There is nothing more exciting than knowing you are just days away from visiting a destination for the very first time. Even more, you’ll be guests of one of the island’s luxury resorts. Those were my exact feelings as my first trip to Barbados became closer. Knowing I was staying at Hilton Barbados Resort, considered one of the island’s more luxury resorts increased my excitement for the trip even more. But more than that, simply knowing I would be guest of the Hilton brand alleviated any thoughts of possible disappointment. I mean after all, it’s Hilton, right? Photos of the resorts rooms and overall layout, the beach and reviews on how well hotel staff took care of their guests were all things I anxiously awaited.
May 4, 2017 arrived. After a rather long day of travel nothing seemed more fitting than to get straight to Hilton Barbados, our host resort.
Upon arrival, almost immediately everything that I looked forward to experiencing had quickly taken a U-turn.
Awaiting in line for Hotel Check in took approximately 20 minutes. Once at the counter we experienced an additional 10 minutes for completing the check in process making it a total wait time of 30 minutes. As a Travel Professional and seasoned traveler, I am aware that Check in can be a bit lengthy but never have I experienced it being 30 minutes.
After discovering what was identified as Sugar Ants in Rooms 460, 172, and 459 and another type of bug unidentifiable in Room 505 (yes we were changed that many times due to ants and bugs taking over) we were finally accommodated with Room 109. But unfortunately Room 109 was not equipped with two double beds as required so a roll away bed was brought in. I should also point out that during the process of playing “Musical Rooms” with Hilton Barbados, we experienced rather poor customer service from management and often was given the attitude that we should get over it.
Water’s Edge Bar, Beach and Infinity Pool
By far the staff at Water’s Edge Beach Bar were the only staff members executing Hilton’s expected level of customer service. Their smiles, friendliness and willing attitudes are what stood out most and went a long way. The resort lies on 2 beautiful powder sand beaches which would be the only reason I’d ever visit again next to the infinity pool!
Hotel Staff Customer Service
I must say that the level of customer service delivered by the front desk @ Hilton Barbados Resort could certainly use an upgrade. When a customer is bringing a concern to your attention you should never blow them off or make statements like “You ARE in the Caribbean Islands”. Even if you are tired of the situation being presented, make things work. If the situation is being handled correctly at the customer expectations chances are you won’t hear about it again.
Overall, I’d have to say that the Beach Bar Staff certainly knows customer service and Hilton Barbados should consider allowing Ramon the manager to train the entire resort staff.
Why We Checked Out a Day Early
After having to interact with a front desk staff who expressed no concern for the matter at hand and having an Assistant Manager tell us “changing rooms like this is unheard of you are in the Caribbean Islands” there was simply no need to stay. Not did the message project that of negativity it also produced a foul tone. There are some things you should never say to a customer even if it sounds right to you.
My overall experience with Hilton Barbados Resort could have been far better if the front desk staff were trained in areas where it mattered most; customer service. Even after advising the hotel’s front desk that we decided to shorten our stay no empathy of any sort was expressed. I felt like we were a problem to this resort and its staff. With Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados only a few feet away and a host of lodging options lining the St. Lawrence Gap area certainly Hilton Barbados was not the only option.
Further, as a Travel Professional often we showcase travel catalogs and websites to our clients along with providing knowledge through training or personal travel experiences when it comes to booking clients vacations. However, while the catalogs and websites may go hand and hand to getting a customer’s yes, I am glad I experienced first-hand the lack of exceptional customer service projected by the hotel staff @ Hilton Barbados Resort. I now know that not only is Hilton Barbados Resort not a good fit for me it also is not a good fit for my clients.
Have you ever had a major room issue with a hotel you stayed at? What was the outcome? Did you revisit that particular hotel or resort? Would you?