The extremely poor level of service I have been encountered at the Hyatt Miami at the Blue in Doral, Florida has left me completely disilliusioned about the Hyatt chain of hotels.
I checked into the property on the evening of 27th October 2012, with the intention to check out on 30th November 2012, a period of approximately 5 weeks. However, I encountered problem after problem since the very first day I checked in, leaving me completely frustrated and annoyed with the management and staff of the hotel. Here are some 'happy' events.
1. Internet and wireless connectivity within the room.
This must surely be one of the most basic services that guests expect from a hotel, in this day and age. However, at this property, it is a constant challenge to capture a wireless network of sufficient stability and strength as to be able to conduct basic communication with the outside world. The norm here seems to be that good signal strength is like striking the lottery....only if you are very lucky. Perhaps they expect that guests should step out of their rooms each time they want to make or receive a telephone call on their mobile devices. Although several reports were made to the management and Front Desk regarding the poor or non-existent wireless signal, the problem still exist.
2. Inability of the staff to make the hotel internal telephone system work.
As a result of the poor wireless communication system in the hotel, attempts were made by me to call Singapore (where I live), via the hotel telephone system. All attempts failed; the hotel telephone operator was unable to connect the calls. To make matters worse, she even had the gumption to suggest that I did not know the telephone number of my own home in Singapore, and had given her the wrong number! How preposterous! As my family had not been able to call me on my mobile device (due to the non-existent network signal), they attempted to call me via the hotel switchboard, incurring long distance charges on each of the three attempts made. But...the hotel telephone operator did not know how to connect the calls to my room, resulting in money wasted. And, as if to add insult to injury, the hotel added an $8 charge to my bill for one of my failed attempts to call Singapore via the hotel switchboard. Charming!
3. Hotel Shuttle Service.
The hotel provides a free shuttle service for guests, to destinations within a 5-mile radius. As my office is 2 miles (5 mins) away, and I do not drive, I was dropped off at the office on the first three working days of my stay. This courtesy was, however, withdrawn from the fourth day on, on grounds that the staff were busy....driving other guests to the same area (I checked with the other guests.) This smacks of discrimination, and I'm just wondering if I'm being targeted because I am a foreigner (and an oriental at that) and not a Caucasian.
4. Taxi Service.
On the two occasions that I have needed to request for a taxi to take me places, one particular hotel staff - name withheld- has conveniently ordered a limousine service to ferry me to my destination, at great cost to me. On the first occasion, I had just arrived at the hotel the previous day, and thus was not aware that regular metered taxis were also available to be called. However, on the second occasion too, this staff very quickly called for a limousine, citing heavy traffic as the reason for her not calling for a metered taxi. This episode has me wondering whether any of the staff are receiving kickbacks for summoning the limousine each time a guest requests a taxi.
5. Room Maintenance.
On the first day that I arrived, I noticed that the blackout curtains in my room were coming off the rails, and needed to be re-installed. Over a period of one week, the front desk was informed of it no less than three times, but still nothing was done. It was only after I actually accosted the hotel Duty Manager that the problem was fixed. This makes me wonder if the property's maintenance team is understaffed, or not bothered, or the front desk could not care less. In any case, this does not reflect well on the management of the hotel.
It looks like amenities are not required to be replenished once they run out. Instance #1 - the Note Pad on the bedside table had run out, and I specifically left the folder open, with the empty backing visible, so the housekeeping staff could replenish it, but to my extreme surprise and bemusement, they had carefully put the empty backing piece back into the folder and closed it; no replacement note pad! Instance #2 - the room had run out of toilet paper, but none was replenished until I stuck a Post-it Note on the Bathroom mirror requesting for more!
7. Staff Attitude and Efficiency.
After having stayed at the property for a couple weeks, I came to realise that the staff there (especially the front office staff) were not too happy with guests making requests of them. In particular, I found that the front desk staff named above to be especially rude and unhelpful. In addition, it has become rather clear to me that the staff are unable to multi-task or handle more than one request at a time; the second or further request was usually forgotten and left unfulfilled until asked again.
8. Attempts at service recovery.
After much goading and prompting, I eventually found out that the management of the property were planning to offer me 2500 points as service recovery, an amount so paltry it insulted me. The minimum number of points required for a free room night at a Cat 1 (Basic) Hyatt property is 5000 points, and a room night at the Hyatt Blue (a Cat 3 hotel) is 15000 points. So, the 2500 points offered would have even give me one night's stay anywhere in the Hyatt network. (I'm just SO overwhelmed by their generosity!)!
In a nutshell.....if you are considering a visit to Miami, don't bother with a stay at the Hyatt Blue, unless you enjoy pain and frustration