check on our rooms availability. If the check-in timings are not guaranteed for 2pm, I would suggest either you hire more staff or you manage your time properly.
We were actually generous and kind enough to not kick up a fuss and continued spending our money using the hotel services by employing the hotel recommended taxi driver in the front entrance to bring us around for sightseeing and to buy some stuff.
However, the hotel taxi services were unfamiliar with the places we want to go and tried to double the charges when he drove us back to the hotel. The hotel taxi service counter quoted $80,000rp as the “standard rate” for a roundabout trip. We counter proposed a final price at $60,000rp for roundabout trip which was conveyed by the hotel staff to the taxi driver and agreed upon before we set-off. When the driver drove us back to the hotel, he quoted $120,000rp which we refused to accede to the amount and only gave $60,000rp. We immediately filed a complaint to the hotel manager (Indonesian Chinese Lady). However, the Hotel Manager brushed us off by saying that it could be due to language barrier which the taxi driver misunderstood. We saw her talking to the taxi driver after that and thought she was trying to resolve matters, but no the episode ended with the Hotel Manager and the taxi driver smiling and shaking their head at our plight! There was also no attempt on the Hotel Manager’s part to explain or apologize at all for all these!
At that point of time, it was already 3.15pm, which the other room was ready for check-in, and when we thought there would be some sort of goodwill from the hotel manager in view of the unpleasant episode of the taxi charges and late check-in by allowing us to have late check-out, the hotel manager first reply was: “It will be at 12pm the next day.” When we further questioned if 12pm is the reasonable timing to check-out when our check-in timing is so late, the hotel manager replied in a hostile tone: “The hotel check-in/out timing doesn’t work in the way where the check-out timing matches the check-in timing. We can let you check out latest at 1pm if you want.” All these have seriously left us thinking whether we had checked into a reputable hotel or a place that cheats its guests just because they do not speak the local language?
Our rooms were located on the 19th floor and there was a discotheque at the hotel (1st floor). The vibration from the sound console of the discotheque was so huge that we can even felt it on the 19th floor. The food served from the hotel room service is also most unpalatable.
My opinion is that if the taxi driver cannot understand or converse in simple conversational English, he should not even be allowed to represent as one of the exclusive taxi for hotel guests as he would be representing the hotel’s commitment to standards and excellence, which is none in our case.
What is even worse is that the senior staff of the hotel (the hotel manager) did not even bother to properly investigate the case and try to improve things for the future, and instead just gave a nonchalant attitude and reply to hotel guest’s feedback. This is indeed the great misfortunate of Planet Holiday to have senior staff like that.
Overall, we feel that the hotel does not value its guests and are just relying on current good reviews to continue the business. Me and my friend have the worst experience by choosing to stay in your hotel and would most definitely not recommend our friends if they are coming to Batam.
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