Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Sevilla. Has anyone else noticed the appalling service? (

kate Apr 4th, 2002 05:06 AM

Sevilla. Has anyone else noticed the appalling service?
I'm not very demanding when I go travelling. I respect local customs, never assume or demand that people speak english, make brave attempts to speak the language (badly sometimes I admit), and generally try to blend in. <BR><BR>But I've just got back from Sevilla and I've got to say that the unniversally rude and poor service I received in bars and restaurants just astonished me. <BR><BR>I've travelled widely in Europe and visited Spain many times (but not Andalucia), but have never met such appalling service and rude people. Is this anyone else's experience, or was it something I said (in my bad spanish)?

Sjoerd Apr 4th, 2002 05:17 AM

We were in Sevilla in November last year, and got excellent (and friendly!) service everywhere we went. Perhaps it helped that we speak good Spanish.

Patrick Apr 4th, 2002 05:20 AM

We were in Seville and southern Spain last year also, and had wonderful service nearly everywhere. But we don't speak a word of Spanish (except hello and thank you).

Sjoerd Apr 4th, 2002 05:22 AM

We were in Sevilla in November last year, and got excellent (and friendly!) service everywhere we went. Perhaps it helped that we speak good Spanish.

kate Apr 4th, 2002 06:12 AM

Weird. Perhaps it was because I went during Santa Semana when they're flooded by tourists.

cooter Apr 4th, 2002 08:10 AM

Well, people in tourism Seville are generally overworked during semana santa, but this year many were in a particularly bad mood because, apparently, heavy and unseasonable rains forced the cancellation of some of the processions. As this is one of the biggest events in Seville, people were upset, plus it had an impact on tourism.<BR><BR>In general, though, I've found service in the south of Spain to be better than in the north, although both are fairly reserved and even indifferent by American standards.

Myriam Apr 4th, 2002 10:52 AM

Very sorry and I know most of you will disagree, but apart from the Real Alcazar and its gardens I did not really like Sevilla. The city had very little atmosphere and was not the charming place I had expected. This is just MHO.

kcd Apr 4th, 2002 11:33 AM

We were in Sevilla in July 2000, and got horrible service both in restaurants and from locals on the street. I loved the Cathedral and the Alcazar, but otherwise, I found the city dirty and very unfriendly.

Joanne Apr 4th, 2002 02:55 PM

It has been several years since we visited Sevilla, but we were treated very well. We love the old part of town, Santa Cruz District, and everyone we encountered there was very friendly and helpful. Very few people spoke English, but we muddled through with our Spanish. <BR><BR>Sevilla is actually one of our favorite cities. We like it better than Madrid. I agree with the previous poster who finds the south friendlier than the north. <BR><BR>I never look for dirt when I travel so rarely see it. <BR><BR>j

Pedro Apr 4th, 2002 03:17 PM

I live in Sevilla and notice it depends on you go the service is better or poorer, there is not an standard. Sometimes is really good and sometimes is bad. It does not depend on the language. But during Holy Week they are absolutely overwhelmed with the crowds and we Sevilians usually comment we notice the service generally is not as good as in the same place any other time of the year. July and August can be the other downside period. This is a city of extremes and this affect normal life and tourism. But when we for example go out to see the processions in Semana Santa know that eating out is not our goal that day and just energy to be able to keep ourselves so many hours standing up and strolling the city. This is how the most part of Sevilians feel eating out that time so we somehow forgive the indifferent treat of someone who is overwhelmed by the circumstances but not of course rudeness.

Carl Apr 4th, 2002 04:24 PM

Spain is not a friendly country at all. If you are used to the "Amigo" atmosphere in Latin America, you will be disapointed when you go Spain. It takes a while to get to no the Spanish. THey are kind of like New Englanders. Once you make a friend with a Spaniard its for life but its isnt easy. THe French are way nicer.

