Tourist slams Peach and Quiet Hotel on TripAdvisor. Owner replies…

“Yes! My wife does get a bit snooty on the odd occasion. I will have a word with her.”

How Adrian Loveridge handled a bad TripAdvisor guest report…

Changing the BBQ, having a word with his co-manager

by Marcus

In a recent BFP article TripAdvisor’s Brian Payea coming to Barbados we told you how the tourism industry was thrust into an unknown and frightening world when the internet arrived and, much to their horror, hotels discovered that tourists could post unedited reviews and photos online.

This is such a big deal that many foolish hotels sought to curtail free speech rather than to engage disgruntled customers. Hotels didn’t want to explain, apologize and sometimes have to admit that a customer had a valid complaint.

Imagine that… some hotels don’t want to listen to customers and use what they say to make the business better. What a novel idea! How foreign a concept to those who think they know it all because they run a government-owned hotel with a bottomless bank account.

But running away from bad internet reviews means that only one side is heard. That is foolish these days when over 80% of tourists research their vacations on the internet before booking. (I can’t remember where I heard that but it sounded reasonable.)

Some customers can’t be pleased no matter what. Others are put off a hotel for one minor issue – but I think that most people consider the entire experience and product and give a fair opinion when asked.

Then again, I’m not in the hotel business. Peach and Quiet Hotel owner Adrian Loveridge is though, and how he handles the very rare bad review on TripAdvisor is instructive for anyone in the tourism or service industries. BFP readers know we like Adrian and Margaret, but even with that disclaimer we are blown away by Adrian’s candor and integrity in how he handled this complaint. What a pro, and what a decent person. Hope Margaret doesn’t bop him one! 🙂

First, for interest…

Overall Ratings: Peach & Quiet vs. Time Out at the Gap

According to TripAdvisor, Peach & Quiet has 123 visitor reviews, with 100 rated “Excellent”, 17 “Very Good”, 2 “Average”, 3 “Poor” and 1 “Terrible”.

That contrasts with “Time out at the Gap” with 118 visitor reviews, with 10 rated “Excellent”, 23 “Very Good”, 40 “Average”, 25 “Poor” and 20 “Terrible”.

Now the bad review of Peach and Quiet, and then Adrian’s response…

Peach & Quiet “Could do (much) better…!”

Date of review: May 16, 2011 – New

We booked into P&Q as a result of all the positive comments on TA. As expected, the location is a little oasis of calm, right on the beach, with the only sound being the crashing waves – idyllic. Not a lot to do in the hotel and not great for getting to other places, but good to chill out.

However, we found several shortcomings with regard to the staff, for example, when my husband asked if you could have chips with his club sandwich for lunch, he had a one-word answer – “No”. Not really what you expect from a service industry.

We also booked in for a barbecue, and the bbq did not work, so after a long and hungry wait, they cooked the meat and then brought it out on trays. I understand that the chef was probably a bit frustrated with the bbq, but he was really rude to me, and then to cap it all, the meat was very dry. When we saw the state of the bbq the next day, I am not surprised it had given up the ghost – it looked extremely dirty and uncared for. And I do think that it should have been checked a bit earlier than 5 minutes before it is required.

The manager was in practice helpful, but had a rather superior attitude which did not sit well. All in all, I think the staff could use a little training in customer service.

Also, do check whether you are being quoted US dollars of Barbados dollars. We were told the evening meal was a fixed price of (I think) 28 dollars, and as everything on the menus was in BBD, we assumed that was too – but no! What would have been a reasonable value meal turned out to be rather pricey. I’m not sure how they keep getting the VFM rating they do.

Anyway, I am sure we will get a comment accusing this of being bogus – but it is not!!

Adrian Loveridge - Peach & Quiet

Response from Peach & Quiet Management

Management response from Peach and Quiet, Owner
(Management representative)

May 17, 2011

First let me say, we can always do better and we are sincerely sorry that we did not meet your expectations.

Just to go through the points:

1) No! We do not normally serve chips. Regular repeat guests know that we prepare everything freshly. We do not stock frozen chips, so potatoes would have had to be peeled and then oil heated.

We have noticed over the years that our guests have dramatically switched from fatty foods to more fresh products. Our chef does cook chips on occasions by special request, but it would depend how busy lunch was that day, at what time they were ordered and its unlikely there would be time over a peak period like Easter.

2) Our three course dinner including BBQ is US$28. We are the only registered hotel on Barbados that I am aware of that does not have a mandatory service charge which helps us offer one of lowest eating costs on the island. All prices for meals are shown on the information sheet that is placed in every room and clearly states US$.

I must admit to be surprised that you found our meal costs high. I am not sure where else on Barbados you could eat for US$28 (three courses) and with our BBQ we usually have a nine piece steel band and while this does not cost our guests a single extra penny, it cost us US$500 so we need 18 diners just to cover the music charges and thats before we allow for staff, food and other operating costs.

