The stay was a thoughtful gift from a family member for our Honeymoon. The horror started with the check-in.
Day 1: The room was terribly cold with no heater. On enquire, the first person told us there is no heater facility. We were aghast, in the cold of December, in Ooty and no heater facility. The second person told us all heaters have gone for servicing and will be back in 3 days. The third person got us a heater after we created a ruckus. The heater just about kept us warm if we sat near it but kept the room cold. They said we have 24/7 hot water but there was no hot water. Then they said, it takes 30-mins to get hot water, we waited over 2 hours without hot water. Then they said, use the tap to get hot water sometimes the shower does not work. Finally, we asked for 2 buckets of hot water to be brought to the room. The hot water finally started working from next morning. The place was run by a bunch of staff who seemed temporary or didn't have the ability or the wherewithal to solve our problems and there was no manager in sight. Each staff member gave us different reasons but didn't solve the problem. we asked to talk to the manager and we were told, he is based out of another property and is not available. We asked for his name and number which we didn't get. During the night we complained again about the room being too cold but too no avail. We tried to seal the front door from where cold wind was blowing into the room ourselves. During dinner time, we get a call from a kitchen asking us about having dinner at their in-house restaurant. We were lured by stating that we can get a Combo Offer for dinner and breakfast at Rs. 590 per head. We agreed and went for the offer.
Day 2: In the morning we complained about the cold room but still no solution was offered. The person at the reception told us that all couples prefer this room because of the view and our complaints seemed unusual. He finally offered to move us to another room on the ground floor. We said this was not a solution but we will consider it and left the hotel for sight-seeing for the day. A concierge from the hotel had booked us into the Toy Train to Coonoor and had told us to be at the railway station at 11:45 am. We got to the station promptly at 11:45 and this person had already left. The hotel redeemed themselves by sending someone else on the bike to get us the tickets and they had the arrogance to tell us that we waited for you and when you didn't turn up the person left. When we came back in the evening and asked for a change of room, we were told that all rooms are full. If we needed to change the room, we should have told them in the morning. This person didn't have the courtesy to tell us that we would have to decide in the morning if we needed a change since rooms might not be available later on. Again, lack of communication and basic customer care and the person who spoke to us in the morning had not done the transition to the next person. We asked again for a solution and no solution was offered. In the evening, we got a call from the kitchen about dinner and we asked if we could we served in the room. The person said Yes but only the items on the Buffet. He read out the menu and told us to order anything from the buffet and we will deliver it to the room. Since my wife was not hungry, I decided to order one buffet and some items from it. The kitchen staff took the order and confirmed it. 10-minutes later we get a call that we cannot serve buffet for one person, it will have to be for 2-people or that we will have to come to the restaurant and have food and that we could not order Al-Carte. We have stayed enough in hotels and resorts to know that we can always order room-service with an Al Carte menu and this was refused to us. We were furious, canceled the order and asked to speak to the Manager again. The chef who was supposedly the Acting Manager finally came to our room. When we explained our issues to him, he response was that the cold is just a MEAGER issue and we have never had this issue with any other guest. He still didn't give us a solution. We were furious and ready to leave but it was 10 pm so we decided to sleep the night and check out the next morning (a day earlier than booked). We even enquired with other hotels in Ooty for a room but decided to just sleep the night off. My wife did ask for a glass of milk that night and after much fighting we got extra blankets and just one water warmer for 2 people. we finally did get the office number of the manager who was obviously not available that night. We were not given the mobile number even after repeated requests. The kitchen staff did bring the buffet ordered as damage control at around 1045 pm which we had canceled but I was so furious at their callous attitude towards their customers that I sent it back.
Day 3: We checked-out by 9 am. I called in at 830 am saying we are checking-out by 9 am and to keep our bills ready. At 9 am, no bell boy to take our bags, we took our bags down ourselves, two-floors, in two trips. No one was present at the reception. Someone later hurried in but he didn't have access to the password protected computer and our bills were not ready. The restaurant finally sent in their bills and they had charged us extra from the combo dinner-breakfast package. We refused to pay that and we were told that we are not eligible for the combo package. The person who had sold us the combo package was on their day-off so could not be contacted apparently and we were made to sound like liars. When we refused to pay, they reduced the amount and said that this will be deducted from the person's salary who had given us wrong information. We didn't want that person to lose Rs. 400 so we made the payment and left disappointed.
On our way back from Ooty, we called the Manager at the office number given to us. We told him that we were terribly disappointed and left a day earlier. We even mentioned that the problem was not so much the staff but the complete lack of management and client focus. He said if we had stayed back, he would have personally come and met us and that he was not aware of all the issues we had for 2 days. One more management failure if the staff are not communicating to him and if he is not reaching out to his staff. He said he would talk to this staff, understand the issues and call us back. The call back never happened. We now know why the staff have a callous customer focus too.
We came back to Bangalore salvaging whatever good memories we could have about our Honeymoon.
For all the big brand talk of Mahindra Zest, it was a nightmare of an experience. Thumbs down to Mahindra Zest for not having the basic customer care courtesies.
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- Also Known As:
- Zest Danish Villa India/Ooty (Udhagamandalam)