Physically threatened, unhelpful staff.
We stayed here for two nights a few weeks ago, as it was advertised for a super reasonable price (I think because it was new) and so decided to give it a whirl. The facilities were faultless: really smart rooms, great showers, comfy bed - the kind of stuff you look for when you're away for long periods of time.
The staff however, were less than satisfactory. We had booked to go to a waterpark not too far out of town for one of their evening events. The day before, we asked if it were possible to get there through someone the hotel could recommend but were told by the receptionist that he didn't know where it was. Not really an answer but we left it and decided we'd speak to the day receptionist when we were about ready to go and hope she could book us a taxi.
So the following day we got back to the hotel at about 5pm and asked the receptionist if she could book us a taxi to this waterpark. Lots of dithering later, she called one from a card in the desk. While speaking to the taxi driver, the receptionist paused their conversation and asked us to tell him our budget for the journey. I replied that surely the fare should be dictated by the driver as we don't know the rate given the time etc. at which point he wanted to speak to us. From the comments online, we'd seen that this journey usually cost people about 20-25MR but as I wasn't sure whether this was entirely up to date, I spoke to the driver. He said the journey would be 40MR as "it was raining". Fine. We needed to get there so we agreed.
He arrived on-time to be fair to him, but he oddly had his son in the passengers seat of the car. Not an issue, just bizarre. He then spent the journey quizzing us on our travels but kept referring back to our hotel, wanting to know unusually high levels of detail on it - "how much did you pay a night", "what are the beds like - comfy, soft...?", "its brand new, do you notice how new it is" on and on. He also wanted to know the price of everything from us - how much we'd paid for tickets, fares etc everywhere.
We then got on to the subject of how we were getting back to the hotel. We hadn't worked that out yet as we know there's a shuttle bus in high season but were unsure of the rest of the year. He said he could fetch us and we asked what time he operated until, and we agreed that if we needed his services 10pm would be a beneficial time for both. We asked for his card so that we could contact him and confirm beforehand and he asked us to give him notice as he would have to make the drive from town. He didn't have a card but gave us his telephone number. We paid and parted ways.
At around 9pm we decided that we needed to make a decision on how to get back to the hotel. After speaking to the staff they told us they could arrange transport back for us there and that would then give us the freedom to chose how late we stayed at the park. We text the taxi driver at 9:20pm and had a confirmation the text was sent, letting him know we'd be making our own way home.
At 10:30 we grabbed a cab from the waterpark and travelled back to our hotel. We were charged the correct fare of 25MR and bid farewell to the driver. When we got into the reception (and this is really where this whole thing has been going) the receptionist told us that a taxi driver had been waiting for us at the waterpark after we'd confirmed to meet him. Baffled, we explained all of the above and the receptionist seemed pretty chilled about it. He called the taxi driver and let him know we were back, when the conversation seemed to get heated. He demanded to speak to my partner, and started shouting that he needed to be paid as he'd been waiting to collect us. We calmly explained that we hadn't agreed to him fetching us and that we'd text him as agreed to let him know he wouldn't be needed. At this point he's demanding money - "you must pay me 30MR!" etc.
By this point my partner is losing his patience and explains that we'd already paid him much more than a fare is supposed to be and never agreed to use him again later that evening, so he hasn't really got a case. The taxi driver then starts screaming that we'd threatened him and that we were going to punch him and that he was going to come and fight us.
After he hung up, we said to the receptionist "what do we do? We never threatened him, you just heard us!" - he agreed that we'd never threatened him and told us that everything would be fine. We said that if he comes in threatening us physically we'd want the police involved and he nodded.
Five minutes later (which is remarkably good timing considering he was waiting for us 25 minutes away at the waterpark when we rang him to tell him we were back), he comes storming into the hotel, threatening to punch us and calling us all sorts of expletives. I had to physically push my way in front of my partner as the taxi driver had his hands ready to fight him. At this point, he's screaming at us and we're apologising for the confusion and asking him to just take the money and leave. Instead of calming down, he got more and more aggressive towards us and kept shouting that we were liars. He told us he'd tried calling us (the staff had given our personal information out to him) and that we had answered a phone call from him and were just laughing down the phone at him. This was a complete lie as we'd never heard from him the whole time were out, and the last phone call received on that phone had been the14th June. We showed him the text we'd sent to his number and he denied all knowledge but never showed us his phone once. Eventually (and with everything on CCTV) we managed to pay the money he felt owed, and he told us that we needed to "watch or backs around town because now you'll never know who will go for us". After standing there talking about us for five more minutes to the staff, he left. He also, very importantly, let slip that he was friends with the owners of the hotel.
My biggest bugbear is that in all of this, the receptionist and his assistant who he'd called down during the argument never once stepped in to help. They'd heard the conversation we'd had on the phone with the driver, who they'd recommended, and even when I as a 5' 4" girl was the only restraint from him pummelling my boyfriend, they didn't so much as ask the driver to calm down. Once he'd left, and we were still sat in the reception, they never asked us if we were okay or apologised or even asked if we wanted to call anyone. They just completely ignored the fact that their guests had been treated in this way.
We did everything in our power to apologise to the driver, in case he genuinely did feel we'd miscommunicated with him, but at the end of the day I know the truth and that was that we were caught up in a scam where we narrowly avoided a kicking.
If you do stay at this hotel, please don't use their recommended taxis as even though we asked them to no longer recommend this particular driver to guests, he made it clear he was firm friends with the owner and that regardless of our complaints, nothing further would be mentioned of it to him. A shame as the hotel itself is gorgeous but the staff's blatant disregard for their guests safety was a real issue and huge let down for us and would put us off staying there again.
- Jul 18, 2017