Several weeks ago I stayed at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, a grand old property that I gave somewhat mixed reviews to.
I had a nice suite upgrade, and the room had one of my all-time favorite bathrooms as a result of one of my absolute favorite showers ever (large shower room with three separate shower heads — two on opposite walls and one overhead).
There were some real service failures and slips, though, and I concluded at the time that the hotel was much much better at service recovery than actual service. The valet dinged my car door, my room didn’t do much to keep out the noise from my neighbors above, and service in the restaurant was slow — in fact twice we were forgotten for 30 minutes at a time during the same meal.
Everyone was tremendously apologetic and friendly. And that was the end of my review.
I got a call from the Assistant General Manager of the hotel the day after I checked out. It came out of the blue and really surprised me. My blog review of the property had been forwarded to her, and she was reaching out. She asked me questions about the stay, was very concerned about everything that happened, and insisted that I give the hotel another try.
First off, the hotel sent me a check to reimburse the cost to fix the ding in my door (it wasn’t major: $175 took care of it). Second, my visit to the hotel had been a one-night stay. The Assistant GM sent me a letter offering me a complimentary future one-night stay and complimentary dinner.
She couldn’t have been nicer, more genuinely concerned, and she followed up. So for now I still have to say better at service recovery than anything else — but serious A+ marks in service recovery. And I will indeed take them up on the free night at some point and report back on how my next stay goes.