Staying at a Brand-New Resort — Reader Mistake Story
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Today, I want to share a story from TPG reader David, whose visit to a recently opened hotel fell short of expectations. Here’s what he had to say:
Good deals on hotels are hard for me to pass up, as is staying in a brand new hotel. So when I saw special opening rate available at the Renaissance Uluwatu Resort & Spa in Bali, I decided to take the plunge even though in the back of my mind I wondered about start-up issues at a brand new resort.
I should have listed to that whispering voice. The rooms are new and nicely appointed, and the staff was anxious to please its first guests during my visit. However, the air conditioning didn’t work properly — it wouldn’t turn off once the room cooled to the desired temperature — so we had to either leave it off at night and wake up sweating or leave it on and wake up frozen. The manager told me they had been working on this issue since the hotel had opened a month earlier.
The beds were way too firm for this American (who likes a medium bed). It was a big disappointment, as I was expecting a Marriott bed and have never had a bed that hard at any Marriott property. Again, the manager told me the mattress toppers were held up in customs and they were trying to find another source. Finally, there was ongoing construction in an adjoining room, and due to the acoustics of the place it sounded as if it were in our own room. In this case, the hotel offered to move us and adjusted our bill as compensation.
Lesson learned: staying in a brand new resort may have some advantages, including a very fresh room and lower opening rates. But it may be better to wait until the property has been open a few months, construction is finished and all the bugs are worked out.
Opening a new hotel is expensive, and there’s enormous pressure to start generating income as soon as possible. New properties begin accepting reservations well before opening, so if there are delays in construction or other setbacks, they may end up serving guests before everything is running smoothly. I don’t have a problem with that model so long as hotels are upfront about major deficiencies (like the pool being closed) and responsive to the impact they have on guests. While David’s experience may have fallen short of expectations, it sounds like the hotel was sympathetic to his complaints and responded appropriately. If you have a low tolerance for such circumstances, then think twice about booking stays at a sparkling new hotel.
Of course, established hotels experience plenty of service issues as well, ranging from mundane deficiencies (like dated rooms and subpar cuisine) to total meltdowns (like being told you don’t have a room after you’ve paid for it). In any case, speak up if you’re dissatisfied with a significant aspect of your stay. Politely inform the staff to see if they can address your concerns, and if that fails, consider reaching out to the hotel’s social media team. Your feedback is important not only to rectify your situation, but also to help the property do better in the future. Finally, while you shouldn’t go fishing over minor grievances, don’t be shy about asking for compensation if it’s warranted.
I appreciate this story, and I hope it can help other readers avoid making the same mistake. To thank David for sharing his experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending him a $200 airline gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own travel mistake stories to firstname.lastname@example.org, and put “Reader Mistake Story” in the subject line. Tell us how things went wrong, and (where applicable) how you made them right. Offer any wisdom you gained from the experience, and explain what the rest of us can do to avoid the same pitfalls.
Feel free to also submit your best travel success stories. If your story is published in either case, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. I look forward to hearing from you, and until then, I wish you a safe and mistake-free journey!
Feature image courtesy of the Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees