The Hotel TerraVina Blog

Even after 30 years in Hospitality guests can still surprise us. Hotel TerraVina shares a few stories…

This past week has been a busy and eventful one. Members of the team continue to surprise us in so many ways, but more especially, even after so long working in this diverse and vibrant industry, when I just think I’ve seen it all, heard it all and had to deal with all that the wonderful general public can throw at us, a guest comes along and surprises us all, with what can only be described as one of the best outbursts I’ve ever heard.

Now I enjoy people watching- it’s one of my hobbies and I am fascinated by people’s behaviour, their psyche and their personalities. As an hotelier I am well placed to watch people to my hearts’ content and I am provided with a wealth of behaviour traits- fascinating! The best this week was a guest who knew their chicken wasn’t cooked to their liking, despite not having eaten it or even sampled it, because no one had asked how they wanted their chicken cooked…. ie: when we took the order we didn’t enquire as to whether the chicken was required to be cooked rare, medium, medium well or well done. Welcome to my world!

I suppose in my calm moments of reflection, it is challenges such as these that make being a hotelier so enriching, most of the time rewarding and sometimes a challenge and every now and then bewildering……. In all my years in hospitality (more than 30 years), I have never asked a guest how they would like their chicken cooked and nor would we even consider asking if they would prefer their chicken cooked rare or medium…however on this occasion we inadvertently offended a guest for exactly that, not asking how they wanted their chicken cooked- I’ve heard it all now!

The rest of the weekend was less eventful, although still filled with some dramas; emergency, past midnight calls, paramedics at the hotel, guests out of their comfort zone and any number of tiny incidents besides.

To top off the weekend nicely, on Sunday lunch time, having had numerous e mails and calls from a guest who was very specific in their booking requirements, table request and wanting a cake baked as a birthday surprise, but not any sort of cake, this one was very precise, with a website link to ensure we knew exactly how it must look, taste and what ingredients we would need. Thus we baked the cake, it looked beautiful- Moyra and George did a magnificent job. The specific table that had been requested was reserved, we had done as the guest requested and only corresponded by e mail so as not to spoil the surprise… and then at the allotted time of the table booking, no guests… an hour later still no guests, in fact they never arrived, the cake was not eaten and despite us having e mailed and called since to check the details and the date, no response from the guest… how rude and bad mannered can people be! Now, if something had gone wrong the other way round and we had forgotten to bake the cake, not reserved the right table or spoilt the surprise, no doubt the guest would have written about their annoyance on sites such as Trip Advisor (other review sites are available) and would have slammed the hotel for letting them down… but when the boots on the other foot and it’s the guest who is so bad mannered and just doesn’t turn up that’s ok… well no its not actually and I feel very aggrieved at such bad manners. Thankfully it’s only a handful of guests who book tables, order cakes and then don’t bother to call to cancel and just don’t show up, most of our guests are lovely, kind and considerate and with impeccable manners, so thank you to all of those who do appreciate what we do.

I’m looking forward with great anticipation to this weekend and what it may bring- lovely guests, happy people, sunshine, good manners and contentment all round I hope.

Till next week




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