Back in August the Compensation Clinic featured a case at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi (Nation Towers/City Center) where a response from senior management was still outstanding.
This particular stay was one the worst I ever had at Starwood anywhere and certainly THE worst I ever had at a St. Regis property. You can read up on the original article here.
The issues included:
- Room not ready at 5pm
- Internet Inoperative
- No Bell Staff
- No Welcome Letter or any Hotel Introduction whatsoever
- Restaurant at breakfast time dirty and unorganized
Part of these issues had been compensated on property through the duty manager who comped a dinner via room service. The restaurant experience the next day gave it the final push.
I left my business card to the attention of the General Manager of the property for a personal chat. Needless to say, the front desk staff probably threw it away. I remembered the matter a few weeks ago and filed an official complaint with SPG and the Hotel Manager reached out in a professional manner.
He offered a free night incl breakfast on a future stay which I declined for two reasons. First and foremost this was a one off stay where I had some work to do in the area, I usually don’t go to the middle east and if so then I can expense it. Secondly if I was to go there for leisure purposes then i go to a beachfront property.
I suggested a free night at the St.Regis Sadiyat Island (in case it is owned by the same company) or a points credit. We agreed to a 5,000 SPG points credit to my account.
Usually I transfer my SPG points to Singapore Airlines and value 5,000 points with 140$ considering I buy the full allowance of 20k every year when there is a promotion.
Finally, after 3 months the case is closed. The hotel manager was professional and conducted an investigation. I hate it when staff at whatever company tries to cover up mistakes in the hopes the customer will not reach a responsible manager. This instance againwas no accident, for sure someone actively destroyed my contact request.
For the hotel that is bad because each official complaint filed against the hotel will go into the statistic run by Starwood. This data is also used to evaluate managements bonus each year (though it is common practice that management and hotel owner often have a silent agreement that there will be an ‘under the table bonus’ paid by the owner for some SPG brand standard violations that save a lot of money).