3) We acquired the BBQ a couple of years ago and it was the most expensive one we have ever purchased. From memory BDS$5,000 (US$2,500). We were assured at the time it was stainless steel but within weeks it started to rust. We clean it after every use. This year we have had (along with many of our Caribbean neighbours) record rainfall. Already over 19 inches so far this year and April was especially wet from the second week. I can only assume that it was damp and would not start. This year we are disposing of it and returning to the previous alternative, half of a 50 gallon oil drum.

4) Yes! My wife does get a bit snooty on the odd occasion. I will have a word with her.

We have really tried over the last 23 years to give the very best value for money and service to our many guests that reflect in the prices we charge.

We have taken your comments and observations to heart and we will try and do better in the future.

Thank You

BFP Editor’s Note: You can see the exchange at TripAdvisor

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21 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

21 responses to “Tourist slams Peach and Quiet Hotel on TripAdvisor. Owner replies…

  1. Pig Foot

    Is Peach & Quiet the only hotel that BFP can give many inches of ink to?
    Are there no other hotels in Barbados that offer their guests good service, a great holiday experience and management?
    What about Butterfly Beach? Bougainvillea? Southern Palms? Ocean Mist? Accra Beach? Cobblers Cove? Hilton?
    Are these not worthy of mention as well?
    Your readers need the fair and balanced truth not just utterances from one corner of the ring.

  2. BFP

    Hi Pig Foot,

    Fair enough. We talk about P&Q because years ago Mr. Loveridge engaged us, wrote articles and contributed to the community on this and many other blogs and online venues. The truth is we’d be pleased to publish articles about any other business or hotel that was part of the online community.

    So how about it? Why don’t you write some pieces about other hotels and businesses. We’ll happily publish your articles whether we agree with them or not.

    You can submit them confidentially via email or as a private comment via the “contact” tab at the top. If you take some photos and send them via email, so much the better, but even if you don’t have photos we can find some or take them ourselves. You can publish under your real name or anonymously – up to you.

    How about it? We love to have other views contributing to the publishing of BFP.

    We’re about to publish another article from “Nevermind Kurt” who has written a few good ones. We don’t know who he or she is, but we’re happy for the variety.

  3. boppin wid de blues

    I hope Adrian wiffy doan bop him too!

    If other hotel owners spent half the time Adrian does writing articles and pushing the industry they would have a high public profile too. If they spent as much care as Adrian does on their own hotels, they would be full like PQ is on most days.

  4. observer

    @Loveridge

    I love your response, even though I have met you once, and have never visited your hotol, I believe that you are one of the most committed hoteliers in Barbados and that you care more than a lot about the quality of the service your guests receive.

    Tell wifey that that is what business is about, acknowledging the fact. I am sure that she will understand. Perhaps the person was a bit grumpy beacuse he could not get what he wanted when he wanted it.

    In the service industry it is good to repsond to concerns right away.

    We need more business people like you. I look forward to your contributions on this blog.

    Keep up the good work and dont be dismayed.

  5. WhereAmI

    Curious…why are meal prices listed in USD? I have a map in front of me and according to my view BGI is quite a bit of distance away from the USA. And if memory serves me correctly, BGI has never been part of the great USA. So why?

  6. PrettyPolly

    A neat response from Adrian. It addresses all of the complaints, offers a brief explanation & concludes that they will try to improve. From my perspective its effectiveness is enhanced because he does not seek to either deny the concerns or get into extreme grovelling mode…Nice one.

  7. what will they think of next

    NO, You have to be kidding, not at PEACH AND QUIET, every Hotel in Barbados don’t know what they are doing except PEACH AND QUIET.

    This has to be a mistake.
    So it ain’t so, Adrian.

    “We also booked in for a barbecue, and the bbq did not work, so after a long and hungry wait, they cooked the meat and then brought it out on trays. I understand that the chef was probably a bit frustrated with the bbq, but he was really rude to me, and then to cap it all, THE MEAT WAS VERY DRY. When we saw the state of the bbq the next day, I am not surprised it had given up the ghost – ITLOOKED EXTREMELY DIRTY AND UNCARED FOR. And I do think that it should have been checked a bit earlier than 5 minutes before it is required.

    The manager was in practice helpful, but had a rather superior attitude which did not sit well. All in all, I think the staff could use a little training in customer service.”
    WUHLOSS, “FIRST CLASS SERVICE” Adrian! I am in shock, this the Tourism’s guru’s place? That happens when you spend too much time criticising other people’s places. DAH FUH LICK YUH.

  8. yatinkiteasy

    @WWTTON Why its Mr Accra again!
    Very nice response from Mr Loveridge.
    No place is perfect, and there will always be some a hole who finds fault at even the best places. Its usually a cheap o too!

  9. observer

    @ What will they think of next

    Look at the prais the hotel has received , i think one negative complaint out of 123 is excellent.

