A few months ago I had a meeting at a four-star, branded hotel in London. I was running a few minutes late but by the time I had got to the bar I was 30 minutes late. So, what happened?
I arrived at the hotel and got out of the taxi and into my wheelchair. The Concierge came over and told me that I could not get into the hotel from here. Fortunately my taxi driver had not left and we were directed out of the hotel, told to turn left, go to the roundabout, turn left, carry on until we came to a major London landmark turn in, then down a ramp and turn left. I had to pay for the extra journey. We were met by the Concierge and I had to go all the way back along the basement into the hotel and eventually get a lift.
After our meeting and a couple of drinks I needed the toilet and I asked directions. The young lady behind the bar took me to the Gents as she didn’t understand my needs. She asked for help from someone else who took me to the front entrance. They called security who tried to take me out of the building. I eventually managed to find the accessible toilet only to find that the alarm cord had been cut and was about three or four feet off the floor.
When we did leave the hotel we were escorted by security. They took me back to an exit which was right by the main entrance where the taxi had pulled in and there had been no need to go on the trek earlier. If ever there was a case for training this highlights it.
Would I risk taking one of my clients to this hotel group? This incident may have applied to just one hotel but it has marred my impression of the whole group. Would your conference organiser want this kind of thing happening?