A little while back I had the opportunity to indulge myself and take a weekend at Carlton Hotel. I like to ‘stay-cation’ when I get the chance. When you’re traveling, you don’t always get the full hotel experience as you spend most of your time outside of the premises sight-seeing or even working if its a business trip. But a ‘stay-cation’ gives the perfect opportunity the take in the Hotel itself and enjoy the service and facilities.
There are times when an experience leaves an indelible mark on your memory, and that was the case with Carlton Hotel…. unfortunately not for the right reasons. I do not normally rant, however the series of events just left a sour taste by the end.
From the beginning, things got off on the wrong foot at Carlton Hotel. While the process itself went smooth enough and I got my room in the ‘Premier‘ wing. The service although was far from ‘Premier‘. ‘. I was carrying a backpack and a duffel bag, however after the check-in process, there was no offer of assistance with my bags even though there were a few porters near the concierge. I decided that while it’s something you do expect as a formality or protocol, I wouldn’t make a fuss and could live with it.
Upon entering the room – which wasn’t too bad – I noticed that the TV was on with a greeting, welcoming me to the Hotel. A nice touch….. if only they could have spelt my name right. Again I decided it wasn’t worth it and decided to take a shower. Wanting to blow dry my hair after, I realised that that the only place I could actually plug in the hairdryer was at the desk area at the far end of the room – far from ideal.
I then decided that the best way to just relax was to grab a cup of coffee from the Nespresso machine in the room. As I opened the box containing the capsules, I realised that although they were in a Nespresso box, they were third-party capsules and not the real deal….. and the Hotel actually had the audacity to charge $3 a capsule – especially when an original Nespresso capsule only costs about $0.90 a piece.
Finally, the last straw came later in the evening. I requested for a wine-opener as I couldn’t find one in the room so naturally, I called room service who arrived in about 5 – 10 minutes. I had no issues with that. So as I took the wine-opener, the staff offered to help open the bottle – but I said that it was ‘ok’ and I could handle it. That’s when he told me that once the bottle was open, he needed the opener back right away. I couldn’t keep it in the room. If I needed it again I should call…… I was speechless. Does Carlton Hotel have just the ONE opener?
Keep in mind that this is a ‘Club‘ room in the ‘Premier Wing‘ of a 4, maybe 5, star hotel. To me it started to border on the ridiculous.
I have stayed in quite a few hotels in Singapore now and I have to say, that while it is in a prime location and close to shopping, entertainment and the business district, for the price paid the service quality and attention to detail is severely lacking. The facilities were adequate – comparable to any other hotel at a category lower even. A thoroughly disappointing experience – there are better options.