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Had an absolutely HORRIBLE stay at Aman Sveti Stefan

Had an absolutely HORRIBLE stay at Aman Sveti Stefan

Old Aug 15, 18, 9:33 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by callmedtop View Post

6. I’ve been to Amanoi, Amantaka, Amanjiwo, Amankila, Amangiri, and Amanfaun. Aman Sveti Stefan’s service standards during our stay were just as good, if not better, than the rest. I have no idea what is going on this summer, but of course it is unacceptable. Maybe we just got lucky last summer. I can’t imagine the GM being onsite makes THAT much of a night and day difference, but you never know.

We have wanted to return to Aman Sveti Stefan more so than any other Aman property (perhaps Amangiri), but these new reports give us pause. It is truly a magical resort and hard product, but if these reports reflect the new service standard, well, we won’t be returning.
Amans seem to have issues when GMs and other senior management persons are off property. I know Joy being away at Puri made our Amanoi trip a little less enjoyable than maybe if she was there from the start. This seems like a classic story of the cat being away and the mice will play?
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Old Aug 15, 18, 9:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
Amans seem to have issues when GMs and other senior management persons are off property. I know Joy being away at Puri made our Amanoi trip a little less enjoyable than maybe if she was there from the start. This seems like a classic story of the cat being away and the mice will play?
Thinking back on it, the GM was away at Amanjiwo and we had some pretty serious issues which I don’t think would have happened had he been there, or had a more capable management team in place (which is a different, perhaps more serious discussion). And that’s at a very seasoned property.

Stating the obvious here, but if a property relies solely on the presence of one individual in order for it to run smoothly, that’s a big issue. This is why management teams exist.
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Old Aug 15, 18, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by callmedtop View Post
Stating the obvious here, but if a property relies solely on the presence of one individual in order for it to run smoothly, that’s a big issue. This is why management teams exist.
Indeed. It is said that it is the sign of a good manager if things run well when they are NOT around.
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Old Aug 15, 18, 10:41 pm
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Still here another day and will ask about whether there are outside guests at the pools and spa, but it doesn’t seem so to me. The Russian social media “infleuencers” are all over the other beaches and walking around the Island doing their tireless photo shoots though. I believe that the hotel supplements a lot of the F&B $$$ by allowing outside guests to come eat at the restaurants, but many of those guests seem to be milling about the property afterwards to attempt their “photo shoots”. I have seen the GM’s a couple of times during the stay and they seem to be around here and there.

Once again, I’d reiterate that the issues here seem to be things that could be fixed pretty easily with some better local staff training and TLC to the property. We
asked about spa menus at the front desk (there were none in our room) and we were told “look in your room, it’s there!”. Turns out that it wasn’t and when we went to the spa they told us they are in the process of publishing a new spa brochure and we should have it “in the rooms within the next few days”. Why was this never communicated to the front desk staff?

We adhere to a strict diet and communicated with the Exec. Chef extensively in advance of the stay. He was excellent and although many of the products we needed weren’t available locally, he worked hard to source them and we were able to eat pretty well considering the circumstances. But attempting to explain it to other staff, especially at the pool and beach and asking them to check ingredients on a menu item, or to leave certain things out from a drink order was an exercise in futility.

I’m also pretty surprised that the staff is allowed to smoke on property so publically. I know it’s Europe, but didn’t expect the guy operating the boat between the Island and Villa Milocer to have a lit cigarette in his mouth while operating the boat filled with passengers. We also asked the driver who picked us up from the airport for the WiFi password for the van and he gave us what was clearly the wrong one and when we told
him it wasn’t connecting he just shrugged his shoulders and went back to whatsapping his girlfriend the rest of the (long) drive to Sveti Stefan.

Other than a select few employees here who seems to be professional and take their jobs seriously,
the majority of the staff here seems to operate without proper training and others with a complete disregard for the guests, their superiors and even their jobs.

