The Henry - A tale of two experiences in one stay!

Discussion created by nw_in_ca on Apr 13, 2015
Latest reply on May 2, 2015 by nw_in_ca

I stayed at The Henry over this past weekend.  The hotel is located in Dearborn, MI it formerly was a Ritz until it became an Autograph.  Some of the staff still have the old Ritz "spirit to serve", while others are either uncaring or simply ignorant of customer service.  So, to begin with the good.  The property is nice, its located in the Fairlane Center and close to all The Henry Ford exhibits.  Check in was flawless and the room was very nice and extremely clean.  I arrived on a Friday, so the lounge was closed for the weekend, but a housekeeper was extremely friendly and helped me with some extra bottled water.  The doorman was also very friendly, he was always very welcoming and asking if there was anything he could do to assist.  Ok, now for the bad.  Made a reservation to eat in the hotel's restaurant, Tria on Saturday evening on OpenTable.  While we were out visiting, it was getting a little late for the reservation, so I changed it through OpenTable to a later time.  About an hour after changing to the later time, we received a phone call from Tria asking if we wanted to cancel the reservation, we indicated that no we wanted to keep it, as we were staying at the hotel.  When we arrived at Tria, the hostess greeted us with contempt, as it was apparent that she had been the person who had called and wanted us to cancel.  Once seated, our waiter arrived, he was very friendly and helpful on selections.  The busboy then appeared, he was less then thrilled with our presence, he appeared wanting to end his work evening and seemed put upon that we had been seated (although, the restaurant had about 7-8 other tables with guests).  He picked up the candle from the table and departed with it (we had thought to light it, but nope it was to put it away for breakfast service).  When he did return he brought some bread and butter - nice, except the butter was covered with a long black hair.  The waiter saw the hair and immediately changed out the butter for hairless butter.  After changing out the butter, the waiter was never seen again.  He was nice, but his disappearance act was complete before the meal was ever served.  When the food arrived, it was terrible.  Many of the reviews of Tria praised the food quality.  However, our meal was fowl.  We had scallops and the BBQ platter.  The scallops were so over cooked, it would have been possible to play racquet ball with one of them and the BBQ was also way overcook and mostly tasteless.  The only items that were actually good, were the chicken spring rolls and the crepe that came with the scallops, it contained four shrimp which were actually very tasty.  However, the scallops were an embarrassment, whoever prepared them should be forced to watch a few reruns of Gordon Ramsey to learn how to properly cook scallops.  The BBQ, was probably just so overcooked it destroyed what might have otherwise been a good entire.  So, after we finished eating, we sat and sat and sat.  With the waiter gone, it fell upon the bartender to finally come over and ask if we wanted anything else.  We told her no, just the check would be good.  At that point it seemed a waste to complain about the food the the bartender.  She returned with the check and went back to the bar.  I filled out the check, which since I was a "guest" of the hotel, I just filled it in to charge to the bill and tip (although, I might be at somewhat of a loss to know who exactly I was tipping and for what service) to my room.  After a few minutes we got and and went to exit the restaurant.  At which point the bartender came charging out from behind the bar and demanded to know if we were going to pay our bill.  Now, I have stayed at some lower tier hotels in my day, but never have I been accused of dining and dashing - ever!  She could have looked at the bill before making any accusations, but instead she challenged us before a bar full of patrons about possibly not paying our tab.  I am not sure if I could envision an even worse example of customer service, she was simply too lazy to have looked at the bill and seen it was paid, she merely assumed we were skipping out without paying.  Although, frankly when one is heading towards to elevators it hardly seems likely they would be attempting to leave without paying.  So, I informed the barkeep that the bill was paid by room charge and was sitting on the table for her collection at her convenience.  It was extremely unprofessional of her and extremely embarrassing for us to be accused by her.  Had I been smart, I would have gone back and reduced the tip to be more inline with the actual service that I had received.  To end the story, I got back to the room to find an email from OpenTable, advising me that my reservation at Tria had been cancelled.  Oh, how I only wish that had been true...the food was terrible, the service worse and the bill overpriced, I only wish I had actually cancelled my visit to Tria.  I hope that someone in management at The Henry reads this and works on the customer service skills at Tria, the food, well maybe it was just the chief was more concerned with closing and paid no attention to our food overcooking.  Either way, the hotel staff is fantastic, while the restaurant/bar staff need serious improvement to keep it from being a tale of two different experiences at The Henry