Ok but overpriced and with an overbearing owner
Posted Oct 29, 2016 on Hotels
Sadly we were disappointed with Azalea Inn. It is incredibly overpriced for what it delivers. Our room, 'Sweet Olive', was nice enough but small, dominated by a four poster bed which was so high it required steps to get into. There wasn't room for much else other than the bed. Breakfast on day one was an incredibly sweet French toast, served with a few slices of plum in another sickly sweet sauce, and a dessert called chocolate oblivion- not what most people would choose for breakfast, but that was all that was offered (no cereal, toast, etc). At such high prices we expected a breakfast that was at least edible. But what really spoiled our stay was the behaviour of the lady owner. We stayed for two nights to celebrate our anniversary. On the first afternoon we were in the front room using our mobile phones to check where we would be staying next, when she suddenly loudly exclaimed "Is this how you two spend your anniversary? Are you texting each other or something?". She speaks VERY loudly at all times, and probably thinks she is being amusing when actually she is being rude. On the second morning we were at the breakfast table waiting to be served another inedible meal when she came up behind us again and loudly told the rest of the guests "These two are celebrating their fifth anniversary, and what are they doing? Checking Facebook!", deliberately implying we were committing some offence by using our mobiles. It was an uncomfortable and unpleasant stay.
Comment from Hotel Management
Nov 8, 2016 by General Manager, Hotel Management
We are sorry that we were unable to make this gentleman happy during his stay. We are well-known for our hospitality and for our food which is a theme throughout our online reviews. We have been in this beautiful city for 12 years and the entire staff thrives on creating memorable experiences for those who choose to stay with us. We know our city well and love pointing out her best features and secret dining spots. Now, this stay did start out on a slightly rocky note – they made an online reservation for a same-day arrival, but their credit card was declined and we were unable reach them by phone prior to their arrival. It is always awkward to tell a guest that their credit is declined, but we were to sort it out because they had another credit card that was not declined. As a part of our check-in process we ask which of our three breakfast seating times is preferred and the older of the two gentlemen requested 10 o’clock because he liked to sleep late. When asked about allergies or preferences he shared that he doesn’t eat seafood and prefers hot tea at breakfast while his husband preferred water. Later, during the tour of the house the next day’s breakfast menu was pointed out and it was shared that if they preferred something different please try to let us know the night before. (The owner is the person who checked them in but another innkeeper gave them the tour and showed them to their room.) Later the guests were in the parlor using their phones and the owner asked if they had any plans and offered to assist them with what to do. They did tell her they were searching for a hotel for the next leg of their trip and a lively conversation ensued about possible routes and sight-seeing they could do. The chef also came to the parlor and shared some of her thoughts on what to do in Florida. The elder man said he didn’t like to hike or be strenuous and didn’t like touring old homes. Breakfast the next morning was uneventful and the older gentlemen held court as he shared their travel plans for America on their 5-week vacation. The gentlemen then left for the day. At 8:30 that evening the on-duty innkeeper was told that the elder of the two did not eat chicken; the chef was informed. The next morning only the younger man came to the table and when the owner asked if his husband was feeling okay, he responded that he would not be coming to breakfast because he would not eat the chicken broccoli quiche. We quickly assured him that we had planned to fix whatever he wanted for breakfast. The gentleman came to the table and appeared to enjoy his fruit course of watermelon salad, followed by scrambled eggs, cheddar grits and cranberry orange scones. He and the owner did have a disagreement about the use of phones at the breakfast table and he assured her that if he wanted to talk on the phone he would. The owner pointed out that perhaps not everyone would want to listen to which he replied “I have to listen to their conversations so what’s the difference.” The table got very quiet and the owner responded with an apology for upsetting him, which she repeated three times as he continued to tell her she was wrong to place restrictions on a guest who was paying to stay here. Fortunately, the phone in the office rang and she left to answer it to which he said “I don’t care if you talk on your phone.” All in all a childish response from a man in his 60’s’s. Later, several of the guests at the table sought out the owner and stated they agreed with her that personal phone calls should be conducted away from the table. We strive to deliver exceptional experiences for each guest, but sadly it is not always possible.