I used to work in Hospitality. I now work at a company that travels a lot, and I'm lucky to stay in lovely hotels all over the world with my crew. Please don't misunderstand: these things don't make me spoiled, but well-versed.
A group of 12 of us recently stayed at the hotel during a work trip. We work hard and the thought of having a nice comfortable place to stay at night was something to look forward to.
we heard good things, and the property was lovely upon sight. Not at all what I expected, as it was so new and suburban feeling, almost a bit like something out of the The Truman Show, but its new, so excusable. The rooms are huge. A lot bigger than I needed. Our group of 12 was staying one week, so I didn't feel bad calling to ask if I could switch to a room with one bed vs. two, since I was alone here for 7 days, but they said they couldn't work it out so I shrugged and didn't make a thing of it. (although I found this strange because it was a Monday and the hotel seemed kind of empty).
The next night, a work friend called the hotel restaurant, Bar Sol, to make a reservation for 12. She called at 5:30 for a 7:30 dinner reservation. The hostess laughed in her face, which I found unnecessary and rude. However, we are a reasonable group and I suppose it was kind of last minute, so when she told us there is no way she could fit us in, we made no deal of it and decided to meet for cocktails at the bar/restaurant first and then go into town for dinner. At this point, the group had now narrowed to 8.
While we were at SolBar having cocktails, 7:30 rolled around and we realized the place was quite empty. There were over 10 tables open outside and an entire indoor eating area inside with not ONE table occupied. We asked the hostess if she could fit our group afterall, and she said she'd "work on it". (?) Even the bartender questioned what was taking so long in getting her to seat us, as he was getting slammed at the bar due to their lack of effort in finding us a proper table. About an hour and an order of appetizers in an empty restaurant later, they finally sat us down.
We waited for an HOUR AND A HALF before they even brought us BREAD. two hours later, we were served food that wasn't worth the wait (maybe we were just fuming). We asked the waiter what the deal was and he answered uncomfortably, "i'm not supposed to talk about why we can't seat people here. its a weird thing that doesn't make sense" (!) We stopped prying and his manager/the hostess lady pulled him aside and we never saw him again! they had another person tend to us the rest of the meal. It was really strange and felt more like The Truman Show by the minute. Like a cult or something.
The next awful event was the spa. It happened to be my birthday during my stay, and my boss generously booked me a massage our last night at the hotel. He made a 6pm reservation. I showed up at 5:30 and the girl told me to go wait in the mineral pool. It was 99 degrees outside, and I was in a robe, and the pool was pretty hot too, so I opted to sit outside the mineral pool under an oning and wait for the masseuse. 6:10 rolls around and I thought I misunderstood, so I went back to the front desk to see where she was.The girl then rudely told me that I was in the wrong area and that I was supposed to have come back inside (wrong. she did NOT tell me that. she told me the masseuse was supposed to come find me, which is the norm in spas. besides, i had not moved from where she told me to go originally). She then told me to go wait in the waiting area, which was cute, but outside. Again, I had on a robe and it was 99 degrees outside. I'm pouring sweat, and getting cranky. Its 6:30 something. I go inside to the air conditioned area in the front reception and told her I'd wait there. After a lot of squirming around up at the front desk, the manager then comes to report that they've made a mistake and can't fit me in. (I'm sure you readers must thing I either: stink, am funny looking or am some sort of whacked out maniac at this point in the story considering all of these people keep denying me service. But alas, none of this is true, i can assure you). She was trying very hard to be sugary nice and fix the problem by offering things like, "we have a male masseuse that can give you a foot rub" (I specifically wanted a female masseuse and told them this earlier in the day after my boss booked the appointment for me and told her I would not take a male in replacement of my original request, so she tried to push this weird situation about a foot massage on me). she offered to let me take a dip in their mineral pool (uh, that comes free with the service, you ain't fooling me here) and then finally, when I explained to her I had knots in my back I was looking forward to getting worked on with a proper massage and a dip in the pool wouldn't cut it as a replacement, she insisted I go to a room with this specialty NASA-built-state of the art chair which was a great massage chair and really relaxing. At this point, I"m utterly annoyed and said no thank you, but she insisted I go sit in the chair while she tried to work out my appointment. I said okay and was lead to a room with what is basically a luxury lazy-boy. it doesn't move, you lounge in it and put on earphones while they play bad hippie jazz in your earphones. I'll admit, I was in a really bad mood at this point, so maybe to some this could be relaxing, but after 2 minutes, I turned the stupid thing off, went to the bathroom, got dressed and left. I told them to call me in my room if they could fit me in soon. She chased me out the door saying they could get me in in 30 minutes. I gave in and said okay, but that I needed to call my friends, seeing as I had dinner reservations soon and I had to check to see if we could push them back. It turns out our dinner plans could not be rearranged, so I called her to express my disappointment in this situation and even added that we had a similarly bad experience at the restaurant a couple of nights before. She said I'm sorry and didn't offer any complimentary treatment on a future visit or anything in leu of .
She did, however, send a candle and an apology to my room, but after all that craziness, it didn't make up for it. Although her effort was appreciated, her ideas of things (foot massage, free pool usage, weird dumb space chair, candle) as replacements for the hour massage I got screwed on, were stupid.
Later, to just get the day over with, I ordered room service. The delivery girl walked right into my room upon delivering my food,even though I took the platter from her hands and insisted she didn't have to help me set it up, attempted to be chatty cathy about what was on my tv, and then later, around 10pm, might i add, came banging on my door asking for the dishes back.Literally, BANGING and yelling into my door. I was asleep.
Overall, this place is so utterly pretentious. They built this huge commune, filled it with fancy rooms, a spa and a restaurant but obviously don't have the man power or knowledge of how to train their staff to be service-oriented. Nobody there asks what YOU want, how they can help YOU, but instead, treat you like you should be lucky to be there. I don't buy it. You don't build clientle by trying to trick people into thinking they are part of something good, or part of some "scene" they are trying to create, but instead, you built clientle by offering good, professional service, by working with a customer and their needs, and by stepping off your high horse.
They lost a group of potentially 40 something people, for weeks at a time, every few months. THATS how bad the service was. My entire crew was talking about how bad this experience was. And even best! I didn't pay for anything! My work paid for everything and I am still just mad. I cannot IMAGINE how livid I would be if this were my own money, saved up for a vacation. Absolutely not worth it. This place needs to take some of the money they put into the extra, weird space in the room and replace it with some service training around here. Clean, comfy space is not worth such dirty attitudes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Solage Calistoga brings a comfortable, enlightened experience to Napa Valley with luxury accommodations and an award winning spa and restaurant. • 89 recently upgrade guest rooms and suites• Michelin-starred resort restaurant, Solbar• 20,000 square foot award winning Spa Solage• 130-foot landmark adult pool and hot tub, family pool and three geothermal mineral pools• Over 15,000 square feet of flexible indoor/outdoor function space ideal for weddings and meetings. • State-of-the-art gym with Yoga/Movement studio offering a variety of complimentary fitness classes ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Solage Calistoga Hotel Calistoga
- Solage Hotel Calistoga
- Calistoga Solage Hotel