I stayed at the Caribe Hilton for the second occasion a few days ago and I have been lucky enough that on both occasions I received an upgrade. The first occasions Hilton has messed up my reservation and when we arrived we had no reservation. Since they did see I had a printed copy and Hilton’s main reservation had a few glitches at the time they upgraded me to a suite. A few days ago I checked in for one night for the ISACA ISRM Conference. The front desk agent told me that I had been upgraded to the Presidential Suite.
To my surprise I went up to floor 20 to the most amazing hotel suite or room I have ever stayed in. I was very grateful of the upgrade and for me it has been a unique experience to have the privilege to stay overnight at the Presidential Suite of the Caribe Hilton.
The rest of the day I went to a few sessions of the conference. I also went to dinner with colleagues from ISACA at a small restaurant I recommend named St. Germain that is in Old San Juan. When I got back I decided to sit in the main lobby bar for a drink and was amazed on how poorly one bartender was taking care of the patrons. I had another bartender come in from the other section of the bar to pour me drinks. I had not realized this was happening until the bartender that was assigned to my area scolded me because I had allowed the other bartender to pour my drinks. At first I thought he was joking but later on I realized he was being serious and complaining about an issue he created.
I had to remind the unprofessional bartender that if he would have paid more attention to everyone on his section of the bar instead of conversing with his other co-workers and complaining about how much he was working maybe the other bartender would not have had to pour my drinks. The bartender was not very happy with my reply and then it was a weird experience because he continued to ignore me but the other bartender also felt like he was invading his co-worker’s space so it took quite a while for me to get a drink or anything.
Other than the weird bartender I also experienced very poor service from the folks serving us lunch on Wednesday. Conference attendees kept on arriving and the waiters where getting annoyed because they had to bring more plates out when they thought they had finished. I was very embarrassed on how these waiters representing Puerto Rico where behaving in front of our International ISACA guests. I saw with my own eyes how they even asked one of the attendees if had arrived when the person was obviously there. The message from the waitress was kind of asking him why did he arrive so late for lunch. If these waiters only understood that these attendees paid a good amount of money to attend the conference they would not have been so unprofessional because a few of us came into lunch a few minutes late.
Later on during the day some ISACA colleagues from Mexico and Costa Rica, asked if Service was so bad in Puerto Rico as it was in the Caribe Hilton. I had to step back and actually reply that there where still a few places like the @sanjuanmarriott (a client of CIMA), La Concha Resort (they suck at communicating online but the service at the hotel has been great), and the Double Tree San Juan where food service professionals are great at least at Café Pierre.
At the San Juan Marriott before they where my client I was treated like part of the family. One of the reasons I was so interested in working along them in small projects was because I know it is easy to share their story with the online world and bring people to the hotel.
My only hope is that this post reaches the Caribe Hilton’s hands and they can do something of improving the service of their staff. The Caribe Hilton is a hotel with lots of history and receives many tourists which should leave Puerto Rico with having experienced the best quality service.
Two Customer Service Ambassadors for the Caribe Hilton
During my one-day stay I have to say that the Housekeeping representative Maria was very sweet and hospitable. The parking attendant (outsourced to another company) while I was leaving the hotel at around 8 pm on Wednesday was also very helpful and went above and beyond in helping me with a parking ticket issue. If the Caribe Hilton can look at these bright spots and have the rest of their staff copy some of the great qualities these two individuals hold.