Monday, June 01, 2009

Another reason NOT to stay in Masterton

Blacksmiths Motor Inn. The Faulty Towers of Masterton

I can't complain about the service. There wasn't any.

I visited the above website and found this palce to look very pleasant- the wife had attended a conference there and agreed that it was very nice, so I booked a night on-line.

We arrived in the snow (yes- actual snow in Masterton) looking forward to a couple of rounds of drinks by the fireside in the bar.

We found a note on the locked door giving a phone number to call- we had committed the sin of not giving an arrival time (nobody asked) The time was 4pm...

After a few minutes a car pulled up and we were admitted. Here we told that the restaurant was closed. The bar never opened despite there being a couple of dozen 'guests' on site and all that was left of the fire was a smell of woodsmoke. The whole 'reception' area was freezing

We were shown to a room (very nice, I must admit) and left to our own devices. In fact, that was the last time we saw a staff member- nobody showed at the front desk come checkout time, so I tossed the keys on the desk and departed never to return. A conversation with another disgruntled customer informed that this shambles had been going on for at least two days.

If you are reading this (of course you are!) I advise you to seek lodging elsewhere.

I have travelled New Zealand extensivly over the years, staying at everything from camping ground cabins to five-star hotels. Never before have I had the misfortune to encounter staff with such a pitiful understanding of the 'hospitality' industry. A quick look at the images in the above link will show you that this is physically an up-market establishmnet- not some seedy backpackers, so the pathetic service is all the more of a puzzle.

Tommorrow I will tell you of the GOOD parts of the holiday had in Napier!


In reply to my email of complaint:

> I'm sorry to hear you were so dissappointed with your stay. I accept
> your points as being valid. Unfortunately the Long weekend did creep up
> on us and when we did our rosters two weeks prior we had failed to build
> in that the weekend was a long one - consequently we were unable to
> "regig" staff at the last minute. The room tariffs also were left at the
> special rate of $99, which would have been set at our standard rate of
> $139 for the Sunday of a long weekend.
> Normally Sunday is the quiestest day of the week for us and bookings for
> both accommodation and restaurant are few if any - that is why we choose
> to close the restaurant and bar on that day. However I appreciate that
> on a long weekend people who are out and about want to beable to dine
> and have a drink. Given this, I accept your complaint, I apologise and
> we will certainly be more vigilant in the future as to determining when
> the long weekends fall so we can make these services available to
> guests. I also agree that the website is not as clear as it should be
> and I am in the process of getting the web designer to change it as a
> result.
> For the dissappointment you have experieced and as a way of an apology I
> would like to offer you a complimentary nights stay with us again, so we
> may have the opportunity to give you a better experience. If you would
> be good enough to email me your postal address I will put a voucher in
> the mail for you (or family or friends) to use at some point in the future.
> My apologies once again.
[Name deleted by myself]
> Owner
My email below:

>> A /very/ disappointing stay at your hotel. This trip was a weekend
>> away for my wife and I- our first weekend away without children in a
>> long time.
>> It wasn't just a night's accomodation whilst travelling- we were
>> only 35 minutes from home.
>> The front door locked at 4pm, the bar and restaurant closed- I would
>> never have booked in knowing these facilities were unavailable.
>> The website has proved totally misleading regarding the facilties (all
>> day, seven days a week dining, to mention one fact) While we were
>> advised that
>> The restaurant was closed- no explaination offered- nothing was
>> mentioned about the bar. We mistakenly assumed that this would open in
>> the evening.
>> The fact that it was a freezing night made the matter worse. The night
>> in question was not on we would have chosen to go out in!
>> Then on the Monday morning the reception was unmanned (not to mention
>> unheated) as myself and others arrived to check out.
>> We booked on the strength of the appealing photographs on your
>> website:
>> To have well-appointed establishment is is no avail if you cannot
>> offer the minimal standards of customer service of having the
>> reception staffed- much
>> less the kitchen and bar.
>> I believe a refund is in order.

I call that a satisfactory conclusion- actually, it is bloody refreshing to get a full & frank apology for a change!

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