The footprint at the this wonderful property is clearly Aman, but at the moment, it may as well be under the management of Sheraton or Doubletree. We still
enjoyed (as we would at a beautiful 3.5 star resort) but are disappointed what the soft product turned out to be, especially considering the hype and seasonally very high prices here.

Perhaps those guests who don’t normally stay with Aman are ok with this, but the Aman regulars who we’ve bumped into during the last few days here have very much been disappointed.

Last edited by damaxer91; Aug 15, 18 at 10:49 pm
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Old Aug 15, 18, 11:34 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
Amans seem to have issues when GMs and other senior management persons are off property. I know Joy being away at Puri made our Amanoi trip a little less enjoyable than maybe if she was there from the start. This seems like a classic story of the cat being away and the mice will play?
Indeed - this seems to be a frequent issue. And with Aman GMs off property a lot more (sales etc) they need to really sort this out to ensure a property runs smoothly.

Some ones that run smoothly even with the GM off site:
- Amankila (Shane)
- Aman-i-Khas (at least from our stay there - Amit taking over)

I think GMs have been on site for every other property we've been at, exception of Amanbagh which was (by Aman standards) a poor experience.

Upper House seems to run just fine when the GM isn't on site.
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Old Aug 15, 18, 11:56 pm
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Quite shocked by these new details emerging now.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 12:09 am
  #37  
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Originally Posted by damaxer91 View Post

Other than a select few employees here who seems to be professional and take their jobs seriously,
the majority of the staff here seems to operate without proper training and others with a complete disregard for the guests, their superiors and even their jobs.



This succinctly sums it up. It was as if most of the staff has received no training and there was no direction from management. I will keep this thread updated as things develop and let you know what if anything they are willing to do for us. As others have noted, I have visited 8 or 10 Aman properties in the past and loved every stay. The juxtaposition of what I know the Aman standard to be, and what SS delivered made it all the more jarring. Also to the person who asked earlier if they can share this with their clients, by all means. I actually hate how hard it generally is to find negative reviews of properties (outside of tripadvisor 1-star reviews, usually someone who had an exceptionally off visit). Give them the full picture before they decide. Thanks for the info in this thread.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 12:10 am
  #38  
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Yikes, that's horrific and unacceptable. Sorry to hear about your atrocious experience. We stayed at Aman SS in the Summer of 2014; while not up to the typical Aman service standards we had a pleasant stay.

I'm very sad to see how much it's regressed over the years, given that we loved Montenegro and the property itself is very charming.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 12:47 am
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All this is obviously unacceptable . . . but perhaps not surprising? This is August after all, height of the season, with resultant pressures on everything. Don't forget that even Macmyday found major service lapses at his favourite Park Hotel Vitznau in Switzerland, so maybe chaos in Montenegro is only to be expected. The lesson here is simple - don't go to the Med at the height of the season!
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Old Aug 16, 18, 12:57 am
  #40  
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Wasps are a nuisance all over Europe this summer, particularly given the hot weather. There is very little a hotel can do about it. It is no reason to fear a lawsuit, however.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 1:11 am
  #41  
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Originally Posted by BESVISOR View Post
Thanks for sharing and so sorry to hear!!!

I've got 3 sets of clients booked to visit next month and I'm suddenly very nervous, wonder if I should suggest them to cancel but flights are booked...will need to work with the Aman S.S. team about this. @GetSetJetSet do you mind if I share your feedback with them? does anyone care if I share this thread with their team so they can address it accordingly (both onsite S.S. managers and corporate personnel)? I really think they should be aware of it. I don't want to see my clients experience the same complaints in 3 weeks.
I'm one of them!
Definitely concerned about these reports and happy to throw the flights away and rebook somewhere else if necessary.
Given the cost of the accommodation, the flights are largely incidental.

I'd be very interested to hear what management has to say about this thread...
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Old Aug 16, 18, 2:29 am
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
All this is obviously unacceptable . . . but perhaps not surprising? This is August after all, height of the season, with resultant pressures on everything. Don't forget that even Macmyday found major service lapses at his favourite Park Hotel Vitznau in Switzerland, so maybe chaos in Montenegro is only to be expected. The lesson here is simple - don't go to the Med at the height of the season!
I agree in parts, but that doesn’t excuse the borderline rude behavior or some team members.

