Clinic business

Compensation Clinic: Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

This week’s Compensation Clinic case stems from an unsatisfactory stay at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Bangkok.

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You can access the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok here.

READ MORE: Hilton Honors rates and bonus points offers.

Here is a note I sent to the General Manager and Hilton Guest Assistance:

Dear Diamond Office,

Please forward this email to customer support:

I decided to have another stay at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok after the unsatisfactory first one (when the hotel had just reopened) and after a nice dinner at the hotel.

Unfortunately, this hotel does not demonstrate the qualities that the Hilton luxury brand should have. I had lovely stays earlier this year at Conrad Tulum and Conrad Punta de Mita, far exceeding what I expected.

1. Save/Upgrade/Fake View

Check-in was chaotic and Oksana could not clearly communicate what my upgrade was as a Hilton Diamond member who had booked an Impresario rate.

The “Deluxe Park View” was basically a view of the Anantara and St. Regis hotels (see attachment). About 10% to 15% of the view was towards the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, which Waldorf Astoria incorrectly calls a “park.”

2. Concierge welcome card

We were welcomed as Mr & Mrs Obama on their honeymoon (see attachment). The concierge was never in touch and apologized for the mistake.

3. Breakfast

The breakfast staff was not sufficiently trained. The waiter was barking “Coffee or orange juice” rather than asking what I would like to drink? I don’t drink coffee or orange juice. I lost my appetite and ate nothing.

4. Impresario Perks

The Impresario rate plan (see attachment) included a $100 F&B credit. We called the concierge and asked when was the last order in their restaurant and we were told 10:30 p.m. However, when we went to the restaurant we were told that you could only order starters after 10pm as the kitchen was closing.

As a result we couldn’t use the credit at all as it was not available for in room dining or mini bar.

Unfortunately, Hilton allows the poorly run Waldorf Astoria to retain its flag. It does not demonstrate the qualities of the flagship brand.

Neither the hotel nor the general manager responded to the complaint I sent. We don’t know if they just closed it or left it open.

I contacted customer support twice to see what the resolution is and finally deposited 20,000 Honors points with the following note:

Thank you for contacting Hilton Guest Assistance. It will be my pleasure to help you resolve the issue you encountered regarding the upgrade at Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.

I hope this email finds you well. First of all, I would like to offer you my most sincere apologies for the delay in responding to your request and for the inconveniences encountered during your stay. We are currently dealing with an extraordinary volume of emails and our response time is taking longer than expected.

We understand how upset you have been and it saddens us as we have made one of our valued guests unsatisfied. As our business demands hospitality, we must always keep in mind that taking care of our valued customers and addressing their concerns is our top priority. Please know that we understand your feelings and want to do everything we can to make it up to you.

We are sorry to hear that the hotel has not contacted you. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience and the way your issue was handled.

While I am unable to change what happened. I credited 20,000 Hilton Honors points to your account as an apology. I know these points cannot change your past experience, but you can use them to make a new reservation. I hope you will view it as a commitment to our service.

Conclusion

I guess the main problem with his hotel is that it’s probably funded entirely by the sale of apartments that occupy the upper floors and have views. The Waldorf Astoria Bangkok then finds itself with lower floors and views of neighboring buildings.

Additionally, the General Manager, Mr. Simeon Olle, seems detached from the day-to-day operations of the property and is entirely invisible to guests and their concerns. It also doesn’t track guest feedback or ask anyone at the property to handle guest support cases.

It’s sad because Waldorf Astoria is considered Hilton’s flagship brand, but at least their property in Bangkok is totally lacking.

My basic mistake was returning to his hotel for the second stay after having dinner at their restaurant in late April (read more here). I had a short stay at this hotel once it opened, and it wasn’t as bad as this newer one but not good either.

I tend to give hotels a chance and not go back. There are plenty of options in Bangkok, and I was shaking my head why I was staying here looking at St. Regis (Park View)

The 20,000 Hilton Honors points are worth $100. The compensation just covers the $100 F&B credit that I couldn’t use.