As a last minute decision, I agreed to meet some friends from the US in Ethiopia. They were staying at the Hotel Ghion but it was unavailable on my dates and the TripAdvisor recommendations were not good. They were however spot on as my friends are not having a great experience there.
I chose the Intercontinental as I have only had good experiences with IHG hotels in the past. Until now. It takes the name but is not part of the Group and is nowhere near the same standard. The whole place looks tired and run down. The only upside is that the Ethiopian National Football squad were staying there. Boy do those guys eat. Constantly. Oh well, Nigeria will have them running around the park on Sunday so they will lose the weight!
I wanted a hotel with complimentary wifi in the room as I had a Skype call planned for Monday. I arrived on Sunday to find that there was no internet, wired or wifi. "The server is down and no one has internet at the moment" they informed me. "It should be back tomorrow." It wasn't and they had no idea when it would be but apparently no one else had it either. I went for a walk. Less than 50m around the corner the Radisson had full internet services. My friends at the Ghion said that they had internet too and the Hilton a few blocks away had it too. Too late for me as my Skype call had been cancelled. "Not possible" said the Intercontinental when I told them, "we use the same provider". Seems like someone has a better SLA then.
While out the next day, unbeknownst to me, my friends called to leave a message concerning confirming my flight booking that evening. I got back to the hotel. No message light on the phone. No note under the door. On the off chance, I called my friends to see what were the dinner plans and they asked if I had received the messages left. Obviously I hadn't. Called reception. "No sir, we didn't get any messages". Went to confirm the tickets but it was too late. Came back to the hotel and asked why I didn't get the messages. "Oh, when did your friends call? Let me check. Oh yes, they left two messages for you to call them urgently". One not happy guest.
That's raid, the staff, while incompetent, are extremely cheerful. The rooms, although tired, are clean. The location is good and the free shuttle to the airport was a godsend at 5am this morning.
Would I go back there? Never. Would I recommend it? If I didn't like you I might!
It is not whether you make mistakes, it is how you fix them, that counts. The Intercontinental needs to work on avoiding mistakes and fixing the ones it does make. Quickly.
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