The hotel is a decent facility, but this review is about the gutless and incompetent staff who tried to raise the price on our reservation by 20%, then called security and police when we refused to pay the increased price. There is also a bonus story of staff incompetence at the end, which could easily have resulted in the loss of my bag with all of my valuables in it.
We booked our stay at the Royal Mamberamo in April of 2013, for January 1st, 2014. We corresponded over email with Ledy Jolanda, the Executive Assistant Manager. The price Ledy quoted us in the email was 1,150,000 IDR for 1 night. When we arrived at 10AM on January 1st, we tried to pay cash immediately. The staff pointed to a sign on the desk with new prices as of January 1st. They now wanted 1,375,000 IDR for the room, a 20% increase over what we agreed to.
I had the printout of the emails with Ledy in my bag, so I pulled it out and showed them. They made a photocopy and asked me to wait until later for a solution. We then received a phone call to our room at about 7PM from the desk, asking us to come down and pay our bill. We went down and asked them how much we had to pay, and they pointed to the sign with the new prices again. It was a new shift of staff, so I again showed them the email printout. They made another photocopy, but didn't care and asked me to pay the new price. After trying and failing to reach their manager on the phone (had New Year's Day off), I told the man that he would have to make a decision and do the right thing. He refused, asking us to pay the higher amount. We got pretty angry and he called the police and security.
So about an hour after it began, a police officer and 2 security men showed up. The security guy had a machine gun on his back. My girlfriend started taking photos and they got upset. So we negotiated with them that we would put the camera away if they'd get rid of the machine gun. They did and we did, so now we could talk.
The male desk clerk stood with the security men behind him and asked me, "Now do you want to pay?" I told him that we'd been trying to pay all day. I then showed one of the security guys the email printout. As soon as he saw it, I could see that he agreed with us. After only looking at it for a few seconds, he started lecturing the desk guy. The police officer held the copy and started tapping it, and also started lecturing the desk guy. They disappeared to a back room for a while and then came back out. The 3 police and security men all shook my hand and said, "I'm very sorry." Then they watched as the desk guy took my money at the price I'd reserved for. I again thanked the security and we all left the lobby.
Now the promised bonus story. I had stayed at the hotel 10 days earlier, before my diving cruise. Somehow in the transport of my bags to the pier, my backpack with about $1,500 worth of valuables in it (electronics, eyeglasses, medicines, etc) went missing. We weren't sure if it had ever left the hotel, so we called them and went back to check. They told us it wasn't there. My bag was eventually found on the wrong island by a nice couple who took the effort to track me down. They told me they found my receipts for the Royal Mamberamo and had called the hotel to see if anybody had inquired about a missing bag and the hotel staff told them no, nobody had. I mean, come on!
This was the worst, most incompetent hotel service I've received in a very, very long time. I'd advise caution if you're going to deal with these people.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located at the city centre (Kampung Baru), Royal Mamberamo Hotel (RMH) is only 20 mins from the airport, 5 mins from the famous 'Berlin Wall' and within walking distance to most local attractions (inc. Boswesen Market). Voted #1 hotel in Sorong on Tripadvisor, our rooms are spacious and well-maintained. Staff are polite and go out of their way to make our guests feel welcome. Our Metamani Restaurant is also one of the finest in Sorong, serving both international and Asian cusine. To ease your trip to Raja Ampat, we have an in-house travel and diving facility which includes the rental of speedboats and diving equipments. At RMH, we believe your needs are our utmost priority. ... more less
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