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Warning! dreadful experience with accommodation in Launceston Tasmania

Warning! dreadful experience with accommodation in Launceston Tasmania

Aug 19th, 2008, 11:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 748
Warning! dreadful experience with accommodation in Launceston Tasmania

The follow is my letter to the offending Hotel/Resort which calls itself a provider of " World Class " accommodation and these emails are self-explanatory. I am posting this because it was truely disgraceful and I would not want any tourist to get the same treatment in a State were there are magnificent alterntive accommodation places: The offending Hotel is Tamar Valley Resort or Grindelwald ( a Swiss Village style resort )
The Manager
Tamar Valley Resport

I bought a Mystery Upgrade from Wotif.com.au to stay at your establishment on Monday night, August 18th 2008 after noting that the resort was in a quiet position and with a four star self rating which is the same as my accommodation establishment is rated with Wotif.com.au and thinking yours would be of a similiar standard. With the latter supposition I was sadly mistaken.

Firstly on entering the villa we had been "upgraded" to there was a smell of previous rancid fat which obviously had been from cooking with no ventilation ( I left leaving the window open as there was still a strong smell the next day ). We opened the windows to freshen the air but then had to endure further noise, all that afternoon while trying to rest listening to the crane and the workmen, which was about 20 mtrs away from our villa, positioning prefabricated rooms all around us to existing villas and digging etc.

The entry front door to the villa had pieces off it and there were cracks through it, the carpet in the entry was freyed and I tripped on the screws which were embedded into the deck but were exposed to an extent that people like myself with artificial knees and a lessor degree of mobility could have had quite a bad fall.

The heater in the lounge worked on the Monday evening but blew nothing but cold air on the Tuesday morning meaning that there was no heating in the villa with the exception of the small fan heater in the bathroom which was in use.

There were no side tables to the bed, one bedside light didn't work and there was a thick layer of dust on the top of the 6" wide bedhead, not an attractive sight for an asthmatic person. The bed looked like it had not been made with any sort of professionalism in that the top matress was not seated on the bottom one properly and the sides of the sheets were not tucked under. The bedding did not smell like it was fresh. There was nothing other than soap in the bathroom - no shampoo or conditioner etc.

It certainly was no "upgrade" as I would have much preferred to have had the accommodation with DVDs, airconditioning so that we were not freezing in the morning, and a bedroom that did not look like it had been used and not cleaned.

I am not taken to writing to Hotels and Accommodation establishments with complaints but if your villas are rated as 4 star then my establishment would be 40 star. I have phoned the Comfort, Quality and Clarion Hotels on their 1800 number to complain but had to leave my phone number and so far have not heard from them. I have no hesitation is suggesting that your villa was nothing short of being comparable to a 1 star motel unit in the middle of a city in rush hour and for that reason I would really like a refund.

I do wish to hear back from you before I send a copy of this email to Wotif.com.au and to the travel websites on the Net.

Your faithfully

The reply that I got today and my reply to it

Dear Mrs.xxxxxxxxxxx, whilst it is always disappointing to receive a complaint, we thank you for the time you have taken to bring this matter to our attention. Unfortunately there was never going to be an ideal time to embark on our Chalet Upgrade Program. As you are aware at present we have 11 Chalet Extensions underway, which we are hoping to have completed by the 2nd week of September, immediately following on from there we are constructing a further 28 Lakeside Chalets, which we hope will be completed by early December. This will allow us to update, repaint, and bring the remainder of our older Chalets up to our ideal standards. I am sure that as an accommodation provider yourself, you would understand and appreciate the awkwardness of blocking off rooms etc and juggling your inventory to work around forward bookings and wholesale contact obligations.

Needless to say our Housekeeping and Maintenance Managers have been under enormous pressure over the past few weeks, but I can assure you they will both be disappointed, when I bring your comments to their attention.

Again we appreciate your feedback, and would like to assure you, that had you brought to our attention during any part of your stay that you were unhappy with your room type, we would have offered a few other alternatives.

We regret that we did not have the opportunity to make your stay with us as memorable as we would have liked, however we would like to offer you a return visit Free of Charge for a Nights Accommodation inclusive of Full Breakfast, perhaps in one of our new Lakeside Chalets or alternatively in one our newly renovated Hotel suites, and we have attached a voucher for your use.

We look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you back to our resort.

Kind regards

Neil Parkinson

General Manager

Aspect Tamar Valley Resort

7 Waldhorn Drive

Grindelwald TAS 7277

Telephone - +613 6330 0400

Facsimilie - +613 6330 1607

Mobile - +61409162487

My Reply to the Manager's email:

Mr Parkinson

I was not made aware of your upgrade programme nor is it of any interest to me whether you have 11 Chalet extensions or 111. I as not made aware at the time of checkin about the noise, the lack of heating and the down-grading, further it was not at my request that I got chalet accommodation and in that light I will make sure that as many of the travelling and web-using public is made aware of your standards or lack thereof.

As it has been 15 years between my visits to Launceston, and will probably be about that same time again before I have the need or want to return, the offer of free accommodation with breakfast does not satisfy me in any way.

In light of the fact that you are a member of Comfort, Quality and Clarion Hotels in the Asia Pacific region and that they offer 100% satisfaction for "total guest satisfaction" I must inform you that you are in breach of that guarantee if in fact that guarantee is worth anything at all, as for me it is not.

