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W Barcelona Refuses to help Get Transport for Guests -Stranding them

W Barcelona Refuses to help Get Transport for Guests -Stranding them

 
Old Jan 3, 11, 2:34 am
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Thumbs down W Barcelona Refuses to help Get Transport for Guests -Stranding them

Mods, I felt this deserves wider viewing, but feel free to place in the Barcelona W thread if you wish...stayed at Barcelona W for NYE. This is an AMAZING hotel - one of the best SPGs in the world if you like modern-hip-cool...Anyway, now for the bad. So we go to catch our New Years Morning flight (airport is like 25 mins by car). Check-out, drop key and walk outside to find a mass of confused guests on the street. And the bellhops just standing there. We ask about taxi and they say --not possible. It is a holiday......? I go inside to ask at Whatever Whenever (except taxis, apparently). They say the same thing. It's a holiday. You can't get a taxi. They say maybe ONE will come every 20-30 mins. Honestly, I didn't know what to say. It's not like you can just grab the metro or walk with luggage -- you are marooned on this hotel in the middle of nowhere with lots of luggage (for those who don't know, it's far outside the city). Some families just standing there with kids, not sure what to do. Now, I called over a manager. Sorry, he says, its a holiday. Hard to get taxis, but you can use our hotel car for lots of money...Several potential solutions that came to my mind - but not theirs...

1. Use your hotel cars to ferry the mass of 30+ people aimlessly waiting outside on the barren streets (and have all pay some $) on way to catch flights
2. God forbid...warn guests checking out the 1st that it will be difficult to catch a taxi so they can make other arrangements
3. Help arrange airport shuttles

The whole- it's your problem attitude was terrible and unacceptable. Your job doesn't end once a guest checks out and pays you...At the very least, the bellmen could have tried to help guests come up with alternatives -- or arrange carpools. But no. They just stood there and said 'not possible.' Managers too...Anyway, the story ends with us wandering down the empty streets in the harbor to find a few taxis, who were nice enough to let some guests carpool and pile in their cars to the airport. I asked the taxi driver what was up and he just said: "This hotel is far from the city, no taxi wants to go here." And i saw many taxis in the city...oh well...not the end of the world, but one does expect better service from a 600 Euro a night hotel -- especially as a Plat guest...it's an interesting question of when does the hotel-guest relationship end? once they have your money? then you're on your own?...I do wonder if all those people made their flights...
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Old Jan 3, 11, 2:43 am
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I'm sorry you faced such inconvenience, and stress, however the fact that it's NYD is hardly the hotel's fault. You will find in most cities around the world, getting a cab on NYD like NYE is impossible.

Playing devil's advocate, you could have pre-arranged transport like the hotel Mercedes. I always do this because of the importance of catching international flights on time. I also don't think the hotel could have arranged instant shuttles, the process of getting a company who was open, and available would be slim to none.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 2:47 am
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
I'm sorry you faced such inconvenience, and stress, however the fact that it's NYD is hardly the hotel's fault.
I don't think the op is saying that it is. I think it is more the lack of willingness the hotel showed to assist its guests that is the problem. I would be astonished if I hotel I was checking out displayed this sort of contempt for its guests.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 4:07 am
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NYD was only part of the problem. Apparently, there were taxis in the city. Thus one of the problems seems to be that taxi drivers don't like to go to this property because of its location. In that event, the hotel should take steps to ensure that guests' transportation needs are met consistently.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 5:31 am
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yes

exactly right! I am certainly culpable for not thinking ahead, but I pay luxury hotels partly for thinking for me and being proactive when the unforeseen arises...Again, a beautiful property with an otherwise great staff...
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Old Jan 3, 11, 6:45 am
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This is an interesting post. While I have no knowledge of Barcelona it does seem that the hotel could take some measures to alleviate the problem.

The first issue seems to be that taxis are reluctant to go to the hotel. The hotel should be taking some action with taxis or the relevant authority to ensure that taxis are available for guests.

If issues were anticipated for NYD it would have been courteous to advise guests in advance of this eventuality.

Hotel comments on the day that getting a taxi was not possible as it was a holiday seem to have been proved to be untrue, given that OP found a taxi, and taxis were available in the city.

In addition websites indicate that taxis can be ordered by phone in Barcelona.
Could not the hotel have tried phoning and ordering taxis?
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Old Jan 3, 11, 7:52 am
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phone

they did say they called an ordered taxis, but that the wait would be 20-30 mins for each...yet a little foresight may have been in order on their part. There does seem to be a larger issue of taxis not wanting to schlep out there...
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Old Jan 3, 11, 8:57 am
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I agree with you, for an upscale/luxury hotel to exhibit such indifference to guests is unacceptable. They could have been more proactive in any number of ways.

