My boyfriend’s birthday was on 3 April, so he booked a staycation at W hotel.
I was the one who encouraged him to choose W hotel out of all other hotels, because I had stayed there once before, at their “Away” room on 1st floor, with private plunge pool outside the room. Back then during my first stay, the guests in the room beside me were blasting music even up till midnight, and it sounded like there were having a party, with several people inside, laughing, cheering and playing games. Unlike other hotels which are usually strict on noise levels, W hotel allowed that group to make noise and blast music till late, no one came to complain or stop them.
During our stay on 3rd April, we were playing music from about 9-10pm – I had connected my handphone to the BOSE sound system provided in the room, and the music was playing at moderate level, it wasn’t blasting. We received no complaints. However, after taking a dip in our plunge pool, while I was taking a shower at about 10.15pm, I heard some voices, and the sound of the main door opening, which prompted me to walk out of the shower to check out what was going on. I thought it was my boyfriend at the door, so I waked out half naked, while wrapping the towel around myself.
The main toilet door is a full length wooden sliding door which is very heavy to push / pull every time you wish to open / close the toilet door, so, thinking that it was only me and my boyfriend staying in the room, we had left the sliding door open 24/7. So, I was walking out of the shower half naked, towards the main door of the hotel room, and to my horror, I came face to face with 2 male strangers! Apparently, 2 W hotel male staff (1 in particular, named Wei Hao), had used their access pass to let themselves into my room without permission, and it just so happens that the bathroom is situated right next to the entrance of the room. So, the 2 male staff actually saw me half naked, wrapping a towel around my body! Upon seeing me half naked, the 2 guys retreated back outside of the room.
I was totally shocked and traumatised and frightened, and (after wrapping the towel around myself properly) I opened the door and demanded to know why were they in my room! Wei Hao explained that, a guest next door had complained that our music was playing too loudly, and that the hotel management tried to call us, but we did not answer (he mentioned that hotel standard procedure is to only allow the call to ring 3 times, after which, if there is no answer, they will hang up, and will not disturb the guest any further).
After failing to reach us via phone, they came to our room and knocked on the door (he also further mentioned that hotel standard procedure is to only knock 3 times), and after we did not answer after 3 knocks, they decided that the next course of action was to let themselves into the guest’s room. Seriously?!?!?!
Apparently, we discovered that the phone in our room was faulty, and we even had a technician come into the room the following morning to fix the faulty phone, and verify that it was indeed not working well. Therefore, it is not our fault that the hotel tried to call us at our room, but failed to reach us, because it is their own fault that their devices are not well maintained and kept in good working condition.
Secondly, with music playing in the room, and with only 3 knocks on the door, how would you expect guests to be able to hear you?!
Thirdly, my boyfriend mentioned to the staff that, upon check-in, guests are required to provide their IC as well as mobile number at the counter. So, why didn’t they attempt to reach us on our mobile phone FIRST, before deciding that the next best course of action was to simply let themselves into our room?!
In response to that, Wei Hao doubted us: “Are you sure you provided your contact details with our front desk?” We felt insulted that he would question our words like that, so we told him to go to the front desk and check it out himself then, which he did, and later on came back to us to say that, yes indeed, our mobile number records were there with the front desk. But this time, he defended himself by saying that, hotel guests usually do not like them to intrude their privacy and contact them via their personal mobile numbers, therefore the hotel will avoid calling guests on their personal numbers.
So , what Wei Hao is saying is that, in such an “emergency” situation, the hotel’s view is that it would be less intrusive for staff to let themselves into guests’s rooms and catch guests half naked, than to simply drop them a phone call on their mobile phone, to inform them to lower down the volume?
In fact, while I was showering, my boyfriend was actually outside by the pool, scrolling through his mobile phone. Hence, if the hotel had bothered to call him on his mobile phone FIRST before deciding to barge into our room, they would have been able to reach us, and get us to turn off the music, WITHOUT having to go through all that trouble, and causing distress and unhappiness to their guests!
