December 18, 2016

Plus 1 trip to Vietnam day 3: the most ridiculous service ever

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More than 4½ hours after leaving Princess D'Ân Nam Resort and Spa, with a detour to Tan Son Nhat International Airport to drop off the others, we finally arrived at InterContinental Asiana Saigon.  We checked in, changed to dressier clothes, and walked over for our dinner appointment.

Before leaving home, I had send emails to the concierge at InterContinental Asiana Saigon and asked that they help me make reservations at several restaurants in the city.  The concierge team was highly efficient and confirmed my bookings within the same day.

So you can imagine my surprise when I stepped through the front doors to the Hotel Continental Saigon and found that the courtyard that was supposed to be the Continental Palace Restaurant being occupied by a wedding party.

We went to the hotel reception and asked, and they confirmed that the restaurant had indeed been booked out for a wedding.  We told them that we had a reservation at the restaurant, at which point the staff picked up the phone and called someone.

We were stunned to be told that because of this wedding that was going on, our reservation at the Continental Palace had been "moved" to Le Bourgeois, another restaurant within the hotel.  Would we please take our dinner there?  No apologies given for this arrangement.

I couldn't understand how this happened.  The wedding must have been booked months in advance - like everywhere else in the world.  So when the concierge at the InterContinental called to make my reservation a few days ago, the restaurant would have known that they could not accommodate us.  Why the hell did they confirm the booking back to my concierge?!  They could have just told my concierge that there was a wedding tonight, and therefore it was impossible to serve us.

With my head still spinning, we walk through the doors of Le Bourgeois.  The manager points to a table by the window of the empty restaurant, and we take our seats.  The menu is delivered to us, and there is no Vietnamese food, as expected.  We asked about our reservation being moved, and inquire whether we could have Vietnamese food from Continental Palace.  The answer was negative.

We shake our heads and get up to leave.  The manager panics, asked us to stay, and go back to fetch another menu - this time mentioning my name in the process, as if to show that he's got a plan for us.

We are shown a menu from La Dolce Vita - another restaurant in the hotel.  There's nothing Vietnamese on the menu.  By this time I've lost my patience with the manager, who barely cares about what I wanted, and we walked out vowing never to return to the Hotel Continental Saigon ever again.

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