Monday, May 4, 2009

Rejection is God's Protection

This would be a post to highlight my sadness and disappointment with a 'particular 5 star hotel' in Batu Ferringhi Penang.

My family and friends decided to have drinks and food at the hotel pool area and since my 17-month daughter had her bathers on, we allowed her to take a dip in the baby pool. We knew that pool towels were only given to hotel residents, but we forgot to bring a towel, so we kindly asked if they could still lend us one and was sincere about not being hotel guests (unlike others whom I know who would lie and randomly give a hotel room number). The "towel dude" said it was okay, only to come back to our table demanding for the towel back, to which I apologized and returned the towel without a fuss.

Isobel was still enjoying the cool waters of the pool, so we ordered a second round of drinks and food for Isobel. I decided to use her frock as a makeshift towel for her when another "towel man" came and said arrogantly and very rudely,

"you cannots make your children swim and use the deckchair cause you not staying this hotel" (yes, with this grammar).

I stared at him in shock. I smiled and said,

"really?But we are having drinks and food here!"

After a quick glance at my sister, I just said thank you and walked over to where Bel was with the maid. I told the maid to take Bel out and the life guard at the pool (who must have seen the slight commotion) said,

"takpe lah kak, dia baby je... Biar lah baby enjoy".

I replied,

"kawan awak cakap tak boleh, so takpe la dik"

I came back to see Mr Nice waiter with the second round of drinks.

"Maaf ye Razib, tapi saya sekeluarga baru dihalau keluar, jadi saya rasa kurang selesa minum disini. Saya nak bayar lepas tu balik lah"

He empathized, apologized profusely and offered to pack the vegetarian rolls for Bel.

I told everyone to drink up and pack. Michelle said she didn't like her drink and was ready to leave. By then, my temper had simmered down so I relayed the story to the maid and to the rest.

I understand the reasons for them not lending the towels, or not allowing us (Isobel) to use the pool, but I could not comprehend the non-usage of the deck chair; it was placed at our gazebo and there was at least another 25 deckchairs around us anyway! My sister, a hotelier explained why hotels were strict- but she could not refute the obnoxious behavior of "towel guy numero dos".

My family and friends are all staying at the Tune downtown (must support "family business" ma..) but wanted to have a drink by the (in)famous Batu Ferringhi beach, hence our decision to watch the sunset and chose this particular 5-star hotel for Happy Hours, but the rude approach spoilt our mood.

However, God works in mysterious ways. A few moments after the fiasco, it started raining. Maybe it was God's way of getting bel out from the pool and Mr Manager off from the deckchair, so they won't get sick from the rain?

Driving back to our small and no frill hotel, blogging about this incident on my Blackberry, made me realize that sometimes its not about how big the rooms are or how glamourous the ambience is; if the staff is cold and unkind, there is no 5-star worth in it. I am happy with my "5 star sleeping experience with a 1-star price" hotel. At least they make me feel welcomed, appreciated and never second best.

I heard from a VERY realiable source that there will be a tune at Batu Ferringhi soon. Logon to for more info.

They'll treat you kinder I'm sure.


  1. I second what you said "its not about how big the rooms are or how glamorous the ambiance is; if the staff is cold and unkind, there is no 5-star worth in it."

  2. agreed. no more golden sands for me either! a snobbish 5 star hotel is not worth such a high service rating.

    there are plenty of other great hotels in penang with better service anyway!

  3. Geramnya dengar your experience. You should bring this matter up masa breakfast show, biar padan that rude towel dude .. geramnya geramnya...

  4. hmmm...he must be a very proud m'sian and i assume because he will surely treat any blonds or european better than you /your family..and to hear this coming from A Shang chain is so humiliating..i understand their policy for charging rm80 per towel but not being allowed to use the deck??? gila babi la...and i assume they do have this policy of not allowing walk ins to swim in their pool..for babies i think it's free...but adults are rm80..bagu sko check la with the shang in sabah..ngam or not...i'm a regular in rasa i hope the standards are the same...

  5. Good gracious... Believe it or not, I am working with the Shang group (in KL) and currently staying in-house for a week at Golden Sands. Did not have the chance to enjoy the pool yet, however, intend to do so soon... Nevertheless, I am bringing this concern up with the management, as I believe there is only room for improvement. I hope this isolated incident will not tarnish your impression of our Shangri-la Brand. Cheers..