But Wei Hao was simply unapologetic, and kept finding all sorts of ridiculous excuses to defend himself! So we felt that there was no point continuing the conversation with him, and requested to see his manager the following morning when she reported to work. Wei Hao assured us that they would give us an explanation in the morning by 10am. (Therefore we did not proceed to immediately call the police, because we wanted to give the hotel a chance) But, the following day, there was no word from them, all the way until about 11+ / 12pm, while we were packing to prepare for checkout.
APPALLING ATTITUDE FROM UPPER MANGEMENT:
We were hoping that Wei Hao’s manager, Rissa Williams, would be more reasonable and sincere in her approach. However, to our horror, her attitude was even WORSE than her subordinate’s! She simply said, we can only offer our apology that you were shocked by our staff’s presence in your room, however, you were blasting music and disturbing other guests, and we had to protect our other guests, so, he had the authority to do so. And anyway you could have also been charged $500 for noise disturbance.
She was even extremely hostile in her tone and approach, right from the start, which made us feel that she is unsuitable to be in the hospitality industry!
1. If it was absolutely necessary for the staff to enter our room. Shouldn’t they have checked their records, and realized that there was a female guest staying in that room? And hence, shouldn’t they have at least sent a female staff to enter the room instead? – She had no answer to that, and simply brushed us off that it was actually no big deal that I was seen half naked by her male staff, because he had no ill INTENTIONS, and was merely just carrying out his duty.
2. I was insulted and infuriated that she said it was no big deal that I was seen half naked, so I responded by saying, perhaps because she is a Caucasian lady, therefore she might be more open-minded than Asians, hence she does not feel that being seen half naked is a big deal. In response to that, she was very angry and said that I had insulted and offended her! She was also on the defensive mode, and pointing fingers at us guests, without reflecting on her own words and actions! – If she had not said that my ordeal was no big deal, and had better hotel service attitude, why would I be agitated and induced to respond in a sarcastic manner back to her?!
Regarding her statement of us bring liable to $500 charge for noise / disturbance – My boyfriend argued that he did NOT sign any agreement / form during check-in, regarding this $500 penalty! Neither was anything stated anywhere in the room / beside the sound syste,m that guetss should refrain from playing music too loudly, or risk being fined $500! She replied that it was stated on the hotel website. Upon checking their website, we saw that, what was written was:
Parties and private events are strictly prohibited in our guest rooms. Please contact our catering specialist or our Whatever/Whenever® service to arrange an event.”
No mention of $500 at all. Rissa Williams must be making up her own rules and policies. (Or maybe she got confused by her own hotel’s rules. The $500 penalty mentioned on the website actually applies to the deep cleaning fee for guests who smoke in non-smoking guests rooms or public areas.) Also, if W Hotel is truly so strict on noise disturbances, then perhaps they should not install BOSE sound system in their guest’s rooms?! Or impose a maximum volume on their television / radio systems within their rooms, like what some hotels do?
I have attended friends’ parties in other hotels’ suites before, and encountered complaints for noises disturbance before – I know what the standard procedures are like – Usually the hotel will send their security to inform the guest to lower down their volume – first warning. If guests still continue to make noise, the hotel will usually send the security to give a second stern warning. Anything beyond that, I am not sure. But I am just very sure that guetss will not be charged and fined upon first warning!
Even if HDB flat neighbours make too much noise, and gets complained, the police will just come down to issue them a stern warning.
It would be absolutely ridiculous if W Hotel’s policy is to FINE THEIR GUESTSS $500, for a first time warning of noise disturbance! Just to mention, after we were told to reduce our volume, we immediately shut down the system – no further music being played for the rest of our stay! We were extremely cooperative, and reasonable, and we even admitted that, it was wrong of us to not lower our volume, past 10pm. However, we were treated like dogs, without respect, by W hotel staff!
