If you are looking for lovely self-catering houses with a great location and don’t mind being verbally assaulted, insulted, condescended to and made to cry by the nasty piece of work who serves as manager, then Villas Do Paraiso is for you.
I’ve noted that the several other reviews of this property are generally positive, but my experience was exceptionally different. From the outset when the manager was annoyed to have to show the unit during lunch time to the fact that I somehow was made to feel guilty for the geyser (hot water) not working, I felt uncomfortable and unwelcome, was yelled at, accused of lying and smoking illicit substances (the only thing I’ve smoked for the last 20 years is over-the-counter cancer sticks!).
Having for years worked in service industries, including hospitality, I can tell you that the denigrating treatment I received was despicable. I don’t care if for some reason a guest rubs you the wrong way, when you toil in the hospitality trade, you are tasked with catering to the client, to creating a happy and memorable experience, and to treating each and every paying customer with respect. For as we all know, word of mouth goes a long way. Not to mention Trip Advisor reviews. But I couldn’t get a smile out of this sour-faced woman, every attempt at friendliness I made was met with a snide rebuke. To wit: Having spent a few days on an island I told her how wonderful it was and asked if she’s been. Her aggressive response: “No. SOME of us have to work!” Huh? Are you implying that your guests don’t work to pay for their holiday?
Let’s begin with what turned into a hellish experience at the beginning: I stayed at Villa Do Parasio twice, separated by a three day hiatus. I was given (probably a low season, single person) quote for the expansive house. I was thrilled. DSTV, laundry, the works. First day there was no hot water and I reported it. There was a charity event going on that weekend on the property, and I was in fact informed before I checked in that it might be noisy. No problem. I was down there enjoying the festivities. My issue was that outside people were parking on the property and potentially blocking my car in. Oh, how absolutely horrible that I cited my concern!
Second time I returned I was given a different house which had a bit of an ant infestation. When I asked if they had any bug spray I was dismissed with a curt “no” so I went out and purchased my own. Then the DSTV stopped working. I realize some folks don’t want to watch TV on holiday, but I was happy to have a chance to relax in front of the boob tube. I was aggressively told that the bill had been paid, but hey, can’t control the cable company and besides for my rate, DSTV isn’t normally offered. When I mentioned that since all the units had TV, I just assumed it was included, I was dismissed offhandedly. “Really, are you kidding?” She maligned. “For what you’re paying?” I felt two inches tall. Then I came home one evening and the air conditioning wasn’t working in the bedroom. By this time I was simply too afraid to report this so did without. Afraid? Of the manager of a place where I am a paying guest? But so it was. Finally, I was emerging from the shower, unclothed with the bedroom door open and hear the cleaning guy in the kitchen. I went in and requested that he not enter the premises without first knocking. Not an unreasonable request I thought. I asked him to leave until I was dressed. He reported to the manager that I didn’t want him to come in the house. When I indicated that I never said that, she responded that I was lying. No, I’m not. “So are you calling him a liar?” No, I’m not calling anyone a liar I said. I suspect it was simply a misunderstanding due to the language barrier. But why must I even explain? If I didn’t want the house cleaned, wasn’t that my prerogative anyway while I’m in residence?
Besides, she queried, “Were you walking around the house naked?”. No. “So what’s the problem?” Yowza. But what if I WAS walking around naked? My space, my prerogative, no? Just knock before entering please. The real issue is how she spoke to me. I felt diminished and cowed. Knots in my stomach type nervousness. Whatever happened to the service philosophy that the customer is always right. Even when we’re not, there’s a diplomatic way to handle such situations. At the resort in Costa Rica at which I worked, customers were upgraded, given free services, etc… all in the name of making and keeping them happy. But sadly, that ethos has seemed to escape this manager. Customer service is a tough gig. You need to have the patience, empathy and temperament to deal with all sorts of clients. One thing you don’t do is insult, demean or otherwise ostracize your guest. It’s just not cool. And it’s not good for business. So, to the managers of Praia do Paraiso, I respectfully and humbly submit that if you can’t or don’t want to deal with the small stuff, or clients you deem irritating -- and if you’ve got your own problems as you told me after I mentioned mourning the loss of my father -- well again, I respectfully submit that you are better suited for another type of job.
I hope the owners read this, because they should be aware of how their beautiful property is being marred by less than beautiful managers. This experience totally soured my otherwise nice time in Vilankulo. Great property, horrific management. Buyer Beware!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villa Do Paraiso is a resort of 6 individual luxury villas set right on the beach in Vilanculos, capital of tropical adventure in Mozambique. Each of the superb thatched villas are free-standing double-stories with wonderful ocean views, set amongst lush tropical gardens within a secure 24-hour patrolled perimeter. Each accommodates 8 guests in 4 double rooms with en-suite facilities and a private pool, as well as your personal house Butler who can cook meals, do laundry and assist with all your needs while at Vila Do Paraiso. ... more less
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