I had taken Country club’s membership in January 2013 from their Ansal Plaza office. I would like to briefly explain my holiday experiences at their vacation homes meant to be relaxing and rejuvenating.
January 2013 – Their sales personnel in Ansal Plaza office showed me enticing pictures of their properties and asked me to avail this short term discounted membership opportunity before it expires.I am a Government servant and hence i had made it clear to him that i do not lavishly and impulsively invest in something immediately.To put my fears to rest he informed me that i had the ultimate choice of availing this membership at 1.40 lakhs which i could pay in interest free monthly installments for a year as per my tie up with SBI and some other banks.So after a two hour debate and consultation with their sales personnel i signed their white club membership form and swiped my credit card for the amount to be deducted in monthly installments.
That was the beginning of my ordeal with CCIL.My first shock came when i received my monthly credit card bill with the entire amount of Rs. 1.40 lakhs being charged as a single payment towards CCIL membership.After the initial questioning with the bank officials I was asked to speak to CCIL sales personnel.The sales officer very blatantly mentioned that an error had occurred on account of which the amount was billed as a single payment as against the EMI method that he had promised me.The first misselling i encountered with theirr employees.After a lot of futile calls to and fro, I gave up and decided to go on with the membership.An error i regret till date.
December 2013 – Royal Assagao Goa-I wanted to avail my membership holiday at their Goa resort and hence wrote to their booking staff well in advance to block my six days.There was my second horrifying experience. Inspite of sending the booking e-mail in May 2013 i was refused a room for the said period in December.I was told to resend the mail three months prior to the holiday date.So as per procedure i resent my booking email on 27th September.I was stunned to get an email from their booking staff stating that the dates mentioned by me were already booked.Strange as it may seem to you this is how their employees function.How was it possible for the entire hotel to be booked on the first date of booking . After around 50-60 email exchange with various booking staff and 20-30 phone calls to people at various management levels i managed to get my six day holiday booking for 27th Dec 2013 to 3rd Jan 2014 at their associate property- Royal Assagao Goa. My third shocking experience with their team members.
Even after the booking was made and money paid towards my stay, I still had a strange bad feeling about the holiday.So i called the hotel 3 days before travel and confirmed my room allotment.The receptionist was kind enough to confirm the same.So i was eager about having my first real happy experience at their holiday home.But this happiness was short-lived because after i reached the hotel I was informed that there was no room available for me there and hence i was to be put up at another hotel.I was furious.I do not think this is how anyone plans to begin their holidays.Therefore i stood my ground and called our account manager.She too was shocked to hear my story and told me that she would sort this out immediately.After a couple of calls i finally got the room originally alloted to me.But now the hotel staff wanted me to buy the new year dinner pass compulsorily for Rs. 3000/-.I didn’t like this method of blackmailing and hence spoke to their personnel once again and got this problem sorted too.
This entire saga was well articulated and sent to their grievance cell personnel on my return and he did send me an apology mail which made me give CCIL another chance.
August 2014 – Wingait Inn Shimla – This was my second trip through CCIL.I stayed at the mentioned associate property for three days.The room alloted to me here against my studio room was a deluxe room (that was the only room the hotel had) Again the quality of the room was quite mediocre and it had absolutely no view.The restaurant at the hotel was really tiny and too cramped.Even the food provided was expensive vis-a-via its costs.It was like a heritage hotel and hence had no other facilities like a swimming pool or spa etc.Both the indoor games and gym was closed.Another holiday home with absolutely no amenities as promised in their contract.
October 2014 – UNA Comfort Nandini- Dharmshala – My third trip through CCIL was to Dharmshala. The room given to me here was on the last floor and it was extremely small.Not like a studio room.That made me think if CCIL had a different definition to the term ‘STUDIO’ room.Moreover with my six year old it was a big risk having to live on a rooftop modified room but since all other rooms were blocked for that day we had to stay there for a night.The next day we were shifted to another room on the second floor.This was a little bigger and had a small balcony, but it was badly kept.The paint on the walls was peeling and the bathroom was badly maintained.Taps were leaking.The geyser stopped working and thereafter was repaired while our stay in the room.This too had no other facilities like pool or gym or indoor games and nothing here gave me the WOW experience as promised by their holiday sales officials.
Three holidays and none that even closely came to giving me and my family a relaxing and rejuvenating feeling.
October 2015-Amrutha Castle – Now for the most awaited holiday I wanted to take since joining CCIL, the Amrutha Castle holiday.Supposedly a landmark hotel.This was one property which held many promises for me.I had hoped to feel extremely positive after visiting this CCIL vacation home.After all it held Limca and Guinness World Records.I was very optimistic when I planned this trip and had assured my family and myself that the worse was in the past.But to my utter dismay this property fell way below even budget hotel standards.Let me iterate it out to you point by point:
The hotel reception staff were unfriendly and non-receptive.They interacted with the customers as though they were doing us a favor by speaking to us and listening to our requests.
The rooms, were small,unkept,smelly and nothing like one would imagine for a CCIL award winning property.We were given room 327 first but since i complained about the urine stink i was reassigned to room 317, another deluxe room as per the hotel standards but honestly nothing like a studio room…not even remotely.
The bathrooms were dilapidated and bath tubs had burn marks. It felt unhygienic to even stand in let alone lie down and bathe.
The room view I had was of the hotel’s garbage disposal unit.How enticing for a holiday home..right?
The bed side tables were shabby and the sofa was soiled with brown sticky muddy stains.The bedsheets and pillow covers were dirty and had stains and hair on them even when before we used them.
The restaurant food was insipid, oily and undercooked.The breakfast buffet which was laid out for guests was so unhygienically and unprofessionally served that just the sight of the place itself churned my stomach.The egg omelet took eternity to arrive and then it was dry. The tea was a weird tasting concoction of water and milk.Nothing in that place was palatable.The tables were not cleaned properly.Food was scattered around the buffet table.
Even the upholstery in the restaurant was ripped,soiled and unkept.
On the first night in the hotel there was a birthday party in the discotheque which went on for wee hours(which i guess is beyond your control) but then the members of he party were strolling on the corridors shouting, laughing,talking to one another.Somebody rang our doorbell around 1.30am.
The complimentary water bottle given in the room was tap water filled in a ‘railway neer’ bottle.Buying a bisleri in a your hotel costs Rs.65/- I believe water has to be sold on MRP.
The hotel’s swimming pool was closed and the gym was some kind of a joke with many equipments not functioning.
At the hotel I filled in a feedback form giving ‘Poor’ rating to all facets of the hotel.The next day somebody from their customer service got in touch with me and asked me my experience.Once again I informed them about my experience at the property.But to my utter surprise i got an email from Shireen Banu thanking me for my ‘Satisfactory’ rating to my Amrutha castle stay.
I had sent them an email on OCT 6th 2015 with regards to my membership cancellation and refund but i have only been made to forward the email and speak to their various managers.Every month since, i have made 5-8 phone calls and sent the emails to new people in their organization. But nothing has come of it even now.Everyone i have spoken to have said they will look into the matter and get back but not even one person has called back.
I have been cheated with false promises.No one has been pulled up or made accountable for all this mess.I am confident that they do not care for their members and are running a money making scam under the name of Country club.I seek justice from the tribunal for the non-delivery of contractual obligation.Its been over 5 months since i have emailed CCIL my grievance and yet I am receiving calls to pay my yearly premium and to buy plot of land through CCIL.Not one management personnel from CCIL has got in touch with me to resolve my issue. Kindly intervene and expedite my complaint.
Please find attached the photographs of their Amrutha Castle property as on the date of my visit.
Manoj K Joseph