POLICE WERE CALLED IN:
We decided that, once again, it was hopeless trying to reason with the hotel, and we were appalled by the level of service and customer care of W hotel, because it was supposed to be an internationally renowned luxury hotel brand, and not some sub standard small hotel. We were terribly shocked that we were absolutely wrong. Therefore we decided to report the matter to the police instead.
So the police came to take statements from both sides, separately, and then finally, we all reconciled in the same room to have a conclusion. But even before the presence of the police, Rissa Williams was extremely rude, unprofessional, and confrontational!
1. She was so rude! She sarcastically told my boyfriend “by the way my name is RRRRRRissa, not LLLLLLisa”, while rolling her eyes, and as if trying to imply that his Singaporean pronounciation / Singlish is an joke, and mocking our speech. <- I am not making this up, I have attached a voice recording where you can hear her say all of the above! And the police can be my witnesses that she, as a manager, as a lady of age around 50 (thereabouts) behaved in this childish manner! And by the way, how is this even relevant to the entire case? Honestly, who cares what her name is?! How is that important information / How does that affect anything?! 2. As the police were wrapping things up, and releasing everyone to leave, Rissa Williams asked the police, when we were still around, intentionally wanting us to hear her say: “ Police officers, do you all have the IC records of these 2 people? We would like to have them too.” , To which the police replied “ Yes of course we do, but I’m afraid that is for us to handle, and we will not be able to share their information with you” – The reason why she did this, was to intentionally agitate and provoke us, to perhaps, hint to us that the hotel would want our particulars, to take some kind of action against us? But against what? What offence did we commit?! Of course we would be angry by this act of hers! Therefore, I responded by saying “ Yes miss, you DO have our IC records. Do you not know that, when guests check in, we are required to hand over our IC to your front desk for recording purposes? Do you not know your own hotel’s S.O.P?!” Then she angrily yelled back at me “Don’t you be sarcastic to me!!” Once again, the police can be my witness, that she indeed reacted in such an unprofessional manner. EXTREME DISAPPOINTMENT / WARNING TO FUTURE GUESTS: I would just like to sum up that, my boyfriend and I had intended to have an enjoyable birthday celebration at the renowned luxurious W Hotel, but in the end, the entire stay was ruined by the lack of proper governance, customer service, standard operating procedures, and policies of this hotel, and further destroyed by the horrendous level of customer service and management attitude of this organization! Throughout our stay in the hotel, all that we could talk about was how appalling this whole incident was, and how wronged we felt! We had no mood to enjoy / celebrate his birthday at all! I would just like to warn the public that, should they decide to visit W Hotel Singapore as guests in future, they should be mentally prepared that their privacy may get invaded, and W hotel staff might let themselves into their rooms without permission! Therefore, although hotels are meant to be a private environment for couples to enjoy each others’ company, W hotel guests probably should not engage in intimate behavior, if they do not wish to be caught surprised in compromising situations! Also, do NOT expect their upper management to have proper customer service or good service attitude. Deciding to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday at W hotel Singapore was my BIGGEST REGRET in 2016! I write everything based on facts and truth. I am a working professional, and I have morals and ethics. I would not twist facts to my advantage. Hence I have provided evidence that I have on hand, to support my story, and prove that whatever I have written is accurate and reliable. I have attached a photo of Wei Hao, the male staff who walked into my room without permission, and saw my half naked, As well as Risa Williams, Director of Rooms, W Singapore Sentosa Cove, with very bad attitude, unprofessional, and a total disgrace to the brand she is representing. I have also attached a group photo of her team. There is also a photo of W Singapore Managing Director Stephane Fabregoul, who didnt bother to address our grievances, but just defended his staff, and claimed that he was hurt that we contacted the press to spread the story onto stomp. I have also attached photos of my room, with the outdoor area with plunge pool, to give an idea of what the scene is like. I also have some video and voice recordings which serve as support evidence to whatever I have typed above. I did not manage to record the entire course of events, because my phone was running out of storage space, and every now and then, my recording would get cut off halfway, but I will provide whatever I have managed to store. Swan Heartz A.S.S. Contributor