Compensation Clinic: COVID Cutbacks At Intercontinental Resort Taken Too Far

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This week we have a rare Compensation Clinic appearance of an Intercontinental Resort where I stayed last week that had a few too many cutbacks for my taste.

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I’ve stayed for the first time at this ex Sheraton property that has been rebranded to Intercontinental a few years back and used points for this 3 night stay which presented decent value and the resort is only 2 hours drive by car from Bangkok.

On Friday I did actually compliment the hotel for providing a nice PPE Amenity upon check-in but unfortunately the good experiences were far and in between.

The property currently is in no way up to the task of operating at Intercontinental brand level. The reservations team is unresponsive even though I emailed them twice about my stay and all their reply is to contact the international reservations (which doesn’t answer the phone).

Breakfast service is another issue. The staff is unable to understand or answer even the most basic questions about food. Food stations are abandoned and tables full with dirty dishes are all over the restaurant. Impossible to dine in such an environment.

When I tried to fall back on the room service option I discovered there wasn’t either a hotel directory or a room service menu available. Not even a price list for the minibar. When I call I was told to scan a small QR code on my key card folder which is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. It took an actual argument to get a proper room service menu in order to look over the options for in room dining.

The pool area also had dirty glassware all over the place, especially in the evening time. This improved after my complaint.

I’ve stayed in many hotels over the last few weeks and no hotel had room service menus and directories removed. It’s completely unnecessary especially considering there are absolutely no Covid-19 cases in Thailand except those Thai citizens in state quarantine repatriated from abroad.

After mentioning these points to the GM who actually gave her email on the welcome letter things improved slightly and I always ordered food either through in room dining or poolside. Forget about the restaurant.

While the front office manager offered my another free night at the Intercontinental I decided to cut my stay short however. For the last night I changed my reservation to the (very good) Holiday Inn Pattaya which was a much better experience overall although with a different feel to it. Thankfully the HI is at the end of the beach strip far from the nightlife area but with an amazing view.

The Intercontinental provided a complimentary transfer to the Holiday Inn and also waived ~ 300 Baht of food charges from the bill (I had 600 Baht Ambassador credit either way). I didn’t take them up on any compensation offers and nothing further was discussed other than I should contact them if I want to come back in the future.

I was actually surprised when 15k IHG points showed up in my account the day after checkout:

As I said I didn’t push for more compensation other than the transfer and we didn’t talk about any points being issued so this was certainly a surprise and finally good customer complaint handling.

Conclusion

15,000 points reflects a refund of one night at this property under current pricing (the 15k for the original redemption has been refunded separately, same cost as a night at the Holiday Inn on Friday).

Hotels should absolutely take measures that promote public health in regards to Coronavirus but some things like eliminating an in room dining menu and a minibar price list go too far. And at the same time they leave dirty dishes around due to short staffing? Sort of contradictory.

There is no excuse for the bad breakfast quality either especially if they still charge roughly 700 Baht net per Person (not included on points stays). This compensation was reasonable and welcome, although I wasn’t in the mood to initially argue about it.

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