From the moment we stepped out of the car and were escorted to our room expectations were very high. The setting, gardens and lobby were very tasteful and a calm relief from the traffic outside. The room, while a bit on the small side was comfortable and generally well equipped. Certain things like the sockets under the seating console was in rather an odd place as it meant the cord from the lamp on the table was draped dangerously across the gap, so you needed to step over it to get to the coffee maker. The table did not make an ideal work station but at least it was somewhere to put the laptop.
The things that let me down were, I expected a turn down service and a refresh of the towels in the room each evening, did not happen the first night but let it go. Second night as we were going into dinner I asked at reception if someone could look at the AC as we found the room very hot, literature in the room lead me to believe I could set the room independently to my desired temperature. On our return nothing had been done and again no turn down service. I called reception for someone to come and look at it, someone from maintenance appeared who spoke no English, eventually a young lady from the front desk appeared to explain the AC is set for the whole hotel and will only go down to 22C we found this unpleasantly warm and asked for the duvets to be removed which seemed to cause a lot of confusion, blankets were brought as replacement although not requested, I also pointed out we had not had a turn down again. Fresh towels were bought at this point. I found the general lack of English quite frustrating, many would say I should converse in the language of the hotel, but I cannot. On the other hand I do not hold myself out to be an international brand.
There were several more instances of the breakdown in language barrier, most of the waiting staff in Danny's Kitchen had little or no English. The last straw was when we approached the desk for dinner we were immediately asked if we wanted the set menu to which we replied yes, we were escorted up in a lift to floor above and then presented with the A la Carte menu. We tried in vane to get the set menu which was on an easel outside Danny's Kitchen on the floor below but the waiting staff just looked at us at blankly. Eventually a manager approached who seemed to understand what we wanted, disappeared then declared that it was only available at lunch time. As we were not exactly sure at this point whether that was the case or not we proceeded to order from the A la Carte. Delicious entrée of Tuna Wasabi rolls, nice wine, so far so good. Main course of Thai beef curry .... terrible, horrible fatty chewy meat. When we complained the manageress from downstairs appeared, she apologised and brought us two desserts in compensation. When we had signed and left we went back downstairs to check the information on the board which stated the set menu was available until 21.00hrs, we were seated in plenty of time so should have been able to order from that menu.
As our meals were not exactly pleasant I felt the need to air my grievances once again with reception, again due to lack of English could not get my point across. I was trying to say that the staff should be more aware of the products and be able to communicate with guests.
On check out the following morning we were approached by one of the managers who proffered a small gift in compensation, all a little bit too late.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- By crossing the door you are entering a space of timeless beauty and luxury. Located on the banks of the picturesque Jinji Lake, the Tonino Lamborghini Boutique Hotel Suzhou has been endowed with a special spiritual power. Hidden to outsiders and open to those who find the way in, our Suzhou hotel has the power to take every guest to far and away places, freeing them of troubles and difficulties. This is where you should stand and look around. Everything will come to you. Just open your eyes. ... more less
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