Good rooms; Skeletal service!
on Jun 4, 2016
We had planned a family weekend outing to Lonavala 2-weeks in advance. We considered Hotel Metropole (Phase-II) based on multiple criteria of proximity to town-centre, budget and quality of rooms, particularly a decent and clean bathroom as per the photographs and reviews. We booked 2 rooms!
The good part: Hotel location in the back lane off the town centre is quite accessible and convenient, and the rooms we were provided met cleanliness expectations at a slightly stretched budget. There was ample free and secured parking for self-drive visitors. The facility appears new and so far, remains maintained.
The areas of improvement: Service level and employee skills. Upon arrival, we were told that the 2 rooms are not adjacent but on different floors! Some basic planning in room allocation would have helped avoid this chaos, particularly when these rooms were booked in a single transaction. This hotel appears to survive on corporate off-sites during the week while weekends have family visitors. So, it is hard to imagine high traffic failed their planning. Their oversight was evident from employee conversation and raps at the reception-skill level of junior staff. In a service business, oversight-errors can be easily compensated with customer delight at a limited cost. However, the front desk staff was either unaware, not empowered or just not competent. I suggested a few options like room category change to accommodate the family together or worse still a meal-plan upgrade. But, these didn't ring a bell. Mind you, the tariff was not basic and we already had a breakfast plan included. So, I felt that these proposals were not asking for too much. Nonetheless, we settled with what was on offer. Next, the rooms didn't have bottled water. When we asked for supplies, they said that it'll be charged extra. Thankfully, they waived the ₹50/- for 2 bottles of 1L mineral water to pay for their chaos at reception during check in. Sunday breakfast buffet by the pool side was again chaotic. Buffet breakfast had limited options and eggs were on extra payment basis. To our disappointment, this fine print was not evident during booking. Besides, service and hygiene levels need improvement. Despite moderate attendance, buffet stock was always in short supply. And there were too many flies, perhaps, because the insect repellent was out of service.
Overall, this was a good stay but an improved service experience will lead to customer delight and repeat business potential.