I was looking to book 3 nights in a really nice, relatively new hotel on one of the Spanish Islands.  It was for the height of summer, so I wanted to plan ahead.

I didn’t need a deal.

I wasn’t fussed about an upgrade.

But I wasn’t prepared to pay more than list price for the room.

Their website proudly displayed ‘Best Rates Always Available By Booking Direct’. Knowing that hotels can pay up to 20% to booking agents, I like to go direct.

And that was my first mistake.

I’ll cut this pre-amble and get straight to it.

After three emails to Reservations, where all I wanted was for them to match the price of Booking.com, I was told: ‘This is our price. If you don’t wish to book, we can easily sell this room in peak season’.

I know you’ll want me to name and shame but I won’t.  I only like to recognise positive experiences.

I started to wonder, if Reservations act like this, then how deep does it go? Housekeeping, Reception, bar staff, chefs, safety?

No problem, I’ll find somewhere else.

I’ve no doubt this summer will be great for them; probably the next, too. Then what?

A lack of deposits in your customer’s emotional bank account means there’s no room for  withdrawals later…  especially when you’re not the fancy, new kid on the block.

It’s possible I’ve made a massive mistake and missed out on a truly great stay. I’ll never know.

Complacency is like rust. By the time you see it, it’s already set in.

Brilliant service is as much about consistency as it is about creating wows.

Be Brilliant!


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  1. May 16th 2019 by Lee Baker

    I’d have booked via booking.com then arrived at the hotel. You get what you want and the hotel does too. I’d certainly have brought this up directly when I arrived though. I’m Feeling the concierges reply was somehow lost in translation

    I’m being kind on my interpretation..

  2. May 16th 2019 by karen butler

    So true Michael, love this.
    Thanks for sharing xx

  3. August 20th 2021 by Karen McCann

    My last abroad holiday was to Majorca 3 years ago. I was hesitant as I’ve never really fancied package holidays. Talk about a game of two halves! Arriving at the airport defies words. Pre-booked assistance just didn’t happen. Luckily my Grandson’s best mate was on our flight and rescued us! The 2 hour journey to the hotel wasn’t as bad as expected. The hotel was newly refurbished and beautiful. The food was appalling, repetitive and mostly unrecognisable. We had raw liver 4 days in the 1st week so mostly ate out which was amazing! The all inclusive consisted of leftovers from the previous meal that was left out in the dining room. All day. Asked for a packed lunch to go on an organised trip one day (included in the package) and were just told ‘No’. There was no entertainment at all, day or night so we sat on our lovely balcony and watched the entertainment in the hotel across to road! As did many other guests. On their own balconies, not ours! Our fabulous room had a TV that was big enough to use as a room divider with plenty of channels but not one in English! And no music! The saving graces were the cleaners!! They were absolutely amazing and we left them a hefty tip, which they didn’t want to take.
    Cheap holiday? Nope Thomas Cook 5 star! We’re only recently out of a dispute with their reps. It wasn’t our fault they were going home to no jobs. But we could see many reasons why!
    My son is in Majorca at the moment, with Tui, (who’s reps had taken us under their wings) and thankfully are having the best time ever. How do companies get away with such bad service? Be it kitchens or holidays, it seems normal for them to just not care.

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