When I travel abroad I mainly stay at 5 star hotels. I am happy to pay the money, but I expect to get what I pay for. A 5 star hotel should have great service, great restaurants, and immaculate facilities and bedrooms. When I enter a hotel room I want to feel that I am the first person that has stayed there. I don’t want to see any traces of a previous guests hair, dead skin, toe nails or plasters as it makes me want to gag. I always do my checks on arrival at the room. I look under the bed, in the bathroom and I check the carpets and furniture for stains. If I see stains on the carpets and furniture my mind goes into overdrive thinking of what it could be.
I am lucky enough to travel a lot through Asia and the Middle East. So I am used to immaculate rooms and great service.
So where do I start with my experience at the St Regis Mauritius. I arrived at the hotel after a long flight. During check in at the reception I was informed that as a Platinum member of SPG I would be upgraded to a wonderful suite facing the beach. I was tired but excited to check out the room and I was even more surprised to see it. There were filthy stains on the couches, mould throughout the room and showers and that stagnant smell of damp that I can’t stand. I was shown three futher suites that were the same. It was nothing like the pictures on the web site, I was devastated. I had travelled all this way to stay in a filthy room. It was too late to speak to a manager as there was no one on duty, so I asked to be downgraded to a standard room and would try resolve the situation in the morning. The next day I spoke to a manager who eventually found a suite in the main building that was a lot more modern, but still had many cleaning issues. The manager inspected the room with me and guaranteed me that he would personally be on top of the situation and would make sure it would be spotless when we returned.
When we finally arrived at the room later that day all seemed ok until I took a shower. I was shocked to find a hairband, toe nail and pubic hair from the last guest. I wanted to be sick. I was so upset I ended up calling house keeping and asking for a mop and a hoover. I told them that I would clean the room myself as they were not competent to clean it to a good standard. To my surprise five minutes later they sent up a mop and bucket with cleaning solution and a hoover 😦 I spent 2 hours cleaning my £500 a night suite and please see pictures as to how filthy it was. When I showed the manager the pictures after cleaning the room he was initially in disbelief, but then tried to turn the situation on me saying that I should not have cleaned it so it was my fault. Not that it should not have been in that state in the first place.
Its such a shame as I stay at many St Regis Hotels around the world and it is the first time I have had a problem like this ever at a hotel, let alone the St Regis. The hotel had all the typical St Regis furniture throughout, but without maintenance and good management a hotel can go down very quickly. Another example of the lack of service was when we went to the beach, we arrived looking for towels and help with our sunbeds and the pool attendants were sitting and smoking by the water-sports stand. I was waving for help with my bed, but they watched as I dragged the heavy bed across the sand which was the only clean one without stains on the cover. In all honesty it was a nightmare.
The manager wanted to offer us dinner one evening as he wanted to rebuild our trust in the hotel. This all went wrong as well. It was a formal dining restaurant, and on arrival the hostess on the door said there was no reservation in the system in our name and although they had availability for us we would need to wait until all the booked tables had arrived before we could be seated. Even though there was no one there to be seated!! This was the last straw. I went to another hotel for dinner as I could not stand being in this hotel a moment longer. The hotel was an utter shambles.
I now wanted this escalated to the general hotel manager who showed an outright lack of interest when I sent an e mail. He referred it back to the resort manager who was obviously in over his head. I found out the General Hotel manager was rarely there, As he managed many hotels in the Indian Ocean. So this is where the problems were coming from. In my view a manager should and can only manage one hotel properly at a time as things can go down hill very quickly.
I got nowhere with the hotel. They would not compensate me in any way. So I escalated the situation to SPG when I was returned home. They were mortified that the hotel gave me the mop and bucket to clean my room. I also found out that the hotel is a FRANCHISE within the SPG group, which means SPG don’t have full control over the hotel. Hence why the high standards are not always kept.
I need to mention that Mauritius as a country is very green and has a beautiful clear sea. I may go back one day. I just don’t think Mauritius has got the “wow” factor especially with regards to the service given and the high prices paid. There are a lot better places to visit around the world.
What did you think of Mauritius?