Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Don’t Stay at the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel

Renaissance Amsterdam.jpg

The night of September 29th, I had a room at the Renaissance Amsterdam hotel on Kattengat street. Actually I had two rooms, not that I slept in either of them. The first had too much street noise, and windows that didn’t block out the sound. The second, well, I woke up at 7.30 AM from construction noise inside the hotel.

I want to be clear: this was not construction near the hotel, this was work being done on the hotel itself. In other words, management had made the call that starting construction at 7.30 in the morning was ok.

After 4 emails, first to my travel agency, then to the Marriott guest experience manager, then twice with Horst Wittrich, the hotel manager, they have failed to satisfy my request to have my bill cancelled, much like my sleep was cancelled.

Over those 4 emails, they offered me 30,000 Marriott points (roughly a one night stay at one of their hotels) and a 50% reduction in the billed rate for the room. They apparently didn’t care about my satisfaction when they decided to have construction come in at 7.30 AM, and they have failed to ask once “would this satisfy you?” when emailing back and forth.

I suppose I could continue to state and re-state my request, but it is obvious that their management doesn’t care about customer satisfaction.

So do yourself a favor: stay anywhere else. And while we’re being all consumerist: read Halvar’s story before buying a Volkswagen.

Photo: earplugs provided by the management of the Renaissance Amsterdam hotel. (I’d meant to post this a few weeks ago.)

8 comments on "Don’t Stay at the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel"

  • tim says:

    I’ve stayed at that hotel a couple of times. Never had an issue. Construction on hotels happen – when booking the hotel that should been made known. So far that is the only real issue I see here. As I don’t consider 7:30am early from a hotel where the majority of their business is business travelers. But the bottom line is that travel is a royal pain and shit happens. Why you just chill a bit…
    (interestingly I own a Volkswagen as well – best car i’ve ever bought)

  • Adam says:

    If you don’t see an issue, feel free to give them your business. I see 7:30 as unreasonable, and I don’t see their response as reasonable. As you say, travel is a royal pain. Hotels shouldn’t make it worse.

  • David Brodbeck says:

    I like Volkswagens, but my experience with Volkswagen dealers has been pretty awful. Mind you, I’ve only ever really dealt with the parts counters, but the staff generally keep me waiting for a long time for no apparent reason, and never call when my parts arrive, if if they’ve said they will. The concept of customer service seems to be lost on them.

  • Mirko says:

    I personally consider ANY time of day unreasonable for construction if I wasn’t made aware of the fact that there will be construction during my stay. If I pay for my room I expect to be able to relax in it, plain and simple.
    I can’t say anything bad about a VW though, only had a 30-year old Beetle that still works fine 🙂

  • Blake says:

    I’ve stayed in 4 or 5 hotels in Amsterdam and the best, hands down, was the Hotel Pulitzer. It’s at the edge of the Centrum, but had fantastic service.

  • David Brodbeck says:

    Mirko: Yeah, but just try to get any parts for your Beetle from the dealer! 😉
    Fortunately, Beetles are popular enough that there’s a sizable aftermarket that makes just about every replacement part imaginable. Those of us with VWs from the 1980s are in a somewhat tougher position — they’re not quite old enough to be collectible nostalgia items, but too old to get much dealer support.

  • Not Whiney says:

    Sorry to say, but both you and Halvar come across in your posts as whiney. To Halvar’s experience first – Yes, it does suck that an authorised repair centre screwed up so bad but the fact remains that the second centre was honest about the work not having been carried out and did everything they could to rectify the situation.
    To your experience, what passed as insufficient for your “needs” may have been above the minimum background levels required to meet whatever rating the hotel had. Obviously, the hotel did what they could to accommodate you after your initial complaint. Perhaps why they didn’t give you the other room up front was that they knew it would be affected by the construction noise and were trying to mitigate the effects on guests.
    Despite not giving you 100% of your money back, the compensatory offer was worth 150% of what you paid, so stop your whining.
    “I want Microsoft to give me all of my money back for all the poor products they have sold over the years and those that have wasted my valuable time, and I’m not going to settle for anything less.” You would justifiably laugh in my face if I tried to pull something like that. Why should it be any different for you?
    It reflects poorly on InfoSec people that they can be so inflexible and stubborn when faced with experiences outside of their comfort zone.

  • I agree with Not Whiney. 7:30am is early, but not unheard of for construction. I have stayed at the Renaissance Amsterdam and I found them very easy to work with. Their offer to you seems more than generous. I find it strange that you are still so upset and venting as though they totally rebuffed you with no offer at all.
    Halvar is obviously talented in math and perhaps even science, but I have found his appreciation of social norms lacking. His post on the VW issues, aside from the fact that he chose a natural gas engine and expected it to be reliable, seems unreasonable to me. Moreover, if his tank doesn’t lock, it doesn’t lock. Is this so hard for a security “expert” to understand? If you want a great VW experience, go with a TDI that has a locking tank by default and get to know one of the many amazing and dedicated Audi/VW mechanics.

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