Sevillanalover Apr 4th, 2002 08:25 PM

No I haven't, actually. To answer the question posed by this poster. <BR><BR>The french are nicer than the Spanish? Are you nuts? I have never heard anyone in history ever say that. And Miriam your HO is almost unthinkable. You said that Sevilla had little atmosphere and was not charming-- What did you expect a Disney back lot? Are you blind, woman? You must be some kind of aesthetic misanthrope. And that is MHO! <BR><BR>Kate, you need to go back when it's not Semana Santa and not eat in the tourist restaurants. There must have been something about you because in the years I have been going there and all the people I know that have, as well, no one has ever described the Sevillanas as universally rude. Ever. It's simply impossible. I am sorry that Pedro had to read this.

disgusted Apr 4th, 2002 08:30 PM

Amigo atmosphere of latin america? UGH!<BR><BR>What are you talking about? The Spanish have class, gentility, style, culture, beauty,history, traditions, hospitality, manners, and grace. They don't need amigo atmosphere. Ychh. Go have another margeurita at the ho bar.

disgusted Apr 4th, 2002 08:30 PM

Amigo atmosphere of latin america? UGH!<BR><BR>What are you talking about? The Spanish have class, gentility, style, culture, beauty,history, traditions, hospitality, manners, and grace. They don't need amigo atmosphere. Ychh. Go have another margeurita at the ho bar in Tiajuana.

Susan Apr 4th, 2002 10:44 PM

Sigh. Why is it people who express honest opinions on this forum so often are attacked? I respect different opinions, from which I can form my own. I don't need the personal attack stuff.

MillyMollyMandy Apr 4th, 2002 11:09 PM

I've not been to Sevilla but my experience in Madrid was similar to Kate's. At best the service in bars and restaurants was grudging and on one occasion downright hostile. This is not to mention the receptionists in my hotel... po-faced and cold beyond belief. I had always assumed that the Spanish are friendly towards travellers but I think this is a bit of myth. In Paris, surprisingly, the oppostite was true. The people seemed happier there and seemed more prepared to make a bit of effort to communicate. The Madrilenos overall seemed to me to be a bit fierce and grumpyness seemed to be the order of the day there.

kate Apr 5th, 2002 05:06 AM

I'm sorry if my post has upset anyone (sevillanalover in particular). It was just an honest observation of my experiences. I never categorise all people as the same, and don't for a minute imagine that all Sevillians are like this. I've had rude waiters and bad service in London, and amazingly friendly service in Paris. I've also had the reverse, and really haven't thought anything of it.<BR><BR>Which is why I was so struck by it in Sevilla, as it was the first city I've visited where it happened everywhere (tourist places and local haunts).<BR><BR>It didn't put me off Sevilla or Spain, and I thought the city was beautiful. I was just very surprised. I finished my trip in Madrid, where the service was impeccable and extremely friendly.

Myriam Apr 5th, 2002 07:08 AM

<BR>Sevillanalover: please note my name is spelled with Y.<BR><BR>What a kind and polite man/woman you are. Congratulations!<BR><BR>And no, I'm not blind at all. Why should everybody like or dislike the same things? <BR>I loved C&oacute;rdoba and will go back there time after time when I visit Spain. FOR ME (please note: for me) that is a city with great atmosphere. As well as the other smaller cities in Andaluc&iacute;a. Sevilla was just not upto expectations, that's it.<BR><BR>Yours sincerely,<BR>aesthetic misanthrope ;)<BR>

cooter Apr 5th, 2002 07:29 AM

There's no excuse for rudeness, but some of the range of opinions here might be due to cultural expectations.<BR><BR>In America, we often get a certain informal friendliness with service. Waitrons will ask "how are you doing?" and will check in at least a couple of times during a meal. In Spain, there is certainly much more indifference and a colder formality in the service. Sometimes there is certainly curtness, but I've never experienced actual rudeness. I don't know how language might factor into this. <BR><BR>I do kinda agree with the analogy between Spaniards and traditional New Englanders.

Lisa Apr 5th, 2002 07:42 AM

In a word, no. The service at our hotel was friendly and courteous. They even insisted on loaning us umbrellas during an unexpected rain shower that occurred as we were on our way out to dinner.<BR><BR>The service in bars and restaurants was pleasant and competent. On occasion, especially in less "tourist-oriented" places, we noticed some difficulty due to our poor Spanish skills, but the waiters and waitresses did their best to understand and accommodate.<BR><BR>And, to top it all off, we took a lengthy cab ride through town to a restaurant one night. Our cab driver was most gracious, asking us questions about the US and giving us information about Spain. He seemed eager to help.<BR><BR>So, I must confess that I didn't experience the same difficulties you did.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:03 AM.