Going to the long awaited trip to the Dinosaur Parc, near Hannover in Germany, we had booked 2 nights in the Rodes Hotel. It was nothing fancy, but the family appartment had a 4 star rating. And the hotel is described as a family hotel in all its brochures etc.
After 4 hours drive we arrived, tired, thirsty, and for Oscars part very excited about the prospects of seeing “real” dinosaurs for the first time was in fact just minutes away.
Upon entering the reception area around 4pm no staff was in sight. We waited a minute or two, and then went to the hotel kitchen area, where a guy helped us along by shouting out for somebody to come to the reception.
Then we foolishly had expected some kind of welcome. Nada, Not a word, just a what can I do (or do I have to do) for you kind of gesture.
Not a “Welcome to the Rodes Hotel”, not a “How was your trip”, Not a “Are you thirsty”, not a “sorry for waiting”, not anything remotedly friendly. The female receptionist could have greeted us in so many ways.
Instead she then said “I will show you your room”, which as it turnet out meant she would walk 10 steps across the reception area and point us to the door across the yard. Again no “Can I help you with your luggage”, not a “I will show you to your room”. Nothing.
She could have said or done so many things to make us feel welcome, but did absolutely nothing. Not a smile. Hence I thought of naming this post. “What she said, and what she should have said”. Afterwards we wondered if she was the owner !!!
30 minutes later we were off to the Dinosaur Parc just to get a small glimse of it all – before the big following day there – the day after. Oscar loved it from the first second he saw the huge animal welcoming him at the entrance. This cold and huge “dead” figure gave us a warmer welcome than the one at the hotel I thought.
At around 6.30 pm we went back to the hotel, and directly went to the restuarant.
The unfriendly woman from before showed me to the dining room next to the bar where locals where sitting – having a good time it seemed. The room was empty and I chose a small table. Instead of telling me to please take a larger one for our comfort, I was then told. “You could have picked a table that actually fits 4 plates” !!!! This could have been funny but was again said with no smile or kindness. I then rapidly swapped to a larger one. Had it not been for the hungry kids I would have left at that point. Astrid arrived and we were ready to order. “Now…the boys would like some pasta, what can you arrange I asked ?”
“Oh, thats a problem” she busted out, even before I could finish my request….(The problem was the kids menu only consisted of different meat and potato dishes and no pasta). Now, I never told her I wanted kids menu, and even if, I could think of many ways to cook pasta and incorporate into one of the existing dishes, however that was not offered.
I then thought ..enough is enough….I know it wasnt George V in Paris, but for crying out loud…why did this woman work in this industry. I informed her that I had seen a pasta dish on the menu, and that we would like that to be served to the boys if available. I finished the order and she went away. I was ready not to order anything for ourselves and commented loudly on her short comings. Upon her return Astrid had calmed me down, and I ordered a schnitzel.
The food was in all in all what one could expect, nothing more nothing less, I was actually surpriced about the tenderness of the the meat although the sauce was far from interesting.
Needles to say that that was my last encounter with the lady, no tips, no need to return the following evening, no checking out, Astrid did that, knowing I might endure further struggles.
Maybe this lady had a bad day…I dont know, but still we paid around 90 euro per night excluding breakfast and the least I would expect when entering a hotel is a welcome and a smile.
Apart from that we had a splendid trip, next day after the Dinosaur Parc, Oscar actually said thank you for taking him there. He and Emil had their share of ice cream etc., Emil missed most of the dinousaurs, sleeping in the push car, but enjoyed the Parc and the playgrounds none the less.
On the second evening we went to a lovely little hotel/restaurant “Maris” at a nearby lake (Steinhuder Meer) and almost had a gastronomic experience with amuses, main dish, smiles, good wine and everything. We loved the place and the warm welcome and the “feeling at home” we had expected from our booked hotel, and immediately agreed, that should we ever come back….which we will, when Emil reaches the Dinosaur age…we will most definetely stay here.
Thanks for recovering our believe in the service industry in Hannover.
To round things up….The Dinosaur Parc consists of 220 figures, restaurants, 2 playgrounds, lots of information, lots of children activities comes highly recommended…the Rodes Hotel does not. However I shall mention that our appartment was large and clean and that the above mentioned woman with her attitude alone ruined our memories of what could have been or should have been a nice little family hotel.