The Soechi is what's left of a Novotel, so physically, the layout isn't bad. You get a large room with a decently-appointed bath, at least on the non-smoking floor. Then, it begins.
Actually, it began when they spent 10 minutes being unable to find your reservation while you stood there sweaty and exhausted. Finally, you lean over the counter, and there it is,on the reservation page right in front of them. They're amazed!
Then, they give you one electronic key for a double room. You call down for another, so if one of you leaves, the other doesn't have to sit in the dark, and they say it will be right up. No it won't! A half-hour later, you go down to get one. You succeed, but it won't work on the elevator. Another half hour is needed for them to finally produce one that works.
You return to your room and bathe, then call to find out when the supper buffet starts. The desk doesn't know. They connect you to the restaurant, 30 feet away. The restaurant will never answer.
Finally, you decide to arrange onward transit with the concierge, and get the buffet details on the way. Despite a huge sign promising many services, there's nobody at the concierge office. Finally, a young girl appears, and you start trying to arrange transport to Lake Toba in your pretty-fluent Indonesian. She quotes you a price 50% higher than what you know to be right, and won't bargain. So you try to arrange a taxi to a travel agent 5 minutes away. She can arrange a hotel taxi there, but can't arrange having it wait while you pay for the Toba transport and come back.
Finally, exhausted from a brutal travel day, you agree to pay her ridiculous price. You hand over your hundreds of thousands of rupiah, and she nods, smiles, and sits there. Finally, you ask for a ticket or a receipt. She seems amazed. Then, she starts opening doors and shuffling through them at random. After several futile minutes, she decides you can pay tomorrow. You leave, uncertain that you've actually arranged anything.
Meanwhile, your partner is trying to make an international phone call, following the instructions on the phone. It doesn't work. She calls the desk to make the connection. They can't make it work. After a half hour, they decide maybe they should involve the actual hotel operator, who does make it work.
You decide to hit the buffet, so you go to the room safe to lock up your valuables. It doesn't work. You call the desk. Someone will be right up. No, he won't. After twenty minutes, you go down and fetch someone. He fixes it.
You go down, and find out that the buffet isn't really a buffet, so you order a la carte. The non-smoking section is a tiny corner of a big room full of smokers, so you savor the fine flavor of second-hand smoke. The food sucks anyway.
You go up the 10 floors to your room, and just as you get in, the power goes out. It stays off for 20 minutes. What if it had gone out a couple of minutes earlier, when you were on the elevator? What if you'd been between the elevator and your electronic room lock? Why does a hotel with hundreds of rooms not have an instant-on generator?
In the morning, you go down for a surprisingly good buffet breakfast, then check to see about transport. The same "concierge" in the "business centre" looks at you like she's never seen you before, but when you re-explain what you want, she produces a ticket book and her notes from 12 hours before, and you finally confirm your escape.
Then, they try to overcharge you by 80% despite calculating the bill on their computer. After the fifth time you demonstrate to three cashiers that 3 plus five doesn't actually equal 16, they reluctantly concede the point.
You escape at last, and the hotel's driver is the worst you've ever seen.
Do yourself a favor. Avoid Hotel Soechi, unless you want to be at the mercy of the stupidest outfit since the most recent Bush Administration!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Soechi International Medan is a Business Hotel located in the heart of business in the city and entertainment district. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Novotel Medan