Lately I have been feeling a little disgruntled with IHG in general. There have been a number of little things that have just rubbed me the wrong way. I am thinking of giving them a “Time Out” in hopes that maybe they will improve on some of these things before my next stay. That means that I will not be using them for my stays in Dallas in September or Oakland, CA in October. I am replacing both of those stays with Hilton’s instead.
The Great Breakfast Redesign Failure
I would like to address the new design for how they are serving breakfast at some of their hotels. I thought it was just how they did it at a hotel we stayed at earlier this year, the Holiday Inn – Hillsboro, OR near Portland (actually a breakfast that we paid for during our stay). But the hotel we just stayed in, the Holiday Inn Express – Acme, MI, had the same setup for their breakfast (included with your stay there). They used to offer an open concept type food area that you could jut pop up, get what you want and find a table. There was a little space between that area and the seating area.
Now they are going to a cattle herding style that is not very functional. They have designed a little (and I do mean little) breakfast room that contains all the plates, food and non coffee beverages. The room has a door going in and a door to come out. You have to file in a line through the very narrow area to get anything. Say you forgot butter for your toast. Go to the back of the line because it is the only way to get what you need.
This room butts right up to the tables where people are eating and the line to enter gets so long that people end up hovering over the tables where other guests are trying to eat the breakfast that they fought for. I know that I do not want someone standing over me while I try to eat my crappy cheese omelette, thank you! There were also 2 ladies trying to restock items in the cramped quarters of the breakfast room. They were obviously so used to doing this that they made no apologies or eye contact as they pushed their way in and snatched up containers or refilled dispensers. If one of the trays of food you wanted was empty, there was no place to stand aside to wait for a new pan to arrive without holding up the whole line. You guessed it, go to the back of the line or go without it.
We ended up not eating breakfast at all for one day of our stay and going off site the other day. It just was not worth that kind of chaos first thing in my day. It would Set a bad tone right from the get go.
Also at the hotel in Acme, the pool and hot tub area are right next to the breakfast area. There are windows the full length of the adjoining wall. For 1/2 of that wall, they have installed a counter style bar that has breakfast guests facing into the pool room while they eat their breakfast. I am not sure how they feel about this, but we didn’t enjoy being their entertainment as we sat in the hot tub or took a quick morning dip in the pool.
My opinion is this IHG, you took once functional areas of your hotel and turned them into a hot mess! Nobody seemed excited to be in this newly designed community space or with how the new flow worked. Guests and Staff alike seemed unhappy with this terrible format. Maybe you should come stay at one of these hotels and see how you feel about this set up when assuming the role of the guest.
As for me, I will be at the Hilton or Hyatt while you figure things out!