I would hate to be a Travel Agent. Sure, you would get good perks with discounted flights and accommodation but having to sell travel when the internet has become the best friend of most would be a hard-sell. However despite the advanced growth of the internet over the last five years, an element of risk still remains when you book online. Photos can make a bedroom look huge and taken at the correct angle and in the right light, can make a dark room seem bright. Some hotels now have video links and they are better but there will always be a percentage that is the unknown factor.
For my recent honeymoon, I completely booked its entirety solely online. The hire car was booked through vroomvroomvroom, flights done through QANTAS and all accommodation was thoroughly researched, compared and booked online through their specific websites. Sites like Trip Advisor help somewhat to guide your decision but ultimately biting the bullet is a solo activity.
no-Go # 1 is the Piermont Retreat, Tasman Hwy. Swansea TAS. 7190
With the route decided that my man and I would fly into Hobart, spend some time exploring the capital before heading up the East coast and Freycinet peninsular and finally inland and flying home out of Launceston, I searched for a “special” place for the mid component of the honeymoon. Piermont met the requirements for its highly rated restaurant which I noted we would need to eat at and I liked the sound of “ecologically sustainable luxury” as per the website description of the overall retreat which was situated steps away from the Freycinet coast. There were enough photos to match the descriptive language and they even had a “honeymoon spa” package. Booked and paid for. In the comments section on the online reservation I recall writing that the reason for our Tasmanian trip was due to our honeymoon and we look forward to the experience ahead at Piermont Retreat.
Service or more to the point; Customer Service is an important factor to me. Whether you are on a weekend-away, staying at a backpackers, in a 2-star or 5-star – customer service is an essential for me. On our honeymoon, my man and I were already on cloud 9 and any extras we received were icing on the cake.
Arriving into reception at Piermont Retreat, I was met by a man who I assumed was one of the owners. No hello, no welcome to Piermont, no “how’s your honeymoon been so far?”. I appreciate everyone has bad days but this first impression was gruff, rude and inappropriate. After a mini-dispute over how many nights were booked and paid for, despite by print-out in hand, I was given a set of keys, a site map for the retreat and sent on my less-than-merry way.
I have a good photographic memory and considering how much time I spent researching and comparing places to stay in Tasmania; the room I saw after I turned the key and opened the door was not the photo I remembered. Bare minimum was reality.
Changing our initial plans, we left Piermont Retreat after only the one night to leave behind the only disappointment on our honeymoon. Rude service or rather a lack of, coupled with not getting what we paid for or what was advertised online left my man and I with a bad taste in our mouths.
Thank god for Hotel Islington and Red Feather Inn to make up for it in the Tasmanian accommodation stakes as overall, our honeymoon is an amazing memory, not to be discoloured by one night.