Really cough stay @ IC Fiji: Check out today - what would you do?

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haydensydney

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Feb 20, 2008
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My partner and I have had a really unfortunate run of bad service and an overall totally cough stay at the Intercontinental Fiji. Today we check-out @ 4pm.

We have been tight lipped about these issues and just bitten our tongue until now, but I am trying to work out what our next steps should be i.e.

1. Provide a list of everything that went wrong upon checkout (theres about twenty issues)
2. Do nothing and write a email to the General Manager upon our return to Australia
3. Should we have actually caused a stink when each issue arose (and its too late to do anything now?)
4. Do nothing and just put everything down to "Fiji time", write a cough review on AFF and Tripadvisor

We are plat ambassador, so i'm unsure if this would have any sway. We feel quite unhappy that we have paid $750/night for the room + daily spend of an extra $500 (avg) on ancillary expenses, to be provided a sub-par experience.

Thoughts?
 
Well Haydensydney I think you should try to meet with their senior manager now.
If I ran a business I would want to know as it is hard to fix something when you don't know what is broken.
That said I want to hear the story.
In Fiji time I guess that would make days feel like they would never end even when you want it to be over.
At that price I am thinking "Shouda gone to Bora Bora!"
 
Speak with them BEFORE you leave. At least then there may be some opportunity for IC to try and resolve/address things.

Take your list of issues with you and work through it methodically.

Without knowing any of your specific issues, generally it may have been more ideal to address things as they came up. I also understand that this is not always comfortable to do.

If you feel that matters have not been resolved to YOUR satisfaction then take it up with regional management.

Good Luck
 
Thanks guys! I might ask to speak with "the manager" prior to check-out today.

FYI - the issues are, and the below isn't extensive (this is what comes to mind) and bold = really bad in my books:

- Checkin a mess, uncoordinated – told to check in at the main reception, where we were then told to check-in in the club lounge – waited 15 mins for a buggy, it was as if no-one knew what to do with us
- Buffett dinner (why didn't I see the red flags?): arrived at 9:30pm, so just before the 10pm closing – all food was old/stale, half the selections unavailable, warm sushi, carved meat was the last scraps left on the bone, impossible to cut with knife: we just walked out after half a plate each, when we mentioned to the wait staff they just smiled and shrugged their shoulders
- Couldn’t get through to room service late at night on three occasions (just rang out)
- Air-con in bedroom really struggled, compared with the air-con in the lounge – almost broken, we had really hot (read: bad) sleeps
- Ceiling Fan in bedroom made hideous clicking sound upon rotation, not in a rhythmically soothing way either
- Hairdryer didn’t work, though this was replaced
- Incomplete amenity kit - toothbrushes (took about 2 hours to get some delivered to room)
- Horrible pillows, i.e. those feather downy ones that sink in (we prefer harder pillows with more support): Room service did try to remedy by putting towels inside the pillows so they tried, but gee - they could've had a better pillow selection
- Room service entered and cleaned room when “DND” light was on, on two occasions!!
- We still have two glasses in the bedroom from our Vodka and Ice drinks that are still waiting to be cleaned four days later!
- Calling for buggy service could take 15-20mins, if it arrived at all
- Dinner a Navo:
a) Sat outside and waiter didn’t put cap back on the wine, therefore heaps of fruitflies went into the wine (Gross!) - when we told the waiter, he decanted the wine out the back and "plucked out" the fruitflies... revolting, but it was a 2006 Te Koko so I guess they didn't want to have to open a new bottle

- Being fussy, but the steak was ordered medium and came out well done, same with the lamb rack
- Club lounge breakfast had fruitflies all over the fruit and pastries, ants all over the tables - hard to control I know, but it's still gross having ants and flies in the food
- lacklustre service in all other restaurants in the hotels i.e. when asked what seafood was in the seafood linguine, the response was "Seafood" - when I asked again she yelled louder "Seafood!"
- Club lounge service was generally good, but often orders were wrong most of the time
- Glaring inconsistencies i.e. every table we sat at in the club lounge would have something missing - a spoon, or fork, pepper and salt etc
- Was told wireless internet was available in the rooms, to find out that it's only wired

So as you can see, I am being quite fussy with some of the above: but it's a lot of cough stuff for only a four night stay. Wish I'd gone to Likuliku (like the husband wanted!) - the costs would've been comparable.
 
It certainly doesn't sound that great - although for the most part these are all fairly minor complaints, it's just that they all add up to equal an unpleasant stay.

There's not really much they'll be able to do for you at this late stage - I suspect some venting on Tripadvisor may be your best bet :)
 
It certainly doesn't sound that great - although for the most part these are all fairly minor complaints, it's just that they all add up to equal an unpleasant stay.

There's not really much they'll be able to do for you at this late stage - I suspect some venting on Tripadvisor may be your best bet :)

Yeah I agree - a lot of these are minor but like you said, combined they create quite the negative experience.

I don't know if I will do anything actually, I might just sit with my partner and see what else he has to add to the list and send the GM a note when we get home. It really wasn't the best experience and we won't be coming back.

Trip report to come.
 
So as you can see, I am being quite fussy with some of the above: but it's a lot of cough stuff for only a four night stay. Wish I'd gone to Likuliku (like the husband wanted!) - the costs would've been comparable.

I don't think ANY of your concerns show you as "Fussy". I would have thought your expectations were in line with the 5* resort you paid for.

I'd be looking for a serious deduction from my bill!

You have certainly ensured myself and +1 will NOT be staying there next month! We were going to, due to an earlier TR on AFF saying how great it was.