    He that is without sin let him cast the first stone.

  10. peltdownman

    In any owner-operated small business, sometimes a few things get overlooked in the day-to-day hustle of trying to make sure your customers are satisfied. In these circumstances, a good businessman will welcome this kind of criticism to bring these matters to his attention. Well done, Adrian.

  11. what will they think of next

    Wifey was rude to your guests? Sorry I mean to Barbados’ guests.
    At Accra Beach Hotel, she would have been fired. Is she still working at PEACH AND QUIET?

  12. Voice from afar

    I don’t usually comment on discussions,I just read and enjoy.
    But Look–whether it’s a good idea to run an hotel and promote tourism ,via the press, and money making organisations, to me is debatable.
    However I will say that wifey (that’s rude in my book) as she is referred to needs no advice from anyone.
    Margaret is an experienced hotel owner/manager of long standing.
    She is also an intelligent and astute business woman.

  13. what will they think of next

    how can you be intelligent and astute when you are biting the hand that is feeding you?

    the manager “had a rather superior attitude” , Adrian you like dishing out a lot of “advice”, here is a bit for you , it is good to be humble sometimes, ok.
    You are there to please the guests, do not tell him he can’t have chips if he wants just because in your view he should not be eating “frozen chips”. He is paying not begging. Lord have mercy, it is about the guests, not you. No wonder the tourists are going elsewhere! With “service” like that no wonder the BTA has to spend so much money constantly attracting new guests because you all are running them with your “snooty attitude”.
    No wonder Accra Beach Hotel is always full they know how to take care of guests.

  14. peltdownman

    WWTTON
    I there another Accra Beach? ‘Cos what you are describing is not my experience.

  15. observer

    wwtton

    You can not please every body, because of that one experience you want to come to a general conclusion, that is poor thinking. By the way, some guests believe that they should be worshipped and I am one who do not believee that customers are always right either.

    I thinkAdrain and his wif have the formaul for success, they have been running the hotel for years throught thick and thin, so they need no advice from you. they are the ones on the ground so they would know how to handle their guests.

  16. what will they think of next

    That is why we have such severe service problems in Barbados, because the customer is not always right.
    He is only here to empty his pockets.

  17. Johnny Postle

    I like this chap Adrian Loveridge. When ever I read any of his publish articles here on BFP they are very well written with points well articulated. Good riddance to you Mr. Loveridge you do not come over to me as snobbish and high minded but very practical and one who looks for the best and wants to give the best. Kudos to you

  18. Carson C. Cadogan

    “Service”in Barbados, we will tell the customer what he should have not what he wants, what he should like, we get “snooty” with him, we “had a rather superior attitude” with him, we won’t go the extra mile for the customer, the customer is not always right, the customer can be a pain in the butt, they are ” usually a cheap o too!”, the customer has to take it or leave it,

    After all “THE CUSTOMER CAN’T EAT THE MONEY”.
    WITH THIS KIND OF ATTITUDE NO WONDER TOURISTS ARE AVOIDING BARBADOS LIKE THE PLAGUE.
    but not only tourists, Bajans are treated this way EVERY SINGLE DAY! just remember CONSUMERS you are not always RIGHT JUST EMPTY YOUR POCKETS. Suckers you are just here to make Business owners rich. Who the hell care about you?

  19. Carson C. Cadogan

    I will relate an experience that I had at a store in Bridgetown. It was not a hotel or restaurant or anything like that.
    I went into a store with money in my pocket to purchase a suit. There was a sales clerk sitting on a bench. I wanted a black suit and I needed her assistance, “ga tuh de wuman down dey”,she said to me, I went to de wuman down dey, the second clerk said to me “she does wuk hey too guh back to she” I went back to she as directed. The first clerk now, “you is a ididiot you leh she send yuh back tuh me, I in moving from hey”, at this point I decided to approach the Manager who was behind the cash register. I told her what had happen. The Manager’s reply, “well i can’ help you now de cashier gone break and I can’ lef hey now, guh back to dem”, at at that point I walk out of the store. I had money to spend and they loss a sale.
    It is alright to highlight customer dis satisfaction on Tripadvisor but we in Barbados have serious service issues. Where does the ordinary Bajan go to register his complaint?
    We do not appreciate really customers.

  20. Carson C. Cadogan

    Before every one get the impression that all service in Barbados is poor. Please shop at Carters and Company, for good, helpful, customer focused service from staff and mangement. They can’t be beat.

  21. observer

    @CCC

    What about Automative Art?

    I took the little old car to get service and was blown away with the quality of the servicereceived. I had to write a little letter to the Manager expressing apprecaitonfor the excellent service.

    Sometimes we need to acknowledge good service, we write about poor sevcie , but not about the good service.

    Sometimes customers approach people in a a not pleasant manner and people who are not well trained in customer service might react accordingly. All I am saying, communication is a two way process, as regards to it involving service or not.