I previously wrote about our less than desirable experience with breakfast at our hotel. Suffice to say that Friday in NYC was NOT our good food day. It didn't ruin our trip though.
To set the setting for this short tale: After seeing Ground Zero, B left us gals and hailed a cab back to the hotel to get back to writing music. He was also assigned the responsibility of finding us a place to eat dinner that evening. We (us gals and J) arrived back at the hotel just in time to freshen up for 5 minutes and leave for whatever dinner arrangements that B would have made. We were totally exhausted, hot, hungry, kids were hungry and tired, and we wanted a pleasurable eating experience to counter that mornings disaster.
I did not know that what B did was ask the hotel concierge for a recommendation. I was not impressed with the guest services of our hotel when related to the service/performance of our concierge.
When you are the concierge of a rather large, moderately upscale hotel in the middle of midtown Manhattan, there are a few expectations that a guest should reasonably be able to have met.
- Know the damn city streets. (our concierge gave us wrong or incomplete directions TWICE. I'm not talking about simple mistakes - I'm talking about them saying turn left and go 3 blocks when the accurate directions were to go right and go 3 blocks. Trekking 6 blocks to find a place doesn't really impress me. After that, we no longer bothered asking anything of them)
- Don't promote a feature of the hotel to us as we check in and then tell us the next day that it was closed 2 weeks earlier because no one uses it. (their website promoted that they had an inside kids playground/room where kids could run off their energy in a climate controlled/safe area)
- Speak English where the average person (meaning ME) who lives in this country can understand you. (I'm all for providing language assistance to people who live in other parts of the world and visit NYC but there are those of us who have lived here all our life and speak the language and want to be able to understand what you are saying when you speak to us)
- See #1 - the last thing that I want to do in NYC in the middle of the July heat is walk the hot streets of NY while trying to manage 2 kids in a stroller, a map and the enormous maze of people at 6 o'clock on a workday afternoon.
- When I ask you for a dinner recommendation/reservation - DO NOT SEND ME TO A @$%&*% Five Star place when you can plainly see that I have 2 small children and a stroller. (this restaurant had white starched linens on the tables, I counted (and finally removed) at least 12 items at EACH place setting, fresh flowers in a small vase at each place setting, and a wait staff that flipped a coin to see who was going to get the table with the kids. Can you imagine what a clusterfuck it was trying to keep J from touching all that stuff Can you imagine how conscious we felt with trying to keep him quiet? We finally just cleared the table completely and dodged the odd stares that we were getting from the other guest.
- When I ask you for a recommendation for dinner that is "reasonably priced" - do NOT send me to a place where the least expensive entree is $29 and everything else is ala carte priced at a minimum of $5.95. (even the NYC visitor's guide list "moderate" as something lower than $12 per entree.
- When I ask you for a dinner suggestion, do NOT send me to a place that has no kid's menu of chicken fingers or pizza or something similar. What child (in your experience) would like to eat things that we normally need an interpreter for when it comes to understanding the specials for the evening?
- See #2 - J had seen the playground on the website and kept asking us everyday when we were going to the playground. We spent a lot of time distracting him with the cab rides and other outings.
- When I tell you that we ate at Bubba Gump's (yes, go check out the link :) and had a WONDERFUL time because of the atmosphere and casualness of the staff/decor and that it was a good 'family place' - Do NOT send me to a place that is so starched and proper that it could supply a dry cleaner for a month.
- Fill in the blank.........
You may ask why we even stayed at this place with the white linen and the rude waitstaff, why didn't we just get up and leave and go somewhere else? The 3 blocks between the hotel and this place were crammed with people. The line outside the deli as well as the Sbarro Pizza place was "out the door and growing." It was a Friday evening and we felt that if we left - we'd be eating dinner at 9 pm after we walked the streets of NYC with screaming kids. B woofed his dinner down and then took both the kids back to the hotel room. I know that he felt responsible for such a poor choice in dinner locations and even though I was pissed at the evening - I tried to tell him that we were going on misguided information and for that - he couldn't be responsible.
I just really can't grasp what would possess a concierge to recommend such a place as that. Wouldn't she know that it wouldn't work for us? Wouldn't she know that we would be displeased with her recommendation and that would be a direct negative reflection on her and the hotel?
When we arrived back at the hotel - we bathed the kids and then ourselves and decided that the best thing to do to end/salvage the day would be to go to sleep and begin a new on Saturday.
And so we did. I'm still not impressed with the concierge services at the DoubleTree Guest Suites in Midtown Manhattan.