Roel wrote:Three structural problems that I encountered through the years dealing with Thai owned hotels as part of my job.
Firstly there is a tendency for rich Thais to buy a hotel as a prestige hobby object. They haven't got a clue about the hospitality industry as they make their money with gasoline stations, bus companies, private schools, insider trading or whatever. Then they offer their rich friends cheap or free stays at their Hua Hin hotel purely to show off and/or as payment-in-kind for received favours. The lack of hospitality industry knowledge would be less visible if they could refrain from getting directly involved by regularly driving down to Hua Hin in their Mercedes (papa), Volvo (mama) or Lamborghini (son) and interfere with the daily business of the hotel by walking around and completely $%&^$ things up.
Secondly this could all be compensated for by hiring competent management. And there ARE competent Thai managers but they all work in the big chain hotels where they actually are allowed to do their job. On the odd occasion where one works for these Thai family owned hotels a confrontation with the owners is just a matter of time. Probably the Lamborghini son who orders the manager to change the breakfast time from 7.00 to 8.00 instead of 10.00 so the staff has more time to clean up.
Thirdly the hotel owner will be told by his golf buddy on the green in Bangkok that his daughter fancies a job in a hotel and he just happens to know he owns one. Deal is made. Of course she is not starting as a receptionist but is made the front office manager right away. You all probably see the problem there.
caller wrote:I stayed at CB over 10 years ago and the OP could have summed up what it was like then. I was in town last year and whilst there checked out PP villa which I'd stayed at in the past and it still seemed okay to me, but booking can be a problem. But I actually stayed at the Chalelarn Hotel on Naebkehardt, which is a little different to the usual identikit places and has a small pool on the roof and a small car park at the rear, with parking also available in front of the staff rooms to the side of the building, I never had any problems getting a space.
Lung Per wrote:My Thai wife and I have resided for some time in our house in the East. A few days ago we went back to Hua Hin to see old friends, and booked a "Deluxe Room" at the City Beach Hotel, supposedly one of HH´s better hotels. We booked, of course, through Hua Hin Forum´s excellent booking system and received an attractive price for three nights.
So far, so good.
We arrived at the hotel on Sunday around 2 pm after 6 hrs of driving. As in other better hotels, we had expected a "welcome" and a smile. But there were no porters to take our luggage, nobody at the front desk. After some impatient waiting, a sour-faced female clerk turned up. "Passport" she yelled immediately. No smile, no welcome to our hotel. Well, I submitted my passport and the hotel voucher. She had great difficulty reading the latter. She started a commanding conversation with my wife, who she apparently considered to be a lower class creature. I swiftly interrupted her, demanding that she spoke to me, after all, I was carrying the bill and signing for the payment. Then she slammed the registration form on the desk. "Fill out" was her command. At this time I had had enough of her rude behaviour and asked her to do the paperwork after I signed the form - this is general practice in most hotels. After all, she had already taken a copy of my passport. She kept on yelling at my wife in Thai, which I don't understand, and again I demanded she address ME in English with whatever information she might wish to convey. It appeared that she did speak a reasonable English, however, with a heavy bargirl attitude and accent.
Eventually we were given a key and breakfast coupons, and two kaffers carried our luggage to our room. This was located as far away from the elevator as possible. The size was OK, and there was a balcony. The interior could need some new paint but the bed and the furniture were in an acceptable condition. The kaffers left quickly, not doing the usual TV check routine. Apparently they did not expect a tip so they got none.
There was no folder in the room containing tourist information, no welcome kit, no list of telephone numbers for room service, desk, porter, and no mention of access to the pool area or other facilities. etc. BUT, there was a plastic covered A-4 sheet listing all furniture, lamps, glasses, etc. etc. with a price for each in case you should break anything.
No welcome, no smiles, and now THIS? What kind of guests are this hotel used to? I have never in my life felt so un-welcome in a hotel. My first urge was to leave - but we had prepaid for the three nights and I foresaw no luck in obtaining a refund.
My wife and I are well-dressed, well-behaved, and quite experienced travelers.
This hotel gave me the worst experience I ever had - and it was not only on the first day. The tone among staff seemed generally bad to hostile. Only exception was a male person at the front desk weekdays - he might have been a manager - but had apparently no grip on his lady staff.
Would you go to a major hotel which displays an interior list with prices listed in case you should break something? And which displays a hostile tone throughout?
I am not going back. Never again.
PS! The parking attendant was quite helpful. With a smile and some minor financial support he would keep our parking space throughout. That was the only positive experience.
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