This is my second review on the same hotel. I've stayed in this hotel on our vacation in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. We travel three of us (my wife, daughter and myself). Since our first visit in 2008 we fell in love with the hotel because of its staff, location and what the vicinity could offer to us (the hotel building isn't great though, but that doesn't much matter at a sea resort as long as rooms are clean and sheets are washed - there was no problem with that).
On all our consequent visits we chose this hotel because it was also reasonably priced and we always got a separate bed for our small daughter and full breakfast for three of us. No problem any single time except... the last visit in 2011.
This time, like all other times we used the same format to request this hotel (e.g. one large double bed + single bed for our daughter + breakfast for 3 people). The booking was made through the same travel agency as previous visits. All went well except that this time the package came considerably higher in price (who'd think that the price would be higher especially that Thais' should be more flexible in trying to get more tourists after the troubles they went through, incl. political crisis, demonstrations and weather conditions). Anyway, I thought "Ok, Thai economy is doing well and US dollar is falling, thus the exchange rate etc etc etc.". However, it was not the real problem. The problem was when we arrived.
"You have a breakfast for 3 people and you have a double bed in your room" the reception lady informed me at check-in. "How about a bed for our daughter" I asked thinking she'd immediately confirm one. "No bed for child" she answered. "What do you mean" I asked and pulled out my copy of reservation. In return, she showed me her documents saying that there was no request for an extra bed for child. I spent about 30 minutes trying to prove that my request contained it and that all previous years the request was the same and we always got an extra bed, and besides, our daughter was little then and wasn't quite needing a separate bed in the first couple of years but we still had it without any problems, but this time we really needed one as she was not a small baby now. After debates lady told me that I can pay extra $13 for the bed daily. I told her that it was getting funny since $13 (which is not a lot at all) is about 400 baht and you can get a relatively decent accommodation in Pattaya for that money. And it was not the matter of money ($13 p/day was around $150 for the total days of our stay). It was the matter of principle. So, I asked for the manager who was in the back room but the lady, having spent there some 10 minutes, came out he wasn't in.
On that day and the next I asked about the manager around 20 times. Ladies from all shifts knew exactly how I was, from which room and what was the matter. Those who were knew would tell me "one moment" and would go to back office, but would return with having to lie that "manager is not there yet". Finally, at the end of the 2nd day I told them that I am not leaving the reception area until I see the manager. They told me he'd see me in 30 minutes (!!!)... try to think of it. A hotel manager in a highly tourist area who should get out of their skin to satisfy clients makes me chase him for 2 days and finally tells me that he will meet me in 30 minutes.
Anyway, he finally came out and we sat in the lobby with my family and I started telling him the whole story. I was surprised but he actually has dag out the old documents from back 2008, 2009, 2010 and looked up our reservation forms. He told me that the request they got from the travel agent didn't have any mention of the extra bed for our last reservation (2011). I said "Ok" if it was travel agent's problem I don't care. Let it be. But I made a reservation which had this request and so on and so on. He nodded and listened but never looked in my eye and kept saying "it's not in the request of the travel agent and that's why you don't have the extra bed". This was his answer for my every single argument. By the way, without any intention to hurt anyone's feeling or personality I must say he was not a pleasant man. He never looked in my eye when he spoke and his face expressed dullness and unhappiness with having to sit there with this stupid insisting young man (me that is). Anyway, I tried to tell him that I was one of the few clients who came to the same hotel for the 4th time and that I come to Thailand with my family because we love the country, people, the culture etc and he should be proud to host such clients but he didn't give a crap (sorry). He just didn't care. Any other person or hotel who'd be welcoming us back even for the 2nd time would be doing something special extra to show their respect and satisfaction with our choice. But not this guy!
I do hope he or his colleagues read this report and they (no, not that he or they would change) would at least realize that this is not the way to treat its clients.
We still love Thailand, people, we love the location of this hotel, its staff (most of them very friendly and some of them are there from our previous visits), but are not coming back there... not unless they send us a personal invitation to come.
Thailand has much much more better places that Grand Jomtien 'PALACE' hotel