I Travel for Business and Leisure in 4* and 5* Hotels and I had never experience such bad a treatment as it happened to me in this “hotel” in December 2019.
I booked a room for an overnight stay as the weather forecast said “80% snow ” and I expressly asked for a day of vacation to be able to have the option to swim outdoors while snowing, so for one time I thought to skip Abano and try Montegrotto.
As a Triathlete, Hotel Petrarca’s external outdoor Olympic pool looked unique to me as it really was, so I could fulfill my dream of swimming outdoors in mid winter during snowfall.
Too bad that I experienced the worst of hotel staff in my whole life, and that a number of reviews around the web do fully confirm my experience.
In fact, unlike what happens in Abano where in ANY spa hotel you get FREE spa access with FREE bathrobe, Petrarca is the only one place in this area which is not offering this service: My room did not have the “spa access” included, and no one cared about warning me, even if it was “somehow-not-said” in the booking.com services list.
So I checked in, clearly stating that I was checking in alone and that a friend of mine would join in the afternoon, then straight went into the SPA area, noticing a strange man following all of my moves, especially when unloading my luggage.
I was then “annoyed” mid-afternoon by the reception about having an incomplete check-in and i re-stated that I had to wait for my friend to come, like already stated both in the booking notices and both at check-in.
The friend finally came, checked in, and since she was missing a bathrobe, I thought to rent one for her, but that strange and uneasy presence was following us … even at the reception!
We got the option in the morning to be able to have breakfast at 7:15 instead of 7:30 because my friend needed to rush for work: the breakfast room was ready, so they welcomed us, the only well-done thing we experienced here.
I then stayed until the checkout time, used their beautiful pool and spa area for the last time, and went for the checkout within the correct timeframe, listing all of the extra services I used, including minibar items ….
… consider my “surprise” when the receptionist added “and the spa use for two persons” charging me 60 extra euros with a “we caught you attitude” I still feel uneasy about.
Now I understood the reason for that “strange presence” following all of my moves: the hotel porter, instead of helping me with the luggage, was following my moves to be sure I was charged for everything I did!
NEVER in my life I have received such a treatment and NEVER ever I will risk for it to happen again: this hotel goes straight into my ENEMY LIST, considering that my Black-List has no more than 3 items, but this time I needed a new category.
Yes, Hotel Petrarca is really beautiful: outdoor thermal pools, unique outdoor 50m external pool, but hotel staff has no clue about what customer delight is and this is NOT a relax place: being the spa area accessible for a reasonable fee for “externals”, people of “any kind” can use it, and the night before I had to stand the yelling of a wide group of young kids not worth a 1* dormitory.
NEVER EVER WASTE YOUR MONEY IN SUCH A PLACE, which could have made some sense in the 60s, an era of which it retains the elevators and the structures and the porter … move a mile away in Abano and get superior service wherever for almost half of the price.
As soon as I find some time, I will write the local municipality office about this, and have them check similar reviews on the web, as this behavior brings down the prestige of the whole area.
And I’m saving you all the details about the behavior of most of the spa staff against other guests as it still hurts: can you imagine a lifeguard yelling to a poor old woman for not having a swimming cap? Well, imagine this and much worse.
First Vote of mine below 6.0 on Booking since ever, and it’s not lower as the place is really unique in the whole world: should you want to experience it after what I wrote, do it as an external customer, considering that Abano’s public pool offer a better service and a unique 50m open external thermal pool for 5 to 6 euros, and they have lifeguards on it, so you don’t risk the life for being deeply offended by inadmissible staff.
Dec 14, 2019 to Jan 13, 2020