This time, I would like to share my experience in staying at Ibis Simpang Lima Semarang back in November 2013. Actually, I felt extremely reluctant in sharing such bad experience with others but finally, I did it as I hope nobody would ever experienced the same nightmare as I did during my stay.
It all started when I decided to book two (different) stays, each for one night stay, within 2 ~ 3 weeks apart in this hotel when Accor hotels had a sale offer among the members. This would be my 2nd and 3rd stay in this hotel after my 1st stay back in 2008 (if I was not mistaken when the hotel was still newly operated). In my first stay, nothing was fantastic as I could remember that they had problem with air conditioner (the room was too warm) but I would never thought I would experience one of the worst nightmare during my entire life.
My 2nd stay was just okay (nothing fantastic) but the problem started during my 3rd stay right when I arrived in the hotel. There was no parking in the hotel when I arrived so I asked one of the security guys whether I could park somewhere in front of the main entrance (I did the same thing when I checked in during my 2nd stay). To my surprise, the guy did not allow me but I told him that I could not walk far because I had problem with one of my legs which was swollen quite badly at that time.
He in turned spoke to one of the guys (he wore the hotel's uniform and later I found out that he was working to do valet parking) who was just walking out from the main entrance. After having a quick talk between them, the security guy approached me again, with the other guy behind him, and told me that I still could not park my car anywhere in front of the hotel. So, I told them again that I was having problem with my leg and I could not walk further.
After listening to me and with a unpleasant face, the guy in hotel's uniform told the security guy that he would suggest me to park my car in the position where it was at (it was in the middle of the driveway). At that minute, I got fed up (and so angry) with their staff's attitude so I decided to leave the car in the middle of the driveway as he suggested, took my only luggage and did the check-in. When I walked passed by both of them, they could see clearly that I walked with limped leg and surprisingly, none of them made any comment but it was so obvious the guy in hotel's uniform was not happy with what I did and later I started thinking he might expect to get some tips when he parked my car.
Check-in was normal and I was immediately told that the room was not ready and I was really surprised because it was like almost 4:00 pm already. When I was about to sit down in the lobby, the receptionist called me and advised me that my room was ready. So I decided to go up to the room, left my only luggage in the room and went to other place immediately with my family. To my surprise, the security guy approached me this time and asked me to move my car. I told him I was gonna go up to my room only to put my luggage and immediately left the hotel.
This security guy could clearly see the condition of my (swollen) leg but he still insisted me to move my car so I argued with him why I could not just parked my car in the side for few minutes as there was no car parking and after all, it was just few minutes only ? I believe such request was just standard and I left my whole family in the lobby. He just didn't listen to what I had said and when the elevator door opened, he followed me to get in to the elevator and that time, I was getting extremely angry and yelled at him.
I almost punched him in the face but before doing that, I realized that it was the other guy who made him doing this. So I decided to go out of the elevator with him and asked him to bring the hotel's GM as I would like to lodge a complaint that time. The security guy apparently realized the mistake he did but it was too late. I went up to the room and within 3 minutes, I was in the lobby already waiting for the hotel's GM to appear : I was later waiting outside my car as I was about to move my car so that it other cars could pass by.
Minutes later, a middle aged (in her 40s) appeared from the back office and started apologized to me but from her face, I could tell someone had given her a false report on what happened. She politely told me that the hotel's GM was away that time and she took over his position as MOD (Manager On Duty), a condition later I just realized why this incident happened and went unnoticed due to lack of staffs' training and screening.
She then politely instructed one of the hotel staffs to find a parking spot in the hotel which was available that time : The incident started from a small thing and only required a little willingness to understand the guests' condition but due to lack of training, small thing became a serious issue. After I parked my car, she started telling me that it was the hotel policy about parking bla bla bla. For a split second, her explanation triggered my anger as I did expect as an MOD, she had to respect the hotel's guest by giving him/her a chance to explain what had happened.
She just did that after I raised the tone of my voice explaining the problem with my leg so she started becoming polite (again) and asked me to sit down in the lobby. Finally, she gave me all the chance to explain what had happened and she started telling me that what she had heard was slightly different version/story which I was not surprised. So I did ask her to call both of the security guy and the hotel's staff, who created this incident, to come over as I was about to confront them but I didn't expect much as they both denied it : I was totally right about them.
After talking for 15~20 minutes, I didn't see this issue would not be resolved so I decided to end my conversation with the MOD. At first, I asked all names for the individuals who involved in this incident including hers and I told her that I would stop by in Accor hotel's head office in Jakarta the next time I visit Jakarta which happened a week before Christamas and lodged a formal complaint on what happened. I was planning to do so but I decided that I didn't want to ruin my (Christmas) holiday mood instead.
To make the story short, I decided not to stay in the hotel although I didn't check out either. I told my wife that I would rather sleep well in our home rather than keeping my bad mood in the hotel. So, we both didn't return back to the hotel until 11:30 am the next morning when I just collected my luggage and checked out immediately.
Until today, when I remembered that event, I felt sick thinking about it. It was definitely one of the worst hotels, if not the worst one, I had ever stayed (and experienced) during my 28 years of traveling worldwide. Well, okay I don't expect a fantastic service but it was just a simple and easy request that made the whole thing.
Based on my experience in staying in this hotel, I do not really need more than a second to be honest that I personally would not recommend this hotel at everyone to stay. The hotel was not really in good condition : Obviously, the hotel needs to be refurbished as you might clearly see from the condition of the carpets in the hallway and furniture inside the room. However, that's not what the reason why I didn't recommend this hotel : Someone may understand if they see what has happened during that afternoon.
This is one of the hotels managed by one of the most respectable hotel management in the world but apparently, nobody understood the hotel's philosophy by judging on how the MOD handled the problem. For me, some of the staffs working in this hotel were not suitable working in the hotel/hospitality industry as they were more proper to be classified as thugs or crooks by looking at their personalities.
I immediately instructed my office to put this hotel in our black list forever. Honestly speaking, I don't even consider even the hotel tries to settle this issue anymore as I lost my trust on them. There are many other hotels in town I really believe can provide a standard level of hospitality these days. Don't forget as many people say : The hotel gets the business from the guests. When they leave because they are unsatisfied, somebody else will get the benefit. By the end of the day, the hotel's owner will lose the business.
At the price I had paid (under USD 20), it was not even worth a penny to return back to the hotel. After all, this hotel property was even lousier than a cheap motel and there was no other words can describe how bad the hotel was. I put this hotel in my black list and so far, I never say extremely bad things about a hotel except this one so you can imagine how bad it was for me.
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- Also Known As:
- Ibis Semarang Hotel Semarang