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user review | Hotel

Il Melograno, Monopoli

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Huge disappointment

Posted on: April 25, 2014 at 1:13PM

By Guest

We just spent a few days at Il Melograno, which were meant to be a long awaited relaxing break away but unfortunately turned out to be a most disappointing and stressful experience. Different people have different standards, and standards vary in all parts of the world. However there is a reason why one chooses to make a booking a in a Relais & Chateau establishment. The Melograno has clearly had its days of glory. Many features of the hotel, restaurant and surroundings attest to that fact. Unfortunately today most of these features and amenities are simply dilapidated and do not resemble in any way shape or form pictures currently published on the web (our point of reference at the time of booking). Below are some examples to state a few: • A rundown and trembling elevator took another client & myself down to a freezing cold and filthy spa where workers had clearly been using the ladies changing room & it’s bathroom. No tea light candle managed to cover the sight or smell of those toilets. Needless to say, we were both mesmerized. • The fridge next to the hotel bar hummed and hoed so loud it was impossible to have conversation without bursting into laughter during it’s feverish unwanted attempts to participate in our pre-dinner drinks conversation. We literally felt like we were in the middle of a Faulty Towers episode. • The leaking and rusty bathtub in our bedroom sat under 2 flickering spotlights. • Most vents systems throughout the bathrooms sang and trembled, covered in years of dust and rust. • Deckchairs and parasols surrounding the pool were broken or inordinately worn down. A part from being in a generally dilapidated state (broken tiles, antiquated rusty amenities etc…), Il Melograno is unkempt (bicycles stored in the middle of the living room adjoining the lobby, a broken television abandoned in the middle of another living room next to the poolside room …). The latter issue could have been addressed had management been ready in time - or chosen to delay - the start of the season. Lastly, the service - or lack thereof. When we voiced our disappointment, all was blamed on the change of management, which had occurred only a few days before our arrival. Notwithstanding the fact that we had never been notified of said change when we made our booking or prior to our arrival, most reasons behind our constant disappointment seem to have little to do with it. It also seems somewhat dishonest to accept bookings in the middle of a management change early in the season when one is clearly not ready to offer proposed services and not inform your clients. For example, albeit booking a long weekend package, which included the services of a spa & fitness., all machines in the fitness centre were unplugged and we were told the indoor pool would not be serviced until a couple weeks later. The staff, seemed to be in a constant state of bewilderment or clueless as how to properly service clients in an establishment of this level. Moreover, the newly appointment director felt in her right to constantly question or talk back to clients. Again, below please find a few examples: • Our room was never fully cleaned every day (dirty glasses left sitting there, cleaning materials forgotten on our suitcase, leftover plates of food not taken away, linens not changed….) • Staff felt free to work on their laptops in the courtyard, or do their mailings (with the director) from the main living room….An exclusive hotel tends to keep work behind the scenes away from clients seeking a relaxing experience. • When we suggested a few things were missing in our room, i.e. glasses, we were told we were wrong. Talking back to clients seems to be standard practice here – mainly in the director's case. • When we asked to book a table in the nearby Michelin-starred restaurant the Maitre D’ highly recommended, we showed up at said restaurant only to be told they had informed the Melograno that they were fully booked. Unfortunately, that information was also never passed on to us but luckily the chef had the extreme courtesy of organising a table for us. • Most staff does not speak English and barely speak French. So if you are not versed in Italian or French, do not expect any service here. Having spent a fair amount of time in other Relais & Chateaux (for work purposes or leisure) and in some cases befriended the owners/managers, I am more than aware of the ongoing incredible work, constant effort and attention to detail it takes to own and run such an establishment whilst hosting an international demanding clientele. I have personally always had a tremendous amount of respect for their drive and passion. So I somehow doubt they would in any way shape or form wish to be associated with others who take this for granted. At any rate, from a client’s perspective, it was certainly nor a relaxing or enjoyable experience. I truly hope Relais & Chateau will endeavour to address these issues or review their association with this establishment to avoid any further disappointments.

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