Then again, this indifference seems to typify the service at most Ws.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by JBauer View Post
they did say they called an ordered taxis, but that the wait would be 20-30 mins for each...yet a little foresight may have been in order on their part. There does seem to be a larger issue of taxis not wanting to schlep out there...
well having arrived @ BCN at 12;30am from MAD delayed flight, I found out the train stops running before Id make it over to that term. didnt want a taxi they wanted alot , so I took the Night bus and had to change to another that left me off by the Metro and a 15 min walk to the W. good thing I only had a rollerboard carry-on. Next day walked from the W to the LeM and my last night walked from the LeM all the way over to the HEX didnt expect an hours walk. But with little bags its all doable

3 days in BCN never saw the inside of a cab or bus or train except to/from the airport, again if you had checked bags it wouldnt be doable. But when Im anywhere and arriving or leaving on a holiday I always make sure to get the timetables down pat and what is operating and what wont be

Yea it would be nice if the Hotel was able to get a cab company to be based at the Hotel or service it on a reg basis but in order for that to be done there would have to be alot of biz which still probably isnt the case as of yet
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Old Jan 3, 11, 9:58 am
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This happened to us in Paris last month - tried to get a cab at the hotel to go to dinner. Turns out it was a taxi strike that day. However; the staff had already ordered many cabs to the hotel to try and accommodate people. After waiting 20 minutes one appeared. This was at a Hyatt hotel though.

I think that the Whatever/Whenever staff should be called "Whenever I feel like doing something. . .not whenever the guest needs something"

Glad you were finally able to get a cab and get to the airport OK OP!
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Old Jan 3, 11, 10:38 am
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Service does differ from property to property. Sounds like it's not even just a holiday problem since an earlier post stated being able to walk and find taxis. Management should be looking to make sure their guests have all the support services needed to make their stay a pleasant one. This includes being able to get there and leave. This can be done by proactively making sure taxis are waiting to take guest or at least giving notice advance arrangements should be made.

Years ago I was in New Orleans and Hurricane Gustaf was headed in. The city ordered evacuation of all visitors/residents. Was staying at the Westin and they were making the rounds to help guests make arrangements for getting to the airport. This included scheduling shuttles and even carpooling with guest that were willing to share a ride. Fortunately it missed the city and didn't cause much, if any, damage.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 12:02 pm
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A common observance of posting here is that some expect things to be just they are " back home" NYE is a big event for many cities the world over.
I bet the OP would have experienced the same problem on NYE in Las Vegas (as I have) is one place which comes readily to mind.

Speaking for myself only I would have inquired from the hotel staff if taxis are readily available on that particluar evening way in advance and put in place a contigent plan and expecting the hotel to "prewarn" the guests is pretty unrealistic.

FYI on Sept 19th 2010 I experienced the very same situation in Madrid while staying at the Westin Palace (very close to city center for those unaware) and the city was celebrating the annual "White Night" event. Upon requesting a taxi from the concieege (at 600pm) I was told that I was unlikely to get one before 200am ... change of dinner plans.. problem solved.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 12:20 pm
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Sounds pretty bogus to me. The property obviously knew there would be an issue, yet did nothing about it either before or after it caused problems for many of their customers.

Cheers,
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Old Jan 3, 11, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
I'm sorry you faced such inconvenience, and stress, however the fact that it's NYD is hardly the hotel's fault. You will find in most cities around the world, getting a cab on NYD like NYE is impossible.


This is a very expensive, service-oriented property...it's not the Four Points Barcelona. Management should have anticipated issues on NYD given that it is hard to get a taxi on a normal day. Property should have arranged for hotel shuttles, particularly on this type of travel day. At a minimum, warnings should have been issued for guests checking out on this day.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 12:25 pm
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Bit confused here.

Originally Posted by JBauer View Post
....hotel in the middle of nowhere........for those who don't know, it's far outside the city....
Originally Posted by W website
The hotel is 30 minutes away from International Airport El Prat by car, and a short stroll to Ciutat Vella, Passeig del Born and Las Ramblas. Bus lines 17, 39 and 64 stop right in front of the hotel and the closest metro station, La Barceloneta, is at 15-minutes walking distance.
Who's right ?
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