(This post is old… trying to get caught up to real time……)
Our last night in Dubai was to be spent in a local hotel, as we needed to be out of our villa and on a flight in the early morning hours…. so TBG made reservations for us at a quite special place, the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel. Now this is a five-star property, and I’m certain that it didn’t come cheap…. but TBG wanted to treat us with a calm, relaxing evening after the day’s hustle and bustle of moving and packing. So we, along with our seven pieces of luggage, caught a van-cab to the Jumeirah and we were dropped at the front door.
Bellmen came and whisked our bags away as we went inside to register. The desk clerk informed us that our room had been upgraded to a suite – and for that, I was happy,… seven pieces of luggage and us in a standard room might have been a bit tight. Plus, we *are* the luckiest people we know, right? We made arrangements with the desk clerk to have a van taxi waiting for us at 6 am as we would need it to get to the airport in time for our early flight out. He said no worries, it would be waiting. And we’re off….
So, another gent accompanies us to our room, pointing out the restaurants and lounges along the way.
And we finally arrived at our room. He opened the door into our hallway. Yes. Hallway. With a bathroom off the side.
The hallway led to the living room area, where the gent showed TBG the remote pad to operate all the suite’s electronics…. and opened and closed the curtains, and operated all the lighting and temperatures in the suite. Holy cow…. I was hoping TBG was paying attention because I was tired and figured I’d be in the dark if left up to me….lol.
Oh, and there was even a welcome message to us on the TV….. cute.
Next. the gent showed us the kitchen area, with fridge, etc…… all stocked for us. Included.
Then, on to the bedroom. With a red arrow on the ceiling to orient worshippers towards Mecca….. interesting.
See the red circle on the ceiling? It’s an arrow to point worshippers towards Mecca for daily prayers. Quicker than a GPS, and helpful when you get turned around inside buildings.
But holy moly – this place was HUGE! Ginormous bed, a desk big enough for two, a walk-in closet with robes and slippers for us both, a dressing area…
and then…. then…. the bathroom…. oh my.
Just lovely – all sparkling and shine and separate shower and tub and toilet area and giant fluffy towels and WHY was this gent still here when I desperately wanted a shower or a soak and then some supper??? A quick tip and he was on his way, with the promise to return shortly with our bags.
Shortly was right – he returned to the door, shifting from one foot to the other, nervous and uncomfortable saying “Madame… your luggage…..” more shifting and stammering. Finally I said ” WHAT is the problem? Where is our luggage?” He said “Madame, your luggage, in the security xray, Madame…..” more shifting etc. Clearly, there has been zero customer service training on how to deliver less-than-favorable news. I finally said “Why is my luggage not here?” “Madame, inside your luggage…….”.
Light bulb. Inside my luggage. Security here must xray all luggage before it’s brought inside. Well, we are moving, and will need basic kitchen things with us – shipping household goods will take 30 days or more, so I brought with me my good Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives. (Sidenote – men, if you want a really smiley wife, buy her a set of truly good knives….. really) So, I’ve determined that what the problem is, is that they’re concerned about the large knives they’ve seen in xray.
I told the gent “I plan on taking cooking classes when we get to Bahrain.” and smiled sweetly at him. “Now, please bring our bags.” The look of relief on his face was priceless. In about two minutes, our luggage was all upstairs, and I could begin rearranging the contents as I’d packed in a hurry.
Bath was lovely, wonderful amenities provided, and I was relaxed and happy and thinking about sleep around 11 pm when there was the most amazing ruckus outside – there was a party going on. And it was just getting cranked up. This was insane – the amount of noise was crazy – thumping and loud music – and I didn’t feel that we could easily move rooms if I complained. I mean, here I was in a robe, with seven pieces of unpacked luggage strewn about, sopping wet hair, exhausted, and an early flight to catch – No way was I going to try to get the room changed. So we decided to make the best of it, and plugged in the ipod earbob thingys to muffle the sound.
Around 230 in the morning I was seriously doubting my decision to stay and not request a room change. Still loud. I’m still not asleep, and we’ve an early flight. Great. I am not happy. Finally drift off to wake just a few hours later – underslept and cranky. Generally not a great start to any journey, right? I’m gonna shake it off and have a glorious day, though!
OK, downstairs, instructions to bellman to retrieve our luggage to the lobby and we had time for breakfast. The restaurant wasn’t too busy at all. There was a nice buffet, so we began serving ourselves. I asked for orange juice as the dispenser was empty. The attendant said “is coming madame.”…. OK. Sat down, ate, 10 minutes later, still no OJ. How hard can this be? The original attendant is no where in sight, so I signal to another one… “is coming madame” was the response again. I’m thinking this is crazy – it’s a glass of dang orange juice and there are what, about five more restaurants in this joint?
Ten minutes later, I go looking for an attendant, because none of them will come to our table. They are hiding from us, avoiding us. I’ve discovered that the answer here is “Yes, madame” even if the real answer is “no”. I asked for something they do not have, apparently. They’re not trained to deal with anything like this. I am the pesky woman insisting on juice. It’s funny to watch them walk all the way around the walls so they don’t have to pass by our table. Find one – she says “is coming madame”…. I said “When? From where is it coming?” No response, she ran away.
No joy. On the way out, I find the restaurant manager and related the experience to her, she was appalled. Asked if she could run to one of the other restaurants to get me some and I explained we were on the way out. She apologized profusely, and explained that they were still undergoing some customer service training, I thought not, but appreciated her time. We needed to go to the lobby, retrieve our bags and locate our van taxi which should be arriving about now.
Or not. Apparently, there was no reservation made for one. Or there wasn’t one there. Or no one knew – it’s apparent to me at this time that this hotel has some serious gaps in its service line – from the front desk, the bellman, the breakfast attendants, now the bell services/taxi concierge people…. this is no longer funny. While we wait for the van taxi, I ask TBG is he has small bills for tips – we do not. I ask the bell captain seated at his desk if he has change – he does not but takes my bill and goes away. I am hoping he’s going to get change. 45 seconds later he reappears with another man in tow, and they find a third man… then they all leave again. There is now a posse finding me change. *sigh*
Amused, I’m still waiting for the van taxi. But realizing that we may have issues arriving at the airport on time if things don’t speed up some, I’m getting a bit tense. As if on cue, the van taxi arrives. He’s fuming that he had to rush because no one called him to reserve. “You must reserve!” he said, obviously displeased “We did reserve.” I snapped back. “The hotel did not call”. And we still have no change and the change posse is no where in sight. We should leave, but then I see them all coming down the hallway. En masse. Triumphant.
Crazy. They got the change, and were all so very proud, and I thanked them. Then thought “that’s crazy that it took three men and about 20 minutes to find the equivalent of change for about a $20 bill”. Into the cab for the ride to the airport.