The choice was Marriott or Sofitel for my birthday dinner. Whilst Sofitel was new and never visited, settled for Marriott again – travel time, tested And they called in the morning asking if a reservation was required.
We made a reservation for 8:15 and landed right on time. The greeting was typically bland, and upon being told there was a reservation, said let me check – this in an empty restaurant for a Privilege Marriott member. Another person said, Mr. Das I think there is a reservation. I did not want to act huffy and spoil my day/evening. I am not finicky about my name pronunciation, given the fact that it tends to get mangled by every tele caller, I definitely think that my surname is easy to pronounce & that too at the Marriott by the staff.
Seated, checked the drinks menu, ordered, Mint sour – chilled, nice with just the right sourness, 1 sangria – well made but would have also liked to try out one with wine, Margrita – a drink I always try out at any star property, was a let down – not salted in spite of specific instructions, overflowing with probably just a dash of tequila. However the bread basket was very good.
We began with a Pizza Rucola – white, bit of spice and different, worth a try though N did not like it; Maltaglitati – loved it, just the right amount of spice, well made; Butter potato – was a complete hit, with all of us fighting to polish it off.
Trial over, N wanted to try out the Pizza Margherita – very nice, and made her believe that the earlier should not have been tried at all, and K wanted to try mashed potatoes – nice, she liked it, but to me it is an American dish, should be hot, bit of butter, garlic which the Italians don’t seem to like. I just tasted a piece as I was full after polishing off the Maltaglitati.
They asked us for Dessert, and looked puzzled when N said what happend to the cake that was ordered, the manager looked clueless, the server ran, figured out & came back to inform -10 minutes. This was totally unacceptable, but again the day saved them. In the meantime N decided to try out their home made Saffron gelato, impressive.
The cake came, tried out a piece and packed it. The very high expectations we have after being a Lotus Cafe regulars, were totally misplaced. The only saving grace was Vinayak our server.
The service experience and just one property is what will be my evaluation for renewal of my membership. Somehow, spending on a membership for Lotus cafe just does not make sense to me.
Damages: around 3500 for 3
Update: 28th December 2012
I had communicated my displeasure to the Club and received a template reply. However, it is Marriott who blew me away. Their Restaurant manager called me, apologised and informed me that the “entire amount has been reversed” & we cannot have a guest not like our service. To top it, he offered a “Free Dinner” anytime I wished with family & at any restaurant of the Marriott. Will I avail of the free, may be, may be not – been there twice and both times could not meet ONeil the manager. Will this carry good memories, experience for when renewal comes up: Definitely Yes. And that is how brands are consistently made.