Friday, March 24, 2006


Intense colors/ Intensely annoyed at the Deauville

Another shot from the trip to the zoo. The colors are not enhanced. Those are the real colors.

PSW continues to be a great experience, even though the weather tanked today. Got thoroughly soaked three times today, and every pair of shoes I brought is damp. Hope they dry out by morning.

Bought a couple of good books, talked to Ben and Bert, made friends with someone at O'Reilly...

Wednesday night's "Dinner with a Stranger" was fascinating. A really diverse and interesting bunch, a nice restaurant, (Tiramesu) good conversation...

My Deauville experience has been all over the map. Not really bad, just annoying. I've certainly stayed in worse hotels, but there's just something so ...chintzy... going on here. Small irritations. The TV that works perfectly in the bar, but not in my room. The byzantine internet access setup. The crappy toiletries in the bathroom. The little surcharges for services any other hotel would comp. The non-existent customer service.

Case in point--- It was raining cats and dogs tonight, so I wanted to eat here in the hotel rather than going elsewhere. The cafe was closed at 7PM, so I went to the lobby bar. There were maybe 6 other people in there, all watching the basketball game. The menu was mostly soups (2), salads (4) sandwiches (5) and appetizers (4 or 5) -- not a really extensive menu, and, while not a bargain, not really overpriced for a resort town. I had some soup, a veggie quesadilla and some iced tea.

When my check came, they had automatically added an 18% tip to my check. Why? who knows? It's like the $7/day "resort fee" that supposedly pays for my beach towels and the use of the hotel safe, and the surcharge ($10/day) for internet access. Nickel and dime-ing you to freaking death. In this case, however, this attitude turned out to be counterproductive, as I usually tip 20% or more after dark. I did not increase the gratuity. Why? Because as I'd passed through the lobby, I'd seen the sign on the bell captain's desk. Bag storage is $1 per bag per day. Not enough to be outrageous, just enough to be annoying. I'm sorry, but in a hotel where the rooms start at $200/night, that's just plain rude and tacky.

As a guest, these policies are like Chinese Water Torture. Maybe there are some cheap bastards out there who were never taught to tip bellmen, housekeepers, and waiters appropriately. I, however, am not one of them. I travel 50 weeks a year. I have learned the long-term value of taking care of the people who take care of me. If the cheap losers are a problem for your staff, raise your base rates and pay them appropriately, but don't play bait and switch with me.

I calculated the "real" rate for my room, and in the end, the Deauville's no bargain, by any means--- especially when half the amenities don't work properly, I cannot use their crappy soap or shampoo unless I want to smell like inmate # 4567345, and my upgraded oceanfront room apparently has a ghost who randomly flushes the toilet and scares the life out of you in the middle of the night.

Ahhh, life on the road. The glamour! Posted by Picasa

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