Sunday, February 15, 2004

YAY! Great news from Flash, in Colorado, about our man Jack!:

Just spoke to himself. He's at UMC (assume University Medical Center) in fine spirits. Says that at the time the helicopter ride was the right thing to do. But that the injury is to his "lower foot." Says he broke a bone in his foot. They put him all back together just fine and they'll release him on Tuesday to fly home.

Says he's surrounded by the regular gang who are taking good care of him. Kevin Tiene is looking after Jack's truck and his stuff.

Here's the poop on the location and contact information...

Jack Walshe - Room 401 - Bed 1
(702) 383-2000

Charles, don't forget that you're on the other side of the dateline. Your Tuesday is Jack's Monday. Judging from the phone conversation I think Jack will be just fine.



To which, my mom adds:

Ohmigosh Ohmigosh...Poor Jack...if morphine and catherter and helicopter rides are involved. We will say a me'shebeara for him when we go to Torah study first thing in the morning.

Sure he will be ok...

May the Source of Strength, who blessed the ones before us
Help us find the courage, to make our lives a blessing
And let us say,

Bless those in need of healing (Jack ben Katherine) with the renewal of body, the renewal of spirit,
And let us say,


YAY Mom!

Now! About my weekend at Fish Cove, what I used to hold as best hotel in world....

Just emailed this to General Management of the Taj Group

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Satisfaction Team,
Taj Hotels Group

Dear Sirs,

September of 2002 was my first trip to India, I stayed at the Taj Coromandel, then spent the weekend at Fisherman’s Cove. On return to the US, I told all my friends, family and business associates how spectacular the service was, and how wonderful the facilities were. Fisherman’s Cove became my new standard, to which I held all luxury hotels while traveling. It was truly a better experience than the Four Seasons in Singapore, my previous bar/standard, and had become the measuring stick for all Asia, as well as the world.

This trip, last week, my first week at the Coromandel was above average. I understand the facility is under renovation, so no problems with that, and the service there was indeed, above average. Ritesh at the front desk is an asset to your corporation. The staff of the Match Point Café are superb.

I have anxiously been looking forward to the weekend, which I just spent at Fish Cove. For the past 5 months, this weekend was to be my reward for working through difficult times. Additionally, as my assistant’s first trip to India, her expectations were high, based on my previous description. It should have been a relaxing reward all around.

The only word that properly covers my feelings is sadly, Disappointment.

We arrived Friday night, to find the Cisco Systems travel office had booked us into economy rooms instead of the wonderful sea-view cabins. This was my mistake for not catching and confirming sooner. And I understood it was an extremely busy weekend, with no chance of upgrade. There is an old saying in my home state of Texas, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” meaning ‘enjoy what you have.’

I spent the rest of the weekend trying to enjoy, but was disappointed at every opportunity.

Some of the issues we sadly experienced:
· Extremely loud music from below average band/entertainer
o Music should add ambiance, not deafen on the 2nd floor
o Live music in restaurants needs to be quieter
· Seagull restaurant staff service? Way below average
o Asked for but never received bread, every meal
o Failure to pour water, or ask for refills every other meal
o Closed buffet while we were still dining
o Had to ask repeatedly for check at end of meal
o “We are full, please wait an hour” on Sunday afternoon
Bathroom towel rack broke off the wall when I tried to use a hand towel.
· Assistant’s key-power slot was broken, she held it against the wall to insert key
· Shower doors in both rooms leaked, one in my room was breaking off wall at hinges
· No bathtub, therefore, no relaxing bath
· No room slippers/robes
· Wireless connection was intermittent, my assistant had to call desk for manual log-on daily. Additionally only 2mbps throughput, not 11mbps.
· Loud neighbors, thin walls
· Fruit in my assistant’s room was dusty, yes dusty, and turning, I had no fruit
· My visitors were treated poorly
o Invited local business associate to visit, her children were asked to leave the pool? Until I chastised pool boy. Unbelievable. When I requested pool towels, staff wanted to see my room card. How many white boys from Texas who are not registered guests would be loafing about for free towels at the pool in southern India?
o Second associate came on Sunday afternoon, and was asked to wait by reception desk until we came downstairs
o When I travel, my hotel is my home, I expect my guests to be treated well

In General, the response speed to any request was sub-par, including asking for a comment card at checkout. It never arrived. The manager did come ask what the problem was, as we were leaving for the airport. Your staff had every opportunity to rectify this, and missed every chance, till we were in the car, leaving a most un-relaxing weekend.

There was a small silver lining; dinner Saturday night at the Upper Deck restaurant was perfect. The food was promptly delivered, delicious, artfully presented. The waiters were attentive and polite. I feel you should have them give lessons to the rest of your staff. Sunday morning we had manicure/pedicure at the spa, the workers were attentive and polite. Other than these two instances, the whole weekend was a disaster.

We are staying at the Taj Gateway in Bangalore this week, I hope it will be a better experience. So far, the staff has been polite, no bathtub, but polite. Dependant on my feelings at the end of the week, I may choose to stay with Coromandel and Gateway on my next trips, or I may recommend my staff take residence at the Royal Meridian, or the Oberoi when in Chennai, and Le Meridian while in Bangalore. After this weekend, however, I cannot and will not recommend Fisherman’s Cove to any of my associates again.


Charles Statman
Cisco Systems Inc.
NMTG Worldwide Laboratories Manager

Now this, my freinds is what is known as "making Big HELL!"

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