Our worst experience gets a post all to itself. Sira Grande Hotel and Spa was a godawful experience that only lasted a few hours, but it was enough to evoke anger in every way. If you’re ever in Phuket, treat this tiny little box like the plague it is.
Sira Grande Hotel and Spa
From the plane, we tried to acquire a minibus. This is a large van that allows every patron to pitch in and make the ride “cheap.” The sign said 180 Baht, which excited Tiyaanah and I until we realized that we’d need to pay for the boys too. After doing some math, we realized that this would cost 720 Baht, which is still cheap.
Problem: When I asked for a price, they looked at Kairo and sneered, and negativity out here is rare because almost everyone in Thailand is nice. I mean exceedingly kind, which I will address with Part 3.
A taxi driver had tried hustling us during this time. He wouldn’t leave us alone.
Taxi: 1000 Baht. 1000! Okay. 900 Baht and your kids get to sleep, right? Bus is too big. Too many people.
He was right.
The minibus drivers said 800 Baht like I didn’t know simple mathematics.
We accepted the 900, and this guy drove like he was rushing home to catch his wife in bed with another woman! Just far too eager. It wasn’t too bad, but my seatbelt didn’t work, and he almost hit two cars. Still, pretty good compared to some of our other drivers.
We arrived at Sira Grande Hotel and Spa, and I still regret it. Sira Grande was one of the only hotels without sliding doors, so we had to endure the humidity while dealing with a receptionist that didn’t speak English too well. (That’s our fault. We should know more Thai.)
I didn’t mind his English. I was just upset that he wouldn’t take a credit card and insisted that we use the currency exchange.
Currency exchanges are a great way to lose money on your credit card and the conversion rate. How do I know this? The guys that work behind the desks in Al Ain told me. They refused to steal my money and suggested that I use the ATM.
So, never use the exchange if you don’t have to. Just walk a few blocks and find an ATM.
In my case, I only needed to walk to the end of the block.
It seems like we were already talking about the check-in, right? Wrong.
When I return from getting the money, two groups were before for me, along with another woman. Our receptionist is alone and taking his precious time. He doesn’t even make an attempt at multi-tasking. He focuses on the person before him and nothing else. (I can respect this in many ways).
After waiting for nearly fifteen minutes, they give me the wrong room.
Sira Grande Hotel – Room 216
The kids are dazed and exhausted, but I go downstairs to speak with the night manager. He is a very gentle Thai man that tries to understand what I’m going through. His eyes are incredibly concerning and regretful.
However, he asks if I can stay in a twin bedroom (a step down from what I paid for).
He makes me wait another ten minutes and takes me to the room I asked for. It’s empty.
I eye him suspiciously and walk out of the bedroom backward while questioning…W…T…F?
Sira Grande Hotel – Room 510
Tiyaanah instantly identifies my suspicion the second that she walks into the room. The. Very. Second.
Someone had already used the room.
They didn’t finish cleaning it.
How do we know? (Tiyaanah don’t read this part because I found things that you didn’t. Go to Part 3).
- Our bed had stains that they tried to hide with a cover
- The second bed didn’t belong in that room
- The bathroom mat was dirty and unfolded
- (To understand this point you need to know that you can’t flush toilet paper in that hotel) There was used TP in the trash
I lost my ish.
Request to cancel booking
Because we used Booking.com, night manager refused to cancel our stay. He asked me to return in the morning after I’d slept things off.
Please know that I wouldn’t make my family stay in a used room if I didn’t have to, but all hotels in the area were booked. Believe me; I visited each one that we could afford.
At 12:00 P.M. on the dot, I had all of our things packed, and I let the night manager know that I was ready to accept the cancellation. He reached out to the company and explained what happened. They usually don’t give refunds, but in our case, they did. They just wanted me to pay for the first two days, and they returned the last two.
This process would’ve been seamless, but I had to meet the day manager. He was a jerk.
Whenever I said anything to him, he would turn to the women receptionist and make a joke. They would look at me and laugh, but the night manager wouldn’t. The night manager seemed upset by the comments and would look away.
The day manager gave me less than half of my deposit and caught a mouthful from me.
Me: Why am I only getting 5,000 Baht?
Manager: The first day is the most expensive.
Me: More expensive than Christmas?
Manager: It’s the way that Booking.com breaks down the numbers.
Me: More expensive than Christmas. Okay. Where is my deposit?
[He looks at my 3,000 Baht deposit receipt and hides the note quickly]
Manager: Where is your receipt?
Me: [Rolls eyes and takes the note from Tiyaanah]
Manager: [Shares another “witty” joke to make the girls laugh and has them pass me the money]
Sira Grande Hotel and Spa has one capable employee. The rest of the staff is deplorable. Even if our room was given to me correctly, the property is dirty and dark. There are at least five hotels in the same location that could easily replace this property. Unless everything all the other hotels are booked, I recommend that you avoid it altogether.