I had stayed at this property 4 or 5 times previously for all the reasons others list and had been quite delighted with the hotel. As I was travelling to London with my daughter I decided to make this property our base for a five night stay so we didn't have to bother with the hassle of dragging bags etc into Central London.
I still found the bed comfortable, the bathroom schmick and the general environment very attractive. Here is what I wrote in response to the Sofitel's post-stay feedback survey.
The major issue was, when my daughter and I were in bed after 11pm a female knocked on our door, said "housekeeping" and immediately entered our room. We were most disturbed by this intrusion at such a late hour.
I immediately phoned reception and asked to speak to the duty manager. The person I spoke to refused to put me through because the duty manager was busy and could not speak to us until the following morning as there were 600 people booking into the hotel (I later found that this was not true). I was also told by the same pereson that housekeeping was checking our room to see if it was occupied (even though housekeeping had made up our room earlier in the day and had delivered toileteries to us around 10pm). I was also told the policy for staff entering rooms was to knock, wait 3-4 seconds and then enter. This does not seem an adequate length of time for guests to dress themselves, wake up or finish bathroom activities.
I was quite upset and insistent that I speak to The Duty Manager and was finally put through to a poor lady called Shirley, the supervisor on reception, who had to listen to my story - my daughter and I were quite distressed by the entry to our room at such a late hour. Shirley was more helpful and promised to get the Duty Manager to call me within the next twenty minutes. When this did not happen I got dressed and went down to the reception desk around 11:45pm, apparently the Duty Manager did call when I was on my way down. This man just tried to fob me off with empty apologies but he promised to get back to me the next day. He didn't. I wanted an assurance that the matter would be investigated, the staff member who had entered our room be counselled and that policies be put in place so that this did not happen to some other hapless travellers.
Over the next two days I spoke to a few people one of whom, Clare, actually got back to me. I was told by several admin people that the matter would be investigated but I got no feedback. The rest just listened and fobbed me off. A day and a half after the incident I mentioned it to a housekeeping supervisor I met in the hallway, she was horrified and promised to look into the matter. I received a letter from housekeeping giving me a 50 pound discount off my bill for a five night stay plus a late checkout.
Two weeks later I am still waiting to hear from the Guest Relations or Admin staff if the matter has been investigated, the staff member who had entered our room has been counselled and that policies have put in place so that this does not happen to some other hapless travellers.
Another disturbing incident occurred the morning after the intrusion when we got two wakeup calls at 6:15 am. We got an apology and were told someone had made a mistake.
Other things that soured our stay were:
A porter barring us from taking a trolley up to our room with our luggage on it even though the person on reception checking us in had said it was okay to do so.
The free internet connection was woefully slow.
There was only one face washer in the bathroom for three days (until I complained) even though there were two guests in the room.
Our toileteries were not replenished daily. It was annoying to go to have a bath and find there was not enough shower gel for a good wash.
One day we were given only one bath towel for two people.
One of the twin beds had a sagging mattress.
This is not what one expects in a "Luxury Hotel"
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 31, 2013
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Thank you for taking the time to send your review and please accept my sincere apologies for all the shortfalls in service and lack of follow up that you experienced when trying to get an explanation as I fully appreciate how frustrating this must have been. Clearly the experience you endured was not acceptable nor was the complete lack of follow up that occurred afterwards.
I am very keen to have this matter fully investigated and understand where the break in communication occurred firstly with the member of housekeeping entering an occupied room and secondly with the feedback and explanation you have been given by a number of our staff members to this end can I ask if you can please email Mark Van Schalkwijk our Front of Office Manager on H6214-FO@sofitel.com with more information on the date the incident happened and on all the staff you have spoken with and details on what feedback you have received. This is unacceptable and I would like to ensure that steps are taken for this not to happen again and for you to have peace of mind on exactly what action we have taken following your complaint.
I apologise about the wake up calls you received, recently we did have a fault on our system, which has since been fixed.
I am sorry you found our internet connection slow. Our complimentary internet is designed for emails and light browsing, if you require to download a large file or document we do recommend purchasing the High-Speed option. This option costs £15 unless it is included in your room (Superior and Luxury rooms include the High-Speed internet) however we have very recently had our complementary WIFI internet speed updated and increased and I am hoping that when you next visit us you will notice a difference.
I do hope you will give us the opportunity to restore your faith in our hotel and return to stay with us again very soon.
Anna Marie Dowling – General Manager
Sofitel London Heathrow
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.