This week’s Compensation Clinic case comes from an unsatisfactory stay at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Bangkok.
You can access Waldorf Astoria Bangkok here.
READ MORE: Hilton Honors Rate & Bonus Points Offers.
Here’s a note that I sent to the General Manager and Hilton Guest Assistance:
Dear Diamond Desk,
Please forward this email to Guest Assistance:
I decided to have another stay at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok after the unsatisfactory first one (when the hotel had just reopened) and after a lovely dinner at the hotel.
Unfortunately, this hotel does not demonstrate the qualities that Hilton’s luxury brand should. I had lovely stays earlier this year at Conrad Tulum and Conrad Punta de Mita, far exceeding what I expected.
1. Check-In/Upgrade/False View
The check-in was chaotic, and Oksana could not clearly communicate what my upgrade was as a Hilton Diamond member who had booked an Impresario rate.
The “Deluxe Park View” was essentially a view of Anantara and St. Regis hotels (see attachment). Roughly 10% to 15% of the view was towards the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, which Waldorf Astoria wrongly refers to as a “park.”
2. Welcome Card from Concierge
We were welcomed as a Mr & Mrs Obama on their honeymoon (see attachment). The concierge was never in contact and apologized for the mistake.
Breakfast personnel was not adequately trained. The server was barking “Coffee or Orange Juice” rather than asking what I would like to drink? I neither drink coffee nor orange juice. I lost my appetite and didn’t eat anything.
4. Impresario Benefits
The Impresario rate plan (see attachment) included a $100 F&B credit. We called the concierge and asked when is the last order at their restaurant and was told 1030 PM. However, when we went to the restaurant, we were told that you could only order appetizers after 10 PM, as the kitchen closes.
As a result, we could not use the credit at all because it was not available for in-room dining or minibar.
Sadly, Hilton allows mismanaged Waldorf Astoria to keep its flag. It doesn’t demonstrate the qualities of the flagship brand.
Neither the hotel nor the General Manager replied to the complaint that I sent. It is unclear if they just closed it or left it open.
I contacted Guest Assistance twice to see what is the resolution and was eventually deposited 20,000 Honors points with the following note:
Thank you for contacting Hilton Guest Assistance. It will be my pleasure to assist with issue you faced regarding upgrade at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.
I hope this email finds you well. First, I would like to express my sincere apologies for the delay in responding to your request and for the inconvenience you have faced during your stay. At present, we have an extraordinary number of emails we are processing and our response time is longer than expected.
We understand how upset you have been and this saddens us as we have made one of our valued guests dissatisfied. As our business requires hospitality, we always have to take in mind that taking care of our valued guests and accommodating their concerns are our utmost priority. Please do know that we understand your sentiments and we want to do all we can just to make it up to you.
We are so sorry to learn that the hotel did not contact you. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused to you and the manner in which your concern was handled.
While I am unable to change what has occurred. I have credited 20,000 Hilton Honors points to your account as a token of apology. I know these points cannot change your past experience but you can use these points for booking a new reservation. I hope you will consider it as a commitment towards our service.
I guess that the main problem at his hotel is that it is likely fully financed by selling apartments that take the higher floors and views. The Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is then left with lower floors and views of nearby buildings.
Also, the General Manager, Mr. Simeon Olle, appears to be detached from the property’s day-to-day operations and is entirely invisible to the guests and their concerns. He also doesn’t follow up with guest feedback or have anyone at the property deal with Guest Assistance files.
This is sad because Waldorf Astoria is considered Hilton’s flagship brand, but at least their Bangkok property is utterly lacking.
My fundamental mistake was to return to his hotel for the second stay after having dinner at their restaurant in late April (read more here). I had a short stay at this hotel once it opened, and it was not as bad as this most recent one but not good either.
I tend to give hotels one chance and not return. There are plenty of options in Bangkok, and I was shaking my head why I was staying here when looking at St. Regis (Park View)
The 20,000 Hilton Honors points are worth $100. The compensation merely covers the $100 F&B credit that I could not use.