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Guests using staycation vouchers forced to wait over 4 hours at crowded check-in

Facebook user Kife Wee said there were more than 70 people queuing at the hotel lobby

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Singapore – A member of the public utilising his SingapoRediscover vouchers for a staycation took to social media to highlight the alleged four-hour long wait at a crowded lobby during check-in.

On Saturday (Dec 12), Facebook user Kife Wee shared their experience booking a staycation at Grand Park Orchard. “If you want to use your rediscover Singapore vouchers for hotel staycations, think twice,” said Mr Wee. According to his post, they had been waiting in line for two hours to check-in. He provided another update at the four-hour mark, noting no progress.

Mr Wee mentioned he was near the counter when he allegedly heard that the floor staff had no clue if there were still rooms for those in line. “Probably more than 70 people here queueing. Many kids and old people.”

He included photos of the reception area filled with guests trying to check-in.

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Photo: FB screnegrab/Kife Wee

Photo: FB screnegrab/Kife Wee

“No safe distancing measures, nobody coming out to do crowd control,” said Mr Wee, adding that they allegedly weren’t allowed to claim a refund or cancel without reaching the counter.

The concerned individual tagged the hotel in his post in search of answers. “I also heard about similar problems with the Orchard Hotel. Are the hotels overbooked? What’s happening? Can we have some explanations please?”

In a following update, Mr Wee highlighted that the General Manager had made a statement on the incident. The hotel couldn’t promise what time they could provide guests with a room and offered a refund or a free stay at another date, said Mr Wee. The other option was to wait until the five-hour mark.

Even upon reaching the counter, Mr Wee said they were asked to wait with minimal updates.

In a separate post, a certain Ramli Mohd Kassim managed to get a room after an “atrocious check-in procedure.” He considered himself lucky to have cleared the “pasar malam atmosphere” and got a room within an hour. “There are still people at the lobby who have waited for 7 hours and more, including elderlies and children.”

Grand Park Orchard replied to his post, apologising for the inconvenience. The comment reads, “Dear Ramli, please accept our sincere apologies for the long wait and for the inconvenience this has caused. We have reached out to you via private message earlier. Please be assured that we remain committed to ensure that the rest of your stay with us is pleasant.”

A recent Grand Park Orchard Facebook post also received numerous complaints from angry guests. One netizen wrote, “We have booked a room on Dec 26. You better get this sorted, and the room cleanliness and cockroach infestation resolved because it will look extremely bad on your hotel to be unable to make any service recovery after such an episode. Klook we booked via your platform. How do we request for a refund for incidents like this? The booking specified no cancellation and no amendment. So our money gone?”

Meanwhile, Facebook user YT Loo attached a photo illustrating that the situation wasn’t any better at the carpark queue.

Photo FB screengrab/YT Loo

Guests who have booked for a future date posted inquiries to ask if they would experience the same delay during their check-in.

The Independent Singapore has reached out to the Park Hotel Group for a statement. A spokesperson responded with Grand Park Orchard’s official statement below:

We are deeply apologetic for the inconvenience caused to our guests and have since reviewed our measures to prevent any recurrences. We received an overwhelming surge in last-minute bookings over the last few days and had tried to reach out to our guests to stagger the check-in times but it was a challenge to reach all of them.

We take the safe management measures seriously and have taken efforts to disperse the crowd by encouraging them to wait in the holding area or in the restaurants. We understand that many guests didn’t want to leave the queue. We have offered options for guests to shift stay dates or move to our sister hotels and we are thankful that some guests have taken up this option.

The hotel remains committed to the safety and comfort of our guests and have updated our procedures which include working with our travel partners to facilitate pre-booking of staggered check-in times and implementing a queue management system so guests will be contacted when it is their turn to check-in. Guests will be accorded late check-out when they check-in at the later timeslots. We are glad that the check-in process at the hotel today was smooth after these steps were in place.

Guests with existing bookings can reach out to rsvn.gpor@parkhotelgroup.com so we can arrange a check-in time/plan their stay prior arrival.

Read related: Public concerned that tourism vouchers may result in vendors marking up prices

Public concerned that tourism vouchers may result in vendors marking up prices

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