I stayed at both the Ramada and Blue Sky during my 2.5 weeks in UB. The Ramada was great (see my review), but almost all my meetings were at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is right next to Blue Sky, so after the first week, I switched to Blue Sky.
First, the positives. The room was very nice - huge windows with lots of light. The location is fantastic - you are right across from the main square and within just a few minutes walk of many tourist attractions. The restaurant food was very good, and the breakfast buffet was very well stocked. The woman who did the omelets each morning was in particular very friendly and helpful. Lots of good restaurants very close by, including Millie's (don't miss it). They have a free show in the lounge most evenings with Mongolian music. I never had a problem with internet. And in general, the service was very good.
The negatives? The desk in my room was super high and it was impossible for me to work. I asked if they had a lower desk but they said all the rooms had the same desks. I don't really believe that. This really hurt my ability to get work done on my business trip.
But by far the worst part of my stay was the abominable front desk service. The hotel should be ashamed of itself! Let me give you a few examples. When I checked in, I told them that I had booked a 2-night stay on booking.com, but I was probably going to extend my stay for another week. The male front desk clerk looked at me haughtily, tapped on his computer for a few minutes, and then said, "I'm sorry, but we have a large group coming in and we are not able to extend your stay. You'll have to find another hotel." I **knew** he was lying because I had just been on booking.com that morning and saw they had plenty of availability. When I checked into my room, I just went online and booked the hotel for another week. Why would the front desk clerk lie? Was he anti-American or just lazy, or what?
Then, I had a meeting at Parliament (just across the street and the main square - about 5 minutes walk). It was pouring rain and I would be soaked instantly if I went out without an umbrella. I saw the front desk lending an umbrella to someone earlier in the day, so I went up and asked if I could borrow an umbrella as I was a guest at the hotel. The girl turned toward an older woman at the front desk, and the older woman didn't even look up. She just grunted, "No umbrellas." The girl sheepishly repeated this to me, and I couldn't believe it. I demanded to see the manager, who immediately grabbed an umbrella and took down my room number. Again, what in the world is going on here? I would have been completely unpresentable for my meeting with a Parliamentarian if I had gone out in the rain - I would have looked like a wet dog. Why would the Blue Sky front desk staff treat their business guests so poorly?
Finally, when I was leaving, I went to the front desk to arrange a ride to the airport the next day. The front desk clerk told me that it would be $80 for a ride in the hotel car with a hotel staff member, but if I wanted to go cheaper, for $50, she could book with me a hotel car, but with someone who was not a hotel staff member. Given the horrible driving of the taxi drivers in town, I said that I just wanted to do it with hotel staff. She kept pressuring me to take the $50 option. I had to wonder if she was getting a kick back or something. I refused and scheduled the hotel car for 3:30 pm the next day, along with a late check out. Well, lo and behold, at 3:30 am the next morning, I get a phone call from the front desk, telling me that my ride to the airport is waiting. I couldn't believe it. Was this a mistake, or punishment for not doing what I was pressured to do? Given that I had booked a late check out with the same clerk, either she was extremely incompetent or she was punishing me. Given the extremely horrid service from the front desk, I'm inclined to believe the latter.
I could give other examples, but you get the idea. Blue Sky is the best location if you need to be downtown, and the facilities are great. But the service is truly the worst I've ever seen in a hotel - not just bad, but malevolent. So if you book here, do it with eyes wide open.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Blue Sky Hotel & Tower is the member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts managed by Preferred Hotel Group. Preferred Hotels & Resorts is a collection of the world's finest luxury hotels and resorts providing the highest standards of quality and extraordinary service.The Blue Sky Hotel & Tower is an elegant and a luxury hotel with spacious and exquisitely designed guestrooms, complete with delectable and superb dining cuisines from Western to Asian, perfect with specialized one & only service philosophy, and strategically located on bustling Sukhbaatar District, in the heart of Ulaanbaatar's leading shopping central tower and business area with spectacular and dramatic views. 2 Min walk to the Mongolian Government house and just next to the historic "Choijin lama" Museum. ... more less
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