All of the concerns presented below were raised in an e-mail message sent to Bob Walsh, the Renaissance Esmeralda general manager, on October 1, 2007 before I checked out. As of October 5, he has not even acknowledged receipt of that e-mail message. It appears to me that the service failures at Esmeralda described below reflect the inattention of its management AND its staff.
My first stay at the Renaissance Esmeralda will be my last. Arriving the afternoon of Sept. 30, the resort’s valets and bellmen seemed less than interested in helping me with my car or my luggage. After asking three different valets for help, over the course of 15 minutes in the mid-day desert heat, I finally gave up and obtained one of the hotel’s luggage carts to haul my own bags up to the lobby. Nothing gets the attention of bellmen like a guest having the audacity to use one of their luggage carts. Only then did I attract the help I desired.
After checking into my room, I made the mistaken assumption that the hotel’s refrigerators would actually keep my food and drinks cold. Five hours after loading the refrigerator its contents were actually warmer than room temperature! Naturally, I requested a replacement. Three hours later the employee who visited my room determined it was working just fine and left a voicemail message indicating that no corrective action was required. Ten hours after checking in the contents of the refrigerator were still warmer than room temperature. Essentially, the employees ignored my request for a replacement refrigerator. Did they think I called for a replacement just to make work for them? If you think about it, their actions basically implied that I lied about the need for a replacement. Disregarding my simple request for a replacement refrigerator, made in response to a specific problem, really falls short of the service expected at resort like the Esmeralda.
The hotel’s answer to my telephoned complaint that night was polite in light of my displeasure: “Can we buy you breakfast?” While generous, my $700 conference fee paid for breakfast. (I realize that the hotel does not control that fee, however at least a portion of that amount pays for the conference rooms and meals.) At this point even a room discount would not provide much relief since my firm paid for the room charges. Nearly twenty-four hours after reporting the refrigerator problem the hotel sent up a cheese and cracker amenity and generic apology note, which I assume were good will gestures for this problem. Since my dietary needs would not have allowed me to partake I politely refused the cheese and crackers; good food should never be wasted.
My service experiences continued on October 1, as I tried to book a spa appointment. My first three phone calls to the spa over a 15 minute span of time rolled to voicemail. Since I couldn’t book an appointment while I’m attending a conference session, I refrained from leaving a message. On my next attempt after lunch, the hotel operator connected me to a hotel employee who spoke limited English. Once I reached a person working at the spa, I inquired about booking a 50 minute massage appointment. After being immediately placed on hold, I finally hung up after several minutes. I was clearly forgotten about.
Although the resort otherwise appears to merit a four-star rating and charge four star rates, my service experience at the Esmeralda merited three stars or less. The resort is beautiful and clearly its housekeepers work very hard to keep it and my room clean; it’s a shame that the other services expected of a luxury resort were so lacking.
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- Also Known As:
- Renaissance Esmeralda Resort And Spa
- Renaissance Esmeralda Hotel Indian Wells
- Renaissance Indian Wells
- Indian Wells Renaissance