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Went away last weekend for the bank holiday, and arrived at the hotel at 2.30pm. We were told our room wasn’t ready, and wouldn’t be ready for another hour and half.

Ok, no problem we thought, we will sit and have a drink. About an hour went by, and no sign of our room, but plenty of other guests arriving and being checked in.

Beginning to get a bit annoyed, I went to enquire. I thought I’d try the self-service check in, but they had all been switched off. What’s the point of having self-service check in terminals, if you’re going to switch them off, and make your guests queue outside?

So I joined the by now length queue that was forming outside, even though we had been sat next to reception for over an hour and assured someone would let us know

Whilst in the queue, I overhead the reception staff tell a couple of other guests their room wasn’t ready, whilst checking in other guests. The explanation being, that rooms are allocated the night before.

What sort of operating model is that I wonder? Every room is exactly the same, so what does it matter?  I can understand it at a premium hotel, with several room types, but all the rooms are identical.

The people in front were mightily annoyed to see other people being checked in, whilst they were not, whilst being told they had to wait

I got to the front of the queue, and the poor reception staff could obviously sense some annoyance too. “No, our room wasn’t ready yet, wouldn’t be for another 45 minutes, but let me put you into a another room”. Ok, sorted, but why not do that in the first place! If you can do that now, you could have done that an hour and a half ago, when you were checking in other guests.

Who dreamt up such a barmy process? Its obviously done to make someone’s life easier, but it’s certainly not the guests. All they have succeeded in doing in upsetting a lot of their guests before they have even been given their room key.

And that’s before we get onto the debacle of breakfast the following morning, the cleaning, and the set-up of the room. Suffice to say they need some process improvement.

Maybe it was just this one site, as to be fair to Premier Inn, this is the first time I’ve ever had a problem at any of their hotels, which is why I chose to stay there. You should know what you are getting, and they’ve always done it to a decent, and consistent standard at a reasonable price. What’s not to like. But with this approach, they are in danger of becoming the Ryanair of Hotels.

This is the hospitality industry right? The clues in the name…


This Post Has One Comment

  1. Tom Johnston

    Yes, it’s a process gone wrong. The overnight staff try to speed up the check in process for the next day by allocating the rooms in advance but if they then get late check outs and don’t adjust the cleaning synchronization they end up with this problem, especially when people arrive before the normal check in time. They should of course have offered a room swap at the time your arrived but it could be that the only rooms free were already allocated to specific guest requests. It normally works out well but sounds like you had an unlucky day where the first receptionist didn’t want to change two allocated rooms. Poor service bad bad PR is the result.

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