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Thursday 30 July 2015

When a five-star hotel proves a major letdown

I was quite excited to be staying at the Park Hyatt Mendoza Hotel, Casino & Spa a few months back. 

It has a wonderful location overlooking a lovely central park known as the Plaza Independencia and boasts a beautifully restored 19th-century Spanish colonial fa├žade. 

It is within walking distance of most of the Argentine city's many attractions and is billed as a "prestigious five-star hotel". As I'd always had great experiences with Hyatt before I expected something special.

The hotel claims it is "ideal for business and leisure travellers, including rooms with stunning views of the Andes mountain and the city of Mendoza". 

Not my room, which unfortunately was in a part of the hotel that was being renovated - and should never have been offered for sale. 

At first it was just some dusty workmen wandering the corridor. Then room doors had been removed offering views of work sites. And there was the sound of intermittent banging, along with the pervasive smell of solvent in the corridor. 

I was fortunate that I was on a busy schedule and spending minimal time in my room during the three-day stay. Mendoza is, after all, one of the Great Wine Capitals of the World and rather than staying among the vines we were driving to and from. 

My initial complaint fell on deaf ears. I asked to speak to the duty manager but he was "busy". Two minions displayed a couldn't care-less-attitude - even after my attitude changed from disappointed to angry. 

The room opposite had no door
Later, there was a note in my room offering (finally) to move me to an alternative room - which I asked to see, only to be confronted by more shrugs. 

It was all most unHyatt-like. As I had completely unpacked I declined the offer as it would have taken ages to pack and unpack again. I had only one hour of free time on a very busy schedule and I was checking out the next morning. 

My old-fashioned room certainly could have done with some renovations - but the wing should have been closed for the work. Alternatively some kind of apology could have been forthcoming (a bottle of local wine would have done the trick). 

Instead, I remain so incensed that I am writing about this long after the hotel should have faded in the memory - and I have made a note to avoid Hyatt properties where possible. There are no winners. 

Oh, and while I'm being grumpy; when I needed someone to call or hail a taxi there was no one on duty at the entrance to do that task either. Not exactly five-star service.  


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