I’m sure hotel concierge love to laugh at the requests they get…but most of them have the sense not to laugh directly in front of your face. I was stunned today when the concierge at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel laughed at me. I assure you, he wasn’t laughing with me – he was laughing at me.
I approached the concierge desk to request directions to the starting location for a specific tour I wanted to take. The person behind the desk suggested three other tours run by three tour companies I was not inquiring about. I asked, nicely, multiple times if he could just give me directions to the location of the tour I wanted to take. It was futile. I finally asked, “Are you the concierge?” He said he was not (turns out he’s a bellman) and informed me that the concierge would be back in 10 minutes. Completely frustrated, I decided to wait.
When the concierge finally reappeared, I inquired again. He too tried to steer me towards other tours. The same tours the bellman tried to convince me to take. So I began to wonder – do they make a commission off certain tours? I already had a ticket and all I wanted was directions. Why was this so difficult? After going round and round, he finally told me where to go.
Before I left, I asked if he could tell me what bus went to the nearest tube stations. He said, you don’t need to take a bus, it’s a 5 minute walk. I explained that on rainy days, I might like to take the bus to avoid getting wet. This is where the laughing begins. He said, “Don’t be lazy, just walk. We have umbrellas if you are afraid of getting wet.“ More laughter and a head shake.
The woman standing next to me said, “Honey, I’d complain to a manager if I were you.” She was clearly a fellow tourist with a sweet southern accent. I smiled and said, “I don’t need a manager, I have a blog.” She laughed…she was laughing with me.
I have stayed in hundreds of hotels on 5 continents of the world. This is truly the first time I’ve been laughed at by a concierge. I don’t think my request for directions to a tour I wanted to take and information about a bus route was too much to ask for.
Every time I think I’m starting to like the Sheraton Park Lane hotel, I have an experience like this. Hard to imagine what my opinion will be when I finally depart on March 23rd. I have a feeling this stay is going to be like a roller coaster ride – good experience, bad experience, good experience and so forth….