The latest brand to take my customer experience test is the Hard Rock Hotel and specifically the newly refurbished site in Tenerife. We chose this for a week long break with our three teenagers after seeing it reviewed in one of the weekend papers. the expectations were high – this a brand with a good heritage, cool, fun and this hotel has had lavish refurbishment.
So we arrive and are given a welcome drink whilst registering that is nice – except that it took about 20 minutes to check in and be given the funky wristbands that double as your room key and a way to charge to your room. So we were impressed by the leading edge technology, accept that when we tried to use it to pay it didn’t work and needed to be reset twice. That said the second time the reception staff actually came to the pool to do it!
The rooms were pretty impressive and well played out just as we expected so that was a big plus in fact most of the core elements were meeting expectations, no shortage of sun beds, entertainment, very polite staff.
Where it fell down was the detail – so we went to the roof top bar one evening and being April it was a little chilly but the blankets (we didn’t know that had any) were not brought out until an experienced guest asked for them. Then I wanted to change a restaurant reservation one evening only to be told it was fully booked – wandering over it was clear that it was only half full – what was emerging was that the hotel was not full and the restaurants were not fully staffed. When you are told somewhere is full you expect it to look that way when in fact what they meant was it is full to capacity based on the number of staff we have available. Not really what you expect from a 5 star resort. This was really brought home when I returned to our room one afternoon to find the room still unmade. Unhappy I popped down to the Concierge to speak to the Manager only to be told she is busy in a meeting so come back later – oh no! I did insist that she came out of the meeting and to be fair she did and apologised…a little while later a gift arrived by way of further apology. So the service recovery was good but the staff need to know that Managers purpose is no different to heir own – to meet expectations and ensure that guests are happy and that purpose over-rides any internal task.
This felt like a hotel starting to get to grips with the operation and that is not what you expect from a 5 star experience – I am going to the Hard Rock in Orlando in June that will be an interesting opportunity to compare and contrast with a well established venue.
Overall the experience was good, the atmosphere was great and the hotel fixtures and fittings do have the wow factor (apart from the hand drier in my earlier post) the staff are trying hard and just need that attention to detail they are not there yet, so it comes out at 7/10 and I look forward to the American experience.