This is a very attractive boutique property backing onto the Intracoastal with a nice dock on which to relax in the evening (after dinner service has been cleared). Sit back and watch the fish swim by! The rooms may be a little compact (at least in terms of the bathroom and closet space) but for a short break (or overnight as in our case) this should not present a problem. Much care has been devoted to the appointments (Frette sheets and towels; Moulton Brown products and a nice TV and DVD system - albeit a sheet of simple operating instructions would have been useful!). The only draw back of the room (a King Superior Poolside room) was the low shower head which was only just sufficiently elevated for a 5'9" person to fit underneath and the lack of any appreciable way of regulating the water temperature of the shower once you were inside. Also, there was no Nespresso machine as the advertizing on the hotel website states. The restaurant proved a big hit: excellent food and courteous, attentive staff. I suppose the only disappointment in this regard was that I was hoping for some Moroccan influence given the nationality of the chef...nonetheless the dishes were very well executed and the portions were very generous.
My only significant complaint about the hotel, however, stems from the customer service experience from the front desk. After all, when one selects a boutique hotel over a good chain (such as the Ritz-Carlton) there is a certain expectation that the service will also prove a little more personalized. Unfortunately, this was not really borne out. We had checked in to celebrate a birthday and the hotel had been pre-warned about this. My partner was to have had a candle with his dessert (I hate this sort of thing but he rather enjoys the fuss so I have to put up with the rigamarole every year) and we had also enquired about the possibility of late check out to which the answer on the phone had been "we have to check availability on the day but there shouldn't be a real problem with it". When we arrived our check in proved quite soul-less. No introduction to the hotel, no use of our names, no confirmation that we would be dining with them that evening. I'd expect a little more than the standard approach to check-in at a Marriott Courtyard. Jessica, the assistant manager was kind enough to offer us a complimentary glass of wine, however. Sadly, though, there was no candle at dinner or any other indication of the celebratory nature of the occasion. When we phoned in the morning to inquire about late check-out (as Jessica had told us to do the previous evening) we were told that there was no possibility of such accommodation - the 12 noon departure deadline had to be final. This was a shame as a simple extra hour would have made all the difference to the pacing of a leisurely morning and the hotel was hardly full. Even if the place was going to be packed that evening, official check in isn't until 4pm giving them three hours in which to 'clean' the room after a 1pm departure. However, the worst part of the experience was that when my partner (a training manager for a five-diamond hotel) queried whether a short extension might not indeed be possible he was told quite brusquely "well if you DO work in the industry you should know that this is always subject to availability". This sort of response to a guest is simply not acceptable. When we did leave (c. 10.15 as we were no longer in the mood to relax) there was no inquiry as whether or not we had enjoyed our stay or indeed, any expression of a hope that we might like to return in the future. Again, no attempt was made to use our names...'Room XXX, right?" was the way in which I was addressed.
Ok...I know I'm being picky, but attention to detail is important, and unfortunately the lack of attention to detail here rather sabotaged the otherwise favorable impression of the establishment.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
7 August 2012
Thank you for your comments. We appreciate the good things you said about The Pillars. Just as important we appreciate your critique of service. As illustrated by past comments in these pages the hallmark of our reputation has been high level of service. Obviously we were off on your visit. All our staff are taking your review to heart and will be striving to stay on track 100% of the time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC