Thursday, October 14, 2010

Define 4-Star

Dear Raffaello Hotel Chicago,

The Boy and I recently had a lovely stay at your boutique establishment.  However, I'm not quite sure you're living up to your billing.  Your website states:

Boutique luxury means you count at the 4-star boutique Raffaello Hotel. Personalized service blends with modern technology and luxurious furnishings to create 4-star boutique service unlike other Chicago downtown hotels.
Let's take a look at the 4-star boutique service:

Comfortable bed?  Check!

Flat-screen TV?  Check!  (even came with a DVD player!)

Rainshower head?  Check!  (pretty awesome, too!)

The guest pays for Internet service?  Check!  (somehow, mid- and budget-priced hotels can provide free wi-fi, but anytime "luxury" or "boutique" gets tossed into the description, wi-fi service suddenly becomes an extra charge.  I don't get it.)

Mini-fridge?  Check!  (granted, it was a mini-bar too, but there was enough room for our own beverages)

Microwave?  Check!

Decent toiletries?  Check!  (OK, they were Gilchrist & Soames, which is a fine label, but not one I'd really consider to be in the "boutique luxury" category of hotels.  I like G&S though, so I'm not really complaining)

One-ply toilet paper?  Check!

WHOA!  Wait a minute!  As any woman can tell you, one-ply toilet paper is NOT luxurious.  Granted, sometimes it's not so bad, but when you're trying to pass yourselves off as being fancy, the least you can do is provide some two-ply.  After all, toilet paper is one of the few amenities that a guest is bound to use.  We didn't touch the DVD player or the microwave.  We did use toilet paper though, and it was a memorable experience--but not in the type of way you'd want us to have (or tell other people about).

Is two-ply that much more expensive?  Or that much harder on a plumbing system?  I might be able to understand if it is, but right now it seems like you're willing to trim corners on service.  And if you're willing to be cheap on toilet paper, what else are you willing to sacrifice?

Your pal,

1 comment:

  1. The extra charge for internet part is what bothers me the most. A lot of fancier hotels claim that they cater to business travelers, but people traveling on business usually need to be available by email and conducting all of your business on a smart phone is no fun. Don't they want their guests to feel at home? Maybe they're thinking since we all pay for wi-fi at home charging for it is creating that feeling of being at home. I think they're doing it wrong.