The Compensation Clinic is back in Beijing, this time at the Westin Hotel Financial Street where I personally experienced a stay that was far from excellent.
In Beijing there are two Westin Hotels, one in Chaoyang close to the embassy row and this one at the Financial Street area. Both hotels pretty much share the same issues, mostly staff related.
As I never stayed at this Westin Financial Street before I decided to give it a try and had it reserved for one night. I arrived about 12 Noon.Upon arrival there were a few employees/bellmen buzzing around the hotel entrance but none of them made any effort to approach the car and unload my pretty heavy luggage.
The driver was an older man and I certainly won’t let him unload my 30KG+ Suitcases so I did it myself. As soon as I was done in clear visibility of the staff one of them came over and asked if he could assist with the baggage. I made it clear that it’s a bit late for that.
In the lobby on the right there is a huge SPG designed counter so I assumed that is the check in, another employee approached me very soon and started to argue that this was merely a crew check in (!?). Why would you design a Crew check-in desk in SPG camouflage?? That doesn’t make sense. I asked her to bring me to the lounge instead. Check in there went smooth and I received an older but well maintained suite as part of my SPG Platinum benefits.
During this first day I encountered the following issues:
– Elevator Keycard Inoperative twice
– Service Phone not answered
– F/D staff unable to communicate clearly and was not able to understand simple questions
– F/D staff refused to provide an umbrella
– Another F/D Associate asked for a cash deposit for Umbrella
The Umbrella situation occurred at 10pm and was the last drop in the bucket. After the associate asked me for a cash deposit to lend an umbrella at a Westin Hotel I asked to speak to a manager and the answer was there was nobody on site. Now I heard this before and it’s complete rubbish in my opinion. There is ALWAYS a senior manager on call, even if it’s the Director of Rooms, F&B Director etc (the General Manager was actually on vacation). The Director of Rooms came down to the lobby and we had a chat about all these things that went on. In my opinion evident of a Youth Hostel and not a 4 star hotel. I was actually so upset about having to argue 20 minutes to get a stupid umbrella that I was about to leave this hotel and just go to the Hilton which I really like.
Anyway after my walk and some fresh air I decided to just get some work done and go to bed. I sent the Director of Rooms an email though as we agreed and laid out a proposal to make up for the service failures during the day.
To rectify the situation, may I suggest one of the following options:
1) Waiver of tonight’s accommodation charge;
2) Extension of my stay for one night complimentary and change to a newly renovated room (doesn’t have to be a suite);
3) Starpoints credit
I would leave the choice to you which option to choose. Please notify the Lounge staff how you like to have it handled so I can make plans with our travel desk during breakfast.
We ended up agreeing on me staying another night free of charge. That way the hotel doesn’t have to pay for points, still keeps the first nights revenue and basically just keeps an otherwise empty room occupied.
These Beijing hotels start to drive me crazy. As I mentioned multiple times before the weakest link in China is the staff, you can have a very nice hotel but if the employees are unable to provide adequate service or even communication then it all goes down the drain. All the staff in the lounge was fantastic by the way, the total opposite of the other areas of the hotel.