I was staying here after a gap of about 4 months. While the GM Mr. Sampat was not around this time to greet me, I got a taste of what this hotel really is, an 'Indian' hotel. Not sure whether it is owned or just managed by Indian Hotels (an incident cited below may confirm that it is only managed by Indian Hotels), but it showed its true Indian get off firstcolors this time.
1. There was a wedding group staying in the hotel during the weekend I was there, and in typical Indian manner, they were rowdy, uncouth and unsavory. The adjoining rooms were full of them, and the noise and the sounds were unbearable. Each time the elevator stopped on the B level, the ear splitting music was deafening, and it filtered all the way up to the 8th floor. They would barge in and out of elevators without waiting for the passengers to get off first.
2. I am not sure what happens to the human mind when it sees a buffet laid out. It starts behaving as if it has never seen food before and may not see it again. The breakfast scene in Trattoria is chaotic and a zoo. It is a cramped place totally incapable of handling the large number of guests that descend down there all trying to balance multiple plates and bowls and glasses piled to the top. A good portion of all this food is wasted of course. I am not sure this is necessarily an 'Indian' color, because I have seen it in other countries as well.
3. The attitude of servitude towards firangs still prevails loud and clear with a certain class of people in India, and in this case, it happened to be the security staff at the entrance and the bell boys. I had driven up, unloaded my bags, and placed them near the conveyor belt for scanning. Just then, a large group of rowdy and arrogant firangs (who proudly identified themselves as being from Holland) descended from a van, and before I knew it, my bags had been thrown aside, and their bags were put through the scanner. 2 of the guys flung me aside as I was waiting for my bags at the other end. There was no help in sight as all the staff were busy hobnobbing with the firangs.
4. One day while waiting for my car, I noticed a woman get out of a car and walk in without going through the metal detector or scanner. When I pointed out, the security staff laughed at me and said, "oh she is the owner of the hotel". I guess in India, hotel owners are unlikely to be carrying any banned items, and their egos would not allow them to undergo the security routine that all the high paying guests have to endure.
5. In typical 'Indian' fashion, there is no bidet or personal hygiene faucet in the bathroom, instead there is a 'lota' (mug). No wonder, Indian marriage groups love to stay here!
1. It was nice for the Trattoria manager to remember my juice choices from my last stay. It is these kind of personal touches that separates a good hotel from a mediocre one.
1. The entire entrance / driveway / security process is a joke. When I drove up to checkin, there were no valets available to park the cars ahead of me. I had to stop on the up ramp, unload my bags, and wait for the valet tag. In the meanwhile there was a long line of cars behind me. There was no bell boy I sight to help with the bags. On top of this, I had the brush with the firangs. During the 4 days I stayed here, security comes to a standstill in the evenings / nights when cars are lined up out on the road. They just stop checking the cars!!! I guess the hotel has done enough research to determine that terrorists take the weekend off or perhaps do not work in the nights. Either way, it makes a mockery of the entire security process whereby, firangs, owners and others with egos larger than their cars and bellies are not subjected to the security check.
2. The south Indian fare for breakfast continues to be disappointing to the point of being inedible. This is a real blot on the face of this 'Indian' hotel. The sambhar is watery and without any flavor, and the pot is always left uncovered. Mr Padmanabhan sounds like he is a South Indian. I wonder if he has ever had breakfast in Trattoria. As mentioned in my last review, the food is setup in a very unorganized manner. The fruits and bakery section is barely visible and most people do not even realize it exists. The items there are very difficult to access, all the time being pushed by people walking by in the tight passage. Amusingly enough, 2 plates of dead animal flesh is kept (hidden) near the juices and the yogurts. I wonder if it has ever been moved from there! Lastly, ever since Tata Tea started supplying tea to its sister Indian Hotels, it has been impossible to have a good, satisfying cuppa of good old style brewed tea. And, in spite of all the 'Indian' color throughout the hotel, when it comes to fruits, the hotel does not believe in providing seasonal, typical Indian fruits like mangoes, lychee, black jamun etc that are flooding the market. Instead it sticks to half ripe, tasteless fruits that are 'look good'.
3. The bathroom door does not stay shut from the outside causing all the good chi to flow down the drain all the time.
4. The a/c thermostat does not work properly. The lighting in the room is inadequate and very complicated to operate in spite of the electronic controls near the bed. I could never switch on and off certain lights. The light for the work desk is absolutely inadequate.
5. Four months back, a veg sandwich in the room service menu was Rs. 650. Now it had gone up to Rs. 850, i.e. 30% increase in this time!!! Yes, this is the rate of inflation at Indian Hotels or rather it is the rate of profitability for the shareholders and the owners. Thank God, the Government of India does not consider the prices of dining out in 5 star hotels while computing the national inflation rate, else they would be thrown out along time ago. Hotel management on the other hand can get away with this kind of obscenity because the majority of their clientele are on expense account or have egos bigger than their wallets that would not allow them to even look at the prices, leave alone question them. Fortunately, one of my favorite restaurants in Bombay (Moshe's) is 5 mins walking from the hotel. So, if you care about your hard earned money like I do, head over there, and you will enjoy excellent food at prices that are less than a quarter at this hotel. Mr. Padmanabhan, the loyal sales manager will no doubt say that the prices are reflective of the general price increase, the prices in other similar hotels, blah, blah, blah. I will be happy to take him around Bombay and introduce him to places where the prices do not soar every few months like the population.
6. You can order cigarettes through room service. So much about providing a non smoking and healthy environment!
1. When I made the reservation this time, I was thrilled to note that they were finally offering wifi as part of the rate without fleecing you for it. it seemed like they had finally decided to fast forward to the 21st century. I was in for a shock. Upon checkin, I was informed that that the 'free' wifi was only 256kbps, and if I wanted a faster speed I would still have to pay for it! This is like saying we will provide you a bucket of water per day for your need, but if you want more, you will have to pay for it. The actual 'free' speed is of course even slower than 256kbps, and basically it was impossible to do any work without staring at your screen for hours. On top of that my mobile and data card did not work in the room, since there was very weak signal. So for 4 days I was stuck in no man's land. This gimmick has been adopted by many hotels in India as well as abroad. It allows them to get over their guilt feeling without actually providing any wifi service. By doing this, they have actually relegated themselves to the 19th century assuming that their guests are nincompoops and do not see through these gimmicks.
2. The hotel continues to be hypocritical by asking guests to reuse their towels and linen to save water and the environment, yet contributing to environmental pollution and bulging landfills by using bottled water throughout. The thousands of empty bottles daily are worse than the water and detergents used for laundry. The simple truth is that the hospitality industry cares tuppence about the environment. But by making the guest feel guilty about not reusing the linen and towels, it helps them to save a bundle on their costs which is of course good for the bottom line.
Well, I doubt if any of this will make an iota of difference for hotel management, or for the majority of the readers here who may be considering staying at this hotel. None the less, the truth needs to be said.
Avoid booking a room during Indian weddings. Check if the wedding group is staying on your floor.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.