Yours faithfully

LizzyF is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 11:42 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 748
I have had a call back from Comfort, Quality and Clarion Hotels satisfaction guarantee programme and they wanted to know why I did not comment at the time. The reason for that was the Manager was not available and I am not going to take matters of lack of standards up with anyone other than the Manager, hense the email as soon as I got home and the phone call to the C.Q.C Hotels etc.
This sort of standard is not good enough and hopefully this will help others to make up their own minds if they wish to stay at this place or any other like accommodation with this group.
LizzyF is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 01:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 46
Hi Lizzy,

For what it's worth, the standard of accommodation throughout most of Tasmania is rather below par.

I spent a couple of weeks there recently and was constantly amazed at how some hotels had the tenacity to call themselves four star when they would be much closer to two and a half.

My employer put me up in a four and a half star hotel in Hobart for a few days, and I almost guffawed when I walked in and saw the standard of accommodation.

In some cases, the quality of accommodation in a backpackers would probably have been better and for a fraction of the price.

markop is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 10:44 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 49,218
Thanks for your persistence in this matter. Markop you make an interesting point about the standard being below par in Tasmania. I had a similar experience with a hotel that is highlighted in Fodor's New Australia 2008 travel book as one of their Orange star Choice Hotels.

We stayed at the Daintree Eco Lodge in Australia (near the Great Barrier Reef) for $440/night, and found what is rated as a 4 star world class spa is nothing more than a rustic cabin, overlooking a noisy restaurant and yards from the major roadway. There was no spa to speak of just a bed next to a ho-hum pool that no one used. $440/night!!!!
nanabee is online now  
Aug 20th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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Markop I am particularly disgusted because I live in Tasmania and have my accommodation here and I would say to anyone intending to use a hotel to ask on this forum first - didn't do me much good though seeing I use this all the time and have a B&B to boot. It shows though that when you have a "free" review of hotels and no chance of checking if they are really genuine reviews - I am specifically speaking of Trip Advisor when I comment on that - it could give you a false positive review and I think that possibly a better way is a forum like this where people can interact. As I said before I will put in a negative review on TA about this and also highlight the comment that was made to me by the Comfort, Quality and Clarion Hotels that these places have been rated by them and AAA - the issue here is that when you have a large hotel or accommodation place you are able to say " well these are the rooms/units that are not being used and you can check them out for rating" those rooms etc will be the ones that are up to scratch and pre-cleaned, tarted up etc just for the rating. I have worked in the hospitality industry for too long not to know that that is the way its done. However when you have a small establishment like myself you cannot do that because it is all to obvious that people are in the rooms or not, especially when you may only have a handful anyway.
Yes I will keep onto this, not because I care about the refund as such but more to see that something is done about the pathetic system we have and the way it is conducted. We all could do the same to International visitors in offering 100% satisfaction with another nights accommodation free and boast that criteria but as people are not likely to be in the same place again, perhaps never, the likelihood of ever having to payout on that guarantee is minimal.
LizzyF is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,771
Hi Lizzy -

We stayed at the same hotel in Grindelwald on our first visit to TAS in 2004 and we didn't care for it either. I too, found it on wotif - I was really put off by the lamps nailed to the tables. What the???

Rooms and miserable breakfast aside, the place is just so hokey.

Never again.
Melnq8 is online now  
Aug 20th, 2008, 06:54 PM
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Posts: 748

I just had a phone call from the Manager of the Tamar Valley Report who has given me a refund on the cost of my stay at the hotel/resort and I will give him credit that he phoned me, apologised and asked for any further feedback.

LizzyF is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 09:30 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 784
Shocking. I guess the self rating is the pitfall as well as subjective assessments .But leaving that aside there can never be an excuse for sloppiness , dirt and faulty fittings .

I was interested in your reference to Trip Advisor or similar sites and the reviews on them Lizzie . I am wary of them also .

In Bali in June the place we stayed at for 4 nights of our trip,intended as the " highlight " and booked on the strength of rave reviews on TA was well below the expected standard in terms of food , cleanliness and how the amenity of the rooms functioned .

Yet since then people have continued to publish rave reviews . How can one ignore virulent black mould in a shower recess ? Blindness or just inexperience of high standard accomodation ?

Anyway you at least had a good outcome insofar as your wallet and its contents .Two strikes - Jetstar( was that ever resolved ?)and this place - third to come ? Hope not for your sake .
JohnFitz is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 02:40 AM
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Hi John Fitz No I did not get a satisfactory outcome with Jetstar and unfortunately they now have even more movements from Tasmania than they did before so we are stuck with them. As long as we don't pay much it will be OK though.
At least with the last issue I have a refund which is a bonus and certainly justified in my opinion. When I take time out for myself and husband I want it to be special and it certainly was not this last time. So at least we can try again the next time we go away and be much more careful in our choices.
Cheers to all
LizzyF is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 235
Obviously the manager is not a Fanatical Foderite, or he would have known better than to mix it with you
vbca is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 03:19 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Vbca - I think the refund came after I posted this on the forum. Of course I can not be sure that he saw it but I sure did tell him what I was going to do and I would have spoken to Wotif as well. But one never knows, perhaps he had a look at the villa and thought that he should come to the party - all by himself!!!!
LizzyF is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 235
Be nice to think he did it off his own bat, but regardless; good result.
As a motellier myself I know critisism is generally more productive than praise, even though it hurts at the time. Praise lets us sit back with self satisfaction, whereas critisism results in much soul searching, and sometimes, changes. Fortunately most of our complaints are relatively minor, and easily dealt with. I'd hate to be on the receiving end of a serious complaint such as you had.
vbca is offline  

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