Among all the hotels that I’ve ever booked, this is the worst service that I’ve ever had to endure. I have booked the hotel through Travelguru.com and am angry that they could enlist such a hotel in their service. Read on to learn about my experience.
Hotel UG Grand is just a brisk 10 minute walk from the Majestic (Kempe Gowda) bus terminus. Having found the location on my smartphone’s Google Maps, I decided to take a walk instead of hiring an auto in an unknown city and succumbing to their exploitation. After a few intersections, you can see the sign which points to the UG Grand Hotel.
It doesn’t have any sheds for parking. There’s a small open area parking that can accommodate around 10 cars at most.
As mentioned, it is close to the hub of Bangalore city, the Majestic bus stand and the Bangalore City railway station. Hence it is easy to visit anywhere in Bangalore, since the Majestic bus stand has buses to everywhere.
The staff were unhelpful even to the point of being distinctly hostile. When I reached the front desk, they were sending away another guest who had reached there after being shunted from another of their hotels nearby, and had pre-booked his reservation from ‘Makemytrip.com’. Apparently they had no idea about the number of rooms already paid for via online bookings, and had already filled the rooms to other people who had no bookings.
I had to argue with them for 15 minutes to make them understand that I had already paid for the rooms online, and that they already had my money with me. Finally they had to acquiesce. I had to wait for 45 minutes in the lobby for their manager, before I was accommodated.
I have stayed at this hotel in the past and the previous stay was in a cosy room. However this time, they accommodated me in a room with tattered walls, unkempt sheets and to add fuel to the fire, one whose electrical wiring was shoddy so much so that the socket where you insert your key to power on electicity was hanging loose from the wall. It took half an hour for an electrician to fix it, before I could switch on the fans in the place.
The bed sheets I was provided were torn (See photo).
The pillow covers were dirty.
The mirror was stained and useless (See photo),
and the paint on the walls was falling apart in places (See photo).
The room itself was in corner of the building, and had no view. If you open the windows, you can peer into another room through its windows. However you’d be advised to close the windows shut since there are a lot of pigeons rollicking about in the spaces between the rooms.
Even though the hotel is close to the roads, it is very quiet within the rooms, and you can hear the bustle and noise of the city only if you listen intently. It is a good choice if you need to take a good nap.
General cleanliness and facilities
There is nothing much to praise about this hotel. When I was shown into my room, the pillows were missing covers and there weren’t any blankets. They took around an hour to bring fresh pillow covers and even these were stained. They provided just one blanket. They did not provide towels or soaps, which are provided by almost every budget hotel.
Since the hotel did not have a restaurant, I didn’t order from room service, and instead took a walk to a nearby diner and ordered tasty South Indian dosai and curry. Mind you, there are NO good restaurants nearby. The diner I used resembled a fast food joint, and may not be for everyone’s taste.
I cannot recommend this hotel for families. If you’re staying for just a couple of days and absolutely need an economical hotel, this one is fine if you can put up with the unkempt rooms, and aren’t claustrophobic. I’d still advise you to keep phoning up the hotel reception at least a couple of times to make sure they hold your reserved room. On the overall, a very pitiable service. The only advantage is the closeness to Majestic.
I have never received such a poor and shoddy service in a hotel booked through Travelguru.com. I have complained to the online booking service and asked them to refund my booking at least partially. When one uses an online service of good repute like Travelguru.com, they have a responsibility to ensure that hotels they’ve enlisted provide a minimum standard of service to their guests. When the hotel has no clue that an online booking exists for the date, something stinks somwhere, and maybe it’s time to switch the online provider and use another service like Yatra.com or Makemytrip.com.
I’ll keep this post updated with details of any feedback from Travelguru. As of now, their only response was that they will talk to the hotel’s management and ask them to improve their facilities, which seems a pretty dismal response. What about the consumer who had to endure the shoddy service due to their lapse?
I’d complained to Travelguru.com today morning and also contacted them through their social media portals. I just received a reply from them (after around 5 hours), so that’s pretty fast for customer service.
Response from Travelguru.com:
Greetings from Travelguru.
With reference to your e-mail, we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to you and would like to express our deepest regret for the disappointment caused to you during your recent booking with Travelguru.
We would be closely monitoring the hotel and would upload your feedback on our website which shall also lead to a decline in the hotel rating. We would also like to inform you that in future if we continue to receive any more complaints we shall blacklist the hotel on our website.
You deserved better – a lot better – from us with each transaction you do with Travelguru, and this time we have let you down. Nothing is more important than regaining your trust and as a goodwill gesture we are providing you Rs 500/- gift voucher which you can use for your future reservation.
So that seems pretty decent of them. It doesnt take away the difficulties I faced, but mitigates it.