Things have slipped.
 
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I've stayed there and at many other hotels in Fiji and I know that service can be a bit hit and miss.

Many of your corncerns are valid and at $750/night they should not be happening.

On tripadvisor.com you'll see that others have had similar problems and management does respond.

My stay at the IC was pretty good. I had your type of problems at the Westin Fiji (including staff entering the room despite the DND sign), told management and was given a free night in Starpoints as an apology.

The trouble is that complaining face to face, especially at check-out is a bit unpleasant.
 
You have certainly ensured myself and +1 will NOT be staying there next month! We were going to as well due to an earlier TR on AFF saying how great it was.

Agreed.

I'm not too far off being due for another weekend in Fiji and was thinking of trying the IC.

Maybe I should stick with my tried and trusted - the Sheraton Denarau :)
 
The club is a only new (opened Sep 3) and run as a different hotel within a hotel to the rest of the resort, it may walk be teething troubles, not that it should be an excuse.

In addition to talking to the GM (Scott Williams | Facebook ) please also email the ambassador service centre with your complaints as well.

If anyone is looking at heading that way please have a close look at the Priority Privilege program :

InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa

fiji10.jpg
Stay 2 Nights for the Price of 1 & Keep your Certificate
**SALE EXTENDED** For stays until the end of February 2011, Members are invited to stay 2 Nights for the Price of 1 and keep the Certificate to use again on another occasion. Bookings must be made in December and some black out dates apply.
Members, you’ll find it easy to book this offer online via the link directly below. If you do choose to book by telephone, please ensure you quote PP Newsletter 2 to ensure the operator books this offer.
 
Cheers guys!

So we bit the bullet and we spoke with the Club reception who mentioned that Scott is off on leave today. They then sent one of the very helpful Club staff members over to our villa to record our issues, who is going to relay them to the duty manager.

Lets see what happens. Should be interesting to see the response.
 
It's certainly not unreasonable to expect an expensive, premium service to live up to expectations and you're complaints are very valid. Hopefully they have a go at fixing it.

Its just the same as flying a premium airline like Qantas where you always get a premium service, and when you dont, the customer care team are on it right away to ensure you walk away a satisfied customer.







.... Oh wait.
 
My partner and I have had a really unfortunate run of bad service and an overall totally cough stay at the Intercontinental Fiji.

No surprises there. The service at IC Natadola was pretty lacklustre when we were there last year. I guess you really can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

I am not a shy little flower who feels uncomfortable about confronting poor service, but the response to my comments at check-out was essentially a shoulder-shrug, and a feedback form thrust toward me. Response to feedback = pathetic form letter = (essentially) GFY.

My coping mechanism was to chalk it up to experience, and vow to never, ever, ever, ever, ever go back there again; by which I mean IC Natadola Beach, and Fiji in general.
 
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Been a ex fiji local, i can certainly see the "never mind" attitude of the staff that resulted in unimpressive service. Just be sure that the complaint was passed on to the person you intended to receive it as sometimes messages tend to 'get lost' on its way up to management, especially if its a negative one. Would love to hear what type of response you get, considering you paid top dollars for the place. As for putting your view on trip adviser, i would say go for it as its main purpose is to allow travelers to put down their independent experiences and recommendations. Keep us posted
 
The place sounds like a backpacker joint and charges $750 per night plus. WTF?? Unless a strong and vocal stand is taken and emails sent to local management and CCd to head office and everyone in that office you can lay hands on. This situation will continue as they think they can get away with it. And time and time again if they can.

There may be some cultural differences involved, but if they want international business, especially at those extortionate rates, staff and management should be made well aware that standards when charging that amount need to be much improved. I doubt locals would pay AUD $750 a night for that. Why do they expect anyone else?

I'll be most interested in what eventuates from this so stick with it and keep us informed.
 
The place sounds like a backpacker joint and charges $750 per night plus. WTF?? Unless a strong and vocal stand is taken and emails sent to local management and CCd to head office and everyone in that office you can lay hands on. This situation will continue as they think they can get away with it. And time and time again if they can.

There may be some cultural differences involved, but if they want international business, especially at those extortionate rates, staff and management should be made well aware that standards when charging that amount need to be much improved. I doubt locals would pay AUD $750 a night for that. Why do they expect anyone else?

I'll be most interested in what eventuates from this so stick with it and keep us informed.

It's certainly not a backpacker joint!!

Of course there are cultural challenges, it's Fiji!!

Most people adjust and enjoy their stay.
 
It's certainly not a backpacker joint!!

Of course there are cultural challenges, it's Fiji!!

Most people adjust and enjoy their stay.

There is nothing cultural about DO NOT DISTURB - pretty straightforward me thinks!
 
So...

We got a call from the duty manager who arranged to meet us in the club lounge when we were checking out. He was very professional and listened to our issues. It was very "Yes sir, Yes sir" but still - he was good at listening and understanding our complaints. He waived the buffet cost that we incurred on the first night, which was really all that we asked for. He left it at that, we signed the bill and off we went.

Therefore we got the cough $40ea buffet waived, but still left a bad taste in our mouth that he didn't offer something else (like waive the cost of one of the dinners at Navo or something similar).

We did say that we would formally send him a email when we return to Sydney that would bullet point our concerns. In that email I will politely ask them to flick us some points as a measure of goodwill. If the reply is in the negative, I will speak with Ambassador guest services and see what they can do for us.

Regardless, we are happy to be leaving and it will be good to be back in civilisation (flying to Wellington for four nights). We won't be returning to Fiji.
 
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