I'd so like to give a good review for this hotel because the staff generally tried so very hard to address the problems that we had.
First impressions were good - a beautiful, spacious lobby. Check-in was relatively smooth and we were greeted with a garland flowers to wear! The member of staff that escorted us to our rooms seemed uncertain as to which direction to take and appeared a little inexperienced.
A nice touch on arrival in the room was a selection of fruit, nuts and chocolates (see photo)
My brother and I had booked a King Size room each, however my brother's room contained two single beds very noticably 'joined' together. He complained to reception about this and they offered to move both of us to one of their villas - larger rooms, with four-posted beds and vast bathroom with separate shower cubicle, sunken bath and a 'garden'! (see photos). The first room I was in had extremely heavy, loud sliding doors to the wardrobes - the second room (villa) also had sliding doors (not quite as noisy), but a poor design as it means constantly sliding doors from one side to another in order to get to unload from a suitcase and transfer to the storage section alongside.
There were problems with hot water to both rooms which did get resolved, although it took a few visits from various people to do so. In my first room I'd had an iron and ironing board delivered - this was transferred to the 'villa' only to discover that the plug sockets in the rooms and villas differed! I requested an adapter, and both adapters they provided were wrong. Finally one of the housekeeping staff located a plug socket I could use - hidden behind the desk and only accessible by crawling on the floor and under the desk itself!
Moving onto the disaster that is the restaurant(s) at Le Meridien Jaipur.
Day 1 Lunch
The tables in the restaurant used for lunch are a ridiculous design, having a 'scalloped' design around the edge which means that anyone taller than around 4'6" can't get their knees under the table - at 6'3" I had to almost sit side saddle!! I ordered a light snack of Chicken in Ciabatta - when it finally arrived it was luke warm, and having been down with a bad bout of food poisoning only a couple of days previously I was not inclined to eat it. I pointed this out to the waiter, who took it away, gave it to the chef (in the 'open plan' kitchen) who promptly took it over to a salamander (grill) to reheat it. I called across and pointed out that I didn't want my lunch reheated, I wanted something that was properly cooked to start with. I ended up having a very average omelette.
Day 2 Lunch
After my experience with the Chicken, I decided to play safe and order pizza. I've had better pizzas from a discount supermarket. Despite on waiter claiming there was a pizza oven, the head waiter apologised for the poor quality by pointing out that they didn't have a pizza oven. He did, however, insist that the bases were all made by hand at the hotel, despite the fact that the base was clearly pre-made, had uniform 'fork marks' all across it and exhibited all the attributes of a cheap, factory made base.
Evening meals in the main restaurant
Pesto is, I thought, a pretty standard pasta sauce around the world (olive oil, garlic, basil, pine nuts) - evidently this isn't the case in India - they add cream to it - I had this in another hotel as well and thought perhaps it was an individual interpretation, evidently not! Way too stodgy, sickly. My brother ordered had to return a chicken dish, the food was generally luke warm. I had to return a lamb kebab which was cold. I ordered a dessert described as something like "xxxx infused baked coconut cheesecake" (I can't remember the supposed infusion!). When it arrived I started to laugh - when I tasted it, after all the other food 'disasters', I just broke out in hysterical laughter ... it was HOT! (picture attached). There were two little pyramics accompanied by a glass of jam (possibly coulis) and a glass of kiwi fruit chunks (neither of which were in the description). I have never, ever had hot cheesecake!
Breakfast - average - I've had worse, I've had far better. The worst things I can remember? Two extremely untidy poached eggs served on soggy toast, one egg with a hard yolk and one with a soft (but not runny) yolk. The worst thing? INSTANT COFFEE!! They serve instant coffee in a 5* hotel!! Not only was it instant, it was horrible. However, they will make an espresso for you (or latte, etc) ... regrettably, I think they use a mix of acorns and coffee beans in their espresso machine as that too was pretty dire :(
In general the restaurants were untidy. The first time we ate in the main restaurant we were seated at a table that had a small service table immediately adjacent to it where dirty dishes were collected ... and not removed until we complained. There were no discreet service locations in the restaurant, all dirty dishes were simply accumulating on a couple of tables located within full view of diners. Tables were not cleaned properly, the floor was dirty. We asked for drinking water - it arrived warm - we sent it back, only to get another warm bottle. Crockery at breakfast was mismatch - some of the saucers were the wrong size for the cups.
There seems to be a complete lack of attention to detail at the hotel. Something like mismatched crockery can be forgiven and forgotten if it's the only fault, but with everything else that's wrong minor things like this also stick in the head. The staff also seemed to be quite disorganised.
There was no attendant at the swimming pool - I had to go to the spa to request a towel.
At the spa I had a haircut - the chairs (fixed to the floor) were positioned directly in front of the joins between mirrors so it meant you were staring at a dissected face in the mirror whilst having a hair cut - did nobody notice that when they were designing the place?!
On the plus side, when there were problems they apologies, they tried to do better. The morning following the cheesecake 'incident' the restaurant manager spoke to me and asked how they could improve. We had a long discussion during which I pointed out that a 5* hotel offering an international menu needs to prepare dishes based on international perception, not local - thus Pesto without cream and cheesecake that's served cold! That afternoon a slice of cheesecake was delivered to my room - not baked, but far nicer than the previous evening's disaster.
On our last night, the head waiter took pains to ensure that our food was correct, and that it was hot - and indeed it was. Upon receiving our bill we found that we'd only been charged for drinks - they explained that they wanted to make up for the disappointment with previous meals.
As my headline title says, the staff are eager and they're helpful and it would be great to give a less damning review, but the management of the hotel are responsible and need to take on board not only my criticism but also that of other recent reviews.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jaipur boasts the most sumptuous, extravagant palaces in India. Le Méridien Jaipur too is an extravagantly regal hotel that pays homage to the grandeur of Indian architecture with peacock arches and gleaming white stone. Built upon resplendent acres of serene lush gardens with ambient water bodies, it features a world-class spa with massage and meditation rooms, two innovative restaurants and an award winning bar with an extensive collection of single malts and ‘wines of the world’, Le Cine a theatre seating 42 guests, the Art Corridor with frequent shows featuring masters and emerging artists, Penguin Club for young guests, outdoor and indoor games, spacious conference centre with state of the art facilities and magnificent banquet halls. The hotel has recently added a Presidential Suite covering 3500 sq ft and Nine Deluxe Suites offering 1500 sq ft of Limitless Luxury and served by exclusive butlers, private dining, dedicated lounge bar, a library and on call luxury sedans. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Meridien Jaipur Hotel Kukas
- Jaipur Le Meridien
- Meridien Jaipur
- Le Meridien Jaipur Resort & Spa India/Kookas