On Friday, April 8, 2011, we had the misfortune to stay at the Casa de Carmona.
A few words about our travelling experience. We have visited Europe twice a year for at least 12 years and stay primarily at 3 star establishments, both in cities and rural environments. We understand that things in Europe are different than in the US and enjoy that difference. We rarely stay at chains, preferring locally owned and operated lodgings.
We wound up at the Casa de Carmona because two 4 star hotels in Carmona, including the Parador, were full.
I have never been as disappointed as I was with the Casa de Carmona, a supposedly 5 star hotel.
When we drove up to the hotel we were thrilled. It was beautiful, set on a very small, quiet square in Carmona, a delightful town east of Sevilla. The entry was lovely; the girl at the desk helped with our baggage, and told us where to park the car in their convenient lot.
We were shown to our room. It was on the first floor (that’s the second floor to Americans). The elevator was not working, but thankfully the receptionist and the manager (?) carried our suitcases up the over 30 steps. Our room (number 9) was down a dark corridor with several turns and no lights. Our room looked like what you would expect a room in an old manor to look like. Being in a renovated building, I am willing to overlook clumsy layouts, such as lack of closets and steps to the bath.
Upon returning from dinner (at a restaurant that was recommended by the hotel staff and was located on a street that carried a great deal of traffic on cobbles), we discovered that the boards supporting the mattress on the frame were broken. How is this possible in a 5 star hotel? Why didn’t housekeeping discover it? We had removed our clothes, but called the front desk, and fortunately, another room was available. We were switched to a junior suite (number 17) with a squeaky door and extremely odd arrangement, even by old manor standards. The desk clerk said, “Of course, we will not charge the difference in room rates.” Why would you even say that? We left our bags in the old room and slept in the new room.
In the morning, I went to the old room to shower and dress. The plumbing in this place is obsolete. While the separate cold/hot handles are cutesy, the hot just turned without providing water. I had to hold the base with one hand and turn the handle with the other.
I have taken hundreds of showers in European tubs, and am used to the challenges due to the lack of shower curtains, but this room’s shower shield was most ineffective. The entire bath floor was covered with water. I had to use a second towel to mop it up. I advised my wife and encouraged her to shower in the new room. She tried, but was unsuccessful in getting hot water, so she had the same experience I did.
I went down to use the Internet. In a 5 star property like this I expect Internet everywhere. There was an LAN outlet in the room with cable, but I never got it to work, and I am tech savvy. Wi-Fi is limited to the reception and adjacent courtyard, not throughout the common areas.
My wife joined me, and we had to hunt for the breakfast room. No signs and an unmanned front desk. Breakfast was Euro 20 per person. It was not a buffet, but “served” by a single waitron who was overworked, resulting in us being underserved. A prepackaged wafer awaited us at the table. We were presented with unimaginative toast, cold, of course. The OJ was freshly squeezed – YEA! Cereal selection was poor, and one could order an egg. No meat was offered. Jam was prepackaged, and not in those nice, individual glass containers, but in foil! At Euro 20 per person! Over priced and unimaginative!
We packed and took our suitcases down the stairs. No help was available. The front desk remained unmanned, even after repeated rings of the buzzer. We left a note and went sightseeing. We returned in about an hour and were met, not with an apology for not being there, but with a bill overcharging us for the room, which was corrected after I complained.
Don’t come here expecting great service or a great breakfast or a great room. In fact, my recommendation is don’t go to the Casa de Carmona.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.