So, they totally screwed up my room reservation. They lost it in fact. The guy at the checkin was about to give me a hard time...until I SHOWED him the confirmation email from THEIR website. And then he had me led to a room in the "new building" requiring an elevator that took me DOWN to level minus 4 (or 5?), and to round it off...they took me to a bloody smoking room! I almost flipped out.
So...now you're thinking "sure Chris, so why would you give them a 5 star rating after all that?"
In a word: the manager. In a near boil, I seethed my way back to reception and firmly listed my complaints: booked on the "old historic building", non-smoking, courtyard view. I work in the industry, and could see they were overbooked and had lost my confirmation some how. I asked him to fix the problem.
And boy did he fix it! He showed me to the Imperial Suite, which rack-rated at about 20 times my actual room rate. It was a once in a lifetime room experience, with antiques mixed with modern day niceties, and had a sense of time travel about it. Hotel Nara, are you listening? NEVER LOSE THAT MANAGER. With gracious excellence, he defended your reputation as one of the great hotels of Japan. I'll be speaking about the experience for years to come. That man should give a course on how to be a Hotel Hero.
But of course, that wouldn't be enough to completely overcome the near derailment of my vacation train.
The area was beautiful. The staff (excepting the original check-in buffoon) were perfect...I think I sort of fell in love with Mayumi with her perfect recommendations and soft spoken elegance (ask her where to eat, she won't lead you astray), the lounge area with a picture of Einstein playing piano...on the piano where he once played...the place was a stop on Japanese tourists' visit to Nara.
We're not judged by our mistakes, but rather how we correct our mistakes. And the management at the Hotel Nara proved they deserved a 10 out of 5 for accepting their error and seamlessly correcting for it.
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