This week the Compensation Clinic case comes from a reader’s stay at the Hilton Curio Collection Anselmo Buenos Aires hotel where I have had a brief one night stay as well.
You can access Anselmo Buenos Aires website here.
Here’s an email that the reader sent to Guest Assistance after his stay:
I’ve never written a complaint letter to Hilton in the past, but wanted to let you know about a recent 2-night stay at a brand new hotel called Anselmo Curio Collection Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I stayed there August 15-17.
I checked in and was assigned a room that wasn’t an upgrade, but I think the hotel was full that night.
Some issues that came up in my stay:
1) When trying to sleep, it was so hot in the room that I didn’t even use a blanket or sheet, and was still sweating. When I asked at reception if there was a problem, they checked and found that the air conditioner was broken. I was eventually moved to a new room.
2) I asked for an upgrade for the second night, seeing that all room types were being sold online. I was told that I would be allowed one of those rooms “only if we can’t fix the air conditioning in your current room.” Well, they did upgrade me to a very nice room, the only one that looks out on the nice plaza. Unfortunately, the sound insulation isn’t very good, even in this brand new hotel. Very difficult to sleep again, but at least the air conditioner worked.
3) On both days, one of the two elevators was out of service; however, I had to tell the staff about– neither time did they know about it. In fact, one just sat on the 3rd floor, with the door open; when I stepped inside (not looking, I admit), it was actually about 8 inches below the floor level, so I fell down.
4) On the last day I went to the gym, and after using it, went to open the door, and my hand got a one-inch cut from metal protruding from the door handle. I needed a bandage but not stitches.
5) I was charged on 2 different credit cards, not completely sure that a later US$22 (AR$210) was correct, but it might be. Credit Card machines were not working properly, it seemed.
This really wasn’t to the level of a Hilton brand. I know new hotels need to iron out issues, but I think the Anselmo simply wasn’t ready to open. They should have waited and made sure the hotel finishing was done before opening to guests.
I am a loyal Hilton customer; in fact, I will be staying at a Hampton Inn New Orleans tomorrow evening!
Some positives were that for all of the problems, staff was super nice and friendly and smiling. So I don’t think this is a question of bad staff, though maybe some more training on Elite benefits would be good.
I think that the hotel opened a bit too early before equipment and furnishings were ready or safe (!) to use.
I’m waiting to write a Trip Advisor report on this hotel, since there were some positives to go with the negatives.
Thanks for your consideration.
Please forward this to Guest Services or the hotel for consideration and future training/discussion.
Here’s the reply from the Guest Assistance:
Thank you for contacting Hilton Guest Assistance. My name is Amanda.
Please accept our sincerest apologies for any aggravation or inconvenience experienced during your visit.
We are constantly monitoring the performance of all the hotels in the Hilton Portfolio of Brands and measuring them against high service and quality standards. Comments from our guests enable us to continually improve and exceed those standards. Please be confident that we will follow-up on the points you have outlined to avoid recurrence.
The time taken along with the effort made to share your comments with us is most appreciated. Feedback from our guests is vitally important in our mission to be the first choice of the world’s travelers.
We want you as our guest and are hopeful that you will afford us the opportunity to provide lodging services in the future.
Should you have any additional questions relative to this matter, please reply to this email or call our office at 1-888-240-6152.
Here’s the reader’s reply:
Thanks for the reply below.
I’m quite surprised that, as a Gold member who had quite a bad experience, I was not offered any points or anything to make up for my troubles: broken elevators, unfinished fixtures, broken air conditioner in room, etc….
Please consider my request.
And here’s compensation offer from Guest Assistance:
Thank you for contacting Hilton Guest Assistance. My name is Lillie. It would be my pleasure to assist you with regards to your stay at the hotel Anselmo Buenos Aires Curio – A Collection by Hilton.
I would like to express my sincere apologies for falling short of our commitment to extend a rewarding experience due to air condition, and the condition of the hotel, during your stay. In an effort to make amends for your experience, a total of 25,000 points have been posted to your Hilton HHonors account. The Voice of our Customers is critical to ensuring our guests receive a rewarding experience when staying at the Hilton Portfolio of Brands. Thank you for bringing this concern to our attention.
I guess that the key here is that you should note in your initial email that you are seeking for compensation due to the issues at the hotel (cannot they read between the lines?).
There really are issues at this hotel. I stayed there for a night last month while in Buenos Aires to check this Hilton brand out and was underwhelmed to say the least.
No upgrade for Diamond member, absolutely no noise insulation (could hear when someone walked upstairs or when the person next room was using his phone or when the alarm went off in the morning) and not well trained employees.
Hotel chains should be very careful when they introduce these “independent” brands that the guest services and facilities are adequate. I love the idea to have unique hotels, but not ones with lacking services and zero recognition for elite members.