Hilton - Most rude employees I've ever encountered
A few night's stay at a conference - Complaint
DEL MAR, CALIFORNIA -- I really have been dreading writing this review. I can, sometimes, get into the mood and write reviews that are negative, and I've been able at times to have fun with that, but this time? This time I wish so, so much that I didn't have to. This time, the negativity I need to review touched my kids, especially my daughter, and that just makes me sad. And now that the anger is a week old, its really settled into disappointment. I have never been so poorly treated in my life, and neither has my daughter. Not from a company, not from a big or small company, ever.
We were there for a conference. A conference that was for kids and about kids. In other words, they knew we were coming, they knew that many kids would be there....this is really painful to write.
First - the opening scene:
It began before I even checked in. We had to wait a bit to check in, so we decided to go get lunch in the hotel's cafe/bar area. I asked the front desk gentleman if sitting there was ok, if they had table service and if children were allowed in that area. He said yes, that was just fine, and we went and sat down.
A man who appeared to be a manager glanced at us after more than a few minutes, and I asked if we could order.
"You want to order food?"
"Yes, please, I was told we could sit here...? We just need some menus."
"You want to eat here?"
"Um...yes, we do."
"You want to eat in the restaurant?"
"Are we able to eat here?"
At this point, I'm confused and think that maybe I misunderstood the front desk person, or maybe he was wrong...? Nope, that wasn't it.
"I'll go see if I can find a waitress," Mr. Maybe Manager says to me. Okay, that's cool...I'm still confused, but still laying that on me at this point.
A really nice young woman came over, said she was sorry she took so long, and can she get us drinks? She brought them, the table settings and the the menus (the menus, by the way, were paper, like the kind you see that are often if not always, disposable. This comes into play later - trust me).
The young woman, whose name I would LOVE to have remembered was so good to us, so kind. She shared that it was her first day training to be a server in this capacity - Hilton? She is a lovely young Latina woman, her first training day was Wednesday, September 5th and this was around noon. She was one of two employees at the hotel that made me feel welcomed. That;s it, out of all the others I ran into, so YAY to you, Miss! Thanks so much (my son's name is Julian, said in Spanish, she may remember us, at least I hope so!) for your kind personality and sweet disposition, let alone actually caring about our order and customer service.
I ordered the seared ahi and avocado salad. The tomatoes are sad, anemic things, but the rest tasted pretty good. My friend who arrived a bit later sat with us and then ordered the same thing - she noticed that she did not get the salad-y parts, like you know, green leafy stuff, like mine had. I didn't really grasp this until later, however, Whatever, right? Places have off days, errors occur, life is not perfect and humans make mistakes - none of us are immune. But looking back in retrospect - this was the start. On to the rest...
We check in. Room is fine. Bathroom door opens up to the edge of the counter. Ah, not the best design, but no big deal.
The plug for the bathtub? Broken and not attached. Ah, that happens, that's ok.
Housekeeping, while very sweet to arrange my kid's stuffed animals in a totally adorable way on the bed, forgot fresh cups for the coffee maker and gave me all decaf and no more sugars (the following day). The day after that, I told the front desk - please no service in my room, number ____, They came anyway. Hmmm. Front desk error, or their error? Don't know. The guy at the front said he took care of it, maybe wires got crossed? So they came when I asked them not to, and another time, didn't complete the mission properly. Ah, well things happen, right? Humans... errors...all that again...
Then I began to notice some other things happening...(see the updated review for part 2 - I took up too much space, lol!! as soon as I can update it, part 2 will be here - no luck yet!!!)
The wedding party was loud. Late into the night, well past "quiet hours." We, as a group, had been admonished to keep our children quiet, to keep them close to us at all times, to have them in their rooms at 9pm if under 18 (the ages ranged from baby to young adults in their 20s) & many other things that were quite unusual for the other (lovely!) Hiltons we have had conferences in. The wedding party however, were not chastised as so many of our kids were. Seems if you are a drunken adult NOT a part of the conference, one can climb & then FALL off the huge, silver statue of a horse there. One can leave cans of Coors about the hotel. One can throw up in the ladies room & outside the elevator - no problem! But kids, skipping, playing, cartwheeling? Oh, no, no...not acceptable. I know I'm biased, but really, we have kids that are respectful, used to being treated with respect & as the equals they are (equal is NOT "same" btw). Some poor conference stepped in the vomit, I hate to say. Others have stories too, about the unbalanced guest care, the hypocrisy. They are telling their own tales, however.
Next night, sitting outside on the patio & my mom is leaving soon, we want to have a dinner together before she leaves. The waiter comes out & asks for her credit card! We were ordering DINNER, as we had before, & never have we had to give over a credit card (here or anywhere else)! These days, we are taught to never do this, it's bad enough that we "have" to for an open tab for just drinks. But who pays for their dinner before they even order it? Was this policy put in place that same day, as it hadn't ever happened before, patio, bar, restaurant or otherwise? My mom refused & he, with an attitude, said that that was the only way we could order, unless we charged it to a room. My mom had checked out, but I hadn't, so I said to just put in on my room number & be done with it.
We ordered. He asks what we'd like to drink, my mom gets a glass of wine & I say, nothing yet, but I'll order something soon.
This really became much worse. He reached over & began taking my daughter's new paper airplane & I stopped him & said, "Oh, that's not trash, that's my daughter's airplane!" He said, "It's our menu." I said, "Now it's a paper airplane." And he said, "This is the second time this has happened, these are our menus, you know!" Hmm. So the story was out? And the manager said nothing to me at all about not doing this again, they had seen us playing tic tac toe & hangman on other ones, no one had ever said to us that we shouldn't do that, & as I said, they were those flimsy, regular paper ones. No laminate, not cardstock, not thick paper - cheap, paper-paper! The kind that many places actually MAKE kid's menus on that have printing so kids can play on them & whatnot. But had we been asked, of COURSE we wouldn't have used them for play. But you all need to ask & tell us, how can we know otherwise, especially if it had been done before & no one said anything? Then he says, with a smirk no less (& no, I'm not kidding or over exaggerating) "You know you can't have outside drinks here. What's in your cup?" Really?? Ok, here's my mistake, & I will own up to it & own the situation. I had a beer. Yes, my own beer. In a plastic cup. A cup that actually I had been using previously with beer I ordered from the bar. I ordered a lot of drinks & a lot of food there. Was I supposed to have it? No, & yes, I know that. And yes, I broke a rule & for that, I admit to being in the wrong. But this...person was RUDE. At this point, I'm pissed off. Each thing had been adding up & I just broke & I said, with equal 'tude, "Ginger ale," & smirked right back at him. He said, "That's not ginger ale, ginger ale doesn't foam like that. You are not allowed to have that here." So...I lost it. I said, "Fine, I cancel my order!" & I left.
And left I did. I had it with all of this. I checked out a day early & went home.
I will NOT go back there again. I hope the conference is elsewhere next year (it's pretty much an annual event that we REALLY look forward to each year) because I really dread going there again. The 2 wonderful waitresses (both Latinas, & man do I wish I had their names!) were LOVELY - they deserve a raise & respect. The 2 bartenders I dealt with? Sheesh, take some customer service training & learn some respect. Front desk - same with you all. You know? All the women I ran into were GREAT...interesting. Those 2 were just GREAT. But I really will have to consider if I will go back. Both my kids don't want to, & they LOVE the conference(s). The people in our group were GREAT & we love them to bits - but I'm not sure it'll be enough to have to possibly cope with this kind of rude behavior again. I hope they take a lesson from the AMAZING staff at the Hilton Vancouver, WA...Time to review a few more places, in fact! Happier ones!