Spectra, Leela Palace! A ramble

So, this is the first time I going to be rambling about an experience that was over long before it started! That is because this is probably the first time I have ever experienced this in any restaurant, leave alone a 5 star restaurant. I always believe that the way people respond when they screw up says a lot more good things about them than the way they respond when everything is going well.

On New Year's, the extended family wanted to go for dinner and we reserved a table for eight people at the Spectra, Leela Palace. The table was confirmed and a few hours before the reserved time, the hotel called back my cousin to re-confirm the reservation. While the reservation was for a table at 830 PM, we walked in late, very late! Since we were late by 45 minutes, we fully expected to be told that our table was released and that we have to wait till a table is available.
Time: 915.


The response of the restaurant was a shocker. Three waiters briskly walked past us asking us a few minutes to respond but telling us that they don't have any seats for us. Yes, the restaurant was full. A lady then wished us and went to the reservation desk and told us that we did not make a reservation! Really? We told her about when we made the call et all, but she told us that a reservation was not made. We told her that we were anyway late for the reservation and asked her when she could give us a table. She directed us to the lobby cafe and told us that she will get back in 10 minutes.

OK, miscommunications happen. Maybe somewhere the reservation got released and she could not see the ones released or maybe something technical blah went wrong. We were late and we did not have the right to fight for it. Time 920. I asked her for the menu.

Time 930. A big group of people walked out of the restaurant. The lady came and told us that a table is now free and that she will need 10 minutes to get it cleaned. I reminded her about the menu and she smiled, apologised and went back in.

940 - The menu came with a smile on her face. She apologised for the delay and said that they were still cleaning the table. Another big group now was walking out of the restaurant.

950 - The lady is nowhere to be seen. We were still waiting.

10 PM - No sign of the lady.

1010 - We walked into the restaurant for an update and a guy in a suit says that they are full and that they don't have a table for us. We explained that we were offered a table 30 minutes back, but he refused to acknowledge it, saying that it was not possible that someone offered a table because they were full.

So yeah, communication errors happen. We left the hotel and drove around and thankfully thought of another restaurant that has come to the rescue of many midnight hungry wolves which was happy to have us.

But constant communication errors in a 5 star deluxe hotel that has Palace next to it? Hmmm....maybe they were overworked on 31st Dec and were short staffed, but whatever the reason was, they did not do what was expected of a super deluxe hotel.