Also one thing that seems a bit cloudy in the report are the whereabouts of the GM.... where on earth was he?
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Old Aug 16, 18, 2:41 am
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Incredibly horrific and I feel so sorry for you of experiencing such a bad and awful situation there. If that were to happen in me, I'd probably ask for a refund and leave asap.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 3:07 am
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(Someone mentioned Doubletree above - I just checked out of one (in Wellington), which was excellent. Great, friendly staff, characterful rooms, excellent manager very present. Maybe the SS staff can go on a training session to the Hilton Doubletree in New Zealand)

If someone could please confirm if day passes are being sold for the pool? If so I will cross this property off my list forever - even though I had a fabulous stay back when it was still being built (only Milocer and one villa on the island were open).
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Old Aug 16, 18, 4:10 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by damaxer91 View Post
Still here another day and will ask about whether there are outside guests at the pools and spa, but it doesn’t seem so to me. The Russian social media “infleuencers” are all over the other beaches and walking around the Island doing their tireless photo shoots though. I believe that the hotel supplements a lot of the F&B $$$ by allowing outside guests to come eat at the restaurants, but many of those guests seem to be milling about the property afterwards to attempt their “photo shoots”. I have seen the GM’s a couple of times during the stay and they seem to be around here and there.

Once again, I’d reiterate that the issues here seem to be things that could be fixed pretty easily with some better local staff training and TLC to the property. We
asked about spa menus at the front desk (there were none in our room) and we were told “look in your room, it’s there!”. Turns out that it wasn’t and when we went to the spa they told us they are in the process of publishing a new spa brochure and we should have it “in the rooms within the next few days”. Why was this never communicated to the front desk staff?

We adhere to a strict diet and communicated with the Exec. Chef extensively in advance of the stay. He was excellent and although many of the products we needed weren’t available locally, he worked hard to source them and we were able to eat pretty well considering the circumstances. But attempting to explain it to other staff, especially at the pool and beach and asking them to check ingredients on a menu item, or to leave certain things out from a drink order was an exercise in futility.

I’m also pretty surprised that the staff is allowed to smoke on property so publically. I know it’s Europe, but didn’t expect the guy operating the boat between the Island and Villa Milocer to have a lit cigarette in his mouth while operating the boat filled with passengers. We also asked the driver who picked us up from the airport for the WiFi password for the van and he gave us what was clearly the wrong one and when we told
him it wasn’t connecting he just shrugged his shoulders and went back to whatsapping his girlfriend the rest of the (long) drive to Sveti Stefan.

Other than a select few employees here who seems to be professional and take their jobs seriously,
the majority of the staff here seems to operate without proper training and others with a complete disregard for the guests, their superiors and even their jobs.

The footprint at the this wonderful property is clearly Aman, but at the moment, it may as well be under the management of Sheraton or Doubletree. We still
enjoyed (as we would at a beautiful 3.5 star resort) but are disappointed what the soft product turned out to be, especially considering the hype and seasonally very high prices here.

Perhaps those guests who don’t normally stay with Aman are ok with this, but the Aman regulars who we’ve bumped into during the last few days here have very much been disappointed.
None of this behavior is remotely ok. Every staff member should know your food preferences; given how much you communicated them in advance..

The driver should use his phone once- that's to le the hotel know that you're on the way..

I remember that there was a lot of smoking in Montonegro but this behavior at an international chain of an employee smoking while working is unacceptable..

Have you talked to the Tibbles? Most GMs I've met are very very engaging...

My last two Aman visits, Amansara and Amanoi the GMs were off site. They had very capable second and third in commands and the entire stay went smoothly... It should never ever be a situation of "if the cats are away, the mice play". The training should be so good that the ship sails itself without the captain.. this is very very disturbing and really strikes Sveti Stefan off the list